Illustration Rheinturm, © Saskia Wragge

The sound of Düs­sel­dorf

Everything back to NEU! In the city with the Kunstakademie

Take the Autobahn to get to Düsseldorf. Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. There is no faster way to dive deep into Düsseldorf’s 70s and 80s than Techno, New Wave and Punk. Which turned the city into one sweaty, bizarre, magnificient concert. NEU! – the favorite band and inspiration for legends such as Blur, Radiohead and David Bowie, resulted from Kraftwerk, one of the brightest stars in the German musical sky. The Krupps and die Toten Hosen came together here as well: The hearts of the punk fans beat faster even today when the name Düsseldorf is mentioned. The mainstay oft he scenes ist he Kunstakademie. The „Salon des Amateurs“ goes back to the former student and Kreidler member Detlef Weinrich, whose second name is furore.

To start the pop musical tour through Düsseldorf, choose the Pop Trail. It will guide you to carefully chosen spots in Düsseldorf. If you would rather browse around and explore the pop pilgrimage sites around you, choose the Proximity Search. The Travelogue will give you a detailed description in written and audio form on what has changed in the city with regard to rock and pop music in past decades.

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The Flinger Straße in Düsseldorfs Old Town, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

Wolfgang Riech­mann/Tatort Flinger Str.

Two weeks be­fore his al­bum "Wun­derbar" hit the stores, the mu­si­cian Wolfgang Riech­mann was stabbed on the Carlsplatz.

The Salon des Amarteurs, © Markus Luigs

Salon des Am­a­teurs

A place where the art academy's own sub­cul­ture not only evolves but is ac­tu­ally even dance­able.

Entrance with flair: The Museum Kunstpalast, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH


Just like the Beatles in Liv­er­pool: 15,000 fans cel­eb­rated a best of con­cert by Kraft­werk with 3D glasses on their noses in light of the Tour de France and even eli­cited something like a sense of home from the Mensch-Maschine.

A historic photograph of Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert


What hap­pens when an ob­ject artist (Gün­ther Ueck­er), a film­maker (Lutz Mom­martz), a de­sign­er (Danilo Sil­vestrin) and an all­round-artist (Ferdin­and Kri­wet) con­cep­tu­al­ize a bar? The (former) Cream­cheese is the an­swer.

Platform 17 at Düsseldorf main station, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Main Sta­tion Track 17

The last Trans-Europa-Ex­press has long de­par­ted but track 17 is still the place, where the jour­ney through the his­tory of Düss­sel­dorf pop with Kraft­werk and an icon­ic pic­ture be­gins.

The former Unique Club, © Andreas Schiko

EX-Unique Club

From a dis­cotheque to his own (former strip-) club, Henry Storch ma­ter­i­al­ized his dream of the Unique Club in gold, red and white.

View of the Tonhalle at the rhine embankment, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

Rhein­halle (Ton­halle)

Long be­fore the Ton­halle turned in­to a front room for Düs­sel­dorf sym­phon­ies, this used to be the place to go for in­ter­na­tion­al rock le­gends.

The shop window of Pure Freude, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Pure Freude

The en­chant­ing back­yard café of the city is a trib­ute to the former re­cord store of the same name: Pure Freude.

The Ratinger Hof, © Markus Luigs

Stone im Rat­inger Hof

The Stone today is poph­is­tor­ic­ally su­per­im­posed by a con­tro­ver­sial le­gend: Punks and artists cre­ated an ex­plos­ive mix­ture in the Rat­inger Hof, that went off in blatant sounds.

The entrance to the Mitsubishi Electric HALLE, © Jörg Eicker

Mit­subishi Elec­tric Halle (EX-Philip­shalle)

Fans go on a pil­grim­age to this mul­tipur­pose hall since the 70s. Stevie Won­der and AC/DC have giv­en the hon­or when it was still called "Philip­shalle".

The streetview of Zakk, © C. Wolff

za­kk - Zen­trum für Ak­tion, Kul­tur und Kom­munika­tion

The old fact­ory hall in Flingern stages people, ideas and pro­jects since 1977. The Liebling­s­platte Fest­iv­al fea­tures im­port­ant al­bums of Ger­man pop his­tory since 2016.

The facade of the Engelchen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

En­gelchen (in­cl. Schaukel­stühlchen & EX-Q-Stall)

Düs­sel­dor­fer cel­eb­rate here lit­er­ally in the nar­row circle:in a re­l­at­ively small space with Alt­beer and rock mu­sic in the middle of the old town.

The "stage" at AK47, © Markus Luigs


Stage and audi­ence space merge, pogo on eye level in Düs­sel­dor­f's club for punk rock, in the middle of the formerly oc­cu­pied houses on Kiefern­straße.

The bar at Kreuzherreneck, © Markus Luigs


While the Kreuzher­re­neck used to be the heart of the jazz-scene of Düs­sel­dorf in the 1950s, it is today still a place quite dif­fer­ent than the nearby Bolk­er­straße.

A performance of artists Klein and Kuball, © Markus Luigs

Min­trop­straße 16

The "Elektro Müller"- sign and a con­spicu­ous pylon still com­mem­or­ate a place, where chequered mu­sic his­tory has been cre­ated un­til 2009.

The famous Königsalle in Düsseldorf, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

König­sallee / "Ber­gis­cher Löwe"

Cre­ated by the sculptor Phil­ipp Harth and meet­ing point for the mod-scene of the city in the 80s.

Performance of artist Gigi Masin in 2016, © Markus Luigs


The art and mu­sic scene form a syn­ergy in Düs­sel­dorf like no oth­er pop city in the world. The Art Academy foun­ded bands and clubs and pro­claimed re­volu­tions - and called them off again.

Sound of Düs­sel­dorf

Sound of #urb­a­nana

Elektro Müllers sign, © Andreas Schiko


To wander from top­ic to top­ic in Düs­sel­dorf means: from Punk to New Wave to Krautrock and Min­im­al.

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Open Source Festival, © Sebastian Wolf

Prox­im­ity Search

No mat­ter where you are in Düs­sel­dorf: Turn on the prox­im­ity search and dis­cov­er mu­sic spots around you on your own hook.

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New Fall Festival Tonhalle, © Andreas Schiko


Read about how one thing lead to an­oth­er with Kraft­werk, NEU!, die Toten Hosen and many more prot­ag­on­ists of Düs­sel­dor­f's mu­sic scene from the past un­til the present.

Read more