Photographs from the 10th anniversary of Berlin Festival…
Situated in Kreuzberg, the German capital’s cool district, Berlin Festival takes place in the Arena Park, a vast area at the edge of the River Spree that hugs waterfront venues such as Club der Visionäre, Hoppetosse and White Trash. With the festival’s music programme spread over multiple spaces within the park – Arena Mainstage, Glashaus, Arena Club, White Trash Food and the conveniently docked (and literally rocked) Love Boat – there was plenty to explore and a vibe to suit even the most anti-Techno of ravers.
The main stage (a former bus hall, originally built in 1927) is a truly cavernous space, playing host to the likes of James Blake, Seth Troxler and The Howling over the weekend – everything about this space was huge, including the lighting and production. On the counter, Arena Club restored the balance: small, clammy, pleasantly packed and kitted out with robust sound, brought to life by a selection of local talent. The Glashaus was a place to spend time in the weirder fringes of Hip-Hop, Beats and R&B – plus a welcome break from the four-to-the-floor-ness. The visceral sass of Zebra Katz, Ratking’s blunted flow and Kelela’s sultry tones riding over buttery low-end, all firm highlights.
For those looking for a post-6am night cap (when the festival closes), it’s a case of take your pick. Trips to Berghain, Chalet, Club der Visionäre, Sisyphos and Kater Blau were all made over the course of 72 hours. The Teke Disko booth at the latter, a blacked out phone box equipped with jukebox, smoke machine, disco ball and camera, another life-affirming highlight.
In a city that boasts some of the best clubs in the world, a festival needs to offer something exceptional to establish it’s name. With its idyllic location, solid music programming and attractive after-party/day time options, Berlin Festival places itself firmly on the international electronic music festival calendar for the foreseeable future.
Check out the 2015 aftermovie here.
Photography: Stephan Vlad & Josh Thomas