Picture South African indie songstress Alice Phoebe Lou singing of love and sorrow in an old empty brewery. Elsewhere, an abandoned swimming pool in Neukölln resonates with the percussive sound of Israeli musician Ben Dagovitsch. On Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin locals Ohrbooten can be found beating away the rainclouds with their drums.
It is images such as these through which THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN documents Berlin’s thriving music scene. The aim: to capture the spirit of the people and the places that embody the soundtrack of our city, to promote musicians, and to provide a platform that showcases great Berlin music – all free of charge.
Since February 2014, a team of fourteen volunteers hailing from nine different countries have worked together in an office in RAW, in the heart of Friedrichshain, filming 3-4 new videos a week. Since the company’s inception, THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN has created over 60 videos depicting artists from all nations playing all genres of music – singing, playing, and mixing tracks in peddle-boats, greenhouses, photo-booths and old factories – always live and without an audience.
Users from all over the world visit our website daily, free of charge, without registration or advertisements. To date, the project has been financed exclusively by the team itself. But each lamp and each microphone costs money.
“In the future it will be possible to create playlists and to discover the locations of our shoots.”
In order to keep this vision alive, THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN hopes to finance the technical equipment and the overall development of the project through a crowd-funding campaign. Only then can the platform develop into a fully-fledged interactive chronicle of Berlin’s music scene. “In the future it will be possible to create playlists and to discover the locations of our shoots via an interactive map, and you will be able to arrange the videos according to artists, genres and favorites,” says Christian Blümel, who cofounded the project together with Carlos Vargas.
“The aim of THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN is to transform the whole city into one large stage.”
Vargas hints that THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN is only the beginning of a worldwide network: “We already have plans in place for other cities, to give artists from everywhere the opportunity to build a network and share their music with us all.” Since the aim of THE OPEN STAGE BERLIN is to transform the whole city into one large stage, we now require the support of sponsors and investors, as well as public donations. Through this, it will be possible to give each musician the opportunity to be seen and heard, and truly capture the soundtrack of our city – in the peddle-boats, the breweries and in Tempelhofer Feld.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.