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May 1

May 1, 2024: What to do on International Workers’ Day

MyFest is cancelled, but there is still plenty going on this May 1 in Berlin. Here's the best, from protests to parties, demos and dancing.

Demonstrations for Revolutionary May 1. Photo: IMAGO / Funke Photo Services

Raves, Rummel and revolution: May 1st has it all. 

May 1st is regarded as one of the most significant and important events in the history of workers’ rights, and has been an official holiday in Germany since 1933, celebrating the contribution of workers to society. Like every year since its inception, May Day has also been marked by revolutionary demonstrations and protests, with the large majority of them taking place in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. So whether you’re trying to seize the means of production or just seize the long weekend, here’s a list of Berlin’s biggest protests and parties leading up to and happening on May 1st. 

Revolutionary May Day

Revolutionary May 1 demonstration 2024 poster.

Ready for revolution? Comrades against capitalism can take part in an integral piece of Berlin’s history of leftwing activism: The annual Revolutionary May Day demonstration, undoubtedly one of the most important events happening on International Workers’ Day. Though the holiday has existed since 1890, this particular protest got started in 1987, when police launched an unprovoked attack on a peaceful street festival. The Kiezaufstand (or ‘neighbourhood uprising’) that followed kickstarted the holiday’s now well-established tradition of demonstrations. In 2024, the alliance of the Revolutionary May 1st Demo calls to “expropriate corporations,” “disarm warmongers,” and “smash capitalism.” The rally begins at Südstern at 6pm, with a concert at 4.30pm and an alliance rally at 5.30pm.

  • Revolutionary May Day Demonstration Meeting point: U-Bahnhof Boddinstr., details.

Berlin Spring Festival

Berlin Spring Festival, Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

The Berlin Festival is hosting a huge range of attractions and fairground activities, making it an easy contender for this year’s May Day celebrations. Celebrating its 52nd edition with over 50 market stalls and 80 exciting rides, enjoy some competition on the bumper cars, take a ride on the ferris wheel, or test your stomach on one of the several roller coasters. If you manage to come out unscathed, head over to the food stalls to try out some of the delicious bratwurst, boulette, langos or sweet crispy churros. 

  • Spring Festival, Kurt-Schumacher-Damm 207, Charlottenburg-Nord, 10am- 10pm, details.

Dance your way into May

Musicians perform on stage at DIE LINKE’s Maifest. Photo: IMAGO/snapshot/K M Krause

A Berliner tradition, dancing your way into the month has become one of the most common ways to spend the holiday. Whether at a sprawling techno rave, or your local Tanzbar blasting the most played pop hits of the year, letting your hair down for a classic May Day boogie is an absolute must. All those that are disappointed with the cancellation of another Myfest this year might want to divert their attention and flock to Marrienenplatz in Kreuzberg. Kicking off at 10am, most of the program details still haven’t been announced yet, but one can expect a varied selection of performances.

  • Area around Mariannenplatz, Heinrichplatz and Oranienplatz, 10am- 10pm, details.

May Day at Berghain

Entrance to Berghain, Photo: IMAGO / PEMAX

The thought has most probably crossed your mind already if you’re thinking about clubbing throughout this holiday. Panorama Bar will open its doors from midday onwards with an unforgettable lineup including Boris, Katy De Jesus, Ogazon and Quelza. Depending on the weather, the club may just open its garden for the first time this year too.

  • Berghain, Am Wriezener bhf, Friedrichshain, opens at 12pm, details.

MyGruni Demonstration in Grunewald

MyGruni’s demonstrations have been a part of International Workers’ Day for several years now. Photo: IMAGO/snapshot

Keen to avoid the May Day crowds in Kreuzberg? Under the motto “Raid in Grunewald – solving capital crimes,” this demo is an easy alternative to avoid the heated atmosphere in the city – just hop on your bike and join the demo in Grunewald. In recent years, this protest on wheels has established itself as a major event with more than 15,000 participants.

  • Grunewald, Meeting at 11:30 Falkplatz, Max-Schmeling-Halle, details.

Awkwardly Social May Day Rave

Poster via @awkwardlysocialberlin

A 12-hour party that is designed to get you dancing, Awkwardly Social is hosting their yearly May Day Rave at Fitzroy Club with a tasty line-up including sets by Christa Belle, Cheng Nwsh, Low End Activist and local-favourite Jesse G. The event will also have crêpes and galettes by La Patronne (@momoouech) for when you start getting peckish. All funds will go to @savethechildren Gaza Emergency Fund. 

  • Fitzroy Club, S-Bahn Bogen 46, Holzmarktstraße 15, Kreuzberg, begins at 4pm, details.

Sound Metaphors May Day Party

Poster via @soundmetaphors

Sound Metaphor May Day parties have achieved an iconic status in certain party circles. Out of respect for the Workers’ Day spirit of the holiday, entrance is free with donations accepted at the door for DJs and event costs. Things tend to get busy however, so make sure you get there early. 

  • Club OST, Alt-Stralau 1-2, Treptower, starts at 12pm, details.

Dancing on the Spree May 1st

May 1st on the Spree, Photo: IMAGO / Funke Foto Services

A few minutes walk from the festival at Mariannenplatz, you can peacefully perch up and celebrate May Day by the calm banks of the Spree. Sage Beach is also hosting a free party where you can dance in the sand in an open-air environment. In addition to a huge techno line-up, you can expect performances, children’s activities and various stands to browse. 

  • Sage Beach, Köpenicker Str. 18-20, Kreuzberg, 2pm-2am, details.

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night 2023, Photo: IMAGO / Thomas Müller

While May Day is an important holiday, let’s not forget the night before: Walpurgis Night. In German folklore, the last night in April is when witches congregate on the peak of the Brocken (or Blocksberg) for satanic rituals – but now it’s mostly just a good excuse to party. A long-time favourite, we mourn the passing of another year without May Day’s Walpurgis Night Festival in Mauerpark to bring us an evening of music, dance and (most-importantly) epic bonfires. There are some pretty solid substitutes however…

The Neue Zukunft (originally Zukunft am Ostkreuz) celebrates traditionally with a huge party into May, with on-site stages hosting open-air concerts, film programmes and performances for free.

The Holzmarkt also invites you to the Walpurgis Open Air, with plenty on offer for the whole family throughout the afternoon and into the evening, providing musical entertainment and food. 

At the Walpurgis Festival in the Rüdersdorf Museum Park just outside of Berlin, there will be a celebration of spring spirits, witches and fairies. In addition to a bonfire, you can also expect jugglers, storytellers and face painting.

  • The Neue Zukunft, Alt-Stralau 68 between Treptower Park & ​​Ostkreuz, starts at 4pm, details.
  • Holzmarkt, various locations, 2pm- 10pm, details
  • Museumpark Rüdersdorf, Heinitzstraße 9, Rüdersdorf, starts at 11am, details.

DGB Demo


Every year the German Federation of Trade Unions (the largest trade union umbrella organisation in Germany) holds its May Day event. The big DGB rally will take place again in 2024 at 12pm under the motto “More wages, more free time, more security”, at the Red Town Hall. Collective bargaining coverage, democracy, social justice and solidarity: these are the topics that the German Federation of Trade Unions would like to focus on in order to set an example for a just and peaceful future.

  • Meet at the front of Red Town Hall at 12 pm, details.