By accident I’ve got to stay in Berlin for an entire month of October and it turned out to be a very event rich period.
It’s (almost) a usual Saturday evening here when you have to choose from 7 shows:
I don’t know how people manage to survive here when so many things are happening all the time. Sometimes you really need to plan ahead and sacrifice some gigs. People who live here say you get used to it, PLUS you know that if you miss someone this time — you will see them soon within a year.
To me, it seems Berlin is the place to be for a fan of stoner and psychedelic rock — right time, right place. And I even didn’t dive into electronic music scene!
So what is the show scene here like?
Zukunft and Headz Up
Well, firstly, there’s a series of events called Headz Up. I discovered it when I first came here in 2017. Lots and lots of shows with smaller bands and some gigs with bigger bands.
This October it was a full blown Headz Up Fest. Three days of psychedelic fuzz! Naxatras, Electric Moon, Farflung, The Re-Stoned among others. The venues are almost standard here. Most of the stuff happens in Zukunft am Ostkreuz. Zukunft means “future”. And so people go into a future to have fun. It’s a bar, a small movie theater, a bigger main stage and a smaller basement stage. Lots of people, lots of languages and lots of green leaf haze. To me it feels to be a mekka of stoner and psych heads here.
Some of the events also happen in Cassiopeia. This venue is located in a venue rich corner near Warschauer strasse U-Bahn and S-Bahn station on the border of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg districts. It’s tricky to find it as it is located among a dozen of other bars, food courts and other live venues in the area. Just like Zukunft, it has an open air bar, a bar and the venue itself. I found it to be more mainstream and less crowded (in a bad kind of way) then Zukunft. Latter one is a 7 days a week bar for like-minded people and Cassiopeia has a very wide variety of events taking place. One day there’s psych-fuzz band, the next day a hip-hop event and after it a rave!
You didn’t visit Berlin properly if you didn’t go to SO36. Its event rooster also has a wide gamut of music and I was lucky to enjoy Elder on stage. I can’t say much about it — sound was okay, bar was accessible and one can only imagine who had sex in those toilets over the period of existence of this place.
Weekend after Headz Up Fest Setalight festival took place nowhere else than… surprise… Zukunft am Ostkreuz. As I understood — it was not a first edition and this one brought such bands as Weedpecker, The Great Machine, Sasquatch and Beehoover. Being there felt like being home — familiar faces, new friends I made a week ago, affordable beer.
As if it is not enough — there are at least four other venues I visited. Toast Hawaii, Festsaal Kreuzberg, Urban Spree and Duncker Club. First one is a really cool, From Dusk Till Down, wild west style bar. Second one is a serious venue for bigger shows. Third one is an art galleriy during the day, a garden with a bonfire and concert venue at night located at the same party area near Warschauer strasse. Forth one is a nicely decorated bar with a small stage. Not visited this time, but right between Urban Spree and Cassiopeia is Astra Kulturhaus where I saw My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze in 2017.
So here you go — if you plan to visit Berlin you now have a list of venues to check out for events!
And here are the Headz Up suggestions for November: