What’s on in Germany: June 14 – 20

This Week's Highlights: An art festival in Berlin, a new ballet in Hamburg, and Munich celebrates its 854th birthday.

What's on in Germany:  June 14 - 20
Photo: Dario Lehner, 48 Stunden Neukölln



Gay City Festival

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Europe’s biggest gay festival is taking place in Schöneberg this weekend. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups from around the world will set up their booths among food and drink stalls, open-air stages, dance floors, and beer gardens. Go and party like the cute gay boy you are, if only for a weekend.

Price: Free

Location: The area around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg

Times: Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, from 11am

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48 Hours Neukölln

Neukölln is officially the new Kreuzberg, with hundreds of artists making their homes in the multicultural Kiez. Go and see what those cool creatives have been up to this weekend. From music to architecture and everything in between this group has been making it happen. The 48 Hours Neukölln festival presents a vast program of exhibitions, concerts, theatre, and dance performances that will surely have your brain swirling for well over 48 hours.

Price: Free

Location: Various

Times: Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17

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The Way it is 
- An Aesthetics of Resistance

Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar began his career making installations on the streets of Santiago before moving to New York where he’s now based. Often inspired by major societal world events, his works have dealt with the Rwanda genocide and US/Mexico border issues. On Friday, a retrospective of the artist’s work begins simultaneously at three different Berlin venues: NGBK, the Berlinische Galerie, and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Catch some of his films, gaze at his photographs, and contemplate his view on language.

Price: NGBK Free, Alte Nationalgalerie
 and Berlinische Galerie €8

Location: NGBK, Oranienstrasse 25; Alte Nationalgalerie
, Bodestrasse 1-3 and Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße 124-128

Times: Thursday, June 14, 7pm (Opening); Friday, June 15 – September 17 (Exhibition)

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Ugly Kid Joe

Dig out those flannels, it’s the 1990s again! They rocked back then and they rock now. After a 16 year hiatus, Ugly Kid Joe is back on tour. Their reunion EP Stairway to Hell hit the racks last month and now the guys are in the midst of a tour across Europe. Catch them in Cologne Saturday. “I get sick when I’m around, I can’t stand to be around, I hate everything about you!” Sing it!

Price: €19

Location: Die Werkstatt, Grüner Weg 1B

Ticket Hotline: 0180 504 0300 (.14/min-landline, .42/min-mobile)

Times: Saturday, June 16, 7:30pm

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International Harbour Festival

Two rivers, the Rhine and the Ruhr meet in Duisburg, forming the largest inland harbour in the world. Now that’s reason to celebrate. The Duisburg International Harbour Festival starts Friday afternoon with a dragon boat race and continues Saturday and Sunday with a big children’s festival, a market from the Middle Ages, and more racing. Join in on the fun!

Price: Free

Location: Various locations around Duisburg Harbour

Times: Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17

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Schweizer Strasse Festival

Switzerland may be 300 kilometers from Frankfurt, but this Saturday, alpine horns will be blowing in the German city. Every year, Schweizer Strasse hosts a big summer street fair where a variety of open-air entertainments offer a full day of fun for the whole family. Go and have a glass of apple wine and yodel like a true Swiss miss.

Price: Free

Location: Schweizer Strasse

Times: Saturday, June 16, noon – midnight

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Höchster Schloss Festival

From a U2 cover band to a jazz parade, this summer festival has something for everyone. Lovers of French foods will enjoy the French gourmet market where specialty products from the rural regions around Lyon will be on offer, while model ship builders will want to set sail for the Schlossfest Regatta. Got kids? Family day is this Sunday.

Price: Various

Location: Höchster Schloß, Höchster Schloßplatz

Times: Saturday, June 16 – July 9

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Hamburg Ballet Premiere – Renku

Renku is a form of Japanese poetry where several authors compose verses that are linked together. The Hamburg Ballet calls on this technique for its latest piece “Renku,” choreographed by Hamburg Ballet dancers Yuka Oishi and Orkan Dann. With music by Franz Schubert, Alfred Schnittke, and Philip Glass “Renku” premieres Sunday.

Price: €6-158

Location: Hamburg State Opera, Grosse Theaterstrasse 35

Times: Sunday, June 17, 6pm

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Children’s Festivals

Laut and Luise – Children’s Day of Music

A drum workshop, Chinese dancers, acrobats, jugglers, clowns, and more! Laut and Luise Children’s Day of Music is one of those super fun extravaganzas that makes you want to spin around and clap your hands all day long. Be sure to bring along your homemade vegetable instrument and join the world’s biggest vegetable orchestra.

Price: Free

Location: The Music Pavilion at Planten un Blumen

Times: Sunday, June 17, 1-6pm

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City Founding Festival

Eight hundred and fifty four is a ripe old age. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of Europe’s oldest cities. For lovers of traditional crafts and costumes, there’s no better time to be in the Bavarian capital. Head to Marienplatz this weekend where you can dance to folk music, shop for traditional wares, and chug down Mass after Mass of Augustiner Bräu. Go ahead and do it. Wear your Lederhosen.

Price: Free

Location: Marienplatz

Times: Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17

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Book Presentation

Ernesto Bazan: Colors of Cuba

For 14 years, the Sicilian photographer Ernesto Bazan lived in Cuba. He took lots of pictures. Bazan Cuba chronicles the photographer’s time there, documenting the city’s street life with captivating black and white imagery. Meet the award photographer Tuesday evening when he presents his book at Amerika Haus in Munich.

Price: Free

Location: Amerika Haus, Karolinenplatz 3

Times: Tuesday, June 19, 7:30pm

Phone: 089 55 25 370

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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.