Top tips to make the most of MS Dockville in Hamburg


About MS Dockville

MS Dockville is a summer music and art festival found in Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg area, a corner of the city well known for its more industrial feel as it’s juxtaposed against waterside warehouses and docklands architecture… hence the name, MS Dockville.

What began in 2007 as a one day festival attended by 5.000 is now a three day festival where over 25.000 attendees enjoy music, art and each other’s company at an event that has still kept its intimate atmosphere while also attracting big names and both new and seasoned festival-goers. Each year the festival raises money for art camps for children in the Wilhelmsburg area of Hamburg and it was good to know that I was supporting a festival with a cause.

MS Dockville is renowned for its music – it showcases the best of German and international singers, bands and DJs – and headliners this year included Hercules & Love Affair, Die Antwoord, Birdy, Chet Faker and Jake Bugg, however, there is another important side to the festival: MS Artville. With works on display throughout the festival grounds and a number of prominent installations sandwiched between the camping area and the stages.


Two girls at MS Dockville

I attended MS Dockville as part of Must Love Festivals a festivals project that has seen 16 different bloggers tour Europe attending a wide variety of unusual and upcoming festivals. MS Dockville was one of them, although if you’re from Hamburg or have some knowledge of the festival scene in Germany you’ll know that this is a well-established and very popular festival that people travel from all over the country to attend. You can stay on site camping or you can stay in the city like I did as there are shuttle bus connections from Veddel S-Bahn stop and if you didn’t already know, Hamburg has a great public transport network.

While the usual rules for festival fun apply – relax, spend time with your friends, listen to good music and dance! – I thought it may be worth sharing the following advice for how to make the most of MS Dockville if you’re planning on going.

Dancing at MS Dockville



Don’t assume the weather will be good!

Take wellies, a woolly jumper and warm socks. And something waterproof. Despite MS Dockville taking place in early August, it has an unfortunate reputation for attracting wet weather. Unfortunately this year was no different, though we did some amazing rainbows as a result!



Take some spending money… not just for beer

One of the nice surprises at MS Dockville was the market stalls found close to the DJ set venues. Featuring artwork, prints, vintage clothes, handmade jewellery and a tent for you to get crafty yourself!

Market Stall at MS Dockville

Market at MS Dockville



Make time for the sunset

Just as the festival really started to get going on the first night I found myself drawn to the waterfront to watch the sunset. I wasn’t alone. This was the perfect place and time of day to just chill out before going back to the partying.

MS Dockville Water View



Talk to your favourite artist

One of the venues at MS Dockville was dedicated to artist and performer interviews and talks. So be sure to look at the full festival line-up next year to see if you can grab an audience with someone who inspires you.

MS Dockville Art Tour



Fancy dress and glitter is welcome

Oh so very welcome! Indulge your inner child and find yourself a fancy dress outfit now!!

Guy in Fancy Dress at MS Dockville

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Look around you!

As I mentioned, there are several sculptures and works of art on display all over the festival site. You can find a full list of the artists that contributed work to MS Dockville 2014 and be sure to look across the river after the sun has gone down and you’ll see some cool projected artwork on the side of the industrial buildings opposite. They also offer tours of the artwork and festival site if you want to find out more about the festival.

Art Installation at MS Dockville


Castle at MS Dockville

So these are my tips for MS Dockville a festival I’m keen to go back to next year. Have I convinced you to go too?

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