Zappanale is a music festival that celebrates the music of Frank Zappa. It takes place once every year in Bad Doberan, a small town in the north of Germany.
Draw a horizontal line on the map, 200 km to the right of Hamburg, and you're there.
It's a pretty little town. The 'Bad' thing refers to hot water baths and spa and wellness things. But that's for the other 51 weeks of the year.
The last couple of years, the Zappanale festival kicked off on Wednesday with
a) an opening concert in Hamburg's St.Katharinenkirche (where they have an organ that Bach once played) ;
b) an opening of the expo at the Arf Society Headquarters in Bad Doberan.
I've been doing the Hamburg concerts since they started in 2008. Especially since it makes a perfect stop, cutting my trip to Bad Doberan in two parts.
On Tuesday, there's always a kick off party in the park of Bad Doberan. It usually starts at 16h00 and features some local bands and sometimes a couple of surprises.
It's a free kick off / warm up event that starts with about ten and ends with a couple of hundred people.
The park is in the center of the town. About one hundred meters from market place. It's all very small and cosy.
Friday to Sunday, the festival takes place at the horse race tracks (galopprenbahn) which is about five kilometes away from the town center.
It starts about 15h00 every day, and ends way too late (for the old folks).
Also from Friday to Sunday, there's concerts in the expo room. Actually, the expo room (located at the BD market place) consists of three rooms, one of which is also used as a concert room. It can only host about thirty people but it's always a lot of fun.
The festival itself has bands performing the music of Frank Zappa, or bands that have been inspired by Frank Zappa, or bands that take a similar eclectic approach to music.
As a bonus, some of the musicians also perform as a guest musician with other bands.
You should try it. At least once.
Below is a clip of Le Bocal. They have performed a couple of times at Zappanale already.
Their setlist included both Zappa and original material. In 2014, Robert Martin joined them on stage for a couple of songs.