What’s on in Germany: July 12 – 18

This week’s highlights: A long night of museums in Dresden, palace fireworks in Heidelberg and gay pride celebrations in Munich.

What's on in Germany: July 12 - 18
Photo: DPA



50th German-French Folk Festival

The festival that brings an entire French village to the German capital is celebrating its 50th year of Franco-style shops, food, wine and other culture in Berlin. The event is known for attracting locally prestigious figures including Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who opened this year’s festivities alongside the French ambassador to Germany Gourdault-Montagne. Any visitor celebrating his or her 50th birthday by closing day can show an ID to obtain a 50 EUR voucher for enjoyment on the festival grounds.

Price: €2, kids under 14 free

Location: Zentraler Festplatz Berlin, Kurt-Schumacher-Damm 207, 13405 Berlin

Times: June 15 – July 15, daily from 2pm

More Information: German-French Folk Festival Website


Pearls of Classics

Since 1999, Pearls of Classics have organized carefully-curated classical concerts in some of Berlin and Munich’s most historic locations. From the French Dome at Gendarmenmark to Köpenick’s Castle Church, the Sanssouci Church of Peace in Potsdam and Citadel Spandau, this summer series never fails to enchant a wide range of audiences. As the last leg of a programme that begins in January, July’s lineup incorporates an especially exciting group of local musicians from varying age groups and backgrounds.

Price: €22 – €48

Location: Various (see programme for details)

Times: July 18 – 29, 6:30pm or 7:30pm (see programme for details)

More Information: Berlin Palace Concerts Website


DJ Valentino45 & Horst Schlüpper

With its creaky wooden floors and hearth-like stage, Kreuzberg-staple Mano has played host to a fair number of intimate acoustic performances. Like any good Berlin establishment though, it leaves plenty of room for dance acts with folks such as DJ Valentino45, who’s scheduled to spin vinyls in the spirit of “old funkey music” this Friday along with Horst Schlüpper of fuchs&elster fame, whose flavor ebbs in the direction of klezmer/swing/electro.

Price: Free (DJ fee possible)

Location: Mano, Skalitzer Str. 46A 10997 Berlin

Times: July 13, starting at 10pm

More Information: Mano Facebook Page



Summer Night Museums Dresden

It’s become tradition (now in its 14th installment) that the second Saturday night in July belongs to the curious in Dresden. Museum patrons mull the streets between 6pm and 1am in pursuit of some of the city museums’ rare treasures, many of which are only open to the public on this special occassion. Even musical and theatrical performances are incorporated into the exhibitions of the 40-some museums taking part in this long night of discovery. A network of shuttle busses and trams ensure that patrons can easily get anywhere they need to be among their favorite participating locations.

Price: €10, €8 discounted

Location: Various locations (see programme for details)

Time: July 14, 6pm – 1am

More Information: Summer Night Museums Website


Street Theatre

Controlled Falling Project

For the past five years, Australian performance troupe This Side Up Acrobatics have mesmerized audiences in Europe and Australia alike with their mash-up of theatre, circus, acrobatics and dance. Led by one of Australia’s leading circus directors Robin Laurie, the group’s piece “Controlled Falling Project” tells the story of an oddball professor and his experiment on three willing men, which endows them with what border on magical acrobatic capabilities. Is it indeed a simple game of physics, or rather years of highly-disciplined training?

Price: Free

Location: Marktplatz

Time: July 17, 9pm

More Information: Duelmen City Website



Nora Schultz

The residue of “process” interests Nora Schultz more than the final product. Her solo exhibition in Frankfurt’s Portikus gallery is the first to occupy both the location’s lower as well as its temporary upper floor – and does so with a keen spatial and acoustic sense. Incorporating live processes into her show, she pays homage to the tools and physical traces of production with elements such as a microphone sculpture and a multi-part printing plant. The show as a whole “construct[s] a language, which takes on new dimensions as it undergoes perpetual transformation,” the programme explains.

Price: (unknown)

Location: Portikus, Alte Brücke 2, 60594 Frankfurt

Time: July 13, 7pm

More Information: <a href="

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MMK Sunset

This latest installment of the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art’s Sunset series brings artist Tobias Zielony on location to present his exhibition “Fotografie Total”. His work with youth gangs in the Canadian territory of Manitoba sets the backdrop for a number of Sunset-typical extras, including the artist’s presentation of the drama “Stryker” by Noam Gonick, which originally inspired his work. The accompanying Sunset Bar by Robert Johnson will serve the drink “Manitoba Sunset” made from Canadian whisky, complete with music from the North American region.

Price: €10, €5, free for friends of the MMK

Location: Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt, Domstr. 10, 60311 Frankfurt

Time: July 18, 7pm

More Information: MMK Sunset Website


Bastille Day Ball

It would seem that July is German-French appreciation month, thanks not least to the latter’s Bastille Day holiday, otherwise known as French National day, on the 14th. The celebratory ball at Frankfurt’s Restaurant Lounge begins on the eve of the big day and incorporates a live orchestral smorgasbord of French favorites, with DJs Mehmet and Thomas Bohnet putting an electronic spin on what are sure to be late hours of dance and merriment.

Price: €8

Location: Restaurant Lounge, Untermainkai 17, 60329 Frankfurt

Time: July 13, 7pm

More Information: Bastille Day Ball Website



Heidelberger Palace Lights & Fireworks

It was 1613 when “Winter King” Elected Friedrich V was greeted by his new wife Elizabeth Stuart with a fireworks display against the backdrop of the palace for the first time. Today, the tradition continues with several light and pyrotechnic displays throughout the year. Saturday’s exhibition takes place just as night sets in following a celebratory concert in the Church of the Holy Ghost at 6:15pm. Patrons can secure excellent views from either the Neckarufer or the Philosophenweg.

Price: Free

Location: Heidelberger Schloss

Time: July 14, concert begins 6:15pm, fireworks begin 10:15pm

More Information: Heidelberg Tourism Website



White Ravens Festival

Named for specialist term “White Ravens” – which refers to extraordinary books for children and adolescents – this festival aims to bring authors and illustrators in contact with readers of all ages. Centering around international literature for children and young adults, the programme includes six days of author readings, writing workshops, lectures and other enriching events. With 65 events to choose from, everyone from parents and teachers to youth and other literary fans should find something to appreciate.

Price: (unknown)

Location: (see programme for varying library venues throughout)

Times: July 15 – 20 (see programme for varying times)

More Information: White Ravens Festival Website

Munich Christopher Street Day

The major Bavarian installment of this commemorative LGBT festival draws thousands out onto the streets of Munich for a two-day pride festival and Polit Parade (Saturday). Centering around Pride Week, this year’s celebration takes place under the motto “Fight for Global Rights”, with a number of peripheral events including live music acts and “RathausClubbing” after Saturday’s parade. This year’s event is, however, not without controversy: conservative politicians scheduled to speak in the context of the rally have not been welcomed with open arms.

Price: Free for parade (otherwise varying)

Location: (see programme for various locations)

Time: July 7 – 15 (see programme for various times and events)

More Information: CSD Munich Website

Shannon Smith

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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.