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  • Midsummer magic: Party in the streets at Fête de la Musique 2023

Street party

Midsummer magic: Party in the streets at Fête de la Musique 2023

Every year on June 21, Berlin celebrates the longest day of the year with a massive street party. This is Fête de la Musique.

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

Berlin’s biggest outdoor festival is back. Every year, the whole city marks the longest day of the year with manic solstice celebrations as buskers and musicians take to the streets. This year, the Fête’s Partnerbezirk is Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, but as usual, the party happens all across town. Here are 7 reasons why you have no excuse to miss out on Fête de la Musique.

1. Free, inclusive, accessible

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

Fête de la Musique doesn’t cost you a cent. From 9am to 10pm, there are countless gigs all across the city, providing everyone with the opportunity to catch at least one performance, whether they go to school, work the hospital day shift or don’t work at all. Even better, the Fête is able to function without fancy-shmancy stage set ups, big headliners and pyrotechnics. Instead, it focuses on what’s essential: the music. 

Anyone who can play an instrument can perform, and everyone who has legs or wheels can come enjoy the show, while Berliner cult institutions, Spätis, public squares, courtyards and parks transform into the festival’s makeshift stages. 

2. Music across all genres

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

Probably the best reason, this is a real chance to take a deep dive into what Berlin has to offer in terms of musical talent, across all genres. The Fête’s website alone counts 22 main genres to choose from, one of them being ‘other’, which gives you an idea as to how vast the range actually is. 

Classic and Jazz, Hip Hop and R’n’B, Rock and Reggae, Indie and Techno, there is something for everybody. 

3. Discover the city

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

The street festival stretches to the most remote corners of Berlin, the ones you don’t even end up in when you fall asleep on the S-Bahn. If you happen to live in Spandau, you can participate without having to embark on the usual 45-minute journey. 

This also means that inner-ring-dwellers have the opportunity to leave their comfort zone and head out into the lush greenery. Dare to spend an afternoon at Müggelsee and forgo the big-city action? But even if you don’t want to venture that far you can still do some gig-hopping across the city. The point is that you can – and should – leave your Kiez for once!

4. Family-friendly 

Don’t fret, this doesn’t mean that Fête de la Musique is overrun by children and their parents. In fact, it is exactly the right amount of family-friendly, for two reasons. While the fest offers a multitude of events specifically aimed at children, those who need to won’t struggle to avoid them. 

With over 450 gigs and concerts, you certainly won’t be hard-pressed to find exactly the right event just for you, and, if needed, pick the ones no family would ever go to. If you’re a bit more open-minded, why not try some of the kids’ shows? We’re not suggesting you join the singing circle for newborns, but the youngsters from the children’s punk choir are cooler than many grown-ups can ever hope to be.

5. It’s open ended 

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

Wait, what? Doesn’t the Fête end at 10pm? Well, not for those who know where to turn. Some 30 clubs, bars and cafés actually continue into the night as Fête de la Nuit. Among them are Yaam, Gretchen, Tresor, Ritter Butzke, Burg Schnabel and Old CCCP bar. 

So if you can’t join the party sooner or just can’t get enough, the Fête has thought of you, too. 

6. Outside and everywhere

Press photo FeteDeLaMusique 2023 – Ⓒ Jim Kroft

Let’s be real for a moment. There is no avoiding the Fête. It’s on every corner, in every park, under every bridge, at every U-Bahn station of the city, lurking and ready to attack with trumpets and bongos when you least expect it. Unless you’re planning to barricade yourself inside or walk the streets with noise-cancelling headphones, you might as well embrace it. 

7. Last but certainly not least: an excuse to pull a sickie

The Fête falls on a Wednesday this year, which means that if you’ve planned to make it a full-day bender, you’re more than likely not to be able to – granted you have a job or other responsibility. Don’t tell your boss, but this provides you with a wonderful excuse to call in sick at work if you weren’t clever enough to take the day off in advance. (If you’ve only just arrived in Berlin, we’re willing to cut you some slack). 

Just don’t let any of your coworkers see you. And, if you bump into your boss in the crowd… Well, good luck!