Karaoke in Mauerpark, Berlin

Host Joe gets thousands of spectators pumped up between two amateur singers.

Every Sunday thousands of Berliners crowd into a public amphitheater in Mauerpark (“wall park)  to watch terribly untalented people sing their hearts out.  The tradition started just last summer when 37-year-old Irishman Joe Hatchiban did an impromptu Karaoke session with just his laptop and five or six park goers sitting nearby.  Now the weekly party is a bohemian institution.  Joe has moved shop into the park’s amphitheater, upgraded to high class speakers and attracted food and drink vendors to the area so you can dine and booze (beers and tacos are just 2 euro) while watching.

If you’re feeling an American Idol inspiration, you can add your name to the Kaoroke list and wait for Joe to call you (and you will have to wait, the 20 person list was full!).  We weren’t about to submit the public to our voices but we had a great time cheering on an aging German man who sang a traditional, national song and then a young woman from Detroit who belted out the Spice Girls’ “If You Wanna Be My Lover”.  In this park that once housed a divisive wall, the contrasting performances were a perfect symbol of the international love Germany now vividly strives for.  The enthusiastically involved crowd adds a midday party and unified feel as well.

Overall we were impressed by Joe’s thriving business.  And jealous.  We have never seen a public performer make bank in a passed around tip jar like this guy.  He certainly earns it.


About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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One Response to Karaoke in Mauerpark, Berlin

  1. Pingback: Berlin in Review « Sisters Bailey Blog

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