Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hipster are taking over!

Almost everyone knows that Berlin is the hipster capital of the world and probably that is the reason why we decided to have the hipster festival in the city. But watch out BerlinHipsterfestival2012 the hipster are growing and taking over other cities so maybe the venue for the 2013 edition might be somewhere else!

This week, in the States was Memorial Weekend and although in Berlin we don’t have many bank holidays we also had a long weekend. It is amazing taking into consideration that the previous Thursday was also off! Nevertheless, the excitement can’t last for too long if you keep in mind that is the last holiday one until October. So I had to take advantage of the opportunity and travel for a while.

I went to Bucharest with a layover in Vienna where I tried the very famous Sachertorte, a delicious combination of chocolate cake with apricot jam filling and chocolate coverture; HEAVEN!

 [I might not be a Hipster with Instagram but I know how to make nice pictures]

Once we arrived in Bucharest we took a stroll in the city center (beautiful) and to my surprised I soon noticed that the hipster had already been there! Not that I saw any graffiti such as “I the hipster was here” but I did spot out some obvious details from the hipster culture in the streets of the Romanian capital. Take a look and judge for yourself:

[Last trend for the hipster bags]

[Very cool hipster club]

[and of course, the hipster mode of transportation. The hipster-bike!]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Very First Hipsters

This is the first art of my two-part blog entry on the first hipsters

When reading about the word hipster I was struck with how old the term was. Considering that today’s version of the term is used to describe people who effectively try a little too hard to be ahead of their time it is surprising that the first “hipsters” hail from the 1940s! You know when Hitler was such a threat that no one would imagine such a thing as Hipster Hitler!

Back then the word hipster, or hepcat, was used to define lovers of jazz music and the wider lifestyle associated with bebop legends of the time. Ultimately it comes from the slang word ‘hip’, which means to be ‘in the know’ or ‘fashionably current’. In other words being hip is heavily tied to awareness, which happens to be one of my favorite words. One look at the dictionary and it is easy to see why. What is not to revere from having knowledge, being conscious, cognizant, informed, alert, knowledgeable and sophisticated?

The hipsters from the 40s were known to adopt slang and dress styles of the aforementioned jazz players. They also possessed a more open mind with regards to race and sexual attitudes, in particular towards interracial lovemaking and homosexuality. In fact so much was this identity tied to black culture that Norman Mailer released a pamphlet in 1957 called “The White Negro”.

Tune in tomorrow for part two of my blog post on the original hipsters.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I see hipster people!

I think that most of us know (or have heard at least once) that we are exposed daily to thousands of advertisements and we only “see” a very small percentage of them, right? That is because we have selective attention. That means that our brain has the ability to isolate and pay attention only to the “impulses” or messages that it finds relevant.  

Whit this been said, I am very glad that Abba talked about the long weekend on our previous post because (as I already shared with you) I used to consider myself a very “ignorant” person on the hipster-issue. I used to think that I didn’t have any hipster friends and that I wasn’t surrounded by any. Well, surprise! the minute we started this blog my mindset changed and my brain has decided to start scanning every single aspect of my life looking for hipster references.

Now, I have a growing theory that our boss is a lite-version of a hipster and on Saturday on our way to the club I magically realized the amount of hipsters that live in this city! They are everywhere and of every kind! Not to mention that inside of the club I felt so “alone” I was like a penguin on a beach party. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time but I felt so strange being - literally - surrounded.

Since the blog started I have been doing some (not much) research about the hipster culture, how they dress; what kind of music they like and of course how a true hipster festival should be in order to make the berlinhipsterfestival2012 a reality. So Saturday, while dancing in the club and feeling so “not normal” I was able to spot a couple of genuine hipster stereotypes and couldn’t help but thinking how would I be if I was “one of them”. Promise to write those thoughts down in the next entry ;)

In the meanwhile, keep the festival spirit alive and if you are in Berlin enjoy the beautiful weather!!! For the “anti-hipster” ones, here is a great blog you should def. check out:

They dont know it, but they are true hipsters as they follow the Hipster Rule #2:

 [Hipster Rule #2: Only like things ironically]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

And We're Back!

Dear rabies and mentalmen.

As some of you may have noticed we took a week's hiatus. Part of the reason was that we were simply enjoying all Berlin had to offer now that summer is in the air and that festival vibe has descended upon us as we approach the half way point of 2012. We also had a public holiday which facilitated this break somewhat giving us ample time to observe Berlin hipsters up close as we conceptualize a festival to see out 2012 (because as most of you know the world is going to be over in a few months :p)!

On a more serious note we also had some qualms with Google as it appeared they were not indexing our blog and several friends had issues searching us. But now that we are officially, unofficially, categorically, metaphorically, physically, and metaphysically back in business i'd like to take the time to announce that we are working on bringing you an interview of the Hipster Death Squad. They make really great music and if you don't believe me you can check them out on:

Twitter: @HpstrDthSqd

And also don't forget that you can follow us on twitter too @berlinhipster12 as well as on

If you also have any questions that you would like me to ask Hipster Death Squad don't hesitate to contact me whichever way you see fit! Also i'd like to know which are your favorite songs. Other than that thank you for your patience and to reiterate: The berlinhipsterfestival2012 is back in business!!

Peace out

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Music + Friends + Good time + Fun = Festival!

According to Max (from Happy Endings) “Hipster rule number 3: Never show too much enthusiasm.” All right, we all know I’m no hipster but at least… let’s try to blend in so I thought I could vary the topic of the post for a change :)

Today I won’t talk about how hipster are supposed to be or what are the highlights of the culture. I won’t even talk about the history of the hipsters as Abba wants to cover that point in the next entry and as last time I talked about my “hipster-first time” today I will talk about my first festival. It is true that our BerlinHipsterFestival2012 is only an idea but that doesn’t mean we cannot dream about it!

Do you guys remember what was your first concert or music festival? I kind of do… I remember (more or less) when it was, I know for sure where it was or who organized it but I can’t remember who sang on it or even with who I went! I feel terrible… Well, I do remember ONE friend. (I’ll be back)

Ok, so I just exchange some messages with THE friend (thanks Rod) and just as I thought so he does remember some of the artist. As a matter of fact Anastasia was there. How could I have forgotten about dancing “not that kind”??? hehehe. We also talked about a Spanish (very commercial and probably one-hit-wonder) duo called Sonia y Selena. Their “hit” Yo quiero bailar is the kind of song that you love because it reminds you of your teens but you hate because all the other obvious reasons you will find after taking a look at this video:

Anyway… this first music festival was in 2001 in Madrid and we were 16. It was organized by a program called “World Dance Music” that belongs to the number-one-radio station in Spain (los 40 Principales) The tickets were free and even that was exciting. I used to live outside the city and of course, the radio station was at the very heart of Madrid. In addition the box-office where you could pick up tickets for free was open only until 5pm or 6pm and because the festival was sponsored by such a big station we decided to go the same day we heard about it immediately after school in order to make sure we got a ticket. And back in those days getting from where I used to live to Madrid city center wasn’t an easy task. Now we have the metro but back then it probably took us over an hour with many changes from bus to metro in between.

I also remember how my mom drove us to the venue (a huge park also outside from Madrid) and how patiently she picked us up once it was over. I also remember how we went about 3 or 4 hours before just to queue to get a “good spot” and then we decided that the first row was too crowed. Hehehe. I find really „funny“ that I am incapable of remembering the line-up or the friends I went with but I guess that is part of the magic of festivals. Times goes by and you just remember that you were there and you had a blast.

And now is the time for questions… What and when was your first festival? What do you think the ingredients of an awesome festival have to be? Which one is the one you will never forget about and why? By the way, if our Berlin Hipster Festival becomes a reality don’t forget to check out this website with all the info:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Perfect Example of a Hipster

 As I mentioned in my previous blog spots, as well as in my comments, my mind is currently obsessed with the etymology of the word hipster and how it has entered into our collective mind and meant different things to different people at different times. And also looking at this change beyond just the mere word: has what we call a hipster today always existed? Interesting question. To understand how generally accepted connotations for words morph in the 4th dimension one need only think of the word ‘bad’. Michael Jackson’s song of the same name is the perfect example as it is generally understood, by children even, that by ‘bad’ he meant ‘good’, or something decidedly positive to aspire to.

In France they give the same connotation to the word ‘terrible’. A ‘terrible’ album in France is a 'great' album. A French friend of mine living in Berlin the word terrible in the French context when she speaks in English. I remember this one time when it to a misunderstanding with others (albeit not insurmountably so) not so clued up on French as the adulation in her tone of voice did not match the seemingly negative one-word-review of the concert we just witnessed.

It is my belief that the word hipster has also undergone such transformation. What I am currently less sure of is which way the wind has blown, as it were. What did it mean in the beginning? However, before going into the past of hipsterdom let’s begin by coming back to future. What does it mean to be a hipster now? I believe the video my co-conspirator Cat posted from Happy Endings is a great example. And also since a picture is worth a thousand words I have spotted a picture on buzzfeed of the arguably the most hipster dude you will ever (forever ever, forever ever?) come across. The hilarious caption says it all:

“Vintage threads, skinny jeans, a stack of vinyl at the ready, a portable turntable, oversized headphones, and a disinterested hipster girlfriend? That's it. Game over. He won.”

This is where we are today. In my next blog post I will go to where it all started… perhaps.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hipster? WHAT?

I thought that before jumping into any kind of “analysis” of the hipster culture, what a “real” hipster is and what a hipster festival in Berlin should look like; I could share with the blogosphere how my “first time” with hipsters was. It is NOT what you think (people with a dirty mind) hehehe I mean the first time I heard the term “hipster”. Can you remember your first time?

Mine was in a series (Happy Endings) were one of the main characters (Penny) falls into a guy that happens to be a hipster. From other experiences I have noticed that when you use the word “hipster” it implies a negative meaning but this time it was up-to-the-viewer to make that judgment. The hipsters weren’t better or worst from the others, they were just different. So far that was a very good first time approach.

As I write about my hipster-first-time, different questions pop my mind: since when hipsters are called hipsters? Is this culture/tribe/movement new? What makes them different from other urban tribes? I’ll try to answer all of them with future entries but I am pretty sure that the hipsters have always been there! We just didn’t noticed or called them different. I am 100% sure that when I was “little” (and in Spain) they were called the modern-ones. And my boyfriend has assured me that in Germany they were called alternatives. As a matter of fact, today while talking with my sister (who is 21 and lives in Madrid) I told her about this new blog and the first thing she said was: “Hipster what?” from pictures in different social media I am aware that the hipsters are not complete strangers to the Spanish scene but maybe they are still not as popular as they might be here in Berlin. Hm… Is there a specific range for hipsters? Another good question for a future post ;)

While I do some research, I want to share with you an extract from the Happy Endings episode where I learnt about hipsters. I hope you enjoy it...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Introducing Myself (Abba)

It is only after reading my dear friend and partner in crime’s last post does it dawn on me that I never once introduced myself! How rude of me… tsk tsk. Perhaps that goes to show how immersed I am in the topic of hipsterdom, particularly as it concerns the city of Berlin. So without further ado here goes my wee introduction:

My name is Abba and I have been living in the uber-trendy and aforementioned city of Berlin for three and a half years now. As an expat here I have run into and befriended countless ‘hipsters’. Or in the very list I have encountered people that fit the stereotypical and ironic image that we have come to associate with the word hipster.

Very often these “hipsters” have come to be associated with the gentrification of Berlin. The same phenomenon that lead to a trend in left-wing anarchists burning the flash cars of those they viewed as encroaching on their home and driving prices sky high. Obviously this is not the fault of hipsters per se, or at least not solely.

To me the word hipster has become a meme to begs to be scratched because I feel like there are much larger factors at play here that demand closer inspection. Now I am not a hipster as I have never been referred to as one or classified myself as one. However I am pretty confident that there are a few things that I, my co-conspirator and even you can identify with.

Other aspects of hipsters will forever remain alien to me, but then again this perhaps of the journey to understanding where it is that I stand. As this blog progresses I hope for an understanding to develop in order to start work on a Berlin Hipster Festival 2012, or as we intend to brand it: berlinhipsterfestival2012. Yes with no spaces… just to be so with the times ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Introducing… The Hipster Intern!

Hi everybody, my name is Cat and I will be writing in this blog as often as possible although I am pretty sure I don’t fit with the description of a hipster. Hehe. Actually, I must confess that I have no idea about the Hipster world but… does it really matter? Everything is a learning progress, so this project was not going to be different! Abba (AKA theberlinhipsterfestival2012) might say that he doesn’t know anything about the hipster movement but trust me, I am way behind.

My lack of information about hipsters is such that I have decided to label myself as “the hipster intern”. In my defense, I have to say that I learn fast so hopefully with the research that I will do before every post I will become some sort of little expert and step-by-step we will all learn something new. Who knows… we might even get enough readers to engage in conversations! I have a lot of questions that probably have no easy answer so debates are very welcome :)

 I took this picture last summer during an open-air Festival.
Berlin is such a great venue…

I am really curios to see how this “hipster experiment” evolves and find out if with enough leverage we get the idea of having an awesome festival in a city as cool as Berlin moving!

If you are still reading, at this point you might be wondering “why me?” I mean… “why her?” Well, I have another question as an answer. Why not? I studied Public Relations and Corporate Communications and I love anything related. I also love to write, love to talk and even love to listen (yes, there is a lot of love in me. Hehe) and as an additional bonus... I love developing any kind of events so, of course, a hipster festival in Berlin sounds like an offer I couldn’t reject!

Hey Abba! What do you have in mind for the next entry? I was thinking that before we jump into “analyzing” the hipster… just like I did, you could give us a brief intro about yourself and your connection with the Berlin Hipster Festival 2012 project.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The begining of The Berlin Hipster Festival 2012 blog

Hello hipsters and hipster lovers (or not) out there.

With this first post we officially inaugurate our concerted efforts in analyzing, dissecting and understanding all things hipster-related. We must confess that the festival itself is still very nascent but it is our hope that through our research and with your help and contributions we can conceptualize the ideal festival and turn theory to practice by having an awesome time and a great party in the trendy city of Berlin.

According to many, Berlin is currently the de-facto hipster capital of the world. So naturally basing it here seems like the right fit. However the term hipster gets bandied about loosely and with so many connotations that not everyone who mentions the word hipster could possibly be inferring the same meaning. As such we shall also be delving deeper into the topic of hipsterdom and trying to define it.

We must admit to not being hipsters as the Twitterati and popular media seems to define them but more curious journalistic types that find the definition to be more blurry. After one look at it and it quickly becomes clear that a large number of people who would not consider themselves hipsters might very well be. One of the goals of this blog would be to provide a more substantial insight than a lot of the trivial, and sometimes vacuous, nature the subject of hipsters gets treated online.

 As for the nature of the festival it will be defined by our interaction with you. We hope you enjoy coming along with us for this journey in creating what will be a very fun event in a fun city.