I always try to get to Berlin for the annual Country Music Messe (trade/fan fair). It's being held this weekend -- but I won't be able to make it, as I am in the United States on a fellowship at Brandeis University. Too bad -- as this year, there's a bit of drama! TWO such fairs will be taking place, thanks to the split a few years back between the two original organizers of the event, Frank Lange and Kai Ulatowski. The "Messe" (Kai) will be taking place at the Postbahnhof hall next to Ostbahnhof where it relocated four years ago. But the first -- and rival -- "Country Music Meeting" (Frank) will be taking place at the original venue -- the Fontane Haus in the far north of Berlin, where the American Western Saloon is located.
Here's the announcement of the Country Music Meeting:
It finally took 4 long years, but now we are able to say: Welcome back für 3 days "Weekend Jamboree" with good friends at the best of Country Music at the Fontane Haus - a big meeting in the district Reinickendorf, the old Country-Music-Home of Berlin.
Because of his long time cooperation with the departement of Berlin-Reinickendorf and after extensive construction works to follow the necessary fire protection regulations, the owner of the American Western Saloon Frank M. Lange, who was one of the organizers of the Country Music Messe until 2006, decided to arrange a revival event for Country Music at the Fontane Haus.
The swinging doors of the Fontane Haus will be opened from February 4th til February 6th 2011 to give the many friends and fans the chance to celebrate their annual highlight in familiar atmosphere which will be titled "Country Music Meeting". The attractions of this venue are the well known ambience, its large exhibition areas and the big music halls - many reasons to bring back the fans of America's most famous music back to the north of Berlin.
Every visitor of the past Country Music Events at this venue might remember that getting through the crowds sometimes seemed impossible. That's why the organizer decided to allow only a limited amount of visitors per day. This will be guaranteed during the Pre-Ticket-Sale for the Country Music Meeting 2011 with a priority of weekend tickets. Day tickets are only available in limited quantities.
It all seems pretty ridiculous, and I would love to see how the fans and exhibitors break down. (For one this, it is much easier transportwise to get to the Messe venue). Looking at the line-ups, it appears that some artists have sided with the Messe, while others are only playing at the Meeting. A couple of groups look like they will be performing at both. And I think one or two former regulars decided to give both a miss....
I posted pictures, video and description on previous editions of the Messe, both at the Fontane Haus and the new Ostbahnhof venue: click HERE to see these posts.