Music & clubs

Fête de la Musique 2014

Fête descends once more on the streets of Berlin this Sat, Jun 21. Big names like Caribou compete for your attention and feet with over 100 different stages giving carte blanche to the city's buskers and musician wannabes. Here's our guide.

Image for Fête de la Musique 2014
Photo by Alex Laljak

The riots may now smell like a mix of Austrian Red Bull and Chinese climate change but on June 21, Berlin once again makes with the French kissing as Fête de la Musique’s party out-of-doors allows for an Amt-approved debauchery zum Nulltarif. Buskers are legit-for-a-day and amplified acts are reserved for one of 110 stages, with the ruckus moving inside for Fête de la Nuit at 23:00. Considering the Fête de la smorgasbord? Exberliner uncovers the best so you can skip the rest…

The Red Bull Music Academy Stage returns to Mauerpark (Electro Pop, Punk) with Caribou’s first German show in three years, fresh from Sonar. Will Dan Snaith stick with the Balearic moves that have brought him his greatest fame? Or will his puckish restlessness take over? German post-punk, pop sensation Sizarr and the very-serious electro-improv heroes Brandt Brauer Frick (featuring Beaver Sheppard) highlight two very different sides of pop-electro. Jessy Lanza will add a touch of girly R&B to techno beats.

Mauerpark, Gleimstraße. 45, U-Bhf Bernauer Straße, Mitte

Two long-standing partners have changed their locations: YAAM (Reggae, Hip Hop) is on the Schillingbrücke, with a melange of marijuana musics: Caribbean, Reggae and the like, as well as a dose of Latin Hip Hop, followed by Azonto meets Afrobeats presented by Afro Heat and Supersonic. 

Schillingbrücke, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof, Mitte

White Trash Fast Food (Electroswing) have moved their working class Disneyland next to Arena in Treptow. Doc Horn & the Hornbabes bring the hootenanny, with topical Berlin lyrics and a sound as vintage as a €4 beer. 

Am Flutgraben 3, U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor, Kreuzberg

Of course, Wiener Straße (Electro, Punk, Rock) houses the heart of the Fête. With all the corporate sponsorship of recent years, you can enter the park a punk and leave a yuppie. Wild at Heart presents Canadian longtimer Yvonne Ducksworth of Jingo de Lunch who always promises some punk rock performance art along with her killer vocal cords. 

Wiener Straße. 20, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, Kreuzberg

Surely, if the French should have their say today the Institute Francaise (French Pop, Jazz) would be the place to do it. Here you can see Loose Gravel and Engine 54 during the day, as well as Moving Home Ensemble, bringing a mix of classic jazz and tango rhythms.

Kurfürstendamm 211, U-Bhf Uhlandstr, Mitte

Likewise, Brel Gainsbourg (French Chansons, Pop, Ska) finds plenty of funky French pop: Les Copains D’abord, Betataste, and Petit Déjeuner, as tart as a €4 wine.

Savignyplatz 1, S-Bhf Savignyplatz, Mitte

And Kesselhaus patriotically offers a French Night of a rock-ish bent at the Kulturbrauerei with Lafayette and Demi Mondaine. 

Schönhauser Allee 36, U-Bhf Eberwalder Str, Prenzlauer Berg

Oranienplatz hosts Deutsche author-pop legends Sven Regener and Element of Crime, previewing their upcoming fall release. Throwing books at the band is probably inadvisable.

Oranienplatz, U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor, Kreuzberg

Over at Gretchen (Jazz, Electro) the jazzy white dwarves that make up Jazzanova promote chilling and milling in their jazzy chilling and milling manner. Funny how their sound is the antithesis of Berlin, and yet perhaps its most representative act.

Obentraut Straße 19-21, U-Bhf Hallesches Tor, Kreuzberg

Postbahnhof at Ostbahnhof (Electro) is back for a second go of Summer Safari, offering a full spectrum of electronic house on three levels of indoor and open air acts. Dapayk brings vinyl back to life and sets the stage for punchy German techno tracks from Kollektiv Ost, Sexinvaders, and Drauf und Dran. The daytime open air portion, being officially party of Fête, is free. It’s 15 bucks to stay the evening though and I’m sure, with free music all over the city, that’s what you’ll choose to do. 

Postbahnhof, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof, Mitte

If you’re hanging with kiddies, Cabuwazi-Kinderzirkus Treptow has a folk-pop program for children. And by them! Hula Hut and the Seven Seas offer a Reggae-Hawaiian spin, and there will be children’s workshops, a puppet theater and, hopefully, sedatives.

Am Postbahnhof 1, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof, Mitte

Lovelite (Punk, Reggae, Swing) won’t be around much longer, so light some love for the rockabilly punk rock of Circus Rhapsody. After, there will be plenty of Reggae/Swing vibes with II Civetto, BBQ in the evening and Balkan-Reggae through the night.

Simplonstr 38, U-Bhf Ostkreuz, Mitte

After the sun descends into the sea Ritter Butzke vs Neurocomic descends into chaos, with an open-ended night of electro-dance beats with resident Kuriose Naturale, Bennet Rix, Bela Brandes, Clark Davis and DJ Aroma and Neurocomic vs. Fête de la Musique, with Red Robin and Wicked Wilma/Discopunk (Live)/Ra Käthe/Johannes Raum/DJ Aroma. 

Ritterstraße 26, U-Bhf Moritzplatz, Kreuzberg

Oh, did we mention 25 new locations, including the Babylon, TAK house, Desi on Ohlauer, Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur, Statthaus Böcklerpark, Schankhalle Pfefferberg and the FH-XB-Museum. If so, you probably couldn’t hear us over the ruckus. For more info on official events, check For off-schedule events, query your local drunks.