What’s on in Germany: May 24 – 30

This Week's Highlights: Carnival of Cultures in Berlin, the St. Georg City Fest in Hamburg, and an exhibition of New York photographs opens in Munich.

What's on in Germany:  May 24 - 30



Carnival of Cultures

If you live in Berlin you’ve probably got friends from all over the world. The capital is Germany’s most international city. Gather up that melange of mates and celebrate multiculturalism this weekend. The Carnival of Cultures is a colourful spring fiesta complete with African drummers, Spanish flamenco dancers, Brazilian guitarists, and plenty of German beer. Sport your lei from last weekend’s bachelor party and join the parade.

Price: Free

Location: Blücherplatz

Times: Friday, May 25 – Monday, May 28 (Street Festival); Sunday, May 27, 12:30pm at Hermannplatz – 9:30 pm at Yorckstrasse (Parade)

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Laughing Cows

Pining for a bit of British humour? Head to Comedy Club Kookaburra Tuesday night when Maureen Younger, Shazia Mirza, and Jo Caulfield step up to the mic. The hysterical trio of critically acclaimed UK comics will have you in stitches. Laugh your head off all night long.

Price: €10

Location: Club Kookaburra, Schönhauser Allee 184

Times: Tuesday, May 29, 8:30

Reservations: 030 48 62 31 86

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Kurdish Film Days

Harsh realities come to light in eight films screened this week in this mini festival of Kurdish films. Stories of displaced peoples, forced adoption, and war are told in the original Kurdish or Turkish version with English or German subtitles. Expand your knowledge through cinema.

Price: €6

Location: Filmforum, Cinema in the Ludwig Museum, Bischofsgartenstrasse 1

Times: Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27

Phone: 0221 221 24498

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St. Georg City Fest

It’s always party time in Hamburg’s St. Georg neighborhood, but this weekend especially so. Three days of dancing (to the live music on two open-air stages) and bargain hunting (at an extra-large flea market) make the St. Georg City Fest a win-win on all fronts.

Price: Free

Location: Lange Reihe

Times: Saturday, May 26 – Monday, May 28

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Elbe Jazz Festival

Two days. Ten venues. Fifty concerts. The Elbe Jazz Festival is a musical extravaganza featuring top notch jazz acts from around the globe. Witness the skilled improvisations of brothers Joachim and Rolf Kühn, esteemed veterans of the German jazz stage; and sway to the sprightly rhythms of Dutch vocalist Caro Emerald.

Price: €42 (Day Ticket); €64 (Festival Pass)

Location: Blohm and Voss dockyards, HafenCity, and Hansahafen

Times: Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26

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Big Fox

Charlotta Perers is one of those uber talented ladies who writes, sings, plays many different instruments, and even arranged and produced her own debut album. The Swedish songstress, who goes by Big Fox, wraps up her German tour in Hamburg Friday night. Go see the show and fall in love with her pretty voice.

Price: €9

Location: Molotow Musikclub, Spielbudenplatz 5

Times: Friday, May 24, 8pm

Phone: 040 310845

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Moers Festival

The Afro-Cuban All-Stars, the Gunter Hampel Quintet, a premiere by American composer Carla Bley, and the dream-team duo of guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer and trombone player Joe Bowie are just a few of the reasons why you should head over to Moers this weekend. Now in its seventh year, the Moers Festival is a great place to see great jazz.

Price: €36 (Day Ticket); €72 (Festival Pass)

Location: Schlosspark

Times: Friday, May 25 – Monday, May 28

Tickets: 180 50 40 300 (0.14 €/min from landlines, max. 0.42 €/min from mobiles)

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Exhibition Opening – Erich Hartmann: New York Stories 1946 – 1957

Born in Munich, Erich Hartmann fled to New York in 1938. He served in the US Army during World War II and upon his return to the Big Apple launched a career as a photographer. See the Jewish refugee’s gorgeous black and white images of the streets of New York in the postwar period.

Price: Free

Location: Amerika Haus, Karolinenplatz 3

Times: Friday, May 25, 7pm (Opening); Monday – Friday, Noon – 5pm, Wednesday, Noon – 8pm; through July 27 (Regular Hours)

Phone: 089 55 25 370

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Children’s Workshops

Cartoon Drawing With Children’s Author Mike Artell

Kids! Gather up some paper, a pencil, and a clipboard or a hard book to draw on and head over to the Munich Readery Saturday. The American children’s book author and illustrator Mike Artell is hosting a cartoon drawing workshop in English for kids aged seven to 12. Cartoons rule! And now you can make your own!

Price: Free

Location: The Munich Readery, Augustenstrasse 104

Times: Saturday, May 26, 2-3pm

Registration: [email protected]

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The Treehouse Open House Workshops

Munich’s bilingual German-English kindergarten Treehouse is hosting an open house Saturday complete with dance, music, and theatre workshops. And lest the moms and dads feel left out, career coach Katya Barry will lead a workshop for adults to help them figure out what it is they really want to do. Be sure to hit up the Geldautomat beforehand because there will be children’s books for sale.

Price: Free

Location: Treehouse Kindergarten, Schleissheimerstrasse 53

Times: Saturday, May 26, 11am-4pm

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Grolsch Blues Festival Schöppingen

It’s getting steamy in Schöppingen. Blues musicians from the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany, are setting up their amplifiers and microphones this week as the Grolsch Blues Festival swings into town. Cee Cee James’ raspy howl joins Kenny Neal’s quick picking, and Delta Moon’s raunchy electric guitar licks at this twelve-bar wingding. Pitch your tent.

Price: €49 (Two-Day Festival Ticket)

Location: Vechtebad Freigelände
, Metelener Strasse 2

Times: Saturday, May 26 – Sunday, May 27

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For members


EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.