One day I was telling a friend :
“I’ll go to a Chinese Man concert at Huxley’s New World.”
And I immediately realized:
“Wait a minute, that sounds a little apocalyptic.”
What do Huxley and his dystopian universe have to do with this concert venue in Berlin (Huxley Neue Welt), I asked myself. And this is why I searched the internet for a possible explanation.
After spending 999 hours struggling to decipher German articles about the topic, here is a quick summary of what I understood.
The only reason why Gabriel Garcia Marquez could write his novel 100 Years of Solitude is very simple: his characters never took a trip to Berlin.
And hence they never got the chance to enjoy more than 100 years of Beer and Entertainment in the Neue Welt (New World).
What exactly was the Neue Welt?
It was a great escape for the Berliners from the 19th century in the mood for a drink and for watching some rabbits reproduce in the Hasenheide Park (which litterally means an enclosure for rabbits), in Neukölln.
But at some point, this basic level of entertainment just didn’t cut it anymore. And somebody said :
Folks, let’s spice things up a little! Let’s bring some horses, some trumpets and some pretty ladies. Oh, and let’s also call that guy who invented the electric train, Siemens. I mean, fuck it, this is the New World. Rabbits are so old school.
And the new strategy worked pretty well. The former Beer Garden evolved little by little into an amusement park (Vergnügungspark).
Around 1910, among the many attractions, there were a waterslide and a beauty contest for the women with the nicest legs (Visible or invisible? As far as I know the mini-skirt was not really a trend in the 1900’s).
It was also at the beginning of the 20th century that a big venue was built for the staging of theater plays. It could host about 2000 persons.
That same venue has undergone througout the years more transformations than Michael Jackson’s nose and was used as follows: for movie screenings, for boxing matches, as a hospital during the WWI, as a place for political gatherings and speeches, as a venue for rock and pop concerts in the 60’s (even Jimmy Hendrix performed there.)
That’s quite a rich history!
Still, where’s the connection to Huxley?
Wikipedia mentions that in 1985 the venue started to be used as a Disco Roller Skating Center and renamed to Huxley’s Neue Welt. Who the fuck was the guy who chose this name?
I can’t help but imagine his thought process:
So I’m going to turn this place into a disco on roller skates. I think even Huxley would agree that this is a pure dystopia.
Maybe only if you replaced the humans with rabbits on roller skates, gave them some aphrodisiacs and put them in chastity belts.
Or maybe if the drug dealers in Hasenheide Park started to sell carrots and goji berries smoothies instead of crack.
Only then, everybody would be looking for an escape: