Don’t Eat The Swans

Berlin’s bird flu outbreak keeps getting worse. Now residents near the central waterways are being told to keep their pets inside – even cats.

The petition to keep Tegel Airport airport has progressed to the next phase. The supporters could trigger a referendum if they collect enough signatures by March.

Radio Spaetkauf’s next live show is on Sunday December 18, 6pm, at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.

This short update was presented by Maisie Hitchcock and Daniel Stern, and is brought to you by radioeins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

Thanks Berlin! 5th Anniversary Special

While the rest of the world votes for crazy leaders and dumb ideas, Berlin’s new coalition has just announced an amazing social program that makes this city even better. On this special 5th anniversary recording of Radio Spaetkauf, we remind ourselves why we came to Berlin, and why we plan to stay.

There’s plenty to talk about in the new red-red-green (R2G) coalition agreement, including more social housing, less automobiles and better bicycle infrastructure, but sadly no maglev to the airport.

How will Berlin pay for it all? Our special guest Konrad Werner defends the government’s plan to take on more debt to upgrade schools and hire more public servants.
Also, we welcome Craig Schuftan, who together with his band Ducks! and musician Ray Mann created Radio Spaetkauf’s new jingle.

Radio Spaetkauf is hosted by Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern.

New Radio Spaetkauf series for RadioEins

Radio Spaetkauf RadioEins Berlin Podcast

Radio Spaetkauf is thrilled to announce the launch of a new podcast series produced together with RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster. Every two weeks we’ll release a short snappy update of local Berlin news headlines. The shows will be released on the RadioEins website and iTunes channels, as well as our own feeds.

The short updates will be fast, entertaining and informative, with a mix of news headlines and our own observations. They are recorded in the RadioEins studio inside Kino Babylon in Mitte, which has great sound quality (and a fantastic green screen backdrop).

In addition, we’ll still be presenting our monthly hour-long live show, recorded at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. The full-length episodes will feature a full cast of hosts and guests with in-depth discussions about local Berlin news.

RadioEins is Berlin’s main public radio station, presenting a mix of current affairs, music, news and entertainment on the FM frequency 95.8, as well as online. RadioEins is part of the RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) network.

The partnership with RadioEins comes is perfectly timed. November 2016 marks Radio Spaetkauf’s fifth anniversary. The show is now presented by a cast including Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Daniel Stern and Jöran Mandik.

On this first episode for RadioEins, Joel and Dan talk about how Berlin’s new “red-red-green” coalition between the SPD, Die Grünen and Die Linke plan to change the city. Their coalition talks include closing Unter den Linden to most vehicle traffic, and building several new tram lines across the city. The incoming coalition also plans to end the crackdown on marijuana in Görlitzer Park, and perhaps even introduce legal medical weed apothekes.

This first RadioEins Radio Spaetkauf short features a brand new set of jingles created by Berlin electronic duo Ducks!, made up of Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan. You’ll be hearing more of their sounds across future episodes.

To hear more local news, and to help us celebrate both our partnership with RadioEins and our 5th anniversary, come along to the next live recording of the hour-long Radio Spaetkauf monthly show on Sunday November 20, 6pm, at the Comedy Cafe Berlin on Weserstraße, Neukölln.

Here’s the first show…

RS Update Oct 29: No one’s in charge

Berlin still has no official governing coalition, as the SPD, Die Linke and Die Grünen drag on their negotiations.

Public transport ticket prices for 2017 have been announced, and they’re going up again, despite the BVG pulling in a record profit.

Come along to Radio Spaetkauf’s next live show on November 20 at Comedy Cafe Berlin.

And stay tuned for a very special new project. Radio Spaetkauf is teaming up with RadioEins to produce a bi-monthly short news update!

RS Update: Berlin Election Results

By Joel Dullroy

The Berlin election results are in. And it looks like Michael Müller will remain mayor, if he can build a coalition with two other parties – most likely Die Grüne and Die Linke.

The headline from this election is the rise of Alternativ für Deutschland, the xenophobic, homophobic nationalist party, which won 14.2% of the vote and gained 25 seats in the 160-seat Abgeordnetenhaus, the city’s parliament. The AfD won most of their votes in the east, where there has been an ugly backlash against refugees. In the past few years there have been arson attacks on refugee shelters and public demonstrations by xenophobes. The AfD won’t get into any governing coalition, but it will end up chairing committees and will have influence in several of the local councils where spending decisions are made on education and refugee housing.

This election was a protest against the major parties. Every party lost votes, except for AFD (+14.2%), FDP (+4.9%) and Die Linke (+3.9%). Michael Müller’s SPD won the most votes, with 21.6% and 38 seats. But that’s down 6.7% from five years ago. It’s the SPD’s worst performance in Berlin since World War 2. Frank Henkel’s CDU also lost big, dropping to 17.6%, a loss of 5.7%. Also a historically terrible performance. Surprisingly, Die Grüne also lost votes, ending up with 15.2%, a drop of 2.4%.

But the biggest losers were the Pirates, who got only 1.7% (down 7.2%) and were therefore knocked out of parliament. They got even less than Die Partei, the joke party, who got 2%. Where did all those Pirate voters go? Probably to Die Linke or the FDP. The party was always a bit of a mixed bag of socialists and anti-government liberals.

The FDP, who campaigned heavily on keeping Tegel open, won 6.7%, bringing them back into parliament with 12 seats. But they won’t be able to enact any of their policies unless they end up in the governing coalition, which is a bit of an outside chance at the moment, since not many of their policies align with the Greens or Die Linke, either or both of whom are necessary for the SPD to form a government.

While everyone is talking about the rise of the AfD, let’s not forget that Die Linke also picked up votes, gaining 3.9% to reach 15.6%. That’s more than the AfD got, and it shows there are even more people determined to keep Berlin a strong social and inclusive city as there are xenophobes who want to shut the gates.

And what about our own candiate? Radio Spaetkauf co-host Jöran Mandik ran for election in the district of Neukölln 1 as a journalistic exercise. And he got… 66 votes! That’s 0.4% of the total. His seat was won by the Green party candidate, who got 5778 votes. At least Jöran didn’t come last. He beat the candidate from the neo-nazi NPD party, who got 52 votes. So good work Jöran on keeping the NPD out of power!

RS#08: Berlin Election Special

We’re decoding the Berlin election with a full run down on what each party is promising, with some graphic design critique thrown in.
Who’s going to run Berlin after the September 18 vote? Probably not the CDU, who have lost voters to the far-right AFD. The SPD doesn’t want to govern with them, and neither do the Greens. It makes an SPD-Greens-Linke coalition a pretty likely scenario.
Our own candidate Jöran Mandik talks about his campaign (or lack of it). Turns out if he could get 2500 votes, he’d earn over €6000 in public campaign contributions.
We have a special guest, blogger John Riceburg, who has his own controversial opinion on the election. He doesn’t like any of the parties, who aren’t promising any great changes at all.
Special thanks to our hosts Comedy Cafe Berlin!

RS#07 2016: Live from Mobile Kino Weekend… er?

At our annual outdoor recording in the woods, we interview three Syrian refugees – Ghaith, Omar and Munzer – who have created an app to help deal with German paperwork. It’s called Bureaucrazy. Some rich person out there really give some money to this:

After a glorious weekend of watching movies, watching bands and swimming in the lake, the organizers of the event Joshua and Fernando announce that they need a new name for the festival. The word Weekender is trademarked, can you believe.

RS Update July 15: Henkel’s Leftist Orgy of Violence

On this quick update, we talk about the secretive British investment company behind all the problems between punks and police on Rigaer Straße. Daniel thinks the whole scenario could be turned into a musical, possibly called “Henkel’s Leftist Orgy of Violence” after Berlin’s interior minister, who has been embarrassed by a court ruling this week that found the police-assisted eviction at Rigaer Straße 94 to be unlawful.

We also get an update from co-host Jöran Mandik about his attempt to run as a candidate for the upcoming Berlin city elections.

Come along to the Mobile Kino Weekender on July 29-31. It’s a cinematic camping trip out in the woods by a lake. Radio Spaetkauf will be recording a live episode there. Can you sponsor a Syrian refugee to come to the festival? E-mail us if you’re willing to contribute €40:

RS#06 2016: The BVG and the U8 font

Berlin typographer Anton Koovit spent over a year creating his font called U8, based on the letters on U-Bahn station signs. Recently the BVG began using Koovit’s font to print new signs, but without paying directly for a license to do so. We talk to Anton about his font. UPDATE: The BVG has responded to our story. They say their own museum developed the font.

Bicycle riders working for the food delivery company Deliveroo recently launched a protest action at having their weekend bonuses cut without warning. They turned the logos on the delivery bags upside down to get the startup’s managers to address their concerns. We interview one bicycle courier about the action, which he says was taken to prevent conditions getting any worse.

Berlin’s population boom means we might have to give up a bit of green space. Now the city’s open air swimming pools are being targeted as potential development zones. The Berliner Bäderbetrieb, which runs the pools, has been asked if it will give up some land to allow a city-owned housing company to develop flats. Churches are also being asked to hand over old cemeteries for refugee shelters.

And co-host Jöran Mandik continues his campaign to get elected to the Berlin Abgeordnetenhaus. He has registered as an independent candidate, and now requires 45 supporting signatures to get on the ballot. Will you sign up? Drop us an e-mail at

RS#05 2016: We Take Berlin

What would we do if we ran the city? Radio Spaetkauf is exploring Berlin‘s political system by trying to get our own host Jöran Mandik elected to the state Abgeordnetenhaus. We get tips from former Pirate Party leader Martin Delius about how local politics really works.
And we‘re calling for ideas from listeners about what policies Jöran should add to his manifesto. Sunday trading for spaetkaufs? Online Bürgeramt registration?
On this episode we‘re joined by a new co-host, stand-up comedian and computer programmer Caroline Clifford.
Recorded on Monday May 23 2016 at the very empty Comedy Cafe Berlin.