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  • Carnival of Cultures comes back in 2023!

Street festival

Carnival of Cultures comes back in 2023!

Berlin's Carnival of Cultures is finally returning after a three-year break. From May 26 to 29, Kreuzberg will become a hub of music, dance and the visual arts.

Carnival of the Cultures in 2019. Photo: IMAGO / Zoonar

Entertainment, movement, but above all lots of noise, Berlin’s Carnival of Cultures will finally return this year! But will it be the same as the good old pre-pandemic days?

Carnival of Cultures 2023: What you can expect

There was always a lot to discover at the Carnival of Cultures. The photo is from 2019, in 2023 the festival will finally take place again. Photo: Imago/Zoonar/Sergey Kohl

The Carnival of Cultures or Karneval der Kulturen has been a popular Berlin street festival since 1996. Before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets each year to celebrate the food, dress, music and culture of different countries from around the world.

First the bad news: the parade, the absolute highlight of the event, will be a little shorter for this year. Organisers have cited a lack of money as the cause. It’s not quite clear how much shorter the parade will be, but the number of participants has been limited and all free places are already booked. So it’ll be a bit smaller in scope, but hopefully that will be made up for by the three years of pent up enthusiasm.

The good news is that lots of people are coming: There will be Chinese lion dance, Bernese carnival brass bands, Brazilian samba and much more. More than 5000 performers have already registered.

Problems ahead for Karneval der Kulturen?

The rubbish left behind after the 2019 parade. Photo: IMAGO / A. Friedrichs

Until now, the centre point of the festival was Blücherplatz in Kreuzberg – from from 2025, however, that site will be closed due to construction work. Like the rest of us, the organisers are struggling to cope with the rising costs of well, everything, and many Kreuzberg residents dislike the festival due to the problems created by gathering of large groups of people together (the garbage… the noise…).

So, what to do about it? A public forum was held and the organisers, together with around 1000 residents reached an agreement. It was decided that the Carnival of Cultures should remain at a central location in Kreuzberg, and the number of visitors should not be reduced. In addition, the event will retain its political character. That sounds promising, at least. We’ll see you there.

  • Carnival of Cultures 2023 Yorckstrasse, Kreuzberg, May 26–29, Fri 16:00 to midnight, Sat & Sun 11:00 to midnight, Mon 11:00 to 19:00, more information here.