Berlin Festival. The festival with the coolest location – where you dance the night away in Tempelhof’s hangars; where red, blue, gold and purple rays of light tear up the dark night sky, setting Hitler’s old airport on fire; where fashion bloggers could die happy from watching the hipsters flaunt their bright red lips, professor’s glasses and sailor shoes (along with a too-cool-for-school attitude); where there’s so much space that the festival seems to curl up under the hangars for protection, partying intensely next to the wide landing strips.
This year’s festival wasn’t properly kicked off until LCD Soundsystem came on under a giant disco ball, sending howls and cheers through the audience and igniting a spark that stayed bright until the first morning light (or at least until 2.30am, when the police emptied the festival grounds). With a constant echo provided by the amazing airplane-hangar acoustics, the party took off – for those who didn’t spend their entire night in the toilet lines, that is!
Why the organisers chose to close off a part of the airport with many more toilets is a question that has yet to be answered. And why did Fever Ray’s set become a concert for only the exclusive few who made it in in time? The rest were left to wallow behind the gates to the stage.
If everyone is already at the festival, why do there have to be these little gates to each stage, causing huge jams, a lot of impatient waiting and wasting precious concert minutes? Aren’t Germans supposed to be famous for their efficiency and organizational skills…? It seems that the combination of over-eager party-goers and these narrow gates led to the early-morning Polizei interruption.
Day One had the best music – from Zola Jesus to LCD Soundsystem – although some acts, including headliners Fatboy Slim and 2 Many Djs, were cancelled because of the early closure. (The missed acts, and any that were set to play after 11pm tonight, have since been rescheduled.)
The surprising thing was that everyone seemed to more or less hold their liquor… apart from the guy who stumbled into the ping-pong table at EXBERLINER’s booth, causing it to collapse under him (to mad laughter around him). But don’t worry, the table’s up and running again. So drop by for some ping-pong action today – just make sure it’s before 11pm!