Preview: Drop Dead Festival

by Guest Blogger

Sleek Magazine’s Amy Binding pulls back the curtain on Berlin’s coolest creepshow, opening on Halloween.

Drop Dead Festival 1

Forget what plans you think you might have made for Halloween, shove that college kid Scream mask to the back of the wardrobe, burn your “sexy” devil costume, and don’t even think about bobbing for those damn apples, because this year Halloween in Berlin is going to get dark. Real dark.

Drop Dead Festival 2

For the second year in a row, New York’s biggest DIY underground music and art festival returns to Berlin to make you shake your skeleton in Neukölln’s cavernous Cube club. The music ranges from new wave to post punk to industrial to grime, with heavyweights such as Pictureplane, Butterclock, Bestial Mouths, Lene Lovich, Dandi Wind, and Sad Lovers & Giants, to name just a few of the acts who will be invading your personal space throughout this year’s Drop Dead Festival.

Drop Dead Festival 4

All Hallow’s Eve marks the opening of the five day event with a special Halloween PURGE party with highlights such as Deathface and Crim3s, a live drumming installation from Einstürzende Neubauten’s very own N.U. Unruh, a haunted house from MindPirates e.V., some ritual black magick art installations, and a hell of a lot of fog.

Drop Dead Festival 5

If you are new to the world of the macabre, then perhaps these persuasive words from BlackBlackGold himself can lure your inner esoteric self to join the week-long, downright dirty (in all the good ways) party: “Lots of black. Lots of rare and interesting music. Lots of interesting haircuts.”Oh my gawd I haven’t see you in forEHHHHVVeerrr”. Vendors. Haunted houses.Multiple dance floors. Art and music installations. Broken glass. Fog. Spilled drinks. Toilets. Cab. Repeat for five days.“

I’ll see you lurking in the darkness on the 31st then…

Drop Dead Festival 3

Full event details can be found on the Drop Dead Festival website

Drop Dead Flyers

Festival of Lights in Animated GIFs

by Zoë Noble

Win tickets to see How to Dress Well at Bi Nuu

by James Glazebrook

How to Dress Well

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we’re running any open competitions] 

Stoked. We’re going to see How to Dress Well at Bi Nuu on Monday 29th October, AND we have 2 pairs of tickets to give away. That’s right, you and your boo could be grindin’ to the whitest man in R&B, while saving all your money for… I don’t know, condoms? Fun fact: Tom Krell, the man behind these ephemeral sounds, is a philosophy student who apparently studies and hangs out in Berlin from time to time. Aaaaaanyway, find out below how to win two tickets to the show, but first, peep this:


– Follow @uberlinblog on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/uberlinblog)
(If you are already following no need to unfollow and refollow)

– Tweet the message you see highlighted below once!
(There is no advantage to tweeting more than once)

Note: Twitter has changed its policy to no longer allow disabling of link shortening – so if you need to use a different link to get to this page that’s fine. As long as people end up on this page – that’s all that matters. The rest of the tweet must be identical to the one below.

Here is the tweet:

Want to win 2 tickets to see How to Dress Well in #Berlin? Find out how to enter here: http://bit.ly/VPVtjf Please RT #uberwin

You have until 6pm on Friday 26th October to enter. Get tweeting!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
2. You must be following @uberlinblog (http://www.twitter.com/uberlinblog) on Twitter.
3. You must send out the above tweet EXACTLY as it appears. A failure to do so will disqualify you.
4. We will announced the winners via Twitter on Saturday 27th October.
5. If users make lots of Twitter accounts in order to enter a contest more than once, they’re liable to get all of their accounts suspended. Anyone found using multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be ineligible.

We will keep a record of each tweet in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner. Good luck!

Music Montag: Puppetmastaz

by James Glazebrook


HIP HOP PUPPETS! Only in Berlin could these plush motherfuckers and Modeselektor collaborators make a living doing this!

The Guardian interviews überlin

by James and Zoe

One of our proudest moments was when the Guardian Travel Network chose us as one of just two Berlin sites to contribute to their website. Guardian readers loved our 5 Apps Berlin Really Needs and Zo’s photos from the miniature Berlin at Loxx, which made it onto the site’s front page. We’ve answered a few of their questions as a quick introduction to überlin, and thought even regular readers might get something out of it. For a more personal look at our life in Berlin, read the illy interview “Berlin, Expat Life and Happiness”.     

Why did you start überlin?

We started überlin to record our move from London to Berlin – in fact, I wrote our first post on the flight over! But what began as an online diary about two expats’ exploration of a new city has since grown into a celebration of all that is awesome about Berlin, and a valuable resource for people who want to follow our example and move here.

überlin up in the air

Our first post: Up in the Air

What are you most proud of about überlin?

Being able to help others who want to move to, or just visit, Berlin. When we arrived here, complete strangers lent us help, support and friendship when we needed it most, and we are now in the position to do the same for others. For example, we came up with the #dailydeutsch Twitter hashtag to share one German word a day, and now it’s buzzing with contributions from people we’ve never heard of. Even our schlechtes Deutsch is improving!

Herrchen: a Daily Deutsch classic

Herrchen: a Daily Deutsch classic

What one piece of editorial / content would you point to if you were trying to sum up überlin?

We’re going to have to pick two! “5 Apps Berlin Really Needs” is a sideways glance at the city’s much-hyped tech scene, with witty suggestions for apps like “Buskamatic”, accompanied by vivid, hilarious photos. And our contributor Liv Hambrett nailed the überlin tone with her epic list “What I Know About Germans“, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the quirks and qualities of our adopted countrymen. That post really struck a note with Germans, who shared it on blogs and even the social media profiles of national newspapers.

Angry Berliners: one of Five Apps Berlin Really Needs

Angry Berliners: one of Five Apps Berlin Really Needs

What’s next for überlin?

First, we’re refreshing the design of überlin. We plan to keep the clean, minimal aesthetic that our readers love, but make it easier for them to find the content they want, whether it’s about music, fashion, food and drink or expat life. We also have loads of plans to take überlin offline, and create books, merchandise and other “experiences”, but you’re just going to have to follow us to find out more!

What's next for überlin?

What’s next for überlin? Follow us on Facebook to find out!

This interview originally appeared on Guardian Select.

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 1

Recently, C/O Berlin invited us to a private blogger tour of their current exhibition, Timeless beauty: 100 years of fashion photography from Man Ray to Mario Testino. We saw stunning work by Helmut Newton, David Bailey and even Diane Arbus, got the chance to reconnect with Chasing Heartbeats, The Field Office (see their post here), Grateful Grapefruit, Berlin Reified and meet for the first time the guys behind Finding Berlin (their post here) and Jenni Fuchs (see her review of the exhibition here and her behind the scenes photos here).

But the highlight of the tour was the rare opportunity of seeing behind the scenes of the photographic centre, as we were led by a curator up some back stairs to the top of the former Postfuhramt. Told to stick together, because some of the floor might be unsafe (!), we were shown the space between the domed roof and the cupola that formed the ceiling of the post office, and evidence that some conscientious soul had attempted to document the building’s original appearance (with small notecards placed in each space). While we won’t get the chance to see that again, we’ll definitely be back to enjoy C/O Berlin’s programme of “visual dialogue” – so big thanks to Hie-suk and the team!

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 2

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 4

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 5

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 3

Behind the Scenes at C/O Berlin 7

Tweeting for Germany: What I Learned

by James Glazebrook

If you noticed that our Twitter feed was quiet(ish) last week, that’s because I was tweeting for I am Germany instead. I am Germany is a rotation curation project, which allows anyone who applies (and is approved) to offer their unique take on the country they call home, for one week. Just like @sweden, but with less Nazi chat. Here’s my takeover page, designed to showcase both Zoë’s stunning photography and my big ol’ beard:
I am Germany Twitter page

Nice huh (the beard)? Anyway, here’s what the experience taught me:

1. I love “meeting” new people
That’s why I fell in love with social media in the first place. Because not only are networks like Twitter a great shortcut to finding people with similar interests, no matter where in the world they are, but also because you end up speaking to people with different beliefs, ideas and perspectives. My new followers welcomed me to the rotation, asked me a couple of polite questions, then immediately started grilling me about the “expat backlash” debate that’s engulfed our deceptively silly “You Know You’re A Berliner When…” post.

2. I missed my Tweeps
Even though I kept my eye on the @uberlinblog timeline, I felt myself torn between two communities: one that I’d built up from scratch, including friends and family, and people I’m nearly as close to but have never met in real life, to one populated by complete strangers. I feel like I missed out on a lot of content, conversations and chuckles by not being “always on” …it was pure luck that I was watching when @iamkosmonaut tweeted the riveting story of his family’s experience of the reunification of Germany:

3. People need reasons to follow, share and reply
People like puppies and people love Olive, but people REALLY loved it when I took her for a walk on Tempelhofer Park. It seems simple, but a few smartphone photos showcased a uniquely Berlin space, whose very existence speaks volumes about the city.
Tempelhof on I am Germany

But the best thing I did was go on a Context Travel tour of Berlin (full review to follow), which gave me another excuse to post photos of historical sites, as well as passing off the guide’s expertise as my own ???? Just as the tour showed me things I’d previously overlooked, live-tweeting it allowed me to share my discoveries with a new audience.
White crosses on I am Germany

4. I’m really good at Twitter!
Never mind #FollowFridays, I was getting Follow Monday and Tuesdays! At the risk of sounding arrogant (too late?), it’s only because I kept the above rule in mind that (most) people seemed to like me. Seven days isn’t long to establish who you are, strike the right tone and fight fires when you don’t (see below) – so you need to know what you’re doing, and dedicate enough time to do it right.

5. Outside of Berlin, *trying* to communicate in German doesn’t count for shit
Almost every time I tried to tweet in German, someone would correct me. I’m not complaining (I am), because I know that I need constant correction if my Deutsch is ever going to improve. But after a while I started to feel like German speakers in Berlin have been humouring me, like on 30 Rock when Jon Hamm plays a doctor so handsome that no one dares tell him he’s terrible at everything (including the Heimlich Manoeuvre). Ignore the fact that I just compared myself to Jon Hamm and consider the possibility that your German is nowhere near as good as you think, but no one’s bothering to tell you.

In my case, this results in stupid shit like this:
LOLs on I am Germany2

Minutes later…
LOLs on I am Germany3

6. Some people can’t take a joke
If you follow @uberlinblog, you’re probably used to me saying things I don’t really mean in order to get a laugh. Or, “joking”. I think Twitter would be a boring space without funny people saying funny things, but last week reminded me that some have signed up for other, more factual, reasons – and that not all of them share my sense of humour.

This didn’t go down well:
I am Germany 2




Bizarrely, it wasn’t my crass insensitivity (on the eve of German Unity Day) that offended, but my use of the word “own”. Two people pulled me up on this semantic issue: “I think both parties would quarrel with the notion of “own” on that!”More occupied than “owned”. Owned is a horrible imperialistic concept. Know you were joking, but words matter.”

Those guys may have been humourless, but at least they were right. Unlike the chode who objected to this:
LOLs on I am Germany

After being accused of providing a “piss poor representation of Germany” by someone who felt “it might be no harm if you gained a bit of a broader perspective on Berlin cuisine”, one kind soul rushed to my aid, pointing out the Food & Drink section of this blog, which has already led her to a “superb dinner” at Pantry. 

7. Some people take “I am Germany” literally
At times it was surreal talking about being an expat in Berlin, learning the language and trying to integrate, while at the same time being criticised for not speaking, or being, German. When this all came to a head, with the suggestion that native English speakers are over-represented on @I_amGermany, organiser @katbitemusic dispelled this notion…
katbitemusic on I am Germany2
…but she shouldn’t have had to. The whole point of I am Germany is that “a single voice cannot represent a country”; I’d go further and argue that no collection of individual voices, no matter how numerous, can represent a whole country. Rotation curation shouldn’t be subject to quotas or any selection criteria other than each applicant’s merits as a tweeter. And each new voice should challenge, rather than conform to, followers’ perceptions of a particular country, region, city or group of the population.

For a quick overview of rotation curation, check out this chronology on the Rotation Curation blog. Oh, and follow me and Zoë on Twitter: @uberlinblog.