It’s cold and grey – but things aren’t all bad. In fact, February is one of the hottest months on Berlin’s cultural calendar. There are exhibitions, a darts championship, plus film festivals galore. Not to mention a whole extra day! Check out our guide to everything February has to offer.
Christopher Bauder Vektor, Memories in Light and Sound
Legendary light artist Christopher Bauder brings his most personal work yet to Kraftwerk this February. Processing moments of his life through an abstract light art experience, Bauder will transform the powerful environment of this industrial landmark. We chatted with Christopher all about the new exhibition.
- Kraftwerk, Köpenicker Straße 70, Mitte, through April 7th, details
Brigidsfest 2024 – with author Audrey Magee
Brigidfest is the Irish embassy’s annual celebration of female Irish literature. This years programme features Booker Prize-nominated author Audrey Magee, whose nominated novel The Colony, along with her other writing, has been praised for its distinctive style, skillful plotting and rich depiction of character, time and place. This will be a fantastic event, showcasing the richness of Irish literature.
- Embassy of Ireland, Jägerstr. 51, details
How many people does it take to bring a performance to life? This and other questions are answered during this after-hour tour, offering an exclusive peek behind the scenes at the Staatsoper and the new rehearsal centre.
- Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Unter den Linden 7, Mitte, 22:15, In German. Also on Feb 11, 16-18, 24, 25, details
KARIM AÏNOUZ: BLAST!
This February, DAAD Galerie is hosting a series dedicated to the Brazilian Algerian director Karim Aïnouz. Aïnouz, a former fellow of the DAAD Artists in Berlin Program, is famed for his unique vision that traverses formal boundaries. This project brings together Aïnouz’s film work into dialogue with his lesser-known photographic and installation practice.
- DAAD Galerie, Oranienstr. 161, Kreuzberg, through March 10, details
In conversation with Tania Bruguera
Hamburger Bahnhof’s new series of talks with international artists, which is set to run for two years, starts off with the Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera whose new performative exhibition, Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading “The Origins of Totalitarianism”), starts on February 7.
- Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstr. 50, Mitte, 15:00, details
Konzerthausorchester: Joana Mallwitz
A chance to see Konzerthaus’s new and Berlin’s first female conductor of a major orchestra, Joana Mallwitz, live in action. The performance will be of Richard Strausss Salome and Kurt Weill’s satirical ballet The Seven Deadly Sings. Make sure to get there an hour early to catch Mallwitz’s introduction to the concert.
- Konzerthaus Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt, Mitte, 16:00, details
A famous city of culture, getting to all the incredible institutions in Berlin can start to rack up in terms of cost. Luckily, every first Sunday of the month, a load of the city’s museums and galleries open their doors completely free of charge! Don’t miss out on the chance to see the best of art, history and science that Berlin has to offer.
- Various Locations, details
Berlin Fashion Week
February means fashion in Berlin. A city known for its unique subcultures and styles, it is unsurprising that Berlin Fashion Week reflects this boldness. As well as the shows (which you have to be personally invited to unfortunately) there are also tonnes of side events to enjoy, including workshops on sustainable fashion and Keyi Magazine taking over OXI.
- Various locations, through February 8th, details
Nataly Aukar Comedy Show
Lebanese-born and raised standup Nataly Aukar is coming to Berlin. Based in New York, Aukar was featured on Netflix’s “introducing” showcase at the Netflix is a Joke Festival in 2022 and is a regular on the comedy circuit, having supported comedians such as Ramy Youssef and Mo Amer. Don’t miss this performance of her hilarious hour-long set “I Always Hated You” which debuted to a sold-out audience in New York.
- Cosmic Comedy, Schönhauser Allee 184, Prenzlauer Berg 19:30, details
Couture Reloaded x Vorn – The Berlin Fashion HUB – Upcycled Elegance
This is a collaboration between organisations with a shared passion for fostering circularity in the fashion industry. Across a whole day, you can enjoy a mix of workshops, talks, and panel discussions, as well as a showcase exhibition. Come and be part of the movement changing the way we think about fashion. Open to the public and totally free, just make sure to reserve a spot ahead of time!
- The Berlin Fashion Hub, 1st Floor, Bikini Berlin, Budapester Str. 38-50, Charlottenburg, 12:00 – 18:30, details
Final Girls Berlin Film Festival
The horror genre doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to its depictions of women. The Final Girls Film Festival is setting out to change that. Now in its 9th edition, this festival showcases horror cinema directed, written or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers. It takes its name from the trope of the last woman standing in a horror film and uses this as a springboard from which to open up new, exciting and messy possibilities for voices often in the genre.
- City Kino Wedding, Müllerstr. 74, February 7th – 11th, details
Berlin is hosting the second night of the Premier League darts league. The tournament takes place across different cities throughout Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. Whether you’re an existing fan of the sport, or just love a big occasion, head down to the Mercedes-Benz Arena to see reigning champion Michael van Gerwen try to defend his title.
- Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin, Friedrichshain, doors 18:30, details
“My Verses are like Dynamite” Curt Blochʼs Het Onderwater Cabaret – Exhibition Preview
This exhibition presents German Jewish author Curt Bloch’s booklets, which he made while in hiding from the Nazis in the Netherlands. The booklets are made up of handwritten poems in both Dutch and German and not only describe his helpers and those he was hiding with but also use wit and satire to mock fascist leaders and confront Nazi propaganda and lies. Nearly fifty years after the artist’s death, this is an important insight into how creativity persists in times of persecution.
- Judisches Museum, Lindenstr. 9-14, Kreuzberg, details
The Taming of the Shrew
A new production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is coming to Neue Bühne Friedrichshain, courtesy of the international theatre company Shakespeare Reloaded. Adapted and directed by Laura Witz, come and enjoy this new take on the Bard’s timeless tale of extravagance, seduction and social hierarchy.
- Neue Bühne Friedrichshain, Boxhagener Str. 18, Friedrichshain, Feb 9th through 11th, also Feb 15th through 18th, details
Gene on Earth presents Rave‘n’Cruise
Berlin-based, California native DJ Gene On Earth returns to Zenner for the second edition of his Rave ‘n’ Cruise party series. He has assembled a stacked lineup of DJs and live acts across two rooms, which is just as well as this shindig will last for 24 hours. The main room is gonna be where the dancefloor is at, with a special Chiller’s Lounge space as a second room where you can relax and melt to some downtempo vibes.
- Zenner, Alt-Treptow 15, Treptow, 23:00, details
Lunar New Year
February 10th is Lunar New Year, a time for getting together with friends and family. Whether your celebrations are big or small, why not take this opportunity to share food and wish your loved ones good health, growth and prosperity in the year ahead.
Did you know that every year, around the time of playwright and theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht’s birthday, Berlin celebrates Brecht Tage, or ‘Brecht Days’? Brecht Days consist of lectures, discussions, readings and musical performances, and people also leave flowers on the icon’s grave in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery. This year’s theme is “Certificate of Fiction – Brecht’s Refugee Conversations reloaded”, and it will centre refugee artists, authors, scientists and activists as they discuss Brecht in relation to exile.
- Literatur Forum im Brecht Haus, Academy of Arts, Chausseestr. 125, Mitte, through February 16th, details
Berlin’s repeat repeat election
Lucky us, February brings ANOTHER repeat election for Berliners, this time it’s a repeat of the federal vote. Those with the right to vote are being asked to cast their ballots yet again in 445 of the city’s 2256 electoral districts. The election is unlikely to change the overall distribution of votes in the Bundestag, but after the partial result, the overall result of the 2021 election will be recalculated, which could lead to shifts in the distribution of seats across federal states.
A pioneer of Ethio-Jazz, Mulatu Astatke mixes Western jazz and funk influences with the sounds of his home country, creating a hypnotic instrumental world that you will never want to leave.
- Metropol, doors 19:30, Nollendorfpl. 5, Schoneberg, details
Sketcherei, Valentine’s Special
Berlin’s favourite burlesque life drawing sessions are bringing a Valentine’s special to Zum Starken August. What better way to kindle that spark of romance than by poring over an easel with your loved one in a candle-lit bar, as Felicity Felicis delights and excites with her retro performance. Sketcherei are also hosting several other sessions throughout February on the 5th, 19th and 26th. Check out their Instagram for more details.
- Zum Starken August, Schönhauser Allee 56, Prenzlauer Berg, details
tracks & talk with Wallis Bird & friends
This Berlin-based Irish music sensation is the focus of the “tracks & talks” event, presented by tip Berlin as part of Zeitgeist Irland. Her mixture of Irish folk, rock and pop has earned her international acclaim and it has been said that her irrepressible energy on stage could “jump start the economy of an entire country”. For this event, Bird will showcase new songs in an exclusive and intimate concert, supported by fellow Irish musicians and friends. The performance will be followed by a chat with tip editor Jacek Slaski about Wallis’s music, inspirations and life itself. There will also be the chance for the audience to ask Wallis their own questions!
- Fluxbau, Pfuehlstr. 5, Kreuzberg, doors 18:00, details
The legendary British electronic band are coming to Berlin for 3 nights in February. Step back into the 80s and enjoy Dave Gahan and Martin Gore performing unforgettable hits alongside exciting new tracks.
- Merecedes-Benz Arena, Friedrichshain, also on Feb 15 and 20, doors: 18:00, details
Recipes from Iraq
Why not take your Valentine for a guided tour of artist Lin May Saeed’s current exhibition ‘Snow falls slowly in paradise’ at Georg Kolbe Museum, followed by an exclusive dinner at the museum’s own Café Benjamine, where the kitchen serves dishes from Saeed’s book Recipes from Iraq.
- Georg Kolbe Museum, Sensburger Allee 25, Westend, 18:00 – 21:00, details
One Billion Rising
Every year on Valentine’s Day, people from all over the world gather in public places to take a stand against violence against girls and women. Join in this act of vital solidarity and make your voice heard.
- Brandenburger Tor, 17:30 – 18:15, details
Berlin Critics Week
The Critics Week presents international films, with a view to discussing and critiquing them in thought-provoking ways. The tagline of this year’s festival is ‘Filmmaking Against All Odds’, and participants will be discussing everything from filmmaking to festivals, in the context of the climate crisis, asking how artistic freedom can be made compatible with the imperatives of sustainability. The conference on the 14th is followed by a Film program and discussion at Hackesche Hofe Kino starting Friday, Feb 16th.
- AdK, Pariser Platz 4, Mitte & Hackesche Hofe Kino, Rosenthaler Str., Mitte, through February 22, details
The Berlin International Film Festival, aka Berlinale, returns for its 74th edition, with hundreds of visitors, industry pros and film stars small and big flocking to the city. This year the jury president is Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o, who will be presiding over a packed programme of incredible cinema from across the globe.
- Various locations, details
The Expo Festival: A Showcase of Wahlberliner*innen
The 10th instalment of this festival promises a multidisciplinary selection of the diverse talent of Berlin’s English-language performances, ranging from dance through drag to monologue to object theatre.
- English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstr. 40, Kreuzberg, through February 29th, details
TANZOLYMP – International Dance Festival
Each year, hundreds of young dancers from across the globe meet in Berlin for competitions, masterclasses, workshops and seminars – and to share a love of the enduring art form. Come to Fontane Haus to be wowed by the best and brightest new performers from a whole range of dance genres.
- Fontane Haus, Konigshortser Str. 6, Wittenau, through February 19th, details
Independent Film Festival
This annual screening series is committed to giving Berlin’s audiences a dose of alternative film spirit, showing low-budget and indie flicks from across Europe. The perfect place for cinephiles to discover new DIY gems.
- Kino Babylon, Rosa Luxemburg Str. 30 through February 24th, details
Kotti Shop / SuperFuture, collage
The Kotti Shop / SuperFuture collective works closely with their community in Kottbusser Tor. Their collaborative urban design is achieved by listening to different voices in their neighbourhood to help build an environment that works for everyone. This February they are settling in at the Berlinische Galerie where they will host events and workshops alongside an exhibition demonstrating the benefits of collective art production.
- Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstr. 124 – 128, Kreuzberg, through May 5, details
KW Digital: Poetics of Encryption
Part of a year-long program that explores how the hidden dimensions of our technological landscape are registered in art, this large group exhibition runs until May and showcases over 40 international artists. Each artist will probe the inscrutable technological systems we live beside, and interrogate how the language of “black sites” “black boxes” and “black holes” affects and distorts our experience of reality.
- KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststr. 69, Mitte, details
Kinktastisch is celebrating 4 years of kinky fun! Join in the festivities as you unleash your inner desires at a night of play and techno beats.
- Insomnia, Alt-Tempelhof 17-19, 22:00, details
Hosted by Cameryn Moore, this open-mic dirty storytelling night invites audience members to take the stage and divulge a story from their sex lives. Come and be regaled by juicy anecdotes, as well as joyful insights into the glorious mess of human intimacy.
- Crack Bellmer, Revaler Str 99, Friedrichshain, 19:00, details
Drunk & Vegan Cocktails Workshop
Did you know that certain booze is vegetarian but not vegan? And we’re not talking about obvious stuff like Bailey’s. This English-language workshop teaches you everything there’s to know and how to make four different vegan cocktails.
- Plant Base, Prenzlauer Allee 208,Prenzlauer Berg, 19:00 – 22:00, details
Among Berlin’s tightly-packed food festival calendar this one stands out as one of the biggest and most decadent. Featuring a host of fine dining restaurants and some of Berlin’s most prolific chefs plating up original multiple-course menus over 11 days.
- Various Locations, through March 3rd, details
It’s that time of the month again: grab your bike and join the convoy of bikers, bladers and skaters and feel the joy of moving en mass. The demo aims to call on city councils, governments and road planners to prioritise the safety of all road users and demonstrate the power of uniting as one.
- Meet at Mariannenplatz, Kreuzberg, starts 20:00, free, details
Maya Shenfeld & Pedro Maia present: Under the Sun
Artists Maya Schenfeld and Pedro Maia present their audiovisual live show, made over two years between Berlin and a deep marble quarry in south Portugal. Synths, woodwinds, field recordings, Super 8 film and drone footage abound.
- Silent Green, Gerichtstr. 35, Wedding, doors 19:00, details
A moving story of refuge, New York pianist Roger Peltzman tells his family’s history fleeing the Nazis, using a mix of drama, humour, images and musical performances.
- Theater im Delphi, Gustav-Adolf-Str. 2, Weißensee, 19:30, through Feb 25, details
International DJ and mainstay of the scene DJ Krush, a pioneer of trip-hop who released his first album in 1994, will grace the stage of the Lido as part of his world tour. Touring a new album, the Japanese-born icon is definitely one to see.
- Lido, Cuvrystr. 7, Kreuzberg, doors 19:00, details
An American pianist with Russian-Israeli roots, Yefin Bronfman is set to dazzle the Pierre Boulez Saal with his renditions of Beethoven, Schubert and Tchaikovsky.
- Pierre Boulez Saal, Franz. Str. 33D, Mitte, 19:30, details
WNBL invites ALLYSHA JOY
Melbourne-born singer Allysha Joy’s husky vocals perfectly express her potent lyricism. Be moved by tales of love, power, desire and faith, all set to an irresistible jazz, hip hop and R&B-influenced beat.
- Gretchen, Obentrautstr. 19 21, Kreuzberg, 19:30, details
That’s right! We all get an extra day this year! What will you do with yours? Propose to someone? Tick something dramatic off the bucket list? Or maybe just enjoy the faint glimmer of hope as we slowly but surely inch our way out of another bitter Berlin winter.