What’s on in Germany: Aug 2 – 8

This week’s highlights: Bike "hacking" in Berlin, techno festivals near Frankfurt and one of Europe's biggest metalhead events in Schleswig-Holstein.

What's on in Germany: Aug 2 - 8
Photo: DPA



Open Bike Hacking

Open Design City invites the public to one of Berlin’s best-known co-working spaces for a chance to come and “hack” their bikes. Betahaus hosts the three-and-a-half hour workshop perfect for anyone looking to upcycle their bike, from the renovation of an existing cargo bike to building a generator or finishing an existing project. The workshop also functions as a sort of meet-and-greet for bike enthusiasts, with skilled experts on hand to assist with any kind of assembly challenge.

Price: Free

Location: Betahaus, Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20, 10969 Berlin

Times: August 4, 2:30pm to 6pm

More Information: Open Bike Hacking Website



The city of Berlin’s waterworks company is throwing up a public party for Berliners of all shapes and sizes. Featuring local bands such as 17 Hippies and The Love Bülow on two different stages, the festival also offers patrons topical kiosks with information about anything they could ever want to know regarding life’s most basic need in the capital city. Food and drink will naturally be in full supply.

Price: Free

Location: Neue Jüdenstraße, 10179 Berlin

Times: August 4, 1pm to 9pm

More Information: Wasserfest Website


21st Vattenfall City Night

Since 1997 when the first City-Night starting shot rang out, Berlin has hosted one of its more exciting public night-time events in the western-central part of the city. From Tauentzienstraße on a circular course through Charlottenburg, you can catch some of Berlin’s most riveting inline-skating athletes – but only if you’re quick: rounds only last some 45 minutes. Spectators who hang around Breitscheidplatz will be able to cheer participants when they start – as well as when they reach their goal.

Price: Free to watch

Location: Race begins and ends on Kurfürstendamm near the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin (see website for complete route)

Times: August 4, 6pm

More Information: Vattenfall City Night Website



Hong Kong Film Festival

With more than a century of movie making under its belt, Hong Kong is no newcomer to the cinematic realm. In honour of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the special administrative region of Hong Kong, the Film Museum Düsseldorf is giving visitors the chance to experience a concentrated dose of this fascinating and successful film industry from independent productions to big-budget blockbusters. Those who make the opening ceremony on Friday at 7pm will have a chance at one of 50 free tickets for the highly-acclaimed “A Simple Life”.

Price: €22 for a festival ticket

Location: Filmmuseum Düsseldorf, Schulstr. 4 40213 Düsseldorf

Times: August 3 – 6, times vary (see programme for details)

More Information: Filmmuseum Düsseldorf Website



Nature One

Featuring headliners such as Paul van Dyke and Sven Väth, Nature One counts as one of Germany’s most popular techno festivals. An old rocket base in Kastellaun, west of Frankfurt, serves as the backdrop for the 300 DJs maintaining the beat with a swath of genres including hardcore techno, rave and trance keeping patrons on their toes. Tents provide space for festival goers to rest, eat and drink, while buses shuttle visitors to and from the nearby town of Kastellaun to clean up or restock on beer and snacks.

Price: €56.15

Location: Raketenbasis Pydna Kastellaun/Hunsrück (near Frankfurt)

Time: August 3 – 5, Friday 8pm to 6am, Saturday 6pm to Sunday 9am

More Information: Nature One Website


Originally geared toward fishermen and boatsmen, Mainfest is said to have evolved from the consecration of the Church of Three Kings in 1340. In paying homage to the river and its bounties, Frankfurters kick off the modern-day version of this festival with live music at the Römerberg. Carousels, fairground rides, games, tombolas and shooting ranges make this traditional folk festival one of the only true annual family festivals in the Frankfurt.

Price: Free

Location: Römerberg, Mainkai (Main quay), Frankfurt

Time: August 3 – 6, 12pm – 1am

More Information: Frankfurt Tourism Website



Maschsee Festival

One of the largest summer festivals in Germany brings millions of patrons to the shores of the Maschsee, a lake at the centre of Hanover. From concerts to performing art shows, the festivities kick off and wrap up with a fireworks display over the water. Visitors can even “stage-hop” via the boats shuttling up and down the lakeshore during 19 days of food, drink, music and art that prove a satisfying way to round out the summer.

Price: Free

Location: Maschsee lakeshore, Hanover

Time: August 1 – 19, daily

More Information: Maschsee Website



Germane Fescht

Members of the Black Forest village Mambach gather once a year to recreate pre-medieval Germany in honour of the Germane Fescht. Months of preparation precede the three-day celebration, which includes special food, an assortment of beer and even competitions such as a “Germane Triathlon” and a hair-raising potato sack fight. Culinary wonders recreated for the second annual installment of this spirited festival include lard bread, suckling pig on a spitfire, mead and of course schnapps to aid in digestion.

Price: (unknown)

Location: Mambach festival grounds, Baden-Württemberg

Time: August 3 – 5, 6pm – 12am Friday & Saturday, 11am – 9pm Sunday

More Information: Germane Fescht Website



Surf & Skate Festival

This co-celebration (Hamburg hosts an installment in May) of board sports takes place in the Bavarian capital again this year along with the Surf & Skate Film Festival. Featuring an array of relevant films, workshops, art exhibitions and even musical performances, the festival aims to draw all kinds of patrons from experienced riders to those who simply want to view water and/or asphalt from a new perspective. Organizers say the exchange of experiences, values and impressions in relation to board sports are the most important aspects of the event.

Price: (unknown)

Location: Various locations in Munich (see programme for details)

Time: August 1 – 5

More Information: Surf & Skate Festival Website Website



Wacken Open Air 2012

Since its inception in 1990, this dedicated metal festival has grown to host some 80,000 fans near the town of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein. What began as a small gathering for local bands took no longer than eight years to become one of Europe’s most important metal events. Some 70 bands from Europe, North America and Australia fill the bill each year covering genres from black metal, thrash metal and folk metal right down to hard rock. Festival goers camp on the edge of the main festival grounds, and bands play on four stages.

Price: €99

Location: Wacken Open Air Festival Grounds, Wacken bei Itzehoe

Time: August 2 – 4

More Information: Wacken Website

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.