Where do I begin…? I came to Berlin, Germany for an Audio Engineering Society convention. I knew when planning my nightlife itinerary that I would want to experience events that I could never experience in the United States. For too long have I been discouraged by the narrow approaches that many events throwers and goers have towards electronic dance music, especially with major festival season underway with every festival featuring nearly the same exact artists. It’s so overdone already. I did some research and found the Tree Of Life Festival Pre Party. Tree Of Life is a rather new festival held in Izmir, Turkey mid-late June with main focus on Psytrance music thrown by a legendary Psytrance artist who goes by the name “U-Recken.”

After a whole day of audio seminars at the convention, there was a student party for all the international student chapters of this audio society. It was a pretty formal networking event but, I knew I would be going to this party right afterwards, so I wore a tie-dye shirt under a formal sweater to disguise myself ; ). From talking to many people at the student party from other countries such as Germany & Serbia, who had stayed in the US with work visas for several months, pointed out that the US not only has a narrow approach to music but, that the US is narrow to their own country and never visiting other countries to experience more than whats highly mainstream. It made a lot of sense! I originally thought I would be going to this special party alone but, when it was time to leave many students were curious about the event and we ended up having 2-3 cabs leave from the hotel at 1:30 am.

We arrived at what the location of the address we had been given but, there was no sign of a venue called “Area 61.” We asked some people standing around and it turned out to be a venue directly below a train station along the river in the center of Berlin. It was 2 am by the time we got to the venue and people were still lined up out the door. The excitement was flowing. Some of my peers did not know what to expect. It was a long time since I had this kind of excitement the last time being December for a party in New York City.

Finally, we made it inside and the first thing we saw were a lot of chill areas with people just hanging out talking and drinking. When we entered the main room I was immediately swept off my feet. I expected something special but, it was everything I had hoped for and more. Everything was so beautiful and unique. The music, the people, the decorations and the amazing energy. I was instantly assimilated by this amazing culture that is very rare in the US. I could not help but keep saying “WOW…WOW!!!” and the smile was uncontrollable. Not all of my peers connected to what was going on but, several were as drawn in as I was. When we tried to express our emotions and excitement it was impossible. The only thing we could do is hug each other with the joy that we were experiencing something that is so rare to so many. It was a moment I will never forget.

There were 2 rooms of music at this event. The main stage consisted of Progressive Psytrance, which is typically between the tempo of 130 – 145 BPM, and the other stage was Dark Psy which is typically anything above 150 BPM. At some points the dark psy room were at tempos reaching 190-200+ BPM! It was something I normally did not vibe to but, with the amazing UV decorations and the many people dancing so hard I was able to let go and let it flow. The decorations in both rooms were breathtaking. It was no simple task and the effects came out rather 3D-like. It was stunning work.

By 4:30 am all of my peers had left at which time the headliners started to spin. I tried to leave several times but knowing I would probably not experience an event like this for several months, I turned back and stayed until my head and feet collapsed. By 7 am the sun was lighting up the sky. In the Dark Psy room, the sun shined through a window over the DJ booth and the decorations gave off a totally new aura. It was absolutely beautiful. I sat in that room with 200+ BPM music blaring just meditating. It was so abnormal and exquisite.

When it was finally time to really leave, I stood outside asking the locals about their scene and explaining what I had been witnessing in the US. Each local had doubts as to how impressed I really was with this event since these events are so frequent being almost every week. During that time police and fireman showed up. They came in to turn off the fire alarm or something then simply left without causing any trouble for the event. I never saw anything like it. In most other countries, any sign of police at an event is likely to be shut down. These cops had no problem. It was the first and only time I saw police officers during my 6 day stay in Berlin.

Everything about this night was special and thrilling. I met a lot of amazing people at this party. Friends I plan to keep in touch with until I return to Berlin or hopefully will see them elsewhere in Europe in the future. Berlin is such an incredible city and I encourage everyone, especially Americans that spend hundreds-thousands of dollars on major EDM festivals and travel expenses, to get better value for their dollar and to really have “THE EXPERIENCE” like nothing they’ve had before.

Review by Sam Fisher for

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