Museumsuferfest: Why You’ve Got Frankfurt All Wrong

It’s just before midnight, and I’m walking through Frankfurt, making the worst noise in the world.

At this time of night, the banks of the river Main – Frankfurt is officially Frankfurt am Main – are usually deserted. There’s nobody to hear my awful, awful noise. The Museumsuferfest starts tomorrow. The riverside path is lined with tents and stalls and expensive-looking stages, and shadowy figures move between them. Some of them stop and watch as I approach. Who could blame them? It’s the middle of the night and I’m making a noise like a washing-machine full of gravel. I’m sorry, Frankfurt. This is not the introduction I planned.


Walking along the banks of the Main at night, especially on a drizzly, streetlight-fuzzing night like this, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s all made of skyscrapers and you’re on the outskirts. This would tie in nicely with any preconceptions you had about it as a European financial capital (“London, Paris, Frankfurt”). It’d be a little odd that the city centre was so far from the river, but maybe there were practical reasons?

So you’d keep walking, and Frankfurt would remain a place of money and modernity.

The city is half an hour away from the main airport, the eleventh busiest in the world. If you fly around Europe a lot, you probably passed through that hub, and saw Frankfurt’s skyscrapers on the horizon (nicknamed “Mainhattan”). You probably thought, “busy airport = modern city” and felt no inclination to find out for yourself. This is what the festival I’m attending is up against.


Luckily, all it has to do is get people into Frankfurt, and the city will do the rest – as I’m going to find out over the next few days.

Read the full story at Fevered Mutterings.