You don’t have to be a tent-toting, barefoot hippie to lose yourself at a summer festival. However, should you feel the urge to stick some flowers in your hair, Nation of Gondwana with Monika Kruse, Acid Pauli and Der Dritte Raum might be your best bet.
Not far from that concept is Fusion Festival – if you feel the black market ticket price for this sold-out communist vacation is unjust, €20 Sunday tickets will get you in the door just in time to see the last acts of the unannounced lineup.
Get stranded on a Swedish island dubbed ‘Sweutchland’ where Berliners experiment with collective utopianism through four days of underground electronic music (DJs with Bad Haircuts, Anna Steffens and German Lachs) and social nonsense at Secret Island Nation.
Or venture off into Melt’s industrial wasteland turned commercial playground with a smorgasbord of acts on the roster, such as José González, Atari Teenage Riot and Bodi Bill. It’s sold out, so best try Craigslist.
You can also keep it local with urban festivals: the multi-venue Krake Festival and Spree-side shindig Down by the River, plus Set us on Fire will be held on the abandoned grounds of Spreepark by a slew of indie rock and pop bands such as My New Zoo, The Soulshake Express and One Fine Day.
And one festival not to miss is the Berlin Festival 2011, a homey version of Melt with Suede, The Rapture (photo) and Beirut moving the Tempelhof airspace.
Just a few beats off the Berlin path into Poland, you’ll discover Off Festival, featuring dynamic acts who vigorously rip the indie label off the genre-can, including noise-rock trio AIDS Wolf, apocalyptic folk band Current 93 and ethnomusicologist/DJ Awesome Tapes From Africa.
And finally, a festival just as colorful as the mohawks on its visitors: three days of mud, sludge, punk, ska, hardcore and psychobilly at Force Attack with The Casualties, Citizen Fish and Die Art.
Nation of Gondwana Jul 23-24 l Grünefeld; two-day pass €15, www.pyonen.de
Fusion Festival Jun 30-Jul 3 l Lärz Airbase; Sunday ticket €20, www.fusion-festival.de
Secret Island Nation Aug 4-7 l Swedish Archipelago (near Havstenssund); four-day pass €75, www.secret-island.eu
Melt Festival Jul 15-17 l Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen; three-day pass €104, www.meltfestival.de
Krake Festival Aug 15-21 l Venues throughout Berlin; day pass €6-15, www.krake-festival.de
Down by the River Jul 23 l Kater Holzig, Berlin; tickets €15, www.berlinsongs.com/downbytheriver
Set us on Fire Aug 12-14 l Spreepark, Berlin; day pass €24.20, www.setusonfire.tickets.de
Berlin Festival Sep 9-10 l Tempelhof Airport, Berlin; day pass €44, www.berlinfestival.de
Off Festival Aug 5-7 l Katowice, Poland; three-day pass with camping €55, www.off-festival.pl
Force Attack Jul 29-31 l Süderholz, Germany; three-day pass €44.85, www.forceattack.de