02 June 2016 City in the spotlight

There’s something raw about this city, and the music that soundtracks it. Berlin is a city that struggles with its own past.. And you can still see the scars of it today. Head to the Siegessäule in the Tiergarten and see the pockmarked walls from the Battle of Berlin. Look into the eyes of older Berliners and see the lines that divided this city etched into their faces.


Modern Berlin is decidedly subterranean. In the cavernous clubs you’ll see the locals with a beer in hand, sucking on a hand-rolled smoke and staring blindly into the strobe.


Techno music and its acolytes have made this city their own. The most famus is the Berghain. This notorious club inhabits an old power station and the party inside is as notorious as the bouncer that prowls its door. Opening at midnight on a Friday, the party extends well into Monday morning. That’s a lot of time to worship at the altar, and worship you will. The sound on entering and walking up the stairs enters through your feet, churns your stomach, rumbles through your chest cavity and assaults your unsuspecting eardrums. The feeling is spiritual, ecstatic.


That’s if you get in. The head bouncer – covered in face tattoos and thick metal piercings – judges your aura and lets you in or, more likely, turns you away with the slightest tilt of his head. Hundreds are turned away every weekend, the crowd streaming away is almost as thick as those queuing to get in. Improve your chances by dressing in black, keeping quiet and going in a small, mixed group.


Entering on a Friday night, leading the worship will likely be one of the Ostgut Ton lot. Who name amongst their numbers Ben Klock, Steffi, Marcel Detman and Tama Sumo. Each a trend setter in the mid 00s techno explosion that overtook Berlin. Ostgut Ton is the achingly cool label that runs out of the Berghain and which all its resident acts are associated with.


Summer in Berlin wasn’t made for just cave dwelling. Take to the parks, the forests, the lakes and the rivers. Open airs in Berlin are a rite of passage.

Sound systems pop up in the woods that circle the city and parties last for days. The crowds coming and going, as the sun sets and rises.


Berlin won’t signpost your way to the nearest all weekend party, , there are few cities like it. Beers at 9am on a Monday? Sure. Who cares. Days spent lost in the woods or those dark Berghain corners. It’s part and parcel, lap it up. Enjoy it.


Find a taste of the Berlin life from the easyHotel Berlin Hackescher Markt. The perfect place to stay.

The best festivals in Manchester this autumn

August 2017 | City in the spotlight, Insider’s Guide

With so many incredible festivals having taken place in Manchester over the summer (see here for examples), you might think things would start slowing down with the cooling of the temperature and the arrival of Autumn…Well, think again as September and October are packed with loads of fun events and festivals to welcome in the new season and reassure people that winter ain’t that bad.

A history of the Notting Hill Carnival

August 2017 | City in the spotlight

Notting Hill Carnival will take place on the 27th and 28th of August this year, with the more chilled Family Day on Sunday, and the grand finale happening on Monday. Seeing as the carnival is such an iconic event, we thought we’d take a look at a bit of its history and the story of Caribbean music in the UK.

Amazing Festivals this August: Manchester

July 2017 | City in the spotlight, Insider’s Guide

We recently took a look at some of the best music and dance festivals on offer this August in London, and now it’s Manchester’s turn. This Northern town is famous for its eclectic and fresh music scene, as well as for its crazy, all-night long parties – and what better recipe could you have for the perfect festival? The month will see all a hugely diverse and exciting range of genres, artists and venues in its different festivals, from the smooth croons of the Manchester Soul festival through to the electric beats of Creamfields.