Alternative German Music

Alternative German Music

Recently, there has been a huge shift in popular music in Germany that has seen the reintroduction of some more traditional styles blended with modern popular genres which has created some interesting and unique results that are quickly becoming household names. Here are just a few of the artists who are leading the alternative music scene in Germany and inspiring many others to follow in their footsteps.

Fiva - Fiva is essentially a female rap artist, however she has collaborated on many different products with a number of different musicians to create very interesting hip hop music. The most successful and arguably the best project to date has been labelled Fiva X JRBB where she has collaborated with JRBB - a DJ, as well as a symphony orchestra and a wind band to create a unique blend of big band music and hip hop. Two very notable songs are Goldfisch and Die Stadt Gehört Wieder Mir which showcase her exceptional upbeat style with lashings of jazz, saxophone solos and clever rhythmic devices which are enough to get anybody dancing.

Moop Mama - Originating out of München, Moop Mama (photo) are a 10 piece hip hop band who label themselves as Urban Brass. They create upbeat, unique and uplifting hip hop music using the traditional Bavarian oom-pah band instrumentation and using the style as an influence. Their live sets are bursting with energy and sing-along moments, getting the whole crowd involved. They are usually spotted wearing red tracksuits, are known for spontaneous public performances and have a strange obsession with bicycles. Notable songs are Die Erfindung Des Rades which is a very strange but brilliant brass heavy and chaotic hip hop piece, and Alle Kinder in which they collaborate with Jan Delay, famous solo hip hop Hamburg-born artist, with its upbeat dance inspiring rhythms and massive sing-along moments.

Meute - Like Moop Mama, Meute are a large brass band blending traditional marching music with a modern style. The 11 piece group became famous very quickly for their marching band techno music where they take modern techno hits and remake them using traditional instrumentation. Their debut album Tumult was released in October 2017, and notable hits include a cover of Gonçalo's Mental Help and a cover of Laurent Garnier's The Man with the Red Face. Meute are an absolute sensation to see live with absolute precision on all instruments and an undeniable energy that infects the entire crowd, and being instrumental, transcends all language barriers.

LaBrassBanda - Another brass band from Bavaria, LaBrassBanda mix traditional Bavarian brass music with modern genres such as techno, funk, punk and ska. The eccentric group became popular after their self recorded debut in 2008 was released and they completed their first tour using a tractor and mopeds instead of a tour bus. Notable hits are the genre mashing Nackert with pop, reggae and even mariachi moments and the humorous Autobahn song which blends brass music with ska and punk. They attempted to enter the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 for Germany and, although not successful, managed to boost their popularity and recognition in the process.

Jan Delay - Jan Delay is an artist who collaborates a lot with other German groups but also has a solo career. He specialises in hip hop, reggae and soul styles and his upbeat music graces the German radio stations on a regular basis. One of his more famous songs is Oh Jonny which blends vintage soul styles with modern funk guitar and of course, has that signature horn section to contribute a lot of energy and movement to the choruses.

Peter Fox & SEEED - One album that is likely to get almost any young German singing is Peter Fox's solo album Stadtaffe. and when Alles Neu or Kopf Verloren come on in public, they always go down well. Again, blending hip hop and rap styles with classical instrumentation, often dark and angry lyrics and tribal rhythms, Fox has found a very unique and well earned place on the German music scene. He is also a member of the reggae band SEEED who are particularly famous for their genre blending music which often sees hard rock and ska pitted against traditional reggae music. Famous hits include Ding and Molotov which also include sections spoken in English as well as German.

Iceland Changing Tourism Industry

Iceland Changing Tourism Industry

Over the past ten years, the tourism industry in Iceland has seen a massive increase. This is due to many factors including a massive presence on social media travel pages and Instagram, its prime location for a stop-over between Canada or the USA and Europe and some introduced initiatives to boost tourism such as a waive on a tourist tax for those wishing to stay less than a week in the country, again, making it a great place for a short stopover. Estimated figures show that the number of tourists rose from almost 600,000 in the year 2000 to 4.4 million in 2014, and the figure continues to grow and now provides almost 30% of the country's export revenue.

Iceland is a very easy country to travel to. While they do have their own beautiful language which is similar to Norwegian and Swedish, absolutely everybody has some grasp on the English language and in fact, most of them can be considered fluent. The country has a small population of only 300,000 people, and they are heavily reliant on the tourism industry to bring a revenue into their country, so the infrastructure is well set up and almost everything can be done by using tour companies directly out of Reykjavik, the capital city.

What this huge increase in visitors does mean, however, is that those seeking empty landscapes and isolation are finding it a little harder to escape the crowds. High prices are increasing even more as richer clients are flying in to experience the country's charm, and iconic landmarks such as The Blue Lagoon are becoming overcrowded and losing a little of the magic that made them quite unique. Those who are looking for a peaceful break are having to venture further outside of the capital towards places like the West Fjords, over towards the isolated East of the country, or to islands such as Vestmannæyer to immerse themselves in lonely nature. This is, on the flipside, providing a more even spread of tourist income throughout the country as some of the more remote locations are becoming an interest for nature seekers.

The increase also has some problems for the local citizens. Reykjavik nightlife has increased with stag and hen parties which has turned the sleepy little capital into something a little louder and disruptive. People are camping in inappropriate places and littering and the removal of natural souvenirs is threatening the environment. The prices are rising not just for the tourists, but also for the locals and while the overall revenue is up, wages are not inflating at the same rate as prices. That said, they do encourage tourists to visit the country, but to visit it responsibly and to respect the locals and the pristine land. While the country is somewhat struggling with over-tourism, it is still just about coping.

Iceland experiences seasons of almost 24 hours of darkness and vice versa, and both come with their own charm. To visit the country during the darker months provides you with the chance of seeing the enchanting northern lights, although it also comes with colder weather and of course, mostly darkness. The opposite end of the scale sees very mild weather (although it could be considered a little chilly in comparison to many other countries) with a lot of grey skies, but very long days that make midnight feel like 6pm and allow you to increase your hours of sightseeing for things that you can only do during daylight.

The country itself is fantastic. It is an amalgamation of dramatic fiery tectonic activity, dreamy icy landscapes and tiny fishing villages. It is often coated in moody and atmospheric cloud systems that give it a really reflective and dramatic aesthetic. There are lots of whale watching opportunities, puffins to seek out and of course the Icelandic ponies. The culture revolves a lot around fishing and small rural villages, and the cuisine is weird and wonderful and will challenge your taste buds with flavours such as rotten shark and fermented sheep testicles. There is a reason it has become such a popular stopover for commuters between the USA and Europe, and a well renowned holiday destination, mostly amongst other Europeans and USA citizens.



Internations is a very large international community of expatriates and internationally minded people which covers the entire globe. Originating from Munich in Germany, new localised communities are forever being added to the repertoire of existing communities in places as far away as Auckland in New Zealand and diverse as Quito in Ecuador. It is a safe online haven for people who have removed themselves from their culture and country to be able to share ideas, to network and to support each other through local organised events and online activity.

Membership to the website begins at 5.95€ a month which allows unlimited access to all of the community events. You can join up to the website for free, but can only attend a certain number of events without paying an entrance fee or signing up for membership. Membership also makes it easier to connect with other members of your localised community through the website and to join different specialised groups also.

Events can take any form. There are monthly gatherings organised by local ambassadors appointed by the community, usually held in a relaxed and quiet bar, where expats can meet, greet and network with each other. After this, events become specialised through the use of interest groups. If you are a sports fanatic, there are different gatherings where you can meet other like minded expats for a game of badminton or a yoga class. For those who are more into food and culture, there are usually groups within each local community that focus on finding the best cuisine in the area and who arrange their meetings in restaurants and cafes to compare tasting notes. Other groups you can expect to find are book groups, music groups, film groups and even beer specialist and party groups.

While each member signs up to one local community, being a member of the website also allows them access to all the other communities worldwide, so if you like to travel a lot or have to commute frequently between two different cities, you will still have access to everything. Community members are always surprised and welcoming to any orphans attending an event from a different community or country and the creative and open-minded vibe that comes with the organisation makes everybody feel at home, no matter where they are in the world.

The website has many different features, all geared towards supporting people living out of their comfort zone. Members set up an online profile, not too different from a Facebook profile, which showcases their origins, the countries they have resided in, their current location and community, their languages and their nationalities. From the website, they are also able to see all of the planned events in any community around the world, and to RSVP to invitations. There are lots of pages with information and tips written by expatriates about moving to new locations, and a blog page with plenty of helpful information about living abroad, both localised and in general. There are online forums where members can discuss relevant topics such as careers, accomodation and local advice, and specialised guides to support people living in what can be a very alienating atmosphere.

The company was founded in 2007 by Malte Zeeck, Philipp von Plato and Christian Leifeld and it has become the largest global expat network with over 2.8 million members worldwide. There are communities in 390 cities and the number is constantly growing. Their mission is provide a welcoming community of open-minded individuals who share the experiences of fellow expats and to provide a secure space of useful advice from other people in similar situations and from knowledgable locals. The company hosts around 3500 events a month to improve the international communities of each of the cities they operate in.

Membership is initially free, but does require approval, which means that they can control the quality of the network. If you move around a lot, or if you have just moved to a new country or city, or if you just have a very open and international mindset and wish to meet other people who share this with you, have a look at the website ( and find out just how you can get involved.

Nuremberg Spring Summer festivals 2020

Nuremberg Spring Summer festivals 2020

Easter Market. March 27 - April 13, 2020 The Easter Market on Nuremberg's Main Market Square is the first market event of the year and has a long tradition in Nuremberg – it is the oldest market in the city.

Nürnberger Volksfeste (Nuremberg Folk Festivals). Spring Fair from April 11 - April 26, 2020. Autumn Fair from August 28 - September 13, 2020. The fairs in Nuremberg are a traditional part of the local culture. Here, you can experience typical Franconian traditions. The Nuremberg Spring and Autumn Fairs are the second-largest in Bavaria and draw up to 2 million visitors to the fairgrounds on the Dutzendteich Lake.

Pottery Market Nuremberg. April 25-26, 2020 Enjoy franconian craftmanship.

Nürnberger Trempelmarkt (Nuremberg Flea Market). May 8-9, 2020. September 11-12, 2020 Twice a year, the Nuremberg "Trempelmarkt" transforms the Old Town into a gigantic flea market which attracts both collectors and the curious.

Erlanger Bergkirchweih. May 28 - June 8, 2020 They have been celebrating their "Bergkirchweih" for over 250 years and, of course, a special festival beer, the "Bergbier" is part of that wonderful tradition.

Fränkisches Bierfest (Franconian Beer Festival). June 10-14, 2020 The Franconian Beer Festival takes place in the wonderful atmosphere of the Nuremberg castle moat. Forty local breweries serve more than 100 delicious types of beer.

Experience Organic! July 24-26, 2020 The festival Experience Organic! will take place in the heart of Nuremberg's Old Town an will combine shopping, food, culture and information.

Medieval Castle Moat Festival (Mittelalterliches Burggrabenfest). Expected September 2020 Schloss Thurn presents the medieval festival for the whole family! Sword fights, fire-breathers, traders and entertainers with their racket and row will carry you off to a mystical world of the past.

Nürnberger Altstadtfest (Old Town Festival Nuremberg). September 11 - 23, 2019 Exclusive to Nuremberg: Germany's largest and nicest Old Town Festival! It features more than 60 free-of-charge events, including the traditional fishermen's joust on the River Pegnitz, a wide variety of folklore programs and many musical events as well as the popular Hans-Sachs-Spiele theatre program.

Autumn Market. September 17 to October 4, 2020 In the middle of September, at the same time as the Nuremberg Old Town Festival, the Autumn Market begins. In addition to a wide offering of goods, there is plenty to eat and drink. Seasonal specialties such as new wine and onion tart are a must!

Nuremberg city offers the opportunity of visiting traditional markets and authentic festivals all the year round.