Preview: Manic Panic

Photo via Manic Panic Website
You know it's full-on summertime in Berlin when every weekend is suddenly exploding at the seams with hotly-anticipated events.  Even if you're picky (like yours truly) you may feel the need to create a few clones of yourself in order to keep up with it all! But there's no need to get burned as you pursue the heat of the action: just read our shortlist to find the hottest places to go manic or fight the summertime panic in the coming weeks.

Why is it manic?  Well it's the largest gay pride march in Europe, and it's happening in one of its most liberal cities, so Berlin CSD is massive, mad and saucy fun. And this year's motto ('Thanks for Nothing') is sufficiently tough and timely to appeal to our surly alter egos, too.

Tresor's 25th birthday party - Friday July 22 to Monday July 2

This will be a marathon of mania, as nearly every technohead's favourite DJ will play over a 4-day stretchThe final blowout will carry from Saturday night right through till Monday morning.  
Highlights to include Bill Youngman, Surgeon, James Ruskin, Ellen Allien, Tanith and many many (many) more. 

Kreuzberg Unter Kontrolle Neighbourhood Walk - Saturday July 23rd
15.00 at Kottbusser Tor
17.00 at Gorlitzer Park

This is the place fight the panic that's been instilled by Berlin authorities about safety levels in Kreuzberg, recently.  Like Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg is one of the few havens of autonomous living that has managed to survive Berlin's aggressive rent raises and gimmicky tourist trades. But can it survive 'gentrification by police'?
Recently, Kreuzberg's Gorlitzer Park and Kottbusser Tor districts have been labelled as 'danger zones', granting authorities in the area to take heavy handed action against the locals, seemingly without any rhyme, reason or legal justification.   Friedrichshain's Rigaer Strasse is living under the same sort of coolness curfew, as has been described previously on this blog

Maybe it's just a coincidence that each of these 'danger zones'  is also a haven for direct action, street parties, open airs and cheap venues... but it would be a hell of a big one.  Of all the 'danger zones' Kotbusser Tor alone can be quite sketchy for outsiders.  Even then, the current eagerness by authorities to crack down on Kreuzberg seems to be more about sustaining the rise in local housing pricesBerlin is drawing many speculative vultures from London, Paris and New York these days, presumably because they have run out of freewheeling subcultures to cannibalize abroad, and the authorities here are welcoming them with open arms.  

The current trend for labeling certain areas as 'danger zones' seems to be more about enforcing conservative values and norms on them than it is about saving residents from any real threat. 

So it is that this Saturday, a group of activists is organizing two friendly tours of the Gorli Park and Kottbusser Tor danger zones.  They'll be ending the march with a mixer where residents can get to know each other better... and to hatch nefarious schemes for perverting Kreuzberg's good name further, no doubt! We can only hope.

Freedom Not Frontex - Saturday July 23rd

The hysteria over refugees in Europe has reached such absurd levels that frankly, it seems like sustaining it for much longer will be more taxing than dealing with the actual asylum cases would be. And all this despite the fact that Western nations handle an un-staggering 9% of global asylum cases.  So what are we even complaining about? 

Get a grip, and a refreshing break from white Christian paranoia, at this benefit party.  Its organizers aim to raise funds for 150 refugees who have walked across whole swathes of Europe to demand the right to shelter from war and persecution. 

The music will be everything from punk and reggae to dn'b, psytrance to hardtek, probably playing for as long as you can keep dancing. Starts at 8:00 p.m. @ The Drugstore,
Potsdamer Strasse 180, 10783 Berlin
Donation entry.

Krake Festival - Wednesday July 27th to Sunday July 31st
Foto via Krake Festival
Krake is the most manic innercity music festy in Berlin, probably in no small part due to the fact that it's run by Berlin's beloved techno weirdos, Killekill. On Saturday you can party with them all day and night at Griessemuehle, one of the up-and-coming-est techno venues in the city.  

Go there and you'll Kille-kill a couple of rare nighthawks with a rock of something that you smuggled in there in your shoes.

Zug Der Liebe - Saturday July 30th

Foto via Zug Der Liebe's official website

Zug Der Liebe may be the smarter kid sister of the Love Parade, but she's still manic.  She's the one who watched her older brother grow up and sell out, and vowed never to make the same mistakes that he did.  Yet she has the same genetic traits -  a rebellious spirit and an open heart - that made her older brother such a hit.  
What kind of new path will she lay down for the Berlin street party scene to follow next?  Join the dance to find out...
Starts 2 p.m. on Karl-Marx Allee nr. Alexanderplatz S-Bahn

Berlin Nazifrei Demo - Saturday July 30th

Foto via Berlin Nazi Frei's Facebook page

Neo-nazis and nationalists are causing a bit of a panic these days in Berlin.  They're going through a revival that, while small by European standards, has still managed to pull fairly sizeable crowds to a series of demos against all things liberal and Berlinisch, right here in the nation's unwitting capital.  Gathering under the heading of 'Merkel Muss Weg' (Merkel Must Go), these right wing demos feature frantic flag-waving and embittered theories about a liberal conspiracy to destroy family values.  Basically, your typical backlash bullsh*t.  

But Berlin Nazifrei isn't taking any of this lying down.  They're planning a huge counter-protest on July 30th, which is the date of the next 'Merkel Muss Weg' demo. Better still, they've joined forces with the Zug Der Liebe parade which means that the already massive street party seems set to turn into a supersized political party on July 30th.  That, along with unity, equality and peace, is just what's needed in these fractious times. 
Berlin Nazifrei meets at the same time and place as Zug Der Liebe (see above).

Yo Sissy Festival - Friday July 29th to Saturday July 30th

Berlin's first queer music festival is both right on time and well overdue, seeing as the veneer of tolerance towards anything outside of the 'status quo' is starting to slip worldwide.  Queer artists are usually so seamlessly entwined with this city's creative fabric, just as they are with every other aspect of life, that they're almost unseen.  At the inaugural Yo Sissy! festival they will stand up and be counted... and applauded by all their peers. 


So now that you're all warmed up for the summer, all that's left to do is to stock up on an appropriate source of energy.  But whatever you do, avoid the currywurst flavoured red bull (yes, it is a real thing).

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.