The Berlin Music Week is looming near, and, with so many activities to choose from, it’s easy to let option paralysis set in. So why not opt for a few free, outdoor events, to take the pulse of what’s on while soaking in the lovely early autumn evenings?

The ICAS SUITE BERLIN offers two kinds of free event this year – the daily ICAS BBQ, and a showcase at the Prinzessinnengarten.

Every evening from 18 – 21h, the ICAS BBQ, nestled in the yard of the Festsaal Kreuzberg, invites artists and professionals participating in the ICAS SUITE, as well as anyone else, to meet up, refuel, and exchange in a relaxed atmosphere. On the grill: vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, South-American style! Rumour has it that the cooking team is working on a special import of Urugyanan beef…. sure to be a hit with the foodies among you. Each BBQ evening also hosts a special DJ participant, including Berlin’s A Cell of One, Resident Advisor DJs, and Hyperactivist from Venezuela.

On Saturday, September 8, from 6pm – 8pm, a special collaboration between Toulouse’s Siestes Electroniques Festival, Parisian Musée du Quai Branly, and Berlin’s Chez Jacki, presents a selection of rarities from the Musées copious archives of historic sound recordings. Musicians and crate-diggers Doug Shipton (of respected exotica/rarities label Finders Keepers) and Plapla Pinky (longtime collaborators with the Siestes Electroniques) dive into the museum’s audio resources to cross cultural “frontiers” and re-use those materials for new compositions. And what better a venue for this adventure than the urban guerilla garden, Prinzessinengarten?

Listen to Plapla Pinky’s set, recorded at the Branly museum this July:

The 6,000 square Prinzessinenngarten existed as an empty lot for more then 60 years, part of which time it was hidden by the Berlin wall. In June 2009 more than 100 volunteers cleaned the area up, and have since set up a green haven right in the city’s core. As the Prinzessinnengarten can only renew its contract yearly, all of its structures remain quite temporary, ready-to-move. Indeed, this year the threat of eviction looms larger than ever as the city has started the process to sell the plot at Moritzplatz. Various protest actions are underway to save the garden, including an online petition.

The constant threat of being evicted has led to some ingenious gardening solutions: the plants are planted in old milk packs, rice bags and plastic containers from bakeries, the café is built in a solid yet easy to dismantle way. Aside from serving coffee and cheap, quality meals the gardens also sell their vegetables and herbs, as available. Shoppers are even allowed to bring their own gardening tool or knife to select the produce they’d like to purchase. A perfect community setting for an adventurous musical collaboration.