In the very beginning of this post I have to admit that the price was 17€ instead of 15 this year.
There is this big international event every year in the summer time in Hamburg where travellers, locals, expats, weirdos and like-minded get together. It starts on Thursday and ends on Monday and the big events take place from Friday to Sunday. It is my absolute favourite thing in Hamburg in the summer time but there is just a little shadow upon it. "15€? For a party and a barbeque?" "15€? What if I bring my own food to the Sunday barbeque?" "15€? Do I really have to pay that? You know, I'm XYPZFSKF..."
"Do I get a discount if I don’t attend all the activities?"
"I can have a great time in this city without paying an entrance"
"How much is your profit?"
"15€? I think I just join the main party on Saturday then... how much is it?" And the last mentioned bricks are usually hanging around the entire event anyway showing their amazing lack of respect to the organisers..
These 15€ entrance (it costs actually only 10€ if you book and pay it in advance -this is to give a security to the organisers to buy stuff in advance) includes a wristband (1€), two drink vouchers at the main party (á3€), coal, lighters and food for the barbeque. With quite a quick math the 10€ entrance leaves 3€/per person for all the appliances for the entire weekend. Of course the entrance of 15€ gives more freedom, but you never know if anyone is going to show up paying the entire amount of 15€.
15€ from the point of view of those, who have the financial responsibility looks a way different.
The party location for Saturday has to be booked more than half a year in advance -without knowing how many people will come, without knowing if there are other similar events at the same weekend that just aren't released yet, without knowing the weather conditions. The DJ has to be booked in advance as well, and does someone know a good, famous and cheap professional? I guess not.
All the marketing has to be done in advance of course, endless hours of thinking about creative ways to get people's attention. Organisers meet at least once a month, and to keep these meetings open to everyone, they have to be in a public place. And in a bar one should order at least one drink to be allowed to sit there for hours talking about mainly hilarious nonsense.
When the summer time starts you have to start to annoy all your friends wether they already registered online, did they pay, did they annoy all their friends and family. You have a to-do list fir every day for the last three weeks before the event.
And then finally the Thursday arrives and you put on your organizer t-shirt (which you paid yourself btw, it wasn't taken from the 15€ entrance). The registration spot fills up with people, maybe 15-25 attendees collect their wristbands, the 50 other hang arounds are just enjoying their time. You go home with the long list of notes and coins to update all the attendee lists and tours. On Friday morning you make the final emerengy phone calls to have everything ready for Friday evening.
Friday evenings Event usually takes place in a park or a party location, that has an area for a barbeque. This year the organisers were smart enough to get some bands playing, so that they “had a reason” to collect an entrance fee if you didn’t pay the 15€ (okey 17€) in advance. Earlier years there has been a possibility to barbeque so that the travellers get something to eat, and yes, someone has to bring all the coal, plates, napkins, even the barbeques there.
Saturday afternoon is full of tours and there’s again a barbeque spot. Again, every tour needs a guide, every attendee wants to have at least one fork to stab in their sausage. The Main Party on Saturday night is the highlight of the weekend where organisers get two drink vouchers and possibly one beer bucket for the team. If there is enough income from people attending only the Saturday party, the DJ might get an extra tip and the team members get a pizza at Luigi’s later in the autumn when the feedback meeting takes place. Little complications with music not working, base being to loud, lights not turning off, someone lost their shoes -it is all a part of this magical Saturday night. Then the morning comes and people head to the Fischmarkt, one of the organisers drive home to bring all the cash away.
On Sunday morning the organisers go shopping. The only place where you get fresh stuff for a barbeque is the Lidl in Altona and therefore you need a car. The car will be packed so full, that you need extra helpers on spot to carry it all out -but those helpers do not fit in the car. The Sunday Barbeque usually takes place somewhere where you cannot drive by car and therefore it is seen as a little work out after the very chilling weekend with beer and friends. On these barbeques I’ve learnt an interesting phenomenon about us humans; the table/cloath and all the bags are full of food, but nobody touches it before it is chopped and set on serve. And many years in a row I find myself on the Sunday afternoon holding a knife in my hand, chopping zucchinis and corn and thinking, that with that lack of sleep nobody should be allowed to be holding any sharp objects.
On Sunday evening when the sun goes down the guests start to disappear, one by one, and the weekend is about to be over. Everything you put your energy into the last months -that was it! You look at the dirty barbeques that nobody offers to clean up, put them in a bag, and carry back home.
The Monday night you might have a drink at Kosmos to say goodbye, but after all this fuzz you don’t have that much to say.
So now that I’ve said this all: I would never complain about the entrance costs