If you can imagine a week-long celebration of music with a dozen or more festivals all happening simultaneously in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you can appreciate the grand vision of the organizers of this year’s Berlin Music Week. This year’s event was the 4th annual Music Week, and it appears to grow larger every year. This year there were country, hip-hop, folk, rock, and electronic musicians performing virtually side by side. One music-industry executive even praised a young singer by saying his style was “unquantifiable,” defying categorization. Pop quiz: what iconic songwriter (and which of his songs) are the organizers referencing by naming the segment devoted to discovering new independent talent “First We Take Berlin?”
This festival is only one example of Berlin’s citywide devotion to building a culture of authentic creativity. There are also Art Week, two light festivals, and too many “film weeks” to count. You can’t get to Music Fest 2013 (because it’s over), but you can get to Berlin this summer with an International Programs group. Once you see the city firsthand, you might find yourself booking a trip back here for Music Fest 2014. It already has its own app.