The Max Schmeling concert and events venue situated on the border between Wedding and Prenzlauerberg has long been recognised as a leading light in Berlin’s push towards more sustainability in live events.
The roof surfaces of the large event hall with space for 12,000 people are largely planted with grass, helping it to blend in with its park surroundings, as well as provide natural insulation. The roof forms a walkable green bridge that connects Wedding (formerly West Berlin) and Prenzlauerberg (formerly East Berlin).
And how do they keep the grass short?
Easy. With a bunch of Swedish sheep, who casually roam the grassed roof in the summer and munch away. The sheep are of the Gutschafe variety, officially part of Sweden’s cultural heritage, and I’m sure they enjoy wandering around on the roof of the hall while music acts like Von Wegen Lisbeth, Thom Yorke and Pink belt away below them.
The sheep are not the only non-human inhabitants of the roof: there also a few bee colonies, looked after by local beekeepers Thorsten Probst and Wolfgang Wagner. The hall not only gets to help look after the bees, they also get some tasty locally-sourced honey too!
There are also 1,064 solar modules on the roof, that pump their 100% green electricity into the Berlin power grid.
As to the CO2 emissions caused by the huge number of fans turning up for the concerts at the Max Schmeling Hall, there are numerous CO2 emission-free mobility options on hand, including local bike and scooter rentals as well as Berlin’s public transport system, itself invested in Berlin’s push towards becoming climate neutral. And the venue has made a point of putting a very large number of bike stands outside its doors to help encourage the two-wheeled mode of transport.
The Max Schmeling Hall is a member of Take a Stand (“encouraging social cohesion in our society, promoting awareness and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins”), of the Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli e.V.. (championing access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene), and is gold-certified by Green Globe (the world’s premier certification and performance improvement actor, “assisting organizations to improve their economic, social and environmental sustainability for its efforts”) – and was in fact the first multi-functional event venue in Germany to be cerftified by Green Globe.
The Fête de la Musique Berlin team have long been fans of the Max Schmeling Hall’s devotion to helping Berlin’s event industry become greener, and hopefully one day climate-neutral…and we look forward to lots more great concerts and live events beneath the munching sheep and buzzing bees!