In addition to the Motzstrasse Festival in Berlin-Schöneberg and the Christopher Street Day, the LesBiSchwule Parkfest in Friedrichshain is one of the most traditional festivals for the queer community in Berlin, especially for families. In 2020 and 2021 the festival had to be canceled due to the pandemic, on August 13th it can take place again on the grounds of the open-air cinema.
“Finally!” says Christian Meyerdierks, district chairman of the Arbeiterwohlfahrt Friedrichshain (Awo), which has been organizing the festival since 2001. For many in the community, the failure also meant a “loss of tradition”, and now we are happy to be able to celebrate together again.
The park festival will begin at 3 p.m. and will be officially opened at 5 p.m. by district mayor Clara Herrmann (Greens). Meyerdierks can already say a lot about the program: “We are planning a performance by Ukrainian artists.” A DJ and the band “Joy Rhythm
“We were a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to start again because we didn’t have the starting funds,” reports Meyerdierks. The festival, which is organized by a seven-strong Awo team on a voluntary basis, is financed entirely by donations. Now one is at least confident of being able to handle the refinancing.
Compared to the CSD and the Motzstrasse festival, the lesbian and gay park festival is more of a smaller family setting, as Meyerdierks says. “It’s a festival for everyone, for free and outdoors.” The family atmosphere, which attracts a wide range of people from rainbow families with children to seniors, is underlined this year with the motto “Hello Family”.
Before the pandemic failed, the festival was attended by up to 6,000 guests, according to Awo. Nevertheless, it has retained its character as a family and neighborhood festival. You can take a seat on the picnic blankets or on the cinema chairs or dance directly in front of the stage.
Around 35 stands from clubs, parties, restaurants and initiatives will be set up around the open-air cinema to provide information about gay and lesbian life and LGBTI issues in Berlin.