Attractions & experiences , City Experience
|Category||Attractions & experiences , City Experience|
Gebäude 9 – Shabby and atmospheric
There’s not a concert venue in Cologne that has been delivering as consistently as Gebäude (Building) 9 in Mülheim Süd on the city’s east bank. And that is not my skewed personal opinion, but the objective assessment of people in the know, who each year rank the venue among the ten most popular musical stages in Germany.
The building itself is admittedly not exactly state of the art; after all, it’s a disused factory hall located on a former industrial estate. Owing to a years-long disagreement over tenancy rights, it was never renovated and so continues to exude much original shabby charm. Once visitors get past this, they can start to enjoy what is a highly professional and audience-friendly operation. The service at the bar in the foyer is friendly and efficient, there’s a cloakroom, and while the toilets look slightly adventurous, they are always clean. Inside the venue itself, a dated but effective PA system faithfully does its job –occasionally even literally raising the roof.
Gebäude 9 regularly hosts independent, punk, hip hop, folk and avant-garde artists that tend to be on everyone’s lips within six months. The venue’s booker Jan van Weegen has an almost supernatural instinct for what works here, although it’s more likely his extensive experience, great research skills and talent for tirelessly ferreting out new artists that make Gebäude 9’s listings the best that Cologne has to offer.
So it’s no wonder that in 2014, an initiative led by Gebäude 9 supporters protested vehemently against the sale of the industrial site to an investor who had other plans for it. The plans were thankfully withdrawn, although the episode was proof of how valuable Gebäude 9 is for the city. Definitely make this venue one for your bucket list! There’s nothing better for concertgoers than enjoying live music in this incredible space, enclosed by crumbling brick walls in a backyard corner of Mülheim.