24.9-3.10: the bebel stage: 8 days of music & culture in the heart of berlin (psst: free entry 😉

by | Music

A brand new Berlin eight-day cultural event, The Bebel Stage is celebrating both the diversity and determination of Berlin’s musical, cultural and artistic community: with a huge array of musicians and artists appearing and performing over the eight days, Berlin shows that it’s back in full effect!

Berlin’s cultural scene is springing back to life.

Like gulping air greedily after swimming up from the depths, Berlin’s cultural scene is springing back to life. Springing? Okay, perhaps that’s a little optimistic, but at least hopscotching back.

On the 24th September in Berlin’s rather impressive Bebelplatz (also known as the Opernplatz), the Bebel Stage cultural event kicks off for eight joyous days of music, art and culture.

Blond will be playing at the Bebel Stage 2021 | Photo by Anja Jurleit

the Bebelplatz was where the Nazis and their Hitler Youth staged a now infamous book burning in 1933,

In case you’re historically inclined, you may remember that the Bebelplatz was where the Nazis and their Hitler Youth staged a now infamous book burning in 1933, torching some 20,000 books ranging from the library of Berlin’s Sex Institute to works by the likes of Albert Einstein and well-known German author Erich Kaestner.

So what better site to let Berlin’s culture rise phoenix-like, back from the ashes, back to life.

With a seriously impressive musical line-up including the likes of Balbina, Moka Efti Orchestra, Ätna & NDR Jazz Bigband, Alex Mayr, Brandt Brauer Frick, Blond, Sam Vance-Law and Wallis Bird,

Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe as part of the Draußenstadt (Outside City) project, the diversity of art and culture will be celebrated on Berlin’s Bebelplatz for eight days between September 24 and the Day of German Unity. The focus is on artists from Berlin and their creative reflection on the past months of the pandemic.

Balbina | Photo by DAAN DAM

And this funding also enables the city to provide this outpouring of music, art and culture for free – that’s right, no entry! Just turn up and enjoy yourself silly. A thousand visitors a day is the maximum, with a 3-G (Geimpft, Getestet, Genesen – or in English: Vaccinated, Tested, Recovered) hygiene concept (with on-site testing facilities and contact data collection) in place, to allow Berlin’s culturally starved the freedom to turn up and enjoy themselves without fear.

The Bebel Stage is not any ordinary cultural event: over the eight days, to recognise and fully embrace the incredible cultural diversity that exists in this city, each day will focus on a different art form and a different musical style.

day 1: the orchestra from babylon berlin: the moka efti orchestra

The Moka Efti Orchestra from the Babylon Berlin TV Series – photo by Joachim Gern

The Moka Efti Orchestra, the band from Tom Tykwer’s hit series Babylon Berlin, will kick things off on Sept. 24. During the pandemic, the Babylon Berlin Orchestra released its first album and realized a moving project to commemorate the liberation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Accompanying this, there will be a supporting program with other artist:s dealing with the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of the dictatorship.

day 2: the x jazz festival curates

The 25.9. will be arranged by the curators of the X Jazz Festival, whose work in the past years has contributed decisively to broadening the definition of jazz once again and to helping jazz find a new, young audience. On the Bebel Stage, X Jazz creator Daniel Best will DJ. Live acts include New Zealand native Aron Ottignon, who worked with Woodkid and Stromae among others before his solo career, and pioneers Brandt Brauer Frick, who have been working with the repetitive rhythms of techno since 2008, putting them in the context of a live band. In the evening, the documentary film about the X Jazz Festival will be shown in a world premiere.

On Sept. 29, Etna and the NDR Jazz Bigband will spotlight another new approach to jazz music. After the premiere of the project in the Elbphilharmonie as part of the Reeperbahn Festival, the 40 or so musicians:inside will play on the Bebel Stage. Afterwards, things will get classical and at the same time highly contemporary: GLEISSENDES LICHT is a musical ritual of remembrance in Buchenwald, conceived and written by the German-Turkish composer Marc Sinan. The premiere of Gleissendes Licht, which is also a media experiment, will take place as part of the Achava Festival taking place at the same time in Weimar. For the actual concert in the Weimar National Theater will be accompanied by musical interventions from Buchenwald, Jerusalem, Berlin and Jena. In Berlin, pianist Michael Wendeberg will play Mozart’s Sonata in D major “Dürnitz” KV 284, among other pieces.

there will be a predominantly female lineup on Sept. 30 to counter the status quo of lineups at events that are often far too male

Wallis Bird Foto: Jens Oellermann

The Future is female – true to this motto, there will be a predominantly female lineup on Sept. 30 to counter the status quo of lineups at events that are often far too male. Among others, Alex Mayr and Wallis Bird will be performing, and she will invite guests like Sam Vance-Law to join her on stage.

Balbina, one of the most unusual artists of our time, will perform on 1.10. With her latest album “Punkt”, the 36-year-old singer, musician, producer has now also separated herself from all restrictive business relationships, having previously left behind all conventions as an artist that could have stopped her creative spirit. She is a dazzling, elusive entity who allows herself the luxury of not persevering – gladly even at the price of briefly overwhelming her audience and fans.

On October 2, the Bebel Stage will celebrate the Day of German Unity under the motto ZUSAMMEN

On October 2, the Bebel Stage will celebrate the Day of German Unity under the motto ZUSAMMEN, together with, among others, Blond, who will perform with choir and dancers. This day should be about the similarities and not the differences, beyond national and age borders.

On 3.10. the most diverse choirs of the city will provide for a brilliant conclusion of the Bebel-Stage

On 3.10. the most diverse choirs of the city will provide for a brilliant conclusion of the Bebel-Stage. Because we can sing together again! Together with the Chorverband Berlin, the Bebel-Stage will bring people together to Sing Along. Because can there be a better way to celebrate unity and give it one or countless voices? Stars of the evening are the more than 40 singers of the Slovenian choir Perpetuum Jazzile. With a spectacular stage show and a program of hits ranging from Bee Gees to Flashdance, Swing and Bossa Nova, they are among the best-known and most entertaining acts in their country. The concert is a cooperation with the Embassy of Slovenia and the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the country’s EU Presidency.

The place

Bebelplatz: Photo by A. Savin

Bebelplatz is without question one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin and will not only provide the architectural setting and local location, but with its aura and history will also have an influence on the program design. The program in its entirety should not only entertain but provide food for thought. Respect for the monument commemorating the burning of books will be taken up with the program, which will definitely have its quiet, poetic elements.

the deets

Cultural festival on the Bebelplatz

● 09/24 Moka Efti Orchestra // Syncopation Society
● 09/25 X Jazz Night feat. Brandt, Brauer, Frick & Strings // Aron Ottignon // X Jazz Film
● 09/29 Etna & NDR Jazz Bigband // Gleissendes Licht – Ein musikalisches Ritual des Erinnerns (2021) – Piano Concert with Michael Wendeberg (including Mozart: Sonata in D major ‘Dürnitz’ KV 284)
● 09/30 Wallis Bird & Sam Vance-Law & further guests // Alex Mayr
● 10/01 Balbina
● 02.10. Blond with choir and dancers

Sponsored by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Photo of Bebelplatz from Wikipedia: Von A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) – Eigenes Werk, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73744878

Bebel Stage Website | Bebel Stage Facebook

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