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October events

What to do this October: Berlin’s best events

Nils Frahm, tipBerlin Food Festival, Pornfilmfestival. This October in Berlin is packed with great things to do.

Photo: IMAGO / Olaf Schuelke

We hope you’re ready for another month packed with parties, food festivals, live music and more! October is one busy month, with an incredible array of events. From old favourites like the Festival of Lights and Tag der Club Kultur, to exciting one-offs like Gretchen’s 12th birthday celebration and a new production of the musical Chicago.

October 1

Berlin Ramen Festival

Get a taste of Japan at Berlin Ramen Festival. Photo: IMAGO / Aurora Photos

Get ready to slurp up some extraordinary soup! Down in Treptow on the first day of October, the Berlin Ramen Festival is bringing some of the city’s best chefs to create their own unique bowls of noodles. Whether you prefer Tonkotsu, Miso or TanTan (or any other number of Japanese delicacies), this is guaranteed to provide some of the best cooking in the city.

  • Berlin Ramen Festival, Berliner Berg Brauerei, 12059 Berlin, details

Designbörse Berlin

Photo: Tanya Pro / Unsplash

If your heart burns for interior design, this large-scale market is the perfect chance to hunt for bargains on unique vintage furniture, rarities and hard-to-find originals, like Bauhaus designs. Between furniture items, rugs, lamps and ceramics, you’ll find everything for a stylish home.

  • Tribünenhalle Trabrennbahn Berlin Karlshorst, Treskowallee, Karlshorst, Oct 1-3, 11:00-17:00, details.

Ballet class up close

Photo: IMAGO / SNA

Staatsoper is offering a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the everyday life of a professional ballet dancer. Find out what they do to prepare for rehearsals and performances, and how they hone their craft to make their incredible feats of strength and flexibility look effortless on stage. 

  • Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Unter den Linden 7, Mitte, starts 15:00, details.

October 2

Magic Dyke*

Photo: @natgass

The FLINTA* stripper crew Magic Dyke* is taking over Schwuz, celebrating masc stripping and dance by “queer butches, studs, Bois, mascs and genderfuckers”. See our in-depth interview with the founders here.

  • Schwuz, Rollbergstr. 26, Neukölln, 21:00-06:00, details.

October 3

Open Mosque Day

The mosque on Columbiadamm. Photo: IMAGO / Schöning

Every year, over 1, 000 mosques across Germany open their doors to the public, offering tours, panels, exhibitions, music, food and more. The theme of this year’s Open Mosque Day, ‘Scare Resources – Great Responsibility’, is all about highlighting the importance of responsibility, mindfulness and sustainability.

  • Various locations, 10:00-18:00, details.

tipBerlin Food Festival

Photo: Rob Wicks / Unsplash

With 51 years of experience reporting on the local food scene, it’s no wonder that tipBerlin knows how to throw a food festival that packs a punch. With an Italian theme this year, the week-long celebrations include exclusive dinners at Michelin restaurants and up-and-comers alike, workshops, a food market, and a show kitchen, where the best chefs and food producers in town reveal their secrets and show off their products. 

  • Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststr. 24/25. Mitte, Oct 2-8, details.

Tag der Club Kultur

What first started as a single day has since evolved into an almost week-long festival celebrating Berlin’s glorious club culture. 40 clubs and collectives across Berlin each receive a €10,000 grant which they then use to program a special event that reflects their ethos and style. Alongside the obligatory kick-ass parties you can expect exhibitions, special workshops and more.

  • Various locations, Oct 3-8, details.

October 4

DOKUARTS Film Festival

Serman De Jesus ‘The Photograph,’ 2021, film still © Memphis Features

A film festival dedicated to artistic documentary films, DOKUARTS will be showing a series of award-winning docs on art, artists, and the artistic processes in the fields of visual arts, song-writing, dance, music and architecture.

  • Kulturbrauerei, Schönhauser Allee 36, Prenzlauer Berg; BrotfabrikKino, Caligaripl. 1, Weißensee and KLICK Kino, Windscheidstr. 19, Charlottenburg, Oct 4-15, details.

October 6

Festival of Lights

Schloss Charlottenburg during the Festival of Lights. Photo: IMAGO / Olaf Schuelke

This is easily one of the most fun and accessible events in the Berlin calendar. Seeing some of the city’s most famous landmarks lit up with breathtakingly colourful projections is always joyous. The festival is entirely outdoor, public and free, and, recommend jumping on a bike to get the most out the evening’s sights.

  • Various locations, Oct 6-15, details.

October 7

12 years Gretchen

One of our favourite live music venues, Club Gretchen, is celebrating its 12th birthday! They’re spreading the birthday love by teaming up with legendary drum and bass event series Recycle. With a lineup including names like London Elektricity, Unglued and B-Complex, this is one club night not to miss.

  • Gretchen, Obentrautstr. 19-21, Kreuzberg, 23:59-07:00, details.

Inhaler

Photo: IMAGO / Cover-Images

The Irish group sky-rocketed to stardom after the release of their first album in 2021 and now play sell-out shows the world over. Come and see them in Berlin at Astra Kulturhaus for their Killers-esque brand of catchy pop.

  • Astra Kulturhaus, Revaler Str. 99, Friedrichshain, doors at 19:00, details.

Don’t you Nomi?

Photo: IMAGO / BRIGANI-ART

Director Julia Lwowski’s piece is a tribute to the exceptional artist Klaus Nomi, a visionary German countertenor who defied borders and genres with his crossover of opera, pop and New Wave. His extraordinary retro-futuristic look was a huge inspiration for David Bowie. 

  • Staatsoper, Unter den Linden 7, Mitte, Oct 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, starts 20:00, details.

October 11

Human Rights Festival

Catch award-winning international documentaries and participate in workshops, masterclasses and discussions with activists and storytellers from around the world. Under the theme ‘The Good Fight’, the festival presents work with narratives about justice, democracy and environmental protection. 

  • Various locations, Oct 11-22, details.

Nils Frahm – Music for Berlin

Photo: IMAGO / Gonzales Photo

Arguably Berlin’s most prominent contemporary musician and the foremost progenitor of the neoclassical movement, Nils Frahm live is always a special occasion. Two shows are already sold out but if you hurry you might still snag a ticket.

  • Funkhaus, Nalepastr. 18, Oberschöneweide, Oct 11-14, 20:00-22:00, details.

October 12

Hej rup! Die Tschechische Avantgarde

Photo: IMAGO / POP-EYE

From the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918 to modern Czechia, the Bröhan Museum traces the under-discussed international significance of the Czech avant-garde, which permeated Europe’s fine arts as well as graphics, photography, architecture, literature, music, film and theatre. 

  • Bröhan-Museum, Schloßstr. 1a, Charlottenburg, Oct 12 – Mar 3, details.

October 13

Podfest Berlin 2023

Photo: Podfest

Head over to Friedrichshain for a big weekend of Berlin podcasts. Enjoy live recordings, catch seminars and workshops, or just meet some of your favourite pod personalities for a chat. It’s a growing scene and Berlin already has some truly great English-language podcasts, from Ms Informed to Radio Spätkauf, the always interesting Bad Gays, left-wing politics from Corner Späti and Spaßbremse and – our very own – Megan’s Megacan. Don’t miss it!

  • Podfest Berlin 2023, October 13-15, Noisy Rooms at the House of Music, Revaler Str. 99, 10245, details

Banquet – A Search for Utopias

Photo: (c) 2023 // Nancy Jesse

With direction and music from two newcomers to the Deutsche Oper, this  show attempts to reinterpret the exclusively male ritual of banqueting in ancient Greece. Performed by members of the house’s ensemble, this is a world premiere not to miss.

  • Deutsche Oper, Bismarckstr. 35, Charlottenburg, Oct 13, 15, 18, 20, 21, starts 20:00, details.

Cirque Erotique

Dress to impress for a night of dance, aerial acrobatics and burlesque acts at Insomnia. Featuring some of the best local and international burlesque artists, it’s going to be a glitzy night to remember.

  • Insomnia, Alt-Tempelhof 17-19, Tempelhof, 19:00-04:00, details.

October 14

Patti Smith Quartet

Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

A chance to see living legend Patti Smith live here in Berlin. She’ll be performing alongside guitarist Tony Shanahan and drummer Seb Rochford for three nights at Pierre Boulez Saal in Mitte.  

  • Pierre Boulez Saal, Franz. Str. 33D, Mitte, starts 20:00, details.

October 15

Spielzeiteröffnung Fest

Photo: IMAGO / Pond5 Images

To celebrate the Komische Oper’s brand new Schiller Theater location, everyone is invited backstage at the season opening party, and what’s more, it’s free! A children’s opera premiere and musical teasers for next season’s productions awaits. 

  • Schiller Theater, Bismarckstr. 110, Charlottenburg, starts 11:00, details.

October 20

Bovary

Photo: Serghei Gherciu

Staatsballett Intendant Christian Spuck reimagines Gustave Flaubert’s 1856 novel about art’s artifice as a dance performance where fantasy and reality merge into spectacle.  

  • Deutsche Oper, Bismarckstr. 35, Charlottenburg, Oct 20, 24, 27, 30, 31 & Jan 18, 19, 21, starts 19:30, details.

Jazz in den Ministergärten 

Photo: © Landesvertretung Niedersachsen I Yorck Maecke

Representatives of seven German states invite you into their beautiful courtyards in Mitte to see jazz musicians from their respective Bundesländer.

  • In den Ministergärten, Mitte, starts 19:00, details.

October 21

10s Across the Board

An evening of extravagance awaits spectators at the Theater des Westens. Twenty eight performers will sashay down the runway in a competition for the ballroom trophy.

  • Theater des Westens, Kantstr. 12, Charlottenburg, doors at 18:30, details.

HopeMe

Photo: Nicole Pfister

Head to MaHalla for the German premiere of HopeMe. The brainchild of award-winning Swiss performance artist Anna Anderegg, HopeMe reflects on our societal notion of female beauty and self-representation in digital space.

MaHalla, Wilhelminenhofstr. 76, Oberschöneweide, Oct 21-22, 19:00, details.

October 24

Pornfilmfestival Berlin

The Pornfilmfestival always taps into the ongoing discourse around sexual morality, identities, body norms and alternative artistic approaches to the often problematic genre of pornography. 

  • Moviemento, Kottbusser Damm 22, Kreuzberg, Oct 24-29, details.

October 25

Film Restored – The Film Heritage Festival

Photo: IMAGO / agefotostock

The eighth edition of the Film Restored Festival is focusing on the theme of absence as a narrative and aesthetic device. Discover great cinema from queer and female directors that have received little recognition so far, as well as the usual discussion panels and lectures.

  • Filmhaus Berlin, Potsdamer Str. 2, Tiergarten, Oct 25-29, details.

Alex Rapp EP release

Alex Rapp. Photo: Celeste Call

Using mind-bending effects and an astute knowledge of music technology, Alex Rapp’s style of futuristic pop is unique and hypnotic. Her EP release show at Musikbrauerei is one not to miss.

  • Musikbrauerei, Greifswalder Str. 23A, Prenzlauer Berg, details.

October 27

Ostpro

Photo: IMAGO / Jan Huebner

Been hit hard by Ostalgia? More than 100 companies from the ‘new’ Bundesländer showcase and sell classic East German products, from clothes and toys to ceramics, kitchen items and furniture. 

  • Tribünenhalle Trabrennbahn Berlin Karlshorst, Treskowallee, Karlshorst, Oct 27-29, 10:00-17:00, details.

Critical Mass

Photo: IMAGO / Christian Ditsch

Join Berlin’s loudest and most joyous bike demo to reclaim roads from motorists. If you listen out you might even find the Exberliner team blasting tunes from our giant speakers.

  • The meeting point is at Mariannenplatz, Kreuzberg, 20:00, details.

October 28

TOYS Berlin XXX

Photo: Emilio Georgiou / Unsplash

Forgo the usual “techno shittery” and lose yourself in dim lights and divine sets by greats such as Avalon Emerson, Benjamin Damage and Breach. The best part about Toys’ sex-positive, queer-feminist parties is that they always support good causes, like the Berliner Kältebus.

  • ://about blank, Markgrafendamm 24C, Friedrichshain, 22:00-10:00, details.

Chicago

Chicago. Photo: Jan Windszus Photography

The Komische Oper’s new production of Chicago will be a feast for the eyes and the ears. Artistic director Barrie Kosky’s shows are always visually sumptuous and laugh-out-loud funny, so this show is sure to be a knockout. 

  • Komische Oper, Behrenstr. 55-57, Mitte, Oct 28 – Jan 27, starts 19:00, details.

Leenalchi

Photo: @Puschen

This award-winning band from Korea shows just how experimental and avant-garde K-pop can be. 

  • Gretchen, Obentrautstr. 19-21, Kreuzberg, doors at 19:30, details.