The Berliner Parkbühne (parc stage) Wuhlheide is an open-air venue in the shape of an ancient amphitheater and is classed as a historic monument. It is located in Volkspark (People's Park) Wuhlheide, in Berlin-Oberschöneweide in the borough of Treptow-Köpenick. The Parkbühne has a capacity of 17,000 with all standing on the arena floor, or 15,300 with seats on the arena floor.
. The history of the open-air amphitheater
Starting around 1950, parts of the Volkspark Wuhlheide were remodeled according to the Soviet model to create the "Pioneer Park Ernst Thälmann", named after the leader of the Communist Party of Germany who was shot by the Nazis in 1944. The Great Open Air Stage was constructed on the occasion of the 3rd World Festival Youth Games in the summer of 1951 (the opening ceremony was held on July 27, 1951 under East Berlin's Mayor Friedrich Ebert). It was built on ridges of war debris, on which oval-shaped rows of terraced seating were created for some 20,000 visitors. A complex system of perrons (outdoor staircases) was created to allow visitors to reach the upper ring of the ridge and the seats on the inside. The necessary sanitary facilities and service buildings were built on the back side of the ridge, in accordance with the hygiene requirements and skills of the time. A variety of cultural and political events was held here in the following years.
In the early 1990s, the open-air stage was in desolate condition and was hardly suitable for use. At the same time, it was placed under protection as a historic horticultural monument in reunified Berlin on August 25, 1990.
. The Parkbühne Wuhlheide nowadays
The venue was radically renovated and modernized in the years 1996/1997. The stage area, with a total space of 22.5 × 16 m (74 × 52.5 ft), was given a permanent tent roof on structural steelwork, under which up to 16 metric tons of additional weight (light and sound equipment) can be suspended. The necessary functional and service buildings, as well as the infrastructure – such as restrooms, power supply, emergency generator, sales booths, visitor benches and the like – were built from the ground up. The grand reopening as "Parkbühne Wuhlheide" took place in June 1996 with a concert by the Brandenburg Philharmonic Potsdam.
In early 2003, the open air stage was renamed as the "Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide", after the Berlin-based "Berliner Kindl" brewery. The stage was sold in late August 2007 by the State of Berlin, represented by the Berlin Property Fund, to the current operator "Parkbühne Wuhlheide GmbH".
In March 2008, the Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide won the Live Entertainment Award in the category "Location of the Year".
In the summer of 2008, local heros Die Ärzte performed in front of a total of more than 100,000 visitors at six sold-out concerts.
In 2019, the venue changed its name back to "Parkbühne Wuhlheide".