Catalyst Does Michelberger Hotel’s PEOPLE Festival

A group of Catalyst music students got the opportunity to volunteer at Michelberger Hotel's 2018 People Festival, held at Funkhaus Berlin. Learn more about their experience and check out a selection of photos from the event.

What do we love most about music? Music! Sometimes, it’s like the world has forgotten it; that it’s about the beauty of sound, the raw talent and creativity of musicians, the coming together of people. If we could have all that subtract the dollar signs, egos and expectations of the industry, it would be like some kind of utopia, don’t you think?

Well, earlier this month we were fortunate enough to have a glimpse. Michelberger Hotel‘s aptly named PEOPLE Festival, held at the historic Funkhaus Berlin, was a rare opportunity to see everyone from amateur musicians to top international artists push the industry aside for a week in the name of unbridled creativity.

Over 160 artists and acts – including Damien Rice, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver and Macaulay Culkin – arrived at the beginning of the week to rehearse and create new ideas and perform them for the first time to the audience on the weekend of the 18th of August. There was no line-up, no hierarchy, no artist names, no fees, no sponsors and, most importantly, no limits. Best of all, Catalyst was a part of it.

16 students from across our music courses assisted professional producers and sound engineers throughout the week, gaining hands-on experience in what was undoubtedly one of the most important annual music events in the city.

“My highlight at PEOPLE Festival was witnessing the artists, producers and engineers create magic in the recording studios,” Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering student Roz Yuen told us after the event. “By running around setting up microphones, directing the artists to the right studios and hand-writing signs like ‘recording in progress,’ I was, in some small way, part of making it happen and contributed to the ‘good vibes’ atmosphere. I was really inspired by the talent, professionalism and focus of all those involved.”

And our students’ hard work certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Hotel owners and PEOPLE founders, Tom and Nadine Michelberger thanked us for “the amazingness of our students and staff,” enthusing that the festival “all melted into one big music-making human machine!”

Audio engineer and producer Josh Berg, who oversaw the technical side of the event, also wrote us an awesome thank you message. “Wow! What a run!!,” he said. “Still speechless from the whole affair but I’ve been looking forward to writing you all since I stepped on the plane to come back – super huge double silly emoji thank yous x 1 trillion! Everyone had such good things to say about you and every time I was there I saw confident smiling people helping to keep what should have been absolute havoc running smooth. This was not just great in its own right but was a first anchor of focus for the festival.”

Photos by Film Production alumnus Roman Koblov.