How to find public events in the time of COVID-19

How to find public events in the time of COVID-19

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Summer is slowly fading to autumn, but the COVID-related cancellations of large-scale events stand firm. Throughout Germany this year, there will be no massive wine festivals or other celebrations marking the harvest. And for the first time since World War II, Munich’s Oktoberfest has been canceled. According to Clemens Baumgärtner, head of the celebrations, “the Wiesn is a total work of art that you either do completely or not at all – and this work of art cannot be moved backwards or made in a smaller form.”

While Baumgärtner is no doubt correct that there is no substitute for the one-and-only Oktoberfest, Germany’s calendar of events is not entirely devoid of entries. Many events have gone forward in an adapted form, giving artists and musicians a creative outlet and night owls and culture hounds an approximation of what they’re missing. With limited attendee numbers, social distancing and contact tracing measures in place, some shows are going on.

Seeking out events on your own

With all the big events such as wine fests and Oktoberfest-styled celebrations that fall according to the calendar off the agenda, it’s become much harder to figure out what’s happening around you. Just as event organizers have adapted, members of the public wishing to keep on top of concerts, street food fests and other happenings might want to employ the following tactics to keep tabs on what’s happening when:

Facebook is your new best friend

The new challenge for event organizers lies in attracting attendee numbers in line with venue capacities. The promotion of events through Facebook appears more popular than ever, so be sure to like and/or follow any brewery, winery, restaurant, night club, band, sports club or similar organization you patronize. By doing so, notifications concerning any events they’re organizing will likely appear in your feed. Remember it’s also possible to perform a search for events happening near you on Facebook, filtering them by date and city.


A straightforward way of limiting attendee numbers is to sell tickets to an event, so many organizers of smaller-scale outings are turning to the Eventbrite website to do so. Once there, you can search for events by city or category.

City, town and state tourism websites

Virtually every German city has its own website, and most will have a section devoted to events and free-time activities. While you should ignore just about any publication of the year’s highlight events for 2020 (they’ve surely been canceled), there’s more often than not a “veranstaltungskalender” (event calendar) giving you the possibility to manually search for events. If an event is labeled “abgesagt,” you’ll know it’s been canceled. But we live in hope, and surely there are better times to come.

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