June 21st, the longest day of the year is just around the corner, and that means that once again Berlin will do what it does best and play host to a slew of open air parties, most of them free to attend, and all of them with enough beats to get your heart rate a-bumping. With so many options available, here are five of the strongest parties either starting on Saturday night or Sunday day, which have been announced so far.
1. Red Bull Music Academy @ Mauerpark (FREE)
The RBMA party on June 21st is becoming a bit of an institution on Berlin’s annual party calendar, in recent years the likes of Modeselektor have headlined this massive free party in Berlin’s iconic Mauerpark. Last year was no different as the line up included Jessy Lanza, local boys-done-good Brandt Brauer Frick, and the headline act Caribou, who despite a few technical hitches, put on a great show as the sun set on the longest day of the year (see video above). This year the line up features, among others, the talented young lyricist and rapper Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future fame, as well as acclaimed headliner, Glaswegian Dj/producer extraordinaire, Hudson Mohawke, who has a new album Lantern for you to swoon over. If you want to feel that big stage festival vibe without having to spend more than a couple of euros at the local spaeti, this is the one for you.
As some of you will already know, one of Berlin’s most unique nightclubs, the club in the old pool known as Stattbad Wedding, has closed down, at least for the moment. According to the whispers, like many of Berlin’s venues Stattbad never had a fire safety license (or something like that) and once this was discovered by the authorities, albeit almost 4 years later, the place has been shut down. As a result, they have rescheduled many of their parties to different locations, and this one at Werkhalle in the Nueu Heimat complex might be the best of the bunch. The headliner is the house music aficionado and gentleman dj known as Prosumer, a former resident of the Panorama Bar who was kind enough to do an interview with us back in 2013. Joining him on the decks is Mr Daniel Wang, another one of the good guys in the house and disco world, and a guy who’s seen and done it all when it comes funtime disco dancing, as well Ukranian maestro, Vakula. In the garden you can also catch the likes of Ian Pooley, Kate Miller and many more excellent acts. This party promises to go from Saturday night all the way til Monday morning, so it’s the perfect choice for those with plenty of party energy.
3. Gretchen Blockparty (FREE)
As is tradition, the good folks at Gretchen are back with another one of those block rocking beat parties, with probably the most diverse selection of sounds the city has to offer, including funk, soul, jazz, electronica, house and other assorted beats. The event is split into an outdoor day program and an indoor night one, with day time highlights including the rising stars of the local Box aus Holz soundsystem, Sonar Kollektiv’s Jazzanova, OYE Record’s Delfonic, and Andi Thoma of Mouse on Mars doing a DJ set. Once night falls and people move inside, a night of boshing drum’n’bass awaits you. Pick this one if you want to expand your musical horizons.
This one’s for the hip hop fans, so I feel somewhat out of my depth in telling you anything about it other than it takes place in the beautiful Spreeside venue Else. The line up features popular local rapper Romano, who has been in the game for over 15 years, as well as Ye:Solar (live) and M.Rux, as well as support from Wilde Renate’s 22 Rockets. Hit this one if you’re a fan of the local rap scene!
5. Fete de la Musique @ Sage Restaurant (FREE)
Rounding out or list of events is this fine beach party at Kreuzberg’s snazzy but friendly Sage Restaurant. Located just outside their premises on the banks of the Spree, Sage have an excellent strand/beach where you can dig your feet in the sand or relax with a drink most days of the week. On Sunday they will bring in the big guns and a serious soundsystem designed to get your feet moving and head bopping to the sounds of their tasty line up, which includes freaky French tech-house trio dOP, Kaiser Souzai, Frank Martiniq and many more. This one starts nice and early at 1pm, and goes til 10pm in making it the handiest choice for those living in the Kreuzberg area who want some beats but don’t fancy travelling too far to get them.