For members


8 unmissable events across Germany in June 2018

From drinking wine along the Rhine to cheering on the start of the World Cup en masse, June brings some fun and yet distinctly deutsch events.

8 unmissable events across Germany in June 2018
A visitor trying out a flyboard at Kiel Week last year. Photo: DPA

This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more Membership Exclusives here.

1. Bach Festival, Leipzig, June 8th-17th

Audience members watching a Bach concert in Leipzig's Altstadt at last year's festival. Photo: DPA

Held every year in the baroque city where Johannes Sebastian Bach spent much of his life, this classical festival is formed through a series of concerts held at venues including the famous Nikolaikirche, where the musical mastermind spent the majority of his time composing, conducting and making music.

The festival, which has both free and paid events, also includes guided tours of the Bach Museum and open-air choruses conducted in the scenic backdrop of Leipzig's Altstadt.

SEE ALSO: How hearing Bach at Easter gave me a deeper appreciation for learning German

2. Schlossfest, Schwerin, June 15th-17th

The duke and dutchess of Schwerin greet guests at the entrance of the Schlossfest in 2009. Photo: DPA

Germany has no shortage of castles, but one of its most beautiful is often overlooked by visitors to the country.

Dubbed the “Neuschwanstein of the North,” the fairy-tale Schwerin Palace in the sparsely populated state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania sits on an island surrounded by an iridescent lake.

SEE ALSO: 10 surprising facts you should know about Neuschwanstein Castle

This annual festival pays homage to the castle's nearly 150-year-old history with costumes, an arts and crafts fair and many festivities including historical dance lessons.

3. Assmannhausen in Rot, Assmannhausen (Rüdesheim am Rhein), June 15th-17th

A woman picking Assmannhausen's famed grapes. Photo: DPA

Every year the idyllic village of Assmannshausen on the Rhine River hosts a festival for its famed, local red wine which resembles a red burgundy.

In additional to several tasting booths, the family-friendly festival hosts live music, dancing and even cooking classes for kids.

Located not far from Darmstadt, the tiny town also participates later in the summer in “Rhine in Flames” – a festive fireworks display which lights the sky with colour.

4. Kiel Week, Kiel, June 16th-24th

A sailing competition at Kiel Week. Photo: DPA

Not only is Kiel Week the largest sailing event in the world, with over 2,000 types of boats, ships and sailboards taking part, it's also a sprawling open air festival that annually attracts some three million visitors from Germany and abroad.

What started out as a sailing festival in the state of Schleswig-Holstein’s picturesque capital is now a giant Volksfest, replete with several stages of live music, stand-up comedy and an international food festival.

SEE ALSO: How to understand the North Germans

5. FIFA World Cup International Fan Viewing, Berlin, June 17th – July 15th

“Tooor!” Fans gather to watch the World Cup at Brandenburg Gate in 2014. Photo: DPA

After winning the World Cup in 2014, Germany is proudly back in action.

Fans can gather at the coincidentally titled Straße des 17. Juni stretching from Brandenburg Gate to the Querallee to watch Germany’s first game – versus Mexico – on six giant screens on June 17th.

If all goes well, you'll be hearing the word Tor! (Goal!) at least once. If you miss this kick-off event, be sure to catch the other German games in June on the 23rd (versus Sweden) and the 27th (versus South Korea).

6. Féte de la Musique, Berlin, June 21st

A musician getting reading to perform at the Fête in 2014. Photo: DPA

From rooftops to street corners across various neighbourhoods in Berlin, the city comes alive with the sound of music to mark the first day of summer on Thursday, June 21st.

Having taken place each year since 1995, the free live music festival Fête de la Musique presents over 100 artists ranging from experimental percussionists to chamber musicians. Germany joins 120 other countries in celebrating the famous French festival.

No Fête in the capital would be complete without its core celebration in Mauerpark. Here jam sessions will take place against a graffiti-sprayed backdrop. After-parties stretching into the wee hours of the morning make it a distinctly Berlin festival.

7. Night of Industry Culture, June 30th, North Rhine-Westphalia

One of the art exhibits held at a former factory at ExtraSchicht in 2017. Photo: DPA

For a unique glance into the spirit of the Ruhr Region, this event (called ExtraSchicht in German), spotlights local culture in former industrial hubs, many abandoned at the end of the coal and steel era.

A piano concert at the industrial museum Henrichshütte Hattingen, a poetry slam in a tech museum and an artist collective performance at Nordsternpark (a former coal mine in Gelsenkirchen) are just a few of the event's offerings.

Shuttle buses will be available to take participants to 100 locations in 22 cities throughout the region as part of this eclectic festival – which has been taking place since 2001.

8. FlotART Festival for Art and Design, Flotwedel, Lower Saxony, June 9th-10th

Artists speaking with visitors at a previous FlotART. Photo: FlotART

If you live in or around Hanover, Braunschweig or Celle, as well as take an interest in creativity, this festival may just float your boat.

In the municipality of Flotwedel, stables, barns and courtyards will become “art spaces” in which artists will work and exhibit some of their pieces.

During the second weekend in June, up to 250 artists in dozens of varying locations can be observed in their element. But don’t be shy if you’re eager to participate as everyone from established painters to hobbyists are invited to join.

A colourful programme will also be offer, including concerts, a poetry slam, readings, theatre performances and much more.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
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.