Radius Tours is not the only Munich institution that is currently celebrating its 25th birthday. One of the city’s great annual festivals shares the same anniversary with us.
In the summer of 1988, just as Patrick and Gaby Holder were setting up a small bike rental service outside the central train station, some intrepid individuals from the MUH cabaret theatre in Munich were pitching a tent and a few stalls near the Olympic Stadium and inaugurating the first Tollwood festival. Radius has since grown into one the city’s biggest bike rental and tour companies, and Tollwood has become one of the major highlights in Munich’s annual calendar of festivals.
Tollwood is unmissable. Think of a mixture between a rock festival, a (very high quality) car boot sale, a village fête and a mini Oktoberfest. Every summer, the parkland close to the Olympic Tower – and every winter, the Theresienwiese Oktoberfest grounds – is transformed into a world of colour, music and all things good for the senses and the soul. Walk through the streets between the tents and stalls and simply take it all in, the smell of north African and Asian cooking, the endlessly inventive trinkets and jewellery, and the sounds of music from every continent.
Not wishing to be parochial, but a particular highlight is the Irish pub selling Murphy’s red beer – a quality ale which isn’t even so easy to find in Ireland. Obviously the vast spectrum of global cuisine, design, music and culture is not without interest … but still, Murphy’s red beer! As the sun goes down, the perfect place to end the night is at the festival’s large Andechs Tent. Brewed at the famous monastery, Andechs is one of the great Bavarian beers, and, with live music and lots of seating areas inside and outside, the tent is well worth checking out.
In addition to live acts peforming for free, the festival also hosts a venue for large international acts. This year, ZZ Top, Brian Ferry, and Crosby, Stiils and Nash among others are performing.
Tollwood Summer Festival 2013. June 26th – July 21st. Olympic Park South – reachable by u3.