The old song lyric - spring is in the air and there's music everywhere - could well have been written about Berlin. As soon as spring arrives in Berlin, the music festival season begins and it doesn't kick off slowly either.
Germany and German people are often accused of being quite staid, conservative, formal, reserved, and proper, use what work you like, but that's not exactly true. Go to a music festival in Berlin and you'll soon notice that folks in Germany like to let their hair down and have a rock or rave just as much as anyone else does.
There are amazing festivals in Berlin that, once you know about them, will have you searching airline websites for cheap flight tickets before you’ve even managed to say wow, I just have to go to that.
Before you start packing your overnight bag, thinking you can fly in and out of Berlin just for the festival without getting a hotel room, consider this. In this day and age, the security procedures at festivals are strict and you won't be allowed entry if you're carrying large bags.
When you're determined to party all night and not pay for somewhere to sleep, the best place to leave your personal stuff is in a Bounce luggage locker in Berlin for the duration of the festival. Bounce luggage lockers are always located in easy to access places, are cheap to hire, and are completely secure as they're individually security tagged and fully insured. Once you've dropped your stuff off and you know it's safe, it'll be time for the party to begin.
If you happen to go scrolling further afield than this article to discover more about music festivals in Berlin in 2022, don't get misled. The Iconic Chicago Festival – Berlin isn't in Berlin at all. It's a drag queen party night at a gay bar called Berlin in the US city of Chicago, not the German capital, Berlin.
The music festivals of Berlin are scattered throughout town and on the outskirts, but navigating the city doesn't have to be a problem. It's easy to get anywhere as long as you do a little research first. We suggest you start with our guide on how to get around Berlin.
Best Music Festivals In Berlin 2022
DECOLONOIZE is a series of music festivals that take place around Berlin from May onwards. The festivals are designed to showcase the music of BIPoC artists who might otherwise, for some reason or another, not have the same performance opportunities as other musicians.
The DECOLONOIZE get-togethers give BIPoC, black, indigenous, and people of color, musicians a chance to offer their creativity and talent to a larger audience.
There is a DECOLONOIZE festival on the 28th of May at Zukunft am Ostkreuz, a Bohemian event venue with a large outdoor terrace, on the city's Laskerstraße. The festivals also include film shows, poetry readings, alternative music DJ sessions, food trucks, and stalls with artisan items.
A further festival is planned for early July. More details will be published on the official DECOLONOIZE website nearer the date.
The Tempelhof Sounds Festival is a three-day event taking place from the 10th to the 12th of June on the grounds of the Tempelhof Airport, a former military airport, in central Berlin.
This three-day festival aims to promote cultural unity through indie music and good food. There are countless live performances starting from midday onwards by well-known artists like Florence and The Machine, The Libertines, and Muse as well as by lesser-known German and international performers.
The airfield is easily accessed by Berlin's public transport and by bicycle. The festival organizers recommend not going by car as parking is limited to those with mobility problems. No bags, beverages or food can be taken inside.
If you're really into partying and can tolerate it two days straight, you need to be in Berlin for the Danube Weekender on the 11th and 12th of June.
In 2022, the Danube Weekender is being held on the open ground next to the Kiekebusch Lake which is right by the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. This music festival is featuring DJs all the way through, so don't expect live bands on stage as there aren't any. The music that's played is dub, techno, and house so you'll be dancing from the word off until the music stops unless you carry on at one of the after-festival parties.
Whether or not the noise of the planes taking off and landing at the airport adds to the atmosphere is something you'll have to decide for yourself if you go. Food at the festival is cooked up by the street food expert, culinary Instagram star, and very aptly named DjoDjo. And, if you’re a fan of vinyl, you'll be able to add to your collection at the festival too as there’ll be a vinyl marketplace.
Classic Open Air Festival
Not all of the festivals in Berlin are pop, rock, hip hop, indie, or techno music. The Classic Open Air Festival held in the plaza of the Gendarmenmarkt in the heart of the city is all about orchestral and operatic performances.
The Classic Open Air Festival is a series of five concerts beginning on the 7th of July and ending with the final performance on the 11th. As the name suggests, the concerts are held outdoors under the stars, and while there are renditions of famous works from top composers, there are also classical versions of popular pop and rock songs played too.
All concerts start at around 7:30 pm and no two are the same. You can find the listing of each evening's live music performance on the official Classic Open Air Festival website. Take a look before getting your tickets and you won't get stuck listening to Brahms or Beethoven when you much prefer Verdi.
Water Music 2022
The Water Music 2022 Festival may seem like a strange series of concerts to be held in Berlin as they're all actually paying homage to the genres of music generated along the Mississippi River in the US.
The unique concerts take place during the four weekends between the 16th of July and the 8th of August at the HKW, House of World Cultures, on John Foster Dulles Allee at various different times which will be posted on the official website when tickets go on sale.
As Wassermusik 2022 is all about the Mississippi, the genres of music being presented are Cajun, blues, funk, jazz, folk, R&B, and bluegrass. Before you ask, no, there won't be a crawfish boil, fried chicken with biscuits and gravy, or a catfish fry-up. The HKW is just not that sort of place.
Rock im Grunen
Okay, so this Berlin music festival might not be headlined by AC/DC, Kiss, or Alice Cooper, but if you're a fan of the rock genre, make a note of it in your diary as it's one of those once a year events that is definitely worth attending.
Rock im Grunen celebrates its 23rd year of existence on the music festival scene this year so that's got to be a recommendation on its own.
In 2022, Rock im Grunen is being held in Marzahn on the 5th and 6th of August which is easily accessible by public transport. Because the festival is held in what is a residential area it starts at 4 pm on the 5th and at 2 pm on the 6th, but finishes early both days with the last group leaving the stage at ten.
The whole purpose of Rock im Grunen, which is a non-profit organization, is to showcase up and coming bands, so while you might not know their names before you go, you will once you've seen them. To ensure the arrival of large crowds admission to the festival is totally free. No food or drink can be taken inside as the festival profits are made on what they sell and by sponsorship from outside businesses. Food and drink are kept at very low prices so don’t worry, you won't be paying through the nose for it.
Pop Kultur is a three-day-long music and arts festival held at the Kulturbrauerei on Berlin's Schönhauser Allee from the 24th to the 26th of August.
Kulturbrauerei translates to the Culture Brewery and the complex where this festival takes place was once a massive brewery, but after renovation work, has become a cultural center.
Pop Kultur is a combination of live music bands, art exhibitions, art and music-related lectures, and film shows. There will be 45 international artists performing music from multiple genres including Alyona Alyona from Ukraine and Arooj Aftab from Pakistan.
Berlin Jazz Festival
If jazz is your choice of music genre, you'll want to be in Berlin between the 9th and 14th of September as that's when the city's Jazz Festival is held.
The Jazz Festival is held in the Tischlerei hall at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, an elite venue on the Richard-Wagner-Straße which is used for intimate concerts and performances.
Over the five days of the concerts, the performers aim to combine jazz music with lyrics, poetry, and other readings to give their audience a unique experience.
Lollapalooza is the biggest music festival held in Berlin in the fall. It's pretty much the grand finale of the festival season and what a way to end.
Lollapalooza is taking place on the 24th and 25th of September in Berlin's Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park. Yes, it's such a big event it entirely takes over both places for the two days. While the focus is great live music with headliners like KraftKlub, Machine Gun Kelly, and Timmy Trumpet topping the bill. There are many more top German and international acts plus world-class DJs performing too.
Lollapalooza isn't only about the music. The all-day, all-night event also incorporates Fashionpalooza, Kidzpalooza, and a massive fun fair as well as food trucks galore. Once you're there, you won't want to (or have to) leave, and as Lollapalooza Berlin begins at 10 am on both the Saturday and Sunday, be ready for a long day.
Tip: An A4-sized bag is the largest bag you are allowed to take to this music festival. There are only bag storage facilities for VIP guests. If you're not a VIP guest, make sure to store any bag larger than A4 in a Bounce locker before you go.
Planning To Stay A Few More Days In Berlin?
The music festivals that are held in Berlin might not be the kind of festivals you'd expect, but they are all amazing in their own way. The best festivals you can go to are the ones that are just that little bit different from the norm, so don't shy away from the unknown. You never know, you might just become a fan of a completely new music genre, including techno or dance, you never thought you'd like.
If you're planning on spending three days in Berlin, and you should since it's one of the most amazing cities in Europe, you'll want to do more than go to a music festival. Doing the same thing every day isn't a good idea and Berlin is such a fantastic city to visit that you'll want to explore it to the max while you're there.
Once the festival is over, have a recovery lie-in, then spoil your festival battered body with the best brunch in Berlin. Once you've fully returned to the land of the living set out on some of the best hikes in Berlin to get back to nature, find some peace and quiet, and get a spot of exercise. If that sounds like too much, head to the Berlin museums to educate yourself on the history of the German capital. Whatever you choose to do, you'll have a great time.