The Kohlrabizirkus or ‘Cabbage Turnip Circus’ is the second largest gig venue, a little out the way but a good location with good toilets
(although the food choice is quite poor). Its a wonderful building built in 1929 and used as a Fruit and Vegetable market until 1994 (hence the name Cabbage Turnip, although I did hear people calling it the ‘Cabbage Patch’, hehe). When the building was first built the two imposing reinforced concrete ribbed cupolas (8 sided dome Rooms) were a technical sensation, which in those days were considered the widest stretched massive cupola construction worldwide with a span of 75 m. With a length of 156 m and a width of 76 m both cupolas cover an area of approximately 12,000 m². A two-storey office extension encloses the halls on two sides. In 2000 the north cupola was modernised into a modern, multi-functional event hall for concerts and stage shows. At the same time the south cupola was brought back to life as an ice rink under the name ‘Eisdom’ and has been attracting a great number of skaters.
Today the building does look a little tired, and reminds you somewhat of Madonna’s Bra. It’s a good landmark and easy to get too from the tram. When you get off the number 16 tram, turn left and walk back the way the tram has just come from. Cross the track at the end of the platform and head towards what looks like an industrial estate. You will find Kohlrabizirkus about a 5 minute walk from the tram stop The entire area looks a little run down and very industrial. From the tram stop you should also be able to see the Volkspalast and a large chimney with a large Red Star at the top.
As you approach the building you will see a taxi rank to the left of the building, it normally has a good supply of taxis at it. The entrance to Kohlrabizirkus is to the right of the front of the building (if you have walked from the tram stop). Just outside near the entrance there is a couple of food and beer stalls outside. Security here seemed to be quite tight, the searching of bags and people they were very visible. Once you make it through security you cross into a corridor that lead to the main hall.
The inside of the right cupola is very big, the approximate capacity must be 3500-4000 people, and is second only to Halle 2 at the Agra for size. From the doorway as you enter you will see the stage straight opposite you, and it’s a decent size. To your immediate Left you will see various food and drink stalls. Straight in front of you to the right you will see a large cloakroom, and further towards the back and to the right you will find the only toilets (excellent facilities and all very clean). Going left past the food and drink stalls you will find the merchandise stall. Unfortunately there is no where to sit inside, but that is common to most venues.
The sound quality of the venue is a little weird. Looking up you can obviously see the domed roof, this seems to add an additional echo beat to some bands when they play, especially those bands with a heavy base line. In my opinion it didn’t ruin my experience of the venue, moving orward seemed to reduce that extra echo. For the headliner bands you need to be here early as it can take a long time
to get in, and security do there job no matter what the time of day.