Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Photo of a person in a white top stood in front of candy floss
All photos: Shirin Esione

Euphoric Photos from Berlin's Biggest Fun Fair

We captured the excitement and ecstasy of a night out at the fair.

This article originally appeared on VICE Germany.

As far as sensory experiences go, there’s nothing quite like a night at the fun fair, is there? The taste of candy floss; the scent of petrol, grass, and cigarette smoke; the sight of nauseous revellers stumbling off a rickety rides blaring out Europop into the evening sky – it’s a neon-soaked scene of adrenaline-fuelled excess and excitement. 


For the past 55 years, Berliners have flocked to the southeastern district of Neukölln to celebrate May Day by hopping on a few rides and eating some sausage at the Maientage fair at Hasenheide park. It used to be the only one taking place in a public park, but the local government recently made the decision to move the fair because it takes the ground at Hasenheide too long to recover after the event.

Photographer Shirin Esione was there one last time to capture the essence of the fair. On its final night, she photographed people just after they’d hopped off rides – and shortly after a downpour swept over the fair. The result is a series of photos that capture the beautiful feeling of being a child again, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

Scroll down to see more photos.

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Two photographs: on the left a bald person with a ginger beard sticks their tongue out, on the right a pink theme park ride called The Beast

“That was the best rollercoaster so far. That was fun!” - Yoann

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Topless person stands with their arms above their head in front of a funfair ride.

“I feel great. you only live once. fuck everything! Just try to make the most out of it and do what you're psyched about.” - Sbusiso.

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Person in a white t-shirt stands next to a person in a flowery dress in front of a brightly-lit funfair ride.

Sara (left) and Sadia (right) enjoyed themselves, too. Sara even went as far as to describe it as "A never ending jump of joy!"

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Two pohotographs. On the left, a person in a white hoodie stands in front of a ride, on the right two men in hooded jackets stand at the base of a ride.

“My whole body felt numb and my legs were shaking. I knew right away that I couldn't do that again.” -Hisui.

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Photo of a person in a white top stood in front of candy floss, next to a photo of a stall festooned with cuddly toys.

“I'm having so much fun right now, I've lived in Berlin for a long time and didn't even know there was this fair. I'm happy to have got the chance to go one last time before it's over.” - Juliet.

Photography, funfairs, Berlin - Photograph of a couple in each other's arms in front of a painted background.

"I fuckin' did it!" Moana (left) said. Alex (right) said that despite worrying he was about to shit himself, "Everything was oK."

Photography, funfairs, Berlin -  Man holding a beer in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other.

“I think it's a shame it's ending after so many years. I've known the fair for 35 years and been here at least 30 times.” - Georg.