Five events not to miss in Germany this weekend

Whether it’s film festivals, vintage fairs or Oktoberfest parties, there’s lots going on in Germany this weekend, September 27th-29th.

Five events not to miss in Germany this weekend
Further climate strikes are taken place in Germany across the weekend. Photo: DPA

Down Under Berlin Australian and New Zealand Film Festival 

Down Under Berlin Film Festival has been a vital hub for enthusiasts of Australian and New Zealand cinema and culture since 2011.

From September 26th-29th, the 9th Down Under Berlin Film Festival will be taking place in the capital. This year’s motto is “EmBrace Yourself”, which nods to this year’s films particular focus on humanitarian concepts. 

A collection of films focus on experiences with mental illness, with others telling stories of indigenous or refugee issues, offering contemporary takes on identity, family and social landscapes. Stories range from coming-of-age to parenthood to elder care.

Across the weekend, as well as film screenings, attendees will be treated to Q&As with those behind this year’s diverse lineup of films, which ranges from independent productions to blockbusters, from student and professional short films to inspiring documentaries.

Climate Strikes Across Germany

The global climate strike is taking place from September 20-27th and this weekend Germany is hosting four climate strikes, where protesters will gather to demand that action is taken to address climate change. 

You can catch these demonstrations throughout Germany, whether Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia, or Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg. 

If you would like to attend one of these events, but don’t live in striking distance of one, travel company Flixbus can offer you a helping hand. In support of the movement, Flixbus will reward those travelling to the strikes by offering a voucher for 100% of their next bus trip.

Premiere: Contractions

The ACUD Theater in Berlin's Mitte district is premiering Contractions, an independent play which will run every night until Sunday, September 29th.

The performance is put on by a group of immigrants in Berlin from Australia, Peru, Great Britain, the US and Austria who aim to push boundaries in theatre in order to excite and challenge their audience. 

The central theme in Contractions is privacy (or lack thereof) in the age of social media and online data. Themes of surveillance, loss of love and identity, manipulation and devotion to the money gods nod to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four despite the play’s modern day setting.

The play is performed in English and targets native English speakers in Berlin. All performances begin at 8 pm and run for 60 minutes with no intermission.

Eschweiler Wiesn 2019

If you cannot make it to Bavaria in time for Oktoberfest, Eschweiler in North Rhine-Westphalia may have the answer. 

This weekend, on September 27th and 28th, the region is hosting a three day Wiesn (the local word for Oktoberfest celebration) with enough beer and dirndls to make you feel like you’re in Munich itself. 

As well as traditional music, the festival will also be hosting a number of contemporary artists such as German Pop Idol alum Anna Maria Zimmerman, schlager (a type of German-language pop music) stars Ina Colada and Almklausi, and rock bands from Cologne Kasalla and Miljö. 

Two day tickets are available, as well as single day tickets for both Friday and Saturday.


VinoKilo Vintage Fair

VinoKilo, a social enterprise offering a wide range of second-hand yet high quality vintage clothes and accessories, is bringing its Vintage Fair to two cities in Germany this weekend. 

Karlruhe on Saturday, September 28th, and Heidelberg on Sunday, September 29th, will be hosting Germany's biggest pop-up event for second hand clothes, with clothes being sold at €35 per kilo. That’s right, they’re priced per kilo. 

There are a limited number of free tickets available online for the events, which will be running all day. Entry on the door is €3, with both cash and card being accepted.

As well as vintage vibes, VinoKilo will bring attendees atmospheric music as they shop and a chill zone to unwind and admire their new buys.




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How Cologne is preparing for the start of Carnival on Friday

Dressing up, singing, and drinking: On Friday, countless Jecken (revelers) in Cologne will once again celebrate the start of the Carnival session.

How Cologne is preparing for the start of Carnival on Friday

Dubbed Germany’s “fifth season” by locals, the event starts every year on November 11th at 11:11 am, and typically stretches into February or March, when colourful parades spill into the streets.

Carnival stronghold Cologne in particular is preparing for the onslaught of tens of thousands of people who will flock to its Altstadt (old town), and especially to the student quarter, starting early Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: 10 unmissable events in Germany this November

“Far too many people want to celebrate in far too small a space,” city director Andrea Blome told DPA. “We can’t stop anyone from coming to Cologne now.” 

More security this year

In the popular Kwartier Latäng student quarter, there have been regular bouts of drinking by young partygoers in the past, who crowded into a confined space, leaving litter everywhere and publicly peeing on the corners of buildings. 

Google Maps shows the location of the so-called Kwartier Latäng part of Cologne.

But with a new security plan, the city and police hope to keep the situation under control.

Several checkpoints and road closures have been set up to secure the safety of the revelers and relieve the burden on worried residents, according to Blome. Visitors will only be able to enter the closed-off area around Zülpicher Straße via a single access point. 

On Friday, Cologne is also set to send a total of 150 employees from the Ordnungsamt (public order office) onto the streets, who will be supported by 520 private security guards. 

A glass ban will again apply in the celebration zones, and several hundred toilets will be set up at the hotspots, “which nevertheless will probably not be used by all visitors,” Blome predicted.

READ ALSO: 10 words you need to know at Cologne’s Carnival

Up to 1,100 police officers are expected to be on duty on the day – about 200 fewer than last year, said head of operations Rüdiger Fink. But he expected to keep the situation “under control with a new security plan.”

What to expect

On Cologne’s Heumarkt, there will be a stage program all day with bands such as the Bläck Fööss, the Paveiern and Brings. 

Google Maps shows Cologne’s Heumarkt along the Rhine River.

According to the Willi Ostermann Society, about 10,000 tickets were sold in advance for the event, which will be aired by German WDR for several hours.

Meanwhile, in Düsseldorf, the day will start at 11:11 a.m. with the “Hoppeditz Awakening” in front of City Hall. 

According to a spokesman, the police will be adequately prepared for the start of the season, with a particular focus on the Altstadt, where there will certainly be celebrations.

“But 11.11. is a very different event here in Düsseldorf than in Cologne,” he said, referring to a more orderly start and fewer guests.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about celebrating Carnival in Germany