Berlin Gets Its Festival On

Parties, parades, exhibits and more crowd the German capital’s calendar this year with more fun than you can shake a schnitzel at.

Berlinische GalleryAs anyone who has been there knows, Berlin loves a party…or film festival…or museum exhibition. And the great thing is that it seems every year, the list of festivals, parades, celebrations, and annual cultural highlights just seems to get bigger. Now boasting over 1,500 events daily, the German capital will be serving up an exciting event program in 2012, from museum nights and design festivals to symphonies, sports events, and outdoor fairs. Here’s the shortlist through Spring:

Berlin Long Night of Museums
January 28, 2012 / August 25, 2012
Ever seen that movie Night at the Museum? Here’s your chance to live it – without the dinosaurs  and in Berlin. The city’s popular “Long Night of Museums” features close to 100 museums, large and small, presenting established and new collections from 6 pm Saturday evenings until 2 am Sunday mornings. Music, theater, and culinary events enhance the permanent and temporary exhibitions and promise to make the nighttime museum visit a cool and memorable experience. With one ticket, you also get unlimited use of a special shuttle bus service and admission to all participating venues and events. ( Lange Nacht der Museen).

The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
February 9-19, 2012.
Any film geek worth his Criterion Collection bows down to the Berlinale. The annual Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) is not only the city’s largest cultural event, but also one of the most important dates on the international film industry’s calendar. For two weeks, art, glamour, parties and business meet here.  Last year, nearly 20,000 film professionals from 116 countries and nearly 4,000 journalists were accredited for the film festival. But with more than 300,000 tickets sold, the Berlinale is not only for film industry types. Film enthusiasts pack the house, turning this into the biggest audience of any film festival in the world. Up to 400 films, most of them international or European premieres, are shown every year as part of the Berlinale’s public program. In 2012, Mike Leigh will be the Jury President of the Berlinale.

Carnival in Berlin
February 12, 2012
Party time in Berlin! For this year’s Carnival, more than 1 million spectators and participants are expected to converge on the 11th annual Berlin Carnival Costume Parade. Giving you an idea of the quirky and playful vibe of the parade, it’s slated to start at 11:11, when an expected 3,000 participants in 100 groups, 60 floats, and numerous marching bands will make their move through the Western center of the German capital. Besides the participants, factor in the sideshow: 600,000 spectators, most of them in colorful costumes, lining the streets getting their groove on and snagging sweets.

Festival Days at the Staatsoper Berlin
March 30 – April 9, 2012
A highlight in Berlin’s classical music calendar are the Staatsoper Festival Days, which will be presented at the Schillertheater and the Philharmonie in 2012. Every year, highly acclaimed artists present two opera productions plus several symphonic works. Highlights in 2012 will include the premiere of Alban Berg’s opera “Lulu”, directed by Andrea Breth, as well as two works of Richard Wagner: “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walkure” as the first and second parts of a new production of the »Ring« cycle. (I mean, how legit will that be: Wagner in Berlin). General Music Director Daniel Barenboim will direct both operas, as well as three concerts at the Philharmonie with the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Filarmonica della Scala from Milan.

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2012
April 27-29 2012
Forty-four of Berlin’s most influential galleries open their doors to present contemporary art during the three-day Gallery Weekend Berlin. Art lovers, design fans, and curators can explore Berlin’s creative scene through numerous openings, guided tours, parties, and special events. Various galleries.

And just wait – there’s more to enjoy during the summer and fall! Check in for our next Berlin festival update!

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