During all these years, I learned a lot about MyFest Kreuzberg and how thing work during this lovely day. My first time there was in 2012, and I was living in Berlin for less than two months when I found my way into Kottbusser Tor and realized how many people were on the few blocks where MyFest happen. After that time, I have been there, pretty much, every year.
When I talk to the Germans and Berliners I know, they tell me stories about the 90s, when there were riots everywhere, and even Atari Teenage Riot played on a sound car. But when I speak to newcomers and to those, like me, that come from abroad, they don’t know much about MyFest. This is one of the reasons why I decided to write about this street party that I like so much.
How can you enjoy MyFest Kreuzberg in the best way possible
First things first, if you want to avoid problems finding your friends, try to get there early. If you get to Kreuzberg before noon, you will manage to watch the first concerts without any problem, and you will even have the pleasure of having the freshest food possible. Lunch at MyFest Kreuzberg is something special since there is a lot of street food vendors with dishes from all around the world. Especially, I love all the Turkish dishes that I never saw before.
Another thing that you need to remember is that, due to the number of people on the streets, there will be no mobile network for anybody. No internet and no way of calling anybody. If you must find your friends, schedule to meet up in a particular place or you will never find them. Back in 2013, we did a photography meet up there and, in less than 20 minutes, our group got separated, and we never saw the other half until the end of the party. The streets will be at its 150% capacity and everywhere is crowded. So, if you want to see your friends, set a time and a place and stick to it.
Don’t forget to arrive there with some money on your wallet or pocket. Don’t even think about taking money out of an ATM or cash machine. All the banks there will be boarded up and closed down for fears of riots. Get your money before, and everything will be alright.
If you get to MyFest Kreuzberg early, be aware of heavy drinking and how that can affect your day. There are a lot of deals of Brazilian caipirinhas and mojitos where you buy two and get three. After a few of those, the crowd will seem even bigger. Relax and enjoy the party.
Since the streets are full of people, don’t forget about your safety and your belongings. Berlin is a safe city but, during MyFest Kreuzberg, there too many people around and some of them might want to take advantage of the crowd. So, don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket, be careful with your purse and take extra care of your cell phone.
Also, you can imagine how crowded the trains are going to be for MyFest, right? So, what I can advise you to do is to walk there or, at least, walk from the nearby station on your route there. Avoid arriving from Kottbusser Tor since it will be crowded. When you are leaving, try to skip Moritz Platz and, again, Kottbusser Tor since everybody goes to these two subway stations. They will be crowded, and it will be hard for you to find your way into the trains. I did this on my first time there, and I can say that there are better ways of arriving at this great street party.
Besides the food, the drinks and all the cool people that you will meet there, the other thing I love about MyFest Kreuzberg is the music. There are stages everywhere, and they all play different types of music. From techno to Turkish music, from rap to hardcore and metal… There is a place for everyone there, and I know that you will find your place at the party. Just take a look at MyFest official website, and you will see who will be playing and where can you find them. I know that I will be in front of Coretex listening to the hardcore, punk and metal bands that always play there.
And what about the infamous Kreuzberg riots? Fotostrasse is all about people fighting for their rights, but May First riots are the reason why MyFest came to exist. Because of that, when you arrive in Kreuzberg at Labour Day, you will see more police cars than anything else. They are there to show the media that the police has the full force in Kreuzberg. They show it a little too much and, during my first year there, it felt a little bit too much. Coming from Brazil, I kept thinking about how the police behave there, and it felt too weird for me, and I left early in the evening because of the massive amount of police on the streets. It was strange to me during my first year in Berlin.
If you want to take part in the riots or just see them happening in front of you, go to the edge of MyFest Kreuzberg at dusk, and you will start seeing a lot of people dressed in black. Moritzplatz, Kottbusser Tor and near Görlitzer Park seem to be the meeting point for them. If you’re wondering about joining a protest because you read about it here, you need to do more research about it. Kreuzberg has a reason to go to the streets and protest.
MyFest Kreuzberg is the street party that opens the summer season in Berlin. It’s all about having fun, meeting friends, eating and drinking and enjoying how amazing this city can be. The picture above is from 2014, and you can see that I and Mike had a few too many beers. This year will be pretty much the same.
If you want to know what will happen during MyFest Kreuzberg, take a look at their website. You will find, pretty much, everything you need to know.