It might seem like Berlin is all about techno, but the city actually has strong punk and indie music roots and enjoys a thriving, head-banging live music scene. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in some live music in Berlin, check out these indie music venues.
SO36 in Kreuzberg is the legendary nightclub that has been at the heart of Berlin’s thriving punk rock culture since 1978. Frequented by big-name musicians like Iggy Pop and David Bowie, SO36 rivalled New York City’s famous CBGB as an unbeatable punk and new wave venue in the 1980s. These days, the club stays true to its alternative roots, showcasing an eclectic mix of punk, metal, indie, and alternative beats.
Kaffee Burger was an institution amongst authors, creatives and entertainers in East Berlin during the 1970s. Decades later, little has changed in the bar, as faded wallpaper, dim lights and a minimal, underground vibe make up its interior. The dark, edgy bar has a small stage and regular live music and quirky themed events.
Cassiopeia is a place for Berlin’s alternative souls to come together and enjoy a diverse mix of live music and parties. Located down in the RAW courtyard, covered in graffiti and hidden within an unassuming brick building, this place encompasses the punk-pop vibe that so many equate with Friedrichshain. Cassiopeia boasts an amazing beer garden, perfect for summertime beers, as well as a rich mixture of electric live music and wild parties.
Spanning across three floors, Sage Club has been a part of Berlin’s nightlife scene since 1997. Every Thursday, the club opens for its infamous Rock at Sage night, offering cheap beer, good tunes and BBQ food. The one-night-a-week concert calendar includes a mix of Berlin-based acts and bands, as well as larger, more established artists.
PrivatClub offers a place for up-and-coming artists in Berlin. With small concerts, vibrant parties and quirky creative events making up its schedule, the intimate club is hidden up an unsuspecting stairway from Weltrestaurant Markthalle in Kreuzberg. This secret spot is a great place to unearth some of Berlin’s best talent.
The legendary Bang Bang Club Berlin has found a new home in Kreuzberg after years of calling Mitte home. The new venue offers an eclectic mix of live music, parties and international, well-known bands and DJs. With two floors, a stage and three bars, this venue caters to larger crowds.
Housed in a former 1950s cinema, Lido has been an important part of indie music culture in Berlin since 2006. Located in the edgy neighbourhood of Kreuzberg, the large venue has a diverse range of concerts, with a focus on newcomers, indie bands and alternative rock. With hardwood floors, a cosy couch area and a large outside garden, it’s the best venue to enjoy your favourite or discover a new band.