Münster venue Coconut Beach and local promoter TakaTuka hosted what might have been the first dance party in Europe in months on Thursday, May 21st. The lineup featured Steve Stix, Kai Lorenzen and Thorsten Karger in addition to the Running Back label head.
In order to enable social distancing, the 2,000-capacity outdoor venue put up 100 tickets for sale at €70 each, which included €21 worth of food and drink. The event description says Coconut Beach would’ve had to sell tickets for 20 times that listed price, which it acknowledged was already a stretch for many, to match pre-pandemic revenue.
“Of course we understand that some of our guests are a bit disappointed as they don’t have the money to join,” the venue’s managing director Thomas Pieper told Resident Advisor. “As soon as the regulations for live events will be raised up to 250 [capacity,] e.g. we will lower the ticket price.”
Despite the hefty ticket price, the event sold out within 15 minutes of going on sale on May 16th.
The DJs also charged lower fees, with Janson cutting his by 80 percent, German public broadcasting organization WDR reports. Pieper told WDR they would not be making any profits from the event, with the event’s goal being to cover costs and “to send a sign of life.”
All attendees were required to wear masks, and those who did not have a face covering could buy one on the door. The event description says the venue would make all efforts to be hygienic. Once inside the venue, which was only half in-use “for better atmosphere,” ravers were assigned a table and dance floor chalk circle, the only space where they were allowed to remove face masks, all set at least 1.5 metres apart. Bars were marked to indicate safe spacing and fitted with plexiglass shields to protect staff, who were wearing masks in accordance with German guidelines for restaurants. The raised DJ booth also had a plexiglass barrier to the dance floor. Non-cash methods of payment were encouraged but not required.
“I am well aware of the fact that this was by no means an ordinary party,” Gerd Janson told RA. “I was already invited to play that date, before the pandemic or whatever you want to call it happened. So, when I got the call to play for a considerably shrunken edition (100 people only), I thought of a prank at first and after some reflection on it, I agreed to do it. I felt that it was kind of my duty to do my part in helping Thomas Pieper of Docklands/Coconut Beach and his crew to pull this off.”
Janson continued: “Whatever your take on all of this is, part of it is how to deal with it, and how to make things possible again that were taken as a given. Taking all this into account, it went really well: a bittersweet mixture of nostalgia and hope. I had fun and I hope the dancers, too. It felt like a reinsurance that it can go on in some way, shape or form until things can get back to normal.”
Here’s a video from the party.
In what might be the first dance party in Europe in months, Gerd Janson played to a small, socially-distanced crowd in Münster last night. We’re speaking with the promoters on how they pulled this one off. More details forthcoming pic.twitter.com/SSfrxRrQkV
— Resident Advisor (@residentadvisor) May 22, 2020