AFN Berlin (American Forces Network) was the radio station for American soldiers stationed in Berlin after the Second World War – and it enjoyed great popularity both in East and West because of its relaxed style, playing the new music from the USA. Based on the success story of the station, the variety show “AUF WIEDER BYE BYE – The Story of AFN Berlin” spans the entire history. Fifty years of US music and cultural history, from the end of the Second World War to the withdrawal of the troops from Berlin in 1994. With the withdrawal of the troops, the popular radio station was also discontinued. This history is taken up by the music show “AUF WIEDER BYE BYE”, which celebrated its premiere at the Heimathafen Neukölln on 1 October 2022.
The show offers great entertainment, but also tells the story of divided Berlin
“AUF WIEDER BYE BYE – The Story of AFN Berlin” is a big variety event with live music, singing, dancing, acting, comedy and acrobatics on the big stage of Heimathafen Neukölln. With a total of around 28 performers and appearances by JFK, Marlene Dietrich and Elvis. Trümmerfrauen, Frolleins and GI’s dance Rock ‘n’ Roll, Soultrain and Hip Hop. “The station received most of its listener mail not from the American GIs for whom it was actually intended, but from the German public,” the Tagesspiegel wrote about AFN.
The director of the play, Morris Perry, is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He studied in New York at the renowned Juilliard Scool in New York City and came to Neukölln a good forty years ago. With his non-profit association SPOTLIGHT TALENT, founded in November 2013, he initiates and supports performative cultural and art projects. This new piece also promotes diverse youth and adults with a focus on tolerance, cultural diversity, education and art. Among others, the Neukölln Music School is involved with its Musical and Performing Arts classes.
Fifty years of US music and cultural history, from the end of the Second World War to the withdrawal of the troops from Berlin in 1994
The story of the station is told from the perspective of a fictional radio presenter. In his very last broadcast, he looks back in a call-in show and takes calls from fans of all generations. The fans share their memories and thus say goodbye to the station that accompanied them throughout their lives in the occupied city.
Depending on the call and his memories, the show jumps through time in an associative way, citing historical milestones and thus reviving perhaps the most formative music station of the German post-war period one last time.
The result is an exciting mix of live music with hits from then and now, interspersed with famous radio jingles and entertaining commercials from 50 years of unique radio programming. The show offers great entertainment, but also tells the story of divided Berlin and the huge cultural influence that AFN had – and the effect it continues to have today.
- AUF WIEDER BYE BYE – The Story of AFN Berlin, Heimathafen Neukölln,