I rarely dj at weddings anymore. But when I do, it’s in Hamburg during G20. Or as my comedy pal Andreas Weber put it:
„Honey, let’s get married on July 7th 2017“.
– „I’m just hoping we’ll have good weather in Hamburg“.
„Oh, what could possibly go wrong“.
Yeah, would could go wrong? Quite a bit. Here they are:
Registry office closed
The registry office in Altona closed because of vandalism. All weddings cancelled. Leaving many couples desperate. „Damn it, how are we supposed to remember any other date than 07.07. It’s already engraved in our rings!“ I was also going to a location in Altona, so happy “my” wedding wasn’t cancelled.
Elbchaussee on fire
On Friday, I drove my car from Berlin to Hamburg following the news on the radio. Besides Hamburg being in a state of emergency in general, the only street name, that was mentioned again and again was Altona’s Elbchaussee – because of vandalism, mobs, burning cars and roadblocks. I was going to Elbchaussee. And I got closer and closer to the chaos hoping for the best. While driving, I came up with an entire screenplay starring a retired wedding DJ, returning for one last job: a wedding at Mordor.
Logistics and overheating
I had planned double time for everything, took the biggest detour around Hamburg centre and made it there safely. I unloaded my car and set up sound and light. Too bad there is an abyss as big as the Mariana Trench between the parking lot and the beach location. I was sweating so much I had to switch bras! The last time that happened was when I was working on a cruise ship on the Amazon! At least it was warm and the forecasted thunderstorms stayed home. I was prepared for a monsoon, carrying rain boots and an outrageous amount of protective plastic wrapping, Christo would have been jealous of. Ingrid, the wedding dj, that got famous for her performances with a wrapped up sound system.
Please don’t burn my car down
After setting up, I drove around and reparked my car in the tiniest side street, like a squirrel hiding its nuts. I thought about putting a sign in my car. „I AM AN ARTIST AND THIS IS A RENTAL CAR“. After the wedding, I prayed it would still be there. It was. I drove between burned down car bodies. It was one hell of a dystopian vision. Speaking of dystopia, I spent the night only 400 m away from the mob demolishing the shopping street in Altona. I thought about sleeping in the car, since I needed it and the sound system the following day for the next wedding. I was so glad nothing happened.
Poisonous poop at the beach
Because of the heavy rain all week, „balls of fat and feces“ were pushed up from the sewing system and stranded on Elbe beach. My wedding was directly on Elbe beach (with a sand dance floor). It had been closed but thankfully reopened! Three tonne of poisonous scoops were removed! Besides, all of my location’s food and drink suppliers and caterers cancelled so the gastronome did all the shopping by himself. He did a great job!
Cruising with police and Greenpeace
Speaking of water, my wedding party did a harbor boat tour and even had their opening dance onboard. They almost couldn’t board the ship because of the blockades. Also, all cruise ships didn’t ship into Hamburg port and stayed outside at nearby Harburg port. (Hamburg, Harburg. This one letter difference is constantly causing confusion and wrong boardings among tourists. As if the cities were named only to fool outsiders).
The river Elbe was empty like dead water. The only other boats accompanying my wedding party were police boats and Greenpeace protesters (with a giant sculpture of a crying baby Trump on the roof). Talking about great photo ops.
No time to be angry
I had no time to be angry at G20, at the vandals, at the police. At anything. I needed to gather my strength and positivity. I had another wedding to do the next day. As a wedding dj, one gotta be focused and positive, no matter what. I need to fade out politics and criticism and solely function. It might be the 100th wedding for me but it’s the first for my bridal couple. There are no excuses for a wedding dj. It’s important to keep up the excitement. It’s like coming into work on your first day every day, again and again. It did pay off.
We had two dream weddings despite all circumstances. With a beach dance floor. Best weather. And the only thing that burnt was the bonfire. It was my very first wedding at an Elbe location with no neighbors calling the police because of noise pollution. Guess they had worse things to worry about, sadly.
Best thing that happened this weekend? When announcing the throwing of the bride’s bouquet, I asked her who’s allowed to catch. (This is a question I always ask, almost rhetorically, hoping for the one tolerant answer.) The bride yelled „EVERYONE CUZ EHEFÜRALLE!“. (This week, Germany passed the law for same sex marriage).
Ingrid’s racing team
I was so relieved on Sunday. We had two great nights and I could go back to Berlin and return my car without a scratch. On my way to the Autobahn I heard an ambulance. Turns out it wasn’t an ambulance. My rear mirror showed four water cannons speeding towards me. I’ve never seen such tanks before. I stepped on the gas and followed right behind the tanks. I never got out of the city that fast! Because of G20, I put the highest insurance on my rental car. I normally never get insurance. Thankfully I did. Because on my way back to Berlin, I stopped at my brother’s family house in rural Germany and accidentally scratched the wheel rim on the curb big time. Oops. Or as we Germans say “Glück im Unglück” (blessing in disguise), which pretty much describes my entire weekend.