Local Ambassadors of the World

Whoever said that good things never last wasn’t thinking of Bonn’s ‘Over The Border’ Festival. Now in its 6th year, with the World in turmoil, we need music that embraces diversity from every corner of the planet more than ever in 2022. Sunday’s traditional opening ‘taster’ concert at the Harmonie certainly created positive energy aplenty and suggested there will be a lot to savor until 9 April.

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From 20 March, the City of Bonn will once again host the region’s
first large-scale indoor festival of 2022 Over The Border

“Culture, as we know, cannot be contained,” says organizer Manuel Banha.

“As a result of globalization, people come together all over the world, they communicate, exciting things happen. Bonn is the
perfect place for such a festival. This dialogue is more important than ever.”

Opening concert on 20.03.22 The Harmonie

The aim of the Across The Border concert series is to make musical and social developments visible. Many people grow
up with two cultures and carry these two cultures equally in their hearts.

On different concert stages in Bonn, the Festival will be presenting innovative cross-cultural performers from
all continents, as well as familiar faces from the region’s musical local ambassadors.

Marion & Sobo Band in ‘Doppelpack’ 26-27 March – Harmonie

It will be important to convince those interested in culture to take part in face-to-face events again, where they can feel safe and relaxed and have an enjoyable concert experience.  It is also necessary to give young bands the perspectives they had before the lockdown. Newcomers will be given the opportunity to perform and present their projects that were paused. In this context, it is also necessary to intensify the artistic network of local musicians with international artists.


Blues Caravan 2022 – All Wheels Rolling

Blues music at The Harmonie, my favourite Bonn venue, and with it’s 2G+ rule tonight, a proper standing-up/unmasked audience for the first time in what seems like centuries. The musicians on the poster have gone through a couple of name changes – no one outside is entirely sure who will be onstage inside – in the event it’s Ghalia Volt, Katie Henry and, after last minute cancellations and phone calls, Will Jacobs. To be honest, no one I saw before the show was too concerned who would be playing – it was the RUF Records Blues Caravan for goodness sake. Have faith in Thomas Ruf. Has he ever let us down?!

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Folk Club Bonn 121–Make Music Not War

It seems like a lifetime since the basic decisions before a Folk Club evening were: Who plays? When is their slot? Who will be next month’s guest star? Since Covid came along, working out ‘the basics’ has seemed like a luxury. So it is then, that in the first week of March 2022, John Harrison had far wider problems to consider. On or Off? Inside or Outside? 2G or 2G+? Who checks the entries on the door against the attendance emails? It was all the more amazing then that we still had a full evening of quality Folk music to enjoy at Dotty’s.

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Circle the 8th of March in your diaries Bonn Blues lovers – The RUF Records Blues Caravan is coming back to The Harmonie.

Would you believe, it’s been seventeen years since Thomas Ruf first had the brainwave of a showcase
tour. Three rising stars from the roster of Europe’s most respected boutique record label.
Three live sets that run the gamut of emotion and genre. And a finale each night, featuring the mother of all live jams, with all three performers cutting loose together.

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Memorial Concert for Rope Schmitz

It’s hard to believe, but the genial founder of legendary Bonn band Sunny Skies has been gone now for almost two years. Even now I keep thinking the only reason I haven’t seen Rope Schmitz onstage for so long is due to Covid decimating the number of live concerts everywhere.

I’m proud to have known Rope and am proud that one of my photos is on the memorial poster. It will be an emotional evening I’m sure and hopefully the rules by 6th May will allow entry for as many of Rope’s friends and associates into the Harmonie as want to come – which I’m sure will be many.
For my own thoughts and memories of the Man and his Music read my tribute to Rope here.

Rockpalast in Bonn

Coming soon to a concert hall near you (if you live in Bonn!)
The first Rockpalast-Crossroads Festival at the Harmonie this year promises to be a mixed bag of talented established bands and newcomers as always. For more details, click HERE