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Tollwood

Next on: June 21 to July 16, 2017

TOLLWOOD: Here you can browse craftsman's stands while biting back on a bio-bratwurst. A summer highlight, Tollwood brings the world together in Munich.
What began as a small alternative culture festival in 1988 has evolved into a major event which attracts over 800,000 people.
It’s 25 days of “culture for everyone” with three driving forces:
1. A so-called Market of Ideas - Markt der Ideen
2. Certified “bio” food-stands and tents offering cuisine from around the world, and,
3. A cultural program with live music and theatrical performances.

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TENT CITY: A view of the festival from Munich's Olympiaberg (Olympic hill).

Entertainment

Entry to the grounds and about 75 percent of performances are free, but a couple of big-top tents host evening concerts which you have to pay a bit extra if you want in.
Free concerts range from sing-along cover bands to African drumming and instrumentalists. On my first visit I saw a Beatles tribute band outside the Andechser beer tent before catching a bizarre little Spaniard tickle a grand piano suspended vertically 6m (20ft) in the air.

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HIGH NOTES: A Spanish performer tickles the ivories 6m (20ft) above the ground.


Head to the Tanzbar if you’ve if you want to boogies after the sun goes down.
Dance styles from tango to traditional Bavarian are demonstrated and encouraged.

Food and drink

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SWEET TREATS: A pancake maker at the Munich festival.
Tollwood revolves around the plate – about 50 food stands dish up an international cuisine cornucopia.

The real challenge is deciding what you’d most like to try.
I chose a plate of Moroccan rice and lamb, topped off by a bun with little Nuremberg sausages.
Delicious, but later I was regretting not leaving room for the Thai massaman curry, the Hungarian Gulyás soup or the African fried fish.
The focus is on offering fair, environmentally friendly produced food regardless of the country of origin.

Shopping

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GIFTS GALORE: Two friends of mine at the Markt der Ideen (Market of Ideas) at the Munich summer festival.

Bonsai trees, hammock shops, didgeridoos, giant wooden giraffes, it's all available at Tollwood's Markt der Ideen. There are over 200 stalls offering gifts and mementos from around the world.
Ever wanted a tattoo of a dolphin on your lower back? Here's where you can get it done. What about having a mould made of your hands and then watching it crafted into a unique candle holder? It could come in handy!

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HANDWORK: At this stand craftswomen make plaster casts of your hands - to be used as decorations, candleholders, anything you can think of, really.


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POPULAR: The Munich Tollwood festival is a magnet for thousands of visitors every year (including me).

The Details

Location and directions

Tollwood takes place just south of the Olympiaberg (Olympic hill) at Munich's Olympiapark (Olympic Park). It's about 5kms north-west of the city centre.
In keeping with the eco-friendly theme of the festival organsiers suggest taking public transport, or riding a bike.
The easiest way to get to there is to take the U-Bahn No. 3 to Olympiazentrum. It's the last stop on the line. From there it's a 15 to 20min walk. Below is a map showing the way from the U-Bahn station.


View Directions to the festival in a larger map 

Next on: June 21 to July 16, 2017. Things get underway in the morning and carry on until about 11pm.
Website:

www.tollwood.de (in English)

Tickets: Entry to the festival is free but you have to buy tickets if you want to see some of the concerts. Performers for this year are still to be announced but the acts that have lined up in recent years include B.B. King, Bryan Adams, Philipp Poisel and Ich and Ich.
You can book through the website München Ticket here.
Phone: The Tollwood information hotline is +49 700 38 38 50 24 . It costs 12c a minute from a landline in Germany and more from anwyhere else.


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