Bernd Breiter is a passionate entrepreneur and known worldwide for his always innovative festival and media events. With his BigCityBeats and the international WORLD CLUB DOME festivals, to which almost 500,000 visitors flock every year, he has successfully earned the reputation of an “innovator without borders”. Among the incredible achievements for which he and his team are responsible is the first DJ set in space, where he trained astronaut Luca Parmitano to DJ from space. He “built” a club in zero gravity, the highest club event in Europe on the Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Alps, and created the WORLD CLUB DOME-ICE Club Train to Frankfurt, the fastest club in the world. We had the pleasure of speaking with Bernd on a number of topics during our trip to WORLD CLUB DOME this past month.
What are the most exciting and most challenging things about organizing such a massive event?
The most exciting thing, once everything is organized and the doors are opened, is getting on stage and seeing all those happy faces. People have been waiting for the return of live music for such a long time, and now it’s like an explosion of emotions.I mean, the challenges are huge, because we promise our visitors a dream world and none of them should know what goes on behind the scenes to realize it. But really, it takes a lot of planning and organization to create BigCityBeats WORLD CLUB DOME. From talking to authorities to artists to the productional side of the event, you wouldn’t believe it! There are so many little moving pieces, but it makes me so happy to see the team working together, and that together we can manage all of these challenges and ultimately realize this dream world for our visitors
What is your vision for BigCityBeats WORLD CLUB DOME in the coming years?
I mean, looking back to the last 10 years, everyone’s always told us that we cannot top what we’ve done so far. But now we are in space! We’ve got an astronaut who just returned from space, cooking a meal for all of us right here at BigCityBeats WORLD CLUB DOME! And next year we’re going even further with an Atlantis theme. I won’t reveal too much about next year, but prepare yourself for some really crazy stuff, some of it will probably include water as well..
Can you describe the 3 days of WORLD CLUB DOME in 3 words?
It’s Fucking Awesome! – sorry I guess that was 4 words, haha.
How did you come up with the idea of blending space, music, and food for Space Club Kitchen?
We have two universal languages in the world; music and food. They both bring people together and give them a good feeling. They’re accessible for everyone in the way that you don’t need education to understand how to eat and enjoy food and listen to music. So this was the idea behind Space Club Kitchen; to combine food and music and use their universal language to connect the world. And what’s more universal than space? That’s the only place you can really see the world from the above. So that’s when we came with the idea to have a DJ, and an astronaut, and a chef in a kitchen; to show that whether there’s a lockdown or not, you can turn any kitchen into a party.
Looking back on the past few days, what is your biggest satisfaction with this festival?
Sometimes you’re so deep into work and you forget the bigger picture. When I was standing on the DJ booth during the opening ceremony with astronaut Matthias Maurer, who had literally returned from space two and a half weeks ago, and next to one of Germany’s top chefs, Tim Mälzer, and we saw all those 1000s of people in front of the stage, I realized what we had achieved, and that was a super touching moment for me because in that moment I realized what we had created. That was amazing.
What about your upcoming projects?
We’re currently planning for our next event in Malta in the beginning of August. Then we’ve got plans for Ibiza, Dubai, Dusseldorf, and of course next year’s edition in Frankfurt. The team behind BigCityBeats WORLD CLUB DOME is a group of people who really understand the vision, and who really want to bring the feeling of WORLD CLUB DOME all over the world.
The lineup for WORLD CLUB DOME is so unique and diverse, is your own music taste just as diverse?
Yes, of course. We’re living in a world where you’re constantly in touch with diverse flavors through social media. You’re no longer in specific communities that will only listen to hip-hop or electronic music or rock and so on, even artists go from one genre to another. WORLD CLUB DOME is about catering to all these different tastes. We think about what people want to hear and what they want to taste, so we can ultimately unite all types of people.
A contest winner opened up the main stage on Friday. How important is it for you to use your brand to help those who are up and coming?
To be honest, it’s really hard to give a big platform for newcomers at such a big event. We get 1000s of requests every day from artists asking if they can perform at WORLD CLUB DOME. My advice is to first think about your own brand and create your own fanbase. If you’ve got a fanbase and your own fame, you’re more interesting because that means people will come out to the event to see you. To help out with this we’ve actually got a program where we do sessions with up and coming DJs and obviously host contests. We also have plans to open a DJ school as well as a cooking school, to once again connect these two universal languages.
You showed a lot of vision and you can feel it when we go to WORLD CLUB DOME. What has recently inspired you when it comes to music events?
I guess it’s a gift from God, I don’t know, it’s tough to explain. Sometimes I’m enjoying a glass of wine and inspiration hits me like ‘oh maybe we can do something with submarines’. As a result of those kinds of ideas we’ve realized so many crazy things that even very conservative companies have joined in and started believing in us.
What would you say to the people abroad, why should they come to the festival?
BigCityBeats WORLD CLUB DOME is all about giving that club feeling. Everyone wants that weekend feeling, and that’s what we give to them. Normally a club spreads out a line-up over a year, but we take that line-up and spread it over three days to build the ‘biggest club in the world’. So you can imagine what kind of emotions people feel when they experience something that is normally spread out over a year in just three days! It’s magic and you cannot explain magic, you have to come and feel it.