Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hannover & Hamburg!!

Hey everyone,

so I was supposed to do the update on my trip to Germany "a few days" after posting the previous one. Uhmmm how did you guys guess that it wasn't gonna happen!?!?! haha oops!

Im actually up in Netherlands with my family now writing this blog. I know I know you must be thining..."Wooowww jetsetter travels so much blah blah blah"....Uhmmmm I work my ass off half the time and am always doing so many things trying to start new businesses and to be honest I really don't do a lot for myself. So this trip is totally just to spoil myself and to chill (catch up on my blogs/emails!!) and do something for me...just coz I can...and just coz I want to. =)

So last month I was up in Germany, it was officially my first time in Germany!! I really didn't know what to expect??? Its never been a place on my list of places I've wanted to visit?? I mean all I could think of was that there was gonna be a big blonde woman with pigtailed hair called Olga holding big jugs of beer!! (Not the kinda jugs I like on a woman by the way!!!) And I thought people would be very...hmmm regimental...as in they were very strict and stick to themselves and not very sociable? Boy, was I WRONG!!! And what a pleasant surprise!!

The bullet train I had to take from Frankfurt to Hannover after a painful 11hour flight.
3hrs is still 3hrs Doesnt matter if you are in a Ferrari or a bloody bullet train!! haha

The whole reason I was there was actually to catch up with one of my good friends Stefan (No not Stephen Fox of WMC) and to attend his outdoor dance party that he does every year! Stefan and his lovely gf, Katrin do alot of events in Hannover and have one big outdoor party a year called Apollon's Park! When he told me that for Apollon's Park 2010 he was booking Karotte, Guy Gerber and Sven Vath for his party I thought to myself...." I Get to see Stefan and Katrin again. And on top of that, 3 of my fav DJS in one night!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOO THERE!!!!"

What a COOL poster!!!

So I arrived in Germany and Stefan was really busy so he had his mate Kian pick me up from the train station. Kian's a cool kid....half german half Iranian and was my designated tour guide! =) Kian and me headed off to the hotel, I just dropped off all my stuff, had a quick fresh up and was out the door to meet Stefan for a quick bite and chat.

Stefan had some bad news from the government as they wanted to stop his outdoor party. Reason for them wanting to stop the event was because of the recent deaths at this years Love Parade. If you guys don't know, Love Parade is a huge dance music festival that has usualy about 1.4million people from all over the world attending!?!? 21 people died at this year's Love Parade and it had a huge impact on any party/outdoor event being held in Germany. You can watch and understand what went wrong at Love Parade here. They have now said they will NEVER do another Love Parade in respect of those who lost their lives at what was meant to be a fun day out.


With 24hours til the event happening, Stefan had ALOT to do....a backup plan incase it was really gonna get canceled.......some meetings with government officals to try and fix it all and assure them that all safety precautions and regulations were met. I left Stefan to do his thing and me and Kian went around walking in Hannover. Some of the things that caught my eye or just made me laugh in Hannover.

Hannover Hauptbanhof which is the train station. That cool thing on your bottom left corner (first pic on your left) is a bicycle kinda taxi, eco friendly and cool looking =) We also have that in Singapore...butttttt....not as FANCY looking....!!

Voiiiillllaaaa behold, the Rickshaw from Singapore!!
(NOTE: Do not pick your date up in one of these!!)

This is the old church in the old town in Hannover. When I say OLD I mean OLD!!! Built in 1333!!
(Note Singapore was only FOUNDED IN 1819!!!!!)
Even if we had a building made in 1333, it would prolly just be torn down and re-built into some oversized shopping mall containing the same crap as the mall 30metres down the road!!

Hannover was nice, I mean it was just a small and simple town! We prolly walked the whole place in an hour or more? haha I left Kian and headed back to my hotel in the evening where I crashed til the next morning and we met up again the next morning to go to Hamburg!!

Hamburg was a cool city!! It really reminded me alot of Stockholm for some reason. I think it's all the water, ships, the boats, the port, the river and buildings! As we were driving in to Hamburg the sun was shining and the light reflected off the water....and whenever I see that shiny glittery light that comes off water....I always remember my trip to Stockholm as I came in to the city and the sun shined on the water....it was just AMAZING. Still on of my fav cities I've visited.

Hamburg - It was a really cool city!!! Had a very nice vibe about it.

Hamburg however also had a very notorious side to it.....Reeperbahn!!! Reeperbahn is a world known redlight district. Everyone said to me,"If you go to Hamburg you gotta check this place out!!" Sadly I was there in the day...so it wasn't really exciting!! Apparently at night it's just total MADNESS!! We walked around and I mean it really felt like I was in Patpong in Bangkok, Thailand!!!! There was something else about the Reeperbahn that made it special....The Beatles!!! The Beatles played alot around here at the bars before they became world famous!!

Coke is so 80s!! Thats what it says on the bench!

The main re-light district with all the signs above. Im sure when night falls, it's just a totally different place!!! I'd say it would look alot like Patpong in Bangkok.
(By the way the people standing there are about to attend a wedding at a church!!!)
Heaven and Hell in one street....you decide which is which!!! ;)

While we were out doing touristy stuff in Hamburg, Stefan and Katrin, had a final meeting with government officials for the final say.........and they did not get the green light from them to have the outdoor party ..... It was pretty harsh...leaving them with about a day and a half to re-direct couple of thousand people to the new venue!! =( I felt so bad...and I really wish I could have helped them out.

They worked really had all through the night and woke up early in the morning to settle whatever was left to be settled. Even with only a few hours to go til the event happening they were still pretty....well I wouldn't say CALM....but if it was me I would prolly have had my foot through the door!!

Train stations from other states and even those arriving in Hannover had the electronic signboards displaying the message saying "Apollon Park has now been moved to a new location, Fun Park"...Shuttle buses transporting ppl who were already at Apollon Park to the new location. Website forums were edited....emails sent out...facebook was updated....letter from the headline DJs saying they will still come and rock the party even tho it's been moved indoors..... I mean I was very impressed. I have to admit Stefan,Katrin and all their helpers were VERY VERY organized and VERY VERY efficient!! It was like operation Blitzkrieg...!!! hahah

The party started at the new location as scheduled at Fun Park at midday. Fun Park was supposed to be the after party venue. Meaning once the Apollon's Park ended people would make their way to party again......But since Apollon's Park wasn't happening. It just got moved into Fun Park saving everyone from running around!!!

The party was well on it's way but Stefan, Katrin, Me and some others only got there at about 3pm. A few hiccups here and there still to be ironed out but everything major had already been settled. When I got there, I was really impressed, Fun Park was a pretty huge place!!! LED Lights 360 degrees around on the wall....amazing lights/lazers....and a super PHAT BASS!!! I never been to Ibiza (thats about to change this wkend!) but I really felt like I was in Ibiza and not Germany!!!

Karotte was rocking the dancefloor when I got in. He's always been one of my fav DJs and have heard alot of his radio shows. Never ever seen him LIVE tho. So to see him live this time was just amazing. He played an AMAZING set....Just reaaally pumping...uplifting......and just made you wanna dance!! And he was very lively behind the decks...which I think is great!! Some DJs are soooo boring to watch..I mean yes we dont need to watch em ...we need to listen to em...but still I just think it adds abit more VIBE to the crowd when they see a DJ enjoying himself so much!!

Karotte doing the warm up set!!

Next up on on the headline DJs is definetly one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE!! =) I first saw him at Zouk in Singapore 2007 and he wasn't that famous yet. He played to a half empty room and I remember it was an AMAZING set and no one understood or got what he was playing!! After his set he came down and had a chat with me as he saw me going nuts to a few of his tracks (well to his whole set in general!!) We chatted and had a laugh and the following few days I took him around shopping and sightseeing in Singapore. I remember he was telling me he was setting up a new label for his music and was planning to move to Berlin as music scene there was much more ahead of everyone else.

Fast Forward 3 years later....Seeing Mr Guy Gerber in Hannover was great and totally different!! I haven't seen him in 3 years, we had a quick little chat and I left him to put the crowd under his spell!!! (He no longer plays to half empty rooms!!!!!!) 3 years and alot has changed for the better for Guy, Im so glad everything is going well for him, he is a MEGA superstar DJ, his label Supplemental Facts is one of the biggest labels to date. He has had numerous number 1 tracks and remixes played by almost every DJ in the scene. He is booked every weekend flying all over the world...Brazil one day,Ibiza the other, New York another...Now,THIS IS THE LIFE!!! =)

Guy Gerber working his magic on his Ableton! Cheers for an AMAZING night!
His set was just MAGICAL, it made you smile til you could smile no more!!!

Amazing lazer and light display at Fun Park

As they always say, save the best for last.... Last DJ of the night was Sven Vath. Papa Sven as some germans call him. Sven is just something else!! He has such amazing local support...the germans are sooo proud and love his music so much!! He is definetly the Godfather or techno!! He is I think 50ish and still partying and DJing all over the world!! He runs an amazing record label, Cocoon. He also owns a club in Frankfurt called Cocoon, and he has his infamous Monday nights at Amnesia in Ibiza called Cocoon!!! Stefan told Sven that I had come al the way from Singapore for the party and weve met before in Singapore very briefly but he was really happy still and gave a big hug...and said,"Oh I already know my dates for Singapore and looking forward to coming back to Singapore!!" A legendary DJ/Raver who has done everything there is to do in the world of DJing!!! Amazing that all I can say!!

Just look at the pictures and just see how much the crowd has grown since Karotte,Guy and then finally Sven!!
Madness!! 2500ppl in a club!!

Sven still using ONLY Vinyls and a couple of Cds when ever he plays his live sets.
Vinyls will always sound better no doubt about it.

Ignore the Hannover city cucks at the fron of the videos!!
They say a picture paints more than a thousand words....a video......well it just wasted my time writing this blog bascically!! =P Enjoy!!!

The trip to Germany was really just spectacular and totally not what I expected!! =) People were really nice there....forward thinking dance music....a crowd that actually UNDERSTAND dance music....amazing friends new and old ones that I've made aroud me....3 of my fav DJs in one night....I really couldn't have asked for more!

I can't thank Stefan and the lovely Katrin enough for such an amazing time and for being such amazing hosts!! Even though it wasn't outdoors like it was supposed to be, the Apollon's Park/ Fun Park party is still pretty much one of the BEST I've ever been to. My initial thoughts of Germany was totally wrong!! I'm really looking forward to my next trip back to Germany again and next time I wanna hit BERLIN!!! I've heard even more about Berlin being an amazing city and party town!!!

Ze german blondes were not what I thought they would be...phew!!! =)

Once again to Stefan & Katrin. THANK YOU SO SO SO SOOOO MUCH!! I miss Germany already and I really really hope to be back there every year for Apollon's Park from now on!! =) I am looking forward to returning the favour and taking you guys out in Singapore when you come and visit. =)

Much love!!