Day One – There was no room in the HAUS
Arrived in Berlin airport and jumped on the U-Bahn to down town Berlin. I resisted getting off at Alexander Platz. Since reading Alfred Doblin’s great book it always makes me want to be there. Of course it is not there. Well the way it was then. So hopped off at Friedrikstr and changed trains. Eventually got to the hotel. It had started raining. Hotel Johan is in a very quiet street but not too far from from HAU theatres which is great.
So first things first. I had to get hold of my pass for the festival. Any city when you arrive in the dark and rain is a bit tricky to negotiate so luckily for me in the lobby as I was going out I met one of the drivers for the festival and he offered to take me to CTM headquarters (the only place to get the pass I believe). So that got done but I was now late for a meeting with Christoph who asked to meet at Hau2 before the show. With the rain pouring down, I gamely head to the U-Bahn west and some food. Where the headquarters lie is an old hospital which is now a huge arts space and the area surrounding, East Kreuzberg, is teeming with bars and eateries… a veggie burger to keep me going (a Korean one of all things).
Back on the U-Bahn to Haus2… unfortunately when I got there I find that there is a large queue of people outside who explain to me that they won’t let any more people in to the concert. Not a good start. But of course one gets chatting and I met a lovely guy called Jack and we proceed to go for a wee libation hoping we can get into the second performance. Alas, Nein! It seems this is the CTM way. You have to be there early. One learns the hard way. Day 2 I’ll be ready! Music please!