Tag Archives: music

On Tour – S-Group goes Berlin

Nordic IT corporate group S-Group specialises in creating all-in-one business solutions for their customers. When they asked us to host the perfect incentive trip to Berlin for them, we were happy to show what we specialise in – creating unique Berlin experiences off the beaten path, even it’s a trip with more than 250 guests as in this case.

For their 3-day trip to Berlin we curated a programme showing the many faces of Berlin. Our guests resided in the stylish nHow music hotel right on the bank of Spree, where you can actually order a Guitar Room Service who’ll bring anything from headphones to an amplifier right to your room. On the first evening newcomer singer Nessi performed live on stage, while DJ Sara Moshiri was spinning records at our BBQ event on the lush riverside terrace with perfect views over the setting sun behind Oberbaumbrücke.

Following an app-based scavenger hunt with 30 teams combing the city for hints, a graffiti workshop at a hidden underground space and an inhibited summer buffet in one of Berlin’s summer beach clubs, the trip’s highlight finally drew closer.

Berlin’s river Spree runs along the former west-ost border and was the perfect route to a much anticipated gala dinner. We took a boat from the hotel to the vast Bolle Festsäle, that still embody Berlin’s industrial charm of the roaring 20s. The river is a great way to discover some of Berlin’s many secrets and our guides were eager to share their knowledge with the curious crowd.

The gala dinner saw the absolute highlights with stunning live performances by Swedish hightech drummers ConRytmo and a quirky bottle blow show by Glasblas Sing Quintett. The local DJ hero Superzandy, who kept both records and feet spinning until well past midnight, rounded up the sparkling gala. According to the management team of the company the intensive Berlin itinerary scored 10 out of 10 points. We love and know how to entertain people!

Insiders – Eric Wahlforss

Eric Wahlforss

This month’s interviewee is Eric Wahlforss. Eric is co-founder and CTO of the Berlin-based company SoundCloud, known for their online music streaming service with 175 million monthly visitors. Just yesterday (10.05.2016) SoundCloud has launched their new subscription service SoundCloud Go in the US, UK and France which allows you to stream millions of songs from all the major labels ad-free! 

Q: Hey Eric. Pleasure to have you here. So, you and SoundCloud, huh? How did that all start?

A: Me and Alex Ljung met in Stockholm in the early 2000s. We both played music and Alex had this studio where we started hanging out. We did some projects together and at some point decided to solve a really obvious problem. There was no dedicated online platform for musicians to share their music with people who wanted to listen to it. We realised how huge the demand was when we made SoundCloud public after 2 years of testing. The user numbers went through the roof. Today we have 12 million creators, 175 million listeners per month and more than 125 million tracks online. In comparison – Spotify and Apple music have about 30 million songs.

Q: Almost 10 years into leading a company – you must be stressed out!

A: You learn to cope with the stress. These days I try to disconnect as often as possible. My girlfriend Sophie is a big help for me. She’s also running a company and we’re amazing at being lazy together.

Q: You’re a musician. Do you still find time to play?

A: Well, I released an album in 2012. It’s made from the sounds of strings, organs and choirs. For the percussion I used only wood, stone and metal. The album took 3 years to produce and with SoundCloud going stronger than ever, I don’t really find time to play often these days. But we’ve had this concert at Berghain a few years back and me and Alex played at Burning Man last year. That was intense!  

Q: Ever feel tempted to feature your own songs on SoundCloud’s homepage? 

A (laughs): The most important thing is that the right music finds the right people. So… no.

Q: Just a trick question. What drew you to Berlin?

A: I first came to Berlin for the love parade in 1997. It was a total game changer. I had the most amazing time and went to clubs like Tresor even though I was only 17. For SoundCloud we also considered London, Vienna and Barcelona but were drawn back to Berlin in 2007 because we found an investor here. Berlin has grown up since. But it’s still rougher and crazier than other places. Compared to London or New York, Berlin is very chilled out. The energy is on a whole different level. 

Q: What do you not like about the city?

A: The service is terrible. TERRIBLE. Maybe it’s worse in Russia or Poland, but Berlin isn’t far behind. Especially when you want to bring new people to Berlin. They either have a great time and instantly love it, or they’re unlucky and have a terrible experience with human interactions here. Shouting cab drivers, unfriendly staff in restaurant, the whole service sector.

Q: Cool things you’ve experienced in Berlin?

A: Last summer Sophie and me drove around on our bikes. We heard electronic music in the distance and spontaneously decided to check it out. It was this amazing open air festival at Rummelsburg, located right at the Spree. After a little dancing we saw people swimming and thought what the hell, let’s go swimming! A few minutes later we were sitting in a small boat, drinking beers with strangers while listening to techno music. That’s the vibe that makes Berlin special and that it has always kept over the years.

Q: Your favourite place in Berlin?

A: I live between the office, my flat and Soho House, where I work out. I also really love the Piano Salon Christophori. It’s this super rough piano factory, like an old warehouse, and they also give concerts with great pianists. 

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Probably still in Berlin. Maybe with a family… :-) 

Thanks for your time and all the best for you!

The Scene meets Weyde

There is a new star rising on Berlin’s nightlife sky! It’s neither in Mitte, Friedrichshain nor in Kreuzberg – which is rather unusual. Instead the new dancing temple is located in the insider’s district Schöneweide, located east of Friedrichshain. Right now Schöneweide isn’t exactly considered a cool hood, but our Berlinagenten instinct tells us the area will become a trendy and sought after place to live in within the next years.

The Weyde takes up the role of a techno pioneer – bringing the music that has made Berlin’s heart beat since the 90s to the outer district. With the same architectural office as the world-famous Berghain, it’s bound to have a distinctive visual touch to it. Our visit to the construction site has assured us that the concept behind the club is just as promising as the architectural planning.

With a wide array of techno/electronic music on the weekend and even Indie or Rock bands taking up the premises on workdays, we can imagine the whole thing working out quite well. For their 2 main floors they have made sure the sound will be ear pleasing to whatever audience: the industry standard Funktion One sound system will be installed at the club, which is used by the biggest music festivals world wide.

Another promising attempt to breath some fresh air into the every day life of Berlin clubbers: there will be a water-cab bringing you right from the inner city to the club’s own pier. How cool is that?! Forget cabs and traffic jams, from now on we’ll drive to the club with style and glam…on a boat!

What’s really unique about the club is its dimension and multi-functional spaces which make it seem like three clubs in one. Apart from the three floors (four if you add the wardrobe floor) there is a promising outdoor area, that will most likely be home to the biggest party trend in Berlin for years: open airs. Also the roof of the multi-storey car park the club is in will be used for cultural events, such as vinyl flea markets and open-air cinemas.

There was a small pre-opening party on December 12th, but the real gems AKA the two main floors were still under construction. We’ve already received our VIP invitation to the grand opening in January. Looking forward!