Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Events.

Live Music
Berlin Events

Whether young, hip and colorful; global, ageless and cultural; or perhaps soulful, timeless, groovy and rythmic; or all off the above!

Here are some of the larger events which mark Berlin's annual musical calender:

Carnival of Cultures (Karneval der Kulturen)
(Pentecost weekend, June)
Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 60 97 70 22, Fax: 60 97 70 13 |
Deeply ingrained in the German psyche is the belief that culture equals national culture. No surprise then that the German approach to immigration has been a bit schizophrenic - as an foreigner you have two options either keep to yourself with a view to going home or you integrate completely with a view to becoming a real German. Anything inbetween would open the specter of multiculturalism....

Reality check: 1 in 7 Berliners is a foreigner so the city is unavoidably multicultural. The Karneval der Kulturen is a celebration of the city´s ethnic diversity and its growth over the past 3 years indicates a welcome shift from the culture = nation mindset described above.

The Karneval is Berlin's most colourful and vivacious festival, taking place every year in June over the Whitsun weekend. Thousands of representatives from over 70 cultures don their glad rags and dance along the streets of Kreuzberg in a joyous celebration of Berlin's multi-ethnicity. Four purpose-built stages host all kinds of performances, the main stage is at Blücherplatz, the children's stage at Mariannenplatz.

Love Parade
Straße der 17 Juni. , 10557 Berlin - Tiergarten |
Once a year on a given Saturday in early July a large number of the world's party-goers gather to celebrate the now legendary Love Parade. Having moved to Strasse des 17. Juni, this street party, which started in 1989 on the Ku'damm as demonstration for love, has ballooned into the biggest Techno/Dance party in the world, attracting hedonists from all corners of the earth. Excessive amounts of bare flesh are exposed as the parade, comprising of approximately 1 million fun seekers (all with their own whistles) dancing on the back of lorries (some 250 in all) and on the street, makes its way up and down Strasse des 17. Juni and round the Großer Stern at the Victory Column in the middle of Tiergarten. Real techno fans should prepare to be disappointed as the music tends towards the mainstream-chart-house end of the market. Despite this, the ethos of the event has escalated so much that fledgling Love Parades have been hatched in Austria and England.
Accompanied every year by a cringingly cosmic motto (two such examples being "One World, One Love Parade" and "Join the Love Republic"), the Berlin parade has gradually mutated into a highly commercialised circus as each of its "partners" succeed in only blocking sunlight with their logo-emblazoned balloons. Thankfully, all such things must come to an end - 2001's event was the first totally commercial Love Parade (the Berlin Senate finally refused to accept the goings-on as a political demonstration) and it appears to have been the straw that broke the camel's back, leaving everybody with a bad taste in their mouths. 2004 was the final "Love" fest in the commercial "love" tradition, or so many hoped. If not for the aptly named fitness-studio chain McFit, which saw fit (sic) to offer the fast food, fast music, franchise generation more of the mind-numbing beats and more opportunity to spend their money in Berlin!! The Love is Back in 2006!

Sounds like Home (Heimatklänge)
Strasse der Pariser Kommune 10, 10243 Berlin - Friedrichshain | Tel: 318 61 40, Fax: 318 614 10 | S-Bahn Ostbahnhof |
This festival of world music presents a range of music from a different country or region each year. The idea behind Heimatklänge is to present bands which are active in their home country. The result is musical selection which attempts to go beyond the sterotypes of the world music genre. The theme for the 2006 series was what else? The Football World Cup!

Fuck Parade
Tel: (069) 94 35 90 90, Fax: (069) 94 35 90 92 |
Usually held on the same day as the Love Parade, the Fuck Parade (which started its life in 1997 as the Hate Parade) trampled an alternative course through the streets of Berlin. Those who began to be sickened by the highly commercialised Love Parade decided to return the day to the real soul of Berlin, and so created an event where run-down transit vans and trucks blasted out Gabba, Hard Techno and Drum 'n' Bass. It was, understandably, more fashionable than the day's highly mainstream alternative. Things have gone a bit wrong, though. An upping of the stakes in 2001, when the organisers planned a three-pronged attack on Alexanderplatz, looked as if it could really challenge its commercial rival as the party of the day. Even after the Love Parade's unexpected postponement to the weekend after, the Fuck Parade still enjoyed the billing as the curtain raiser event that was to launch Berlin's first "Love Week". Unfortunately, the Berlin Senate's decision not to accept the Love Parade's status as a political demonstration applied to the Fuck Parade as well. With no intention of paying for the clean-up, which the organisers of non-political events are obliged to take responsibility for, the Senate saw fit to pull the plug on the parade, forbidding all music. The ensuing Fuck Parade as a "demonstration for a right to demonstrate" proved to be a damp squib as the aimless organisers bellowed badly rehearsed references to music and society through megaphones while the police endeavoured to confiscate all stereos on sight. It seems the sun has nearly set on the era when street festivals could rise out of pointless protest. If the organisers of the Fuck Parade want to wear party hats and blow whistles in the future, they'd better get used to filling black plastic bags, too.

Fete de la Musique
(21 June)

This fete is an annual free music festival originating in France 20 years ago.
On about 50 stages across the city with more than 400 bands representing all styles of music it celebrates the longest day of the year.

Jazz Fest Berlin
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 39 78 70, Fax: no fax | S-Bhf Lehrter Stadtbahnhof, Unter den Linden, Bus 100, 248 | Alternate website: | Date: Annually Oct/Nov. | Admission: variable.
The Jazz Fest Berlin has a long and enviable history. It started out in 1964 and - at least for the rest of that decade - was involved in presenting some very interesting and swinging concerts. In its early years, it was closely connected with the late Joachim Ernst Berendt, who was known throughout Germany as the 'Jazz Pope'. Berendt brought Jazz musicians together from all corners of the globe and put them on stage together. The results can be heard on his influential and collectable series of MPS/SABA records 'Jazz meets the world'.

In recent years, the Jazz Fest has been criticised as having gone somewhat off the boil. However in 2000, it came back into its own, presenting as it did everything from wordjazz (Ruth Weiss) to cross-cultural fusions (British tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore, his quartet and Amampondo, a six-piece South African drumming group). 2001 brings a new musical director and promises to be worth checking out if you are a jazzbo.

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