A weekend lesbian and gay festival in Schöneberg

Motz street festival

A weekend lesbian and gay festival in Schöneberg

07/12/2022, 17:33

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Every year, thousands of visitors make a pilgrimage to the rainbow district for the city's lesbian and gay festival in Schöneberg.

Every year, thousands of visitors make a pilgrimage to the rainbow district for the city’s lesbian and gay festival in Schöneberg.

Picture: Carsten Koall / dpa

On July 16-17, Berlin’s queer community will once again host the popular city festival in Regenbogenkiez. The program consists of six stages.

Berlin. Already 400,000 visitors attended the second edition of the city’s lesbian and gay festival in Schöneberg. It was in 1994, recalls Gerhard Hoffmann, for years chairman of the organizational association “Regenbogenfonds der Schwulen Landlords”. Since then, thousands of visitors from all over the world have flocked to the 20,000 square meter streets around Nollendorfplatz to celebrate with Berlin’s gay and queer community. The 28th edition of the event, also known as Motzstrasse Festival, takes place on Saturday and Sunday under the slogan “Equal rights for unequal people! The whole world!”. This is the first city festival after a two-year break caused by the crown.

Hoffmann himself has been one of the iconic figures of the city festival for years, which traditionally takes place along Motzstrasse, Fuggerstrasse, Kalckreuthstrasse and Eisenacher Strasse. More than 20 years ago, the 76-year-old ran the traditional gay and lesbian bar “Anderes Ufer”, one of the first of its kind in Berlin. The restaurant is now called “Neues Ufer”. In his celebrity talk show, Hoffmann addresses the political intentions of the gay and lesbian community. This year, the focus was on the motto “Together against Violence and for Gender Justice”.

Start the conversation on Hoffmann’s “wild sofa”.

Because queer people are still exposed to violent attacks. According to Hoffmann, there will always be something like this. “Perception changes.” And this is how the city festival was established years ago. “The idea at the time was this: you need to get in touch with people who live in the area. And the best way to do that is to party, ”explains Hoffmann.

Also this time, he interviews local Berlin stars. Together with the head of the Bundeswehr’s queer interest group, Anastasia Biefang and police commissioner Sebastian Stipp, he welcomes the partner of the Jewish educational institution Lala Süsskind and the imamin and lawyer Seyran Ates to his program “Das wilde Sofa” (Saturday). from 15:30) this year.

The patron Klaus Wowereit opens the city festival on Saturday

Hoffmann likes to pamper celebrities who stand out due to their intolerant and backward behavior. “I would never have thought that Jürgen von der Lippe and Elke Heidenreich would be so stupid,” says Hoffmann, presenting his program. Both have been critical of gender language in the past.

Elisabeth Ziemer, former mayor and patron of the city of Schöneberg, and Klaus Wowereit, former mayor and patron of Berlin, will open the city’s lesbian and gay festival on Saturday from 4:25 pm. A number of cultural contributions will accompany a total of six stages on both days and the program will run until late in the evening. The “absolute highlight” at the end of the city festival is the performance of “Die Kusinen,” says Hoffmann. “Hell breaks loose.”

Tempelhof-Schöneberg flies the rainbow flag on Thursday

At Europe’s largest city’s gay and lesbian festival, many institutions, clubs and events traditionally exhibit at sales and information stands. Nearby restaurateurs offer cocktails and sparkling wine, and serve up a varied culinary offer to their guests. For Hoffmann, the fact that Regenbogenkiez has so many cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as trendy shops, is evidence of the positive development of the district. “There was nothing in the ’70s, maybe two or three hustler bars,” says Hoffmann. Today the neighborhood is very lively and thriving.

On Thursday, on the occasion of Duma Month in Berlin, representatives of the Rainbow Fund and the mayor of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Jörn Oltmann (the Greens), will raise a rainbow flag in front of the Schöneberg town hall. Raising the flag at 1:00 p.m. is to set an example of tolerance and diversity.

28th lesbian-gay city festival, Motzstraße and others in Schöneberg, July 16-17, from 11:00, program at www.stadtfest.berlin

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