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© Kai_Vogel/ Pixabay

What's On In Berlin In May 2017

Picture of Megan King
Updated: 30 April 2017

From traditional festivities to film festivals, rock shows, theater performances, and art exhibitions, Berlin has a roster of great events to enjoy this May. Here’s the hot list for the month.


HOLIDAY EVENT | Celebrate May Day Madness with Myfest 

Monday, May 1st 

The annual May Day Street Festival will take over the streets of
Oranienstraße, Mariannenplatz and Oranienplatz in the beloved borough of Kreuzberg. Not only is the 1st of May traditionally time to welcome the spring weather and hoard off evil spirits, but it’s also a day to celebrate the rights of workers. The day’s political history dates back to 1986, when there was a surge of successful left wing and trade union demonstrations for labour rights.

Various locations in Kreuzberg, check the festival website.

MUSIC FESTIVAL | Get Groovy at Berlin’s Jazz Festival

Wednesday, May 3rd — Sunday, May 7th 

This jazz festival surpasses the traditional interpretation of the genre to include electronically-improvised music, new classical music, and compositions from singer/songwriters. Expect to be wowed by ensembles such as the Birgitta Flick Quartet, a project by Berlin-based saxophonist and composer Birgitta Flick, and Dillion, a pianist and vocalist with electronic influences.

Tickets: € 179,50 for festival passes or varies for individually-priced shows 

Various locations and venues across Berlin Kreuzberg, check the XJazz website.

CONCERT | A Sonic Voyage of Electronics and Percussion 

Friday, May 5th — Sunday, May 7th 

Taking place over three special nights, The Syn/Cussion Festival for Percussion and Electronics will present nine collaborations between musicians well-versed in analogue electronics and percussive instruments. Music lovers will also have the chance to marvel at a four-channel sound installation based on the Syncussion SY-1 drum machine, from which the festival gets its name.

Tickets: €12 – 42

Radialsystem V, Holzmarktstraße 33, Berlin Germany 


EXHIBITION | Otto Bartning, Architect of a Social Modernist

Monday, May 8th – Sunday June 18th 

Architect of a social modernist explores the fascinating life and work of architect Otto Bartning (1883-1959). Bartning was one of the pioneers of Expressionism and New Objectivity in Berlin’s Weimar Republic. His contributions to art, culture, and politics will be showcased for the first time at the Academy of Art in this comprehensive retrospective featuring drawings, photographs, and architectural models.

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, Berlin Germany

DESIGN & ART | Treat Your Senses to a Visual Feast at Pictoplasma 

Wednesday, May 10th  — Sunday, May 14th

Pictoplasma is an exciting festival and conference of contemporary character design and art. Over five days, Berlin becomes the backdrop for a diverse collection of artists, illustrators, animators, designers, and filmmakers that all represent the future of the world’s visual culture.
Tickets: €290
Various locations and venues across Berlin, check their website for more.

FILM | XPOSED is Coming to Berlin’s Big Screens 

Thursday, May 11th — Sunday, May 14th

The 12th XPOSED International Queer Film Festival is coming to Berlin this month, promising an exciting lineup. Screenings, discussions, and celebration of queer cinema will take place over four days at Germany’s oldest cinema, the Moviemento Kino Berlin.

Tickets: €8

Moviemento Kino Berlin, Kottbusser Damm 22, Berlin Germany


CONCERT | Chilly Gonzales is Set to Rock the Konzerthaus

Monday, May 15th

Let the beautiful compositions of star pianist Chilly Gonzales transport you to another world. The Canadian singer-songwriter, rapper, and musician is currently based in Cologne. Best known for the electronic-influenced music of his earlier days, today he creates quieter piano tunes.

Tickets: €150 

CONCERT | Get Moving with the Best of the Kooks 

British indie pop darlings The Kooks will be hitting Berlin again this May. The rockers will be in the capital as part of a best-of tour where they will play their greatest hits from an impressive four-album catalogue.

Tickets: From €37,80 

Columbiahalle, Columbiadamm 13-21 Berlin, Germany

PARTY | Round off the Weekend with a Lazy Sunday

Sunday, May 21st

Weekend parties last until Monday morning in Berlin. Spend this Sunday night at Minimal Bar with Fuzoku, a local music duo with groovy music accentuated by great bass.

Tickets: Free

Minimal Bar, Rigaer Strasse 3, Berlin, Germany

THEATRE | A Barely Legal Night on the Stage  

Saturday, May 20th – Sunday, May 21st

Falk Richter’s Fear caused controversy when far-right group Alternative for Germany (AfD) tried to censor it. The show has brought Falk Richter lawsuits and endless hate mail since its 2015 debut. Fear found a home in Berlin, where it will be returning to the Schaubühne for two nights this May.

Tickets: From €7,00

Schaubühne, Lehniner Platz Kurfürstendamm 153, Berlin, Germany

EXHIBITION | International Museum Day

Sunday, May 21st

Berlin celebrates museums by participating in International Museum Day. A slew of special events, guided tours, workshops, and talks will be available through participating museums in Berlin.
The full list of participating museums in Berlin can be found on the International Museum Day’s website.


DESIGN | Typo Berlin

Thursday, May 25th  — Saturday, May 27

Taking pace at the House of World Cultures, one of the most beautiful venues in Berlin, Typo is an international design conference with programme composed of more than 60 presentations with design experts, workshops, interviews, films, and discussions on five different stages.
Tickets: From 399 for professionals and from 199 for students