What’s on in Germany: May 3 – 9

This Week's Highlights: Animated films in Stuttgart, a surfing and skateboarding festival in Hamburg, and opera in a Berlin museum.

What's on in Germany:  May 3 - 9



Black International Cinema Berlin

Works from the African Diaspora are the focus of this five-day film festival in Berlin. Iranian director Mashaallah Mohammadi’s three-minute animation about human behavior kicks of an excellent program of international cinema shown mostly in English or with English subtitles. Eric Brice Swartz’s documentary about the rise of Berlin as a creative capital after the fall of the wall should be interesting for the locals.

Price: Free

Location: Rathaus Schöneberg, John-F.-Kennedy-Platz

Times: Wednesday, May 2 – Sunday, May 6

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Three Berlin based artists, Goran Tomcic and Ze Coeupel, a duo consisting of Ambra Pittoni and Paul-Flavien Enriquez-Sarano are involved in a new exhibition at the Kreuzberg gallery Exile. See the magic Tomcic worked on a crate used for transferring high-end art at the opening Saturday night. And talk about the state of the arts in Berlin while you sip your Sauvignon.

Price: Free

Location: Exile, Skalitzer Strasse 104

Times: Saturday, May 5, 7-10pm (Opening); Thursday – Saturday 12-6pm; through June 2 (Regular Hours)

Phone: 030 7623 3061

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”The Marriage of Figaro” in the Bode Museum

A Mozart opera in the Bode Museum? What fun! Go and see the feisty cast of counts and courtiers parade across the stage in that grand neoclassical building this week. Staged by acclaimed director Christoph Hagel, and performed by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, a raucous 18th century romp is just the thing for a spring evening.

Price: €64 (Sunday), €69 (Friday and Saturday)

Location: Bode Museum, Kupfergraben, Entrance Monbijoubrücke 

Times: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 8pm; through May 27

Tickets: 01805 3953 (.14/min)

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Kölsch Spring Festival

Take a slug of beer and listen to the music fill the air. The spirit will be lively in the Severinsviertel district of Cologne this weekend when the local beer company Kölsch holds its spring festival. Browse the market stalls, laugh at a comedian, and when night falls, find a cozy little place to curl up and watch the open-air cinema.

Price: Free

Location: Severinstrasse

Times: Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6

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NPR wasn’t exaggerating when they called this New York group “a Jazz power-trio for the 21st century.” On Friday night saxophonist Steve Lehman, pianist Vijay Iyer, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey unleash some energy at Stadtgarten as part of the “Acht Brücken. Musik für Köln” festival. In it’s second year, the focus of this year’s festival is the music of John Cage and other American composers.

Price: €15

Location: Stadtgarten, Venloerstrasse 40

Times: Friday, May 4, 8:30pm

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Hamburg Surf & Skate Festival

Dudes! Surf’s up in Hamburg! Well, not literally, but there’s a hella rad festival happening this week in the Hanseatic City that’s all about surf and skate culture. Check out some new surf and skateboarding movies on opening night Wednesday, and gear up for a weekend of kick flips, ollies, and a whole lot of hanging ten.

Price: €7.80 (one film), €12 (two films) Wednesday; Tradeshow is free

Location: Zeise Kino, Friedensallee 7-9 (Films); Goldbekhaus, Moorfuhrtweg 9 (Tradeshow)

Times: Wednesday, May 9, 8pm (Films); Festival runs through Sunday, May 13

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Osterstrasse Festival

Shake your money maker to local bands this weekend when Osterstrasse puts on its party pants. In the heart of Hamburg’s Eimsbüttel district, the festival features games and rides for the little ones, international cuisine for the foodies, and a flea market for all you treasure hunters.

Price: Free

Location: Osterstrasse between Schulweg and Methfesselstrasse

Times: Saturday, May 5, 10am-11pm; Sunday, May 6, 10am-7pm

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An Evening for Singles at the Pipilotti Rist Exhibition

Looking for a man in Mannheim? Hehe. Hook up with someone who is as interested in crazy things as you are. On Tuesday night the Mannheim Kunsthalle invites singles to mingle among the colorful video works of Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. A glass of Sekt comes with admission.

Price: €8.50

Location: Kunsthalle Mannheim, Friedrichsplatz 4

Times: Tuesday, May 8, 7pm

Tickets: 0621 293 6452

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Munich Biennale

New opera takes the spotlight at the Munich Biennale. A trio of world premieres by young composers lies at the center of a program that includes concerts by the Munich Philharmonic, the Munich Chamber Ensemble, and Musica Viva. Immerse yourself in new music this week with concerts, a panel discussion about contemporary musical theatre, and talks with the composers.

Price: Various

Location: Various

Times: Thursday, May 3 – Sunday, May 19

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Souad Massi

Whether she’s singing in Arabic, French, or English Souad Massi is always enchanting. The Algerian singer relocated to Paris in the late 1990s, fleeing criticism and even death threats endured in her native land. Over a decade later, she’s got five albums under her belt. A North African music maker with an American folk sway, she performs Thursday in Munich.

Price: €28

Location: Muffatwerk, Ampere, 
Zellstrasse 4

Times: Thursday, May 3, 8:30

Phone: 089 458 750 10

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Festival of Animated Film

Love a good cartoon? Who doesn’t? See animated films from around the globe this week in Stuttgart. The program is extensive, featuring all sorts of fantastic films from as far away as Colombia, South Africa, and Japan. So catch as many as you can, it’s a rare opportunity to delight the senses with a broad bouquet of artful animation.

Price: €9 (single ticket), €16 (evening ticket), €20 (day ticket), €80 (festival pass)

Location: Various

Times: Tuesday, May 8 – Sunday, May 13

Phone: 0711 925 46123

More Information:

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.