Berlin is no stranger to festivals, especially in the summer months when the usually great weather allows for plenty of outdoor activities. Summer festivals in Berlin take place all over the city and range from music, to film and culture. There are so many festivals in Berlin in summer that it can be difficult to decide where to go, so here are some of our favourite not to miss festivals.
Berlin celebrates the start of summer with the Fête de la Musique, an open-air music festival, on the 21st of June. Throughout the day, the entire city becomes a stage as amateurs and professionals show of their skills for free on public streets, squares and green spaces in all twelve districts of Berlin. You can listen to all styles of music, from pop to indie, rock, folk music as well as choirs and orchestras.
This festival first came to Berlin in 1995, though it started in Paris, France in 1982. At first the Fête de la Musique was a small burst of musical idealism, today it is a global success and attracts artists and fans from all over the world. In 2022, over 330 concerts were given during Fête de la Musique at more than 80 locations in Berlin.
Every summer, the Berlin International Film Festival goes outside into the open-air to show the most popular and successful films from that winter’s edition of the Berlinale. Over the course of two weeks, in 2022 it was the last two weeks of June, you can catch up on award-winning films while enjoying the fresh summer air at selected outdoor cinemas.
A different film will be shown over the course of 15 evenings. Each showcase is introduced by a festival director or Berlinale section head, and teams from the films may also attend some of the screenings. Tickets sell out fast so it’s best to buy tickets on the websites of the outdoor cinemas themselves in advance.
As is tradition in summer, the central Berlin fairground on Kurt-Schumacher-Damm is the site of the Berliner Volksfestsommer, with both traditional and new fairground rides for everyone big and small. During a month and a half, guests can enjoy over 50 attractions and rides, as well as folk festival cuisine with free entry to the festival grounds.
The rides and attractions vary from Ferris wheels, bumper cars, carousels, roller coasters, and ghost trains to the Flying Jumbo and Baby Flight. The 59th Berliner Volksfestsommer pulls in visitors with the familiar sweet scent of roasted almonds, flickering lights from the rides and the latest hits coming from the loudspeakers, to give everyone the chance to escape reality for a little while.
In 2022, Berlin Pride lasts from 28 June to 24 July, to celebrate a full Pride Month with countless parties in the city. Berlin has been a magnet to LGBTQ+ icons, members and allies for decades. It is actually one of the queerest cities in Europe and to this day has a large LGBTQ+ community. There is plenty to do in Berlin during Pride Month, as you can read in our blog about Must-do activities during Pride in Berlin.
The absolute not to miss event of Berlin Pride remains the big Christopher Street Day – Berlin Pride Demonstration. The demonstration is always popular, with usually around one million people taking part, and you can even join the demonstration spontaneously anywhere along the route. Once the demonstration reaches the Brandenburg Gate there will be a colourful programme filled with lots of music to enjoy for the grand finale of the Berlin CSD.
Berlin’s hippest neighbourhood is the perfect location for this three-day open-air street festival, which boasts a multicultural atmosphere and lots of jazz music. Formerly known as the Bermannstraβenfest, the festival offers international food and drinks, art, handmade items and amazing music. On several stages, a number of performances ranging from children's theatre to comedy and jazz concerts entertain the festivalgoers.
It is the jazz music that makes the Kreuzberg Festival so very special and popular beyond the borders of Berlin. In 2022, 30 national and international jazz bands and ensembles played live shows to over 70,000 visitors, on open-air stages at the corners of Mehringdamm, Nostitzstraße and Zossener Straße.
This open-air festival takes place on the roof terrace of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for four consecutive weekends in July and August. Each year, the festival has a different theme to explore a different part of the world. In 2022, the festival will focus on the Mississippi river, the cradle of American music.
During the Wassermusik festival, the past and present of the river is explored through concerts, films and literature. On the four weekends, the entire spectrum of Mississippi music will be on show, including jazz, funk, blues, Cajun, zydeco, R&B, folk, bluegrass and old and new hybrid forms such as bounce or trailer trap.
As September comes to an end, international music event Lollapalooza comes to Berlin. With music, art, food and much more, it attracts thousands of visitors every year. Lollapalooza fist came to Berlin in 2015, where the festival held its European premiere at the Tempelhofer Field, though it moved to other locations throughout the city since.
In 2022, the festival will take place at the Olympic Stadium and Olympiapark. After a two year waiting period the festival has a spectacular line-up. The German band AnnenMayKantereit and the Berlin band Seeed will perform as headlining acts. Other confirmed bands and artists include Milky Chance, Casper, Machine Gun Kelly, Robin Schulz, Drangsal, Tiësto, Zoe Wees, Anne-Marie, Sea Girls, Paolo Nutini, Joy Denalane, Apache 207 and Charlotte Jane.