Radio Spaetkauf Berlin



Radio Spaetkauf is Berlin's English-language podcast, keeping international residents informed about local politics, public transport, urban development, culture, bicycles and bars.The podcast is recorded live each month, and is presented by a rotating cast of hosts including Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern. Radio Spaetkauf has been on air since 2012.Got some feedback about our show? Want to get involved in the production? Drop us an e-mail:, or Tweet @radiospaetkauf


  • RS Lockdown: Involuntary Rehab

    10/05/2020 Duration: 01h04min

    Berlin is days away from the great restart.Restaurants, pools, hotels and kitas will soon open again under new rules. But there’s no return in sight for the things some people liked about Berlin the most - drinking, smoking, partying and then recovering in cinemas. What will Berlin look like after this involuntary rehab? The Club Commission is requesting that clubs and bars be allowed to operate open air areas until midnight, with guests wearing masks. Clubs want to use public spaces, such as parks and squares. No luck so far. Pools are due to reopen from May 25, but it's unclear how they'll cap numbers. Are we heading for a world of online registrations, timed tickets and digital queues? Where will that leave people without internet access and skills? The mask requirements are being expanded to more public spaces, but still without penalties. Compliance has been patchy, and seems to be decreasing. How is your rage factor at seeing unmasked rebels?

  • RS Lockdown: Masked Vigilantes

    25/04/2020 Duration: 01h07min

    Berlin is emerging from its lockdown hibernation. Shops are open again, but some of us have lost the will to consume. Restaurants are still closed. They're bearing the cost of the government's strategy of transmitting a message of abnormality. Joel says restaurateurs should be compensated for lost profits, not just costs.  Simple masks will be obligatory on public transport from Monday. But the BVG says it can’t enforce the rule and is worried about vigilantism. Maisie gives a review of your face-covering options. Trying to evade the lockdown? Jöran’s got some advice for you:  "People who are circumventing the rules, trying to make everything normal - you're missing out on the chance of a lifetime to experience quarantine. You'll look back and say - 'I didn't really live through that." This episode was presented by Daniel Stern, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy. Support us with a donation!  

  • RS Lockdown: Stop Snitching

    12/04/2020 Duration: 48min

    Berlin police ask snitches not to block the emergency hotline 110 with coronavirus kontaktverbot reports. They'd prefer to use drones to control people. New fines are in place: it could cost you €10 if you leave the house without a reason (or a creative response). The Financial Times reports on illegal 'raves' in Berlin costing €100 a head. We can't prove they didn't happen, but the story smells like a fabrication to us. Let us know if you went to one of these top-secret warehouse raves. E-scooters have almost disappeared from Berlin's streets. Only one company with 700 e-scooters remains active: at the peak, there were five companies with 15,000 scooters. Many shared bike companies are also withdrawing. One is just rebranding - Lidl Bike will revert to the name Call-A-Bike. The €5000 Soforthilfe coronavirus grants have gone out to freelancers, but some are worried they could be prosecuted for wrongly receiving the cash. The rules changed half-way through the process. Recipients will soon get an e-mail asking

  • RS Lockdown: Park Police

    28/03/2020 Duration: 54min

    Put that picnic blanket away, and don’t dare drink a beer in the park. Berlin's signature freedoms are being restricted. How far is too far? Should you cancel your gym membership, or keep paying to help businesses survive? And Tegel Airport may soon fall victim to the virus crisis. Berlin police are busy patrolling parks and shutting down candlelit dinners in 'spreadeasies.' We debate the morality of flouting the rules for a bit of fun. Are you tech-savvy and want to help build community solutions for the crisis? Dan interviews Victoria Boeck from Hack The Crisis. You can sign up or suggest a solution here: Berlin freelancers and small business owners suffering financially can now apply for various grants and loans. Here's where you apply for the Corona Zuschuss: Here's how you apply for ALG 2 (Hartz IV): Schreiben

  • RS Mini: Time Capsule

    26/03/2020 Duration: 18min

    This mini episode of Radio Spaetkauf features an interview with Chad Matheny aka Emperor X of Neukölln music venue Donau115. A few Berlin news updates with Daniel Stern: Berlin is quiet as new restrictions limit gatherings and movement. Districts are offering financial support to residents who are helping their neighbors. Schools and daycares remain closed but some workers are entitled to childcare. Connect to Donau115 at Find Chad’s music at More Radio Spaetkauf is available at

  • RS Lockdown: Streaming Fomo

    23/03/2020 Duration: 46min

    How are we going to survive this month of Sundays? Berlin freelancers are being promised €5000 cash, but who can get it and how? Rent payments could be delayed so we can stay in our flats and keep our shops. And… what good changes have come from our time under lockdown? Keen to maintain their distance from one another, Radio Spaetkauf's Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern- in Berlin- and Maisie Hitchcock - in the UK- linked up remotely using the wonders of modern technology. The lockdown has expanded: restaurants and cafes can no longer open their doors, but supermarkets can, even on Sundays. Although they don't actually seem to want to. More radically, Spätkaufs have finally received legal permission to open on Sundays! Sick of staying indoors? You might have to get used to it. Gatherings of more than 2 people are now forbidden, as is going out in more than twos, unless you're a family. But Berlin's Mayor Michael Müller doesn't want to bring in a total lockdown. His coalition partners the Greens and Die

  • RS Lockdown: Clean Your Windows

    16/03/2020 Duration: 58min

    "The time for partying is over," Berlin's health senator Dilek Kalayci said, announcing the shut down of the city. Berlin's government has enacted the widest restriction of liberties since the war as it struggles to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. Hosts Daniel Stern, Joel Dullroy and Jöran Mandik record an unscheduled episode in an empty room. Our correspondent in Maisie Hitchcock joins us via Skype to tell us about pre-lockdown England. Noah Telson from the Comedy Cafe Berlin tells us about shutting down his business for a month. What's life like in quarantine in Berlin? We talk via Skype with comedian Ben Maclean. Worried about your health? Call the Berlin Corona Hotline: 030 90 28 28 28. Don't go out seeking a test. Like the show? Support us with a donation!

  • Rent Freeze #2: Magic Words

    02/03/2020 Duration: 26min

    Berlin's rent freeze has begun, but nobody seems to know what's going on. Landlords and tenants alike are confused about what to do next. Rents are now capped at the rate paid in June 2019 - all increases since then are invalid. New contracts can't exceed about €9.80 a square meter - half as much as many advertised prices. And landlords face fines of half a million euros for cheating. On this episode we go inside Berlin's parliament to hear the moment the rent freeze law was passed. Supporters and opponents gave fiery speeches in a rowdy session, which ended with politicians voting to suspend the free market for rental property for five years. We hear what landlords think about the new law. Some are devising ways to cheat - by renting to ignorant foreigners: "Those who screw their landlords are old Germans." Despite the threat of huge fines, some don't think the city has the resources to prosecute them. And what should tenants do if they hope for a rent decrease? Lawyer Daniel Halmer from say

  • RS Live: Library Darkroom Secrets

    24/02/2020 Duration: 55min

    Berlin’s favourite free coworking space also has books. We meet Juliana Pranke from the ZLB, Berlin's central library. She tells us the secrets of the Bibliothek: You can borrow art to hang on your wall, digitize vinyl and stream films online. Why don't you have a library card already?! The revolutionary Mietendeckel has started. It applies to all tenants, even subletters in WGs. Find out more on our spin-off podcast Rent Freeze. The next episode is landing soon. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller says he'll quit before the next election. Joel reviews his political flops: the Tempelhofer Feld building plan, the Olympic Games bid and his opposition to the rent freeze. It's Berlinale time, but there's another important film festival coming up: Berlin Feminist Film Week. We meet founder Karin Fornander, who says we should stop giving the Academy Awards attention: it's decided by a jury of mostly old white men. In the wake of the terrible Hanau racist attack, Dan Stern gives an emotional acknowledgement that our show do

  • Rent Freeze 1: The Experiment

    28/01/2020 Duration: 18min

    What happens when an entire city of 3.5 million residents stops paying rent increases for the next five years? Welcome to Rent Freeze, a podcast about Berlin’s rental revolution. Berlin is about to introduce the Mietendeckel, a law that will freeze rents for five years, cap new rental contracts at a maximum price, and allow some tenants to claim a rent reduction. Supporters say it will be the best thing to happen to the city since the fall of the Wall But investors and landlords are outraged. They say the reforms will scare off businesses, leave houses unbuilt and in disrepair, and feed a grey market for off-the-books rental as desperate Berliners try to find a flat. On this episode we explain the basics of the law, and talk to Daniel Halmer of about why the existing rent controls haven't worked. Produced and presented by Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern. Rent Freeze is a production of Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins. More at

  • RS Live: Everything Is Closing

    27/01/2020 Duration: 49min

    Some of Berlin's most infamous nightclubs are closing as investors cash in on their properties. Grießmühle is almost gone, and KitKatClub may be forced out by the summer. What's different about this round of club closures? And what could the city do to save its culture? In Berlin's monocultural housing estates, some kids never meet people of other religions. Shalom Rollberg changes that by offering after-school activities, taught by Jewish volunteers. We meet founder Yonatan Weizman. He says the program should be expanded from Muslim to German neighbourhoods to fully tackle antisemitism. You can help out here: Konrad Werner joins us to talk about racist street names in Berlin. Konrad is the co-host of Megan's Megacan, a weekly show about German news: Anyone else annoyed by bad English grammar on advertising? Companies spend thousands on billboard ads that seem to be computer translated. We critique the latest offensiv

  • RS Xmas Market Special

    18/12/2019 Duration: 38min

    Maisie, Dan and Joel meet at Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market to catch up on the news. Berlin's advertising boards are full of complaints by companies against the city government. Airbnb is demanding that bureaucracy more efficiently approve its hosts' applications. Do they expect citizens to care? The revolutionary rent freeze law has been passed, meaning our rents can't be increased for the next five years. Investors continue to buy up property. The SPD's new leftish national leadership wants to copy Berlin's law in other German cities. Pedestrian deaths are up a lot this year: 23 people have died so far after being hit by cars - a 60% increase. The local Green party has made it one of its policies to phase cars out of the inner city. Friedrichstrasse will go car-free for three months next summer. Berlin finally starting to control the fireworks madness on New Year's Eve. Want some peace and quiet this Silvester? Go to Alexanderplatz, which is one of only two places where fireworks have been officially banne

  • RS Live: Shared Spaces

    22/11/2019 Duration: 54min

    On this month’s Radio Spätkauf: Segregation in Berlin’s public schools, an artist and curator reinvents the Berlin‘s S-Bahn‘s disused spaces. And what is the Night of Solidarity & why should we take part in it?  Courtney O'Connell has been working with children, youth, and their families in emergency shelters and temporary accommodations for people seeking asylum in Berlin since 2015. She talks to us about how Berlin‘s public school’s two-tier eduction system is proving a big stumbling block to integration. In September, the Berlin Senate launched new guidelines for tackling the city’s increasing homelessness problem, which included plans to hold a census of the city‘s destitute. „Die Nacht der Solidarität“ will take place on 29th January 2020. Sophia Berndt, a student at Alice Salomon university and volunteer working with the homeless, told us more about it. If you want to volunteer, register here: As Berlin’s urban fabric changes and affordable spaces for ma

  • RS Live: Benches, Bees & Berlin Pinball

    22/10/2019 Duration: 49min

    Have you ever wished you could rest your rear on a comfy spot, but there isn’t a seat anywhere in sight? Or do you sometimes want to perch on a bench in a picturesque location, but the overflowing dustbin next to it is a bit off putting? Well now help is at hand. We speak to two creatives who are behind a pretty unusual Guerilla urbanism project: Benching Berlin. The two anonymous founders build public benches out of waste wood, then place them around town (chained up, so the authorities don't take them away).   On our last episode we gave you an update on the proposed rent freeze - the idea of a five year rent cap in Berlin, that was first floated in June this year. Now finally the coalition parties of Berlin's government have come to an agreement! We tell you what they've decided.   Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem. And they're threatened by extinction. We speak to Christian Vogel of the Neukölln Beekeeper Association to help us help the bees and to

  • RS Live: Two Wheels Good, One Wheel Bad

    10/09/2019 Duration: 55min

    Bicycle riders working for Deliveroo have gone from being precariously employed to unemployed. We meet some of the former Deliveroo riders who have started their own food delivery company. Christoph and Stefano founded Kolyma2, and are ready to take your order: The rent freeze is coming. More details keep leaking out from the city government office that is preparing this radical policy. Rents are to be capped at prices ranging from around €4m2 to €9m2, depending on the building age. New rental contracts can't be above those rates, and some tenants can apply to have their rent lowered. Read more about this revolutionary concept at Some Berlin bicycle riders behave as if the road rules don’t apply to them. Others don’t know the road rules at all. For our new Berlin Basics segment, we talk to Nikolas Linck from the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club, the German Bicycle Club. Your flashing bike light is both illegal

  • RS Live at Lakeside Film Festival 2019

    12/08/2019 Duration: 49min

    We're out in the woods for Mobile Kino's annual camping trip. The Lakeside Film Festival is in its sixth year, and this was the biggest so far. We interview founders Joshua and Fernando about their recent scare with Facebook's business-killing algorithm. How will Berlin's five-year rent cap affect you? If you got a rent increase notice before June 18, you may have to pay it. But the rental experts at say at least 50% of rent increase notices have technical errors that make them invalid. Check with them first before you sign anything - it could save you cash for years to come. What could happen to Berlin under a strict rent cap? Investors may flee - or be incentivised to build new flats, which are exempt from the rent cap. Landlords may stop maintaining their buildings - but renters can undertake the maintenance themselves and deduct the costs from their rent. Joel says the biggest thing to fear under a rent cap is ourselves. Tenants will be tempted to sublease at higher rates. Berlin's renters

  • Claim of Thrones

    27/07/2019 Duration: 05min

    Berlin now has 750 millionaire residents - twice as many as in 2016, according to the Finanzamt. The majority live in the city's west. More live in Kreuzberg than Prenzlauer Berg. Strangely, the Finanzamt defines a millionaire as someone with over €500,000 in income and assets - a hang-over from the Deutschmark days, as DMs are worth half as much as Euros. The former German royal family wants its castles back. The remaining Hohenzollerns are relatives of the Nazi-supporting Kaiser Wilhelm II, who abdicated in 1918. His descendants are trying to claim compensation from the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, including artworks from museums, and Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, where they want to live rent-free. Berlin has introduced a rent freeze. All rents will be capped at their current level for five years, backdated to mid June. Landlords who breach the cap face huge fines. The city is now also talking about introducing rent controls for commercial properties to protect shopkeepers.  Electric scooters have be

  • Seize that Pad Thai

    17/06/2019 Duration: 05min

    Berlin now has two top level football teams after FC Union jumped up to the Bundesliga by winning a play-off match. FC Union started back in the DDR. Their die-hard fans actually helped rebuild the stadium in Köpenick with their own hands. Maybe they could help finish BER? Enjoying the heat? Spare a thought for horses pulling tourist carriages in the city center. New rules now apply - carriage operators have to stop if air temperature in the shade reaches 30 degrees Celsius. There’s been another attempt to crack down on the food sellers in Thai Park. Police and Ordnungsamt officers raided the park on a recent Saturday. But a district official revealed it was all for show. Arne Herz from the CDU said: “We don’t want to ruin the market, we just want to show the residents that we’re doing something.” Get ready for a rent increase letter. Berlin’s landlords association has advised its members to try to increase rents by as much as possible before June 17. That’s because the city government is working on a new law

  • RS Live: Driving is Violence

    28/05/2019 Duration: 53min

    Are you recycling, or ‘wish-cycling’? We talk to Thomas Klöckner, spokesman for BSR, Berlin’s waste processing company. It turns out we're all doing a pretty good job. But bulky waste is a problem. The solution for old mattresses? Talk to your neighbours and book a bulk collection for €50. Here's where you do it: Should we drive cars out of the city - and make sure they never return? Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain Green politician Florian Schmidt has proposed banning private vehicles inside the Ringbahn. Cars are being squeezed out of certain streets with 'parklets' - public seats occupying parking spots. Joel says "driving is violence" and "a bicycle is always right." Agree? The local initiative Autofrei Wrangelkiez will blockade Oberbaumbrücke on June 15. More info here: Shared transport keeps expanding. The city will get 2000 more shared cars, Uber has launched its red electric Jump bikes which go quite fast, and stand-up elec

  • RS Live: Who Wins the EU Poster Contest?

    29/04/2019 Duration: 01h03min

    Are you one of four million EU citizens living in Germany? Now's your chance to vote in the European Parliament elections. We decipher the street posters. Maisie explains why photos of chin-scratching men win more votes. Konrad Werner joins us. Listen to his podcast Meghan's Megacan: We speak with Joanna Bronowicka from Democracy in Europe (Diem25), who want to reform Brussels and create a 'green new deal' for Europe: Why are people lying down on Berlin’s streets and blocking traffic? Extinction Rebellion's Robbie Morrison tells us about the movement of people willing to get arrested to force climate change action: Berlin has over 300 football clubs playing in ten leagues. We talk to Ben Ferry, Andy West and Andy Sager of Bloody Hell Magazine. They follow local games, which are far more exciting than major league matches: more red cards, pitch invasions, streakers and decent food. Want to join other Radio Spaetkauf listeners at a l

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