Admittedly, Darmstadtʹs amusement scene is significantly smaller than that around Montmartre in Paris or Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. However – in terms of diversity and ambiance – it is hardly inferior to that of the large metropolises.
On weekends, anyone who is in the mood for good music and a lively dance floor can find an event to fit their fancy. Clubs, discos, live stages and lounges offer a large music selection inviting guests of all ages to celebrate, dance or just listen. The different locations span a wide range of musical directions, from classic genres to unusual sounds. House, R’n’B, rock and pop are fixtures in the same way that present and past mainstream, metal and black beats are. Darmstadt’s nightlife even treats real connoisseurs to Caribbean sounds or an occasional good old tango.
As opposed to the world’s metropolises, the visitors of locations and events enjoy reasonable prices, which will not spoil the indulgence in a cocktail or two. Care for a sampling?
On weekends, nighttime revellers gather in the centrally located NachtCafé. Starting at 10 p.m., a rotation of resident DJs create the sound frame for an unlimited party feeling. Musically, the club ranges between house, black, mainstream and the 80s and 90s charts.
On Friday, “Best of Dance & House” rings in the weekend programme while Saturday “Strictly House” is the order of the day. Whoever wants to chill a while between delicate sounds can savour a fizzy cocktail in one of five first-class bars.
In terms of dress code and ambiance at the NachtCafé club, the crowd is mixed and tidy in appearance.
As one of the roomiest large-capacity discos in Darmstadt, “Musikpark A5” has been offering all the most popular musical genres on the club scene for decades. On 2,500 square metres, three music spheres have been combined into a single party centre for the young and young at heart.
Away from the dance floors, visitors have the choice between eight bars and two smoking sections until, on the stroke of midnight, a gigantic laser show fires up the atmosphere for the coming night.
The club life starts on Thursday with the “Ladies Night & Single Party”. Friday is “Black Beat Night”, and the weekend winds down with the “Saturday Night Fever & Ü-25-Club”.
Although the bulk of visitors are usually under 25 years old, with 30 per cent “Ü-26” (over 26), the guest age structure demonstrates openness to all who fancy large-scale club and beats.
Level 6 Club
The “Level 6 Club” offers a spectacular setting. A refined bar culture paired with musical genres such as deephouse, minimal and techhouse lure friends of the club to the seventh floor above the roofs of Darmstadt. The music not only emanates from the sound machines of local musicians but is also produced by musicians from around the world.
The club is a location with an open-minded, informal atmosphere, which is not committed to a certain clientèle. From Thursday to Saturday, the young and young at heart from the entire Rhine-Main-Neckar region are invited to mingle with the regulars.
“Stella” is a mix of club, lounge and bar. The cheeky living room charm in the 70s style and the first-class electronic dance music attract mostly novices of Darmstadt’s club scene to its nighttime hurly-burly.
The evening starts in the lounge, which, in the course of the night, transcends into a club with the support of rotating DJs from the Rhine-Main area. House and black beats provide the musical base.
In the summer, visitors can opt for the cosy terrace, which is open until late at night and offers entertainment away from the booming beats.
Guests between 30 and 50 years of age are the target group of the “Tanzcafé Papillon”. Besides disco fox and hits of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, you can even tango here. Novice dancers who feel inspired by the whizzes can learn the basic steps in dance classes held regularly. When the music sounds in the Tanzcafé Papillon, practice will come spontaneously.
The cosy atmosphere, which still translates the nostalgia of the 30-year history of the Tanzcafé Papillon, produces a pleasant feel-good mood. The tidy appearance of the dance-crazy guests makes you feel like “dolling up” or putting on your “little black dress.”
Things usually get a little rougher at the “Steinbruch-Theater”. For more than 30 years, it has been playing whatever your ear desires: rock and metal, gothic and electro, pop and classics of the 1970s and 80s.
The crowd is just as colourful as the musical genres. Anyone “up for good music” is welcome. Dress code and other categorizations are irrelevant at the Steinbruch-Theater. Rocker or banker – everyone can join the party.
If you are in a mood for cult, “Huckebein” is the location of choice. As Darmstadt’s oldest club, Huckebein has been open on weekends since 1974 and was able to build up a reputation in its early years with spectacular events involving international stars.
The flair of bygone eras is still pleasantly present in the former cinema, which was renovated in 2009, diffusing a subtle sense of déjà-vu mostly to those who were already “hitting the dance floor” in those days.
Huckebein kicks off on Friday with the big “Ü-30-Party”. With dance classics, house and R’n’B, Saturday is under the “All Time Greatest” motto.
In the “Guantanamera,” the programme is all in the name. Every Tuesday, the homely, little restaurant serving Latin American food is transformed into a salsa club delivering hot rhythms. The cosy South American atmosphere and open-hearted ambiance is the perfect starting point for a Caribbean-inspired mood and emotional salsa sounds.
From 9 p.m., dance novices have a chance to get acquainted with the salsa rhythms before the dance floor fills up for the salsa party at 10 p.m.
Thomas von Stetten has been intensively pursuing the fascinating themes of advertisement and marketing for 15 years. Moreover, he has been working mostly in the field of online marketing for ten years. It all started in 1995 with the founding of the advertising agency “exakt” in Darmstadt. The inspiration for his article on Darmstadt’s various clubs came from his own interest in roaming Darmstadt’s nightlife.