Various art and culture festivals in the region use the backdrop of the decommissioned industrial arenas, such as Gasometer Oberhausen, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen or the blast hall at Landschaftspark Nord in Duisburg. Internationally renowned festivals such as the Ruhrfestspiele, the Ruhr Piano Festival or the Ruhrtriennale are a cut above other German festivals specifically because of the unusual location, and delight audiences with the very special atmosphere.
Once a year, a festival takes place in the Ruhr metropolis that connects the special places in the Ruhr region: ExtraSchicht – Nacht der Industriekultur (Night of Industrial Culture) is a huge night-time event that celebrates all of the important industrial locations in the region with a programme of about 500 art and cultural events. By day, visitors can follow the industrial culture route and get to know many former arenas of the coal and steel industries and their current use as cultural locations. The route, which can also be explored by bicycle, connects the most important industrial monuments such as the Zollern Coal Mine Industrial Complex, the Hansa coking plant in Dortmund or the Henrichenburg boat lift in Hattingen. Museums such as the German Mining Museum in Bochum and the German Football Museum in Dortmund are also along the route.