It’s 5:30 am and I’m in a cab heading up to Gatwick. Destination Berlin! With a mild sense of apprehension and excitement I’m on track to check-in myself and two very large bags (containing DJ booth). With no issues I even have time for a coffee and pain au chocolat (a little treat for myself) before the departure boards flash up my gate and boarding.
Before I know it I’m greeted at Arrivals by a friendly face, my German taxi driver, to collect me. He made a few passing choice comments in German about the size of my DJ bags and ushered me politely to his vehicle. I announced it was my first time in Berlin to which Paul transformed himself into my tourist guide for the next 45 minutes. He was brilliant and I’m fairly certain he went out of his way to show me some of Berlin’s historic landmarks. This was the most I was going to going to see of Berlin during my 24-hour stay so I was extremely grateful to him. We arrived at the hotel and was greeted by the conference event reception team who notified my client, West End Productions that I had arrived. Steve Lovell from West End soon appeared and explained the plans and set up times for the rest of the day. Stick It On was booked for the evening after-dinner entertainment in a venue 10 minutes from the hotel. It was midday and the plan was to set up straight away.
We arrived at the venue which use to be a cattle milk house, now converted into an impressive event space with huge chandeliers that used milk bottles as their main lighting centre-piece. The venue space was split over two rooms. One room was set up for dinner and the other was the party room. The West End team were pretty much set-up albeit a few last minute adjustments with my stage ready and waiting for me. Within the hour I was set up and sound checked. It was now just past 2 pm with guests not expected to arrive until 6 pm. I had time to explore.
The only unfortunate element for me was that the location of the venue was at the outskirts of the city centre and not wanting to veer too far away I soon realized that any possible sightseeing excursions would have to wait for another time. Instead, I had a lovely walk along a canal stumbling upon a cafe to read a book and do a bit of work.
Before I knew it I was soon back at the venue ready for guests to arrive. After drinks reception, guests were ushered to their seats for dinner.
This gave me the opportunity to work-the-tables between courses as I found my Stick It On DJs to introduce myself and give them their time slots for later on. After food, a short ceremony presentation was wrapped-up and I got myself into position to start the warm-up set. West End had designed and themed it as a UV black light after-party.
So neon dayglo accessories and fancy dress props were handed out and an enthusiastic and excited crowd hit the dancefloor.
I’m happy to say that Stick It On went down extremely well with the guests culminating with the owners/founders being the last DJs to close the party. An amazing crescendo with everyone whooping and clapping for more. A perfect end.
Before I knew it I was back at Gatwick the following morning almost pinching myself on whether it happened or not. It did. It was a short 24 hours, but one thing was for sure a strong desire to return to Berlin without work commitments and to work with the West End team again, who demonstrated exceptional professional and technical expertise which more importantly was personable and friendly and delivered a fantastic conference for their clients. A great job indeed.