It’s May and that means that Park Am See Festival is coming closer and closer. Next to Deep House Amsterdam and Chasing The Hihat there’s another organization that is hosting a stage: club Watergate. The infamous Berlin nightlife institution is coming along for the ride on the 24th this month, bringing their own selection of artists like Tiefschwarz, Catz ‘N Dogz and Ruede Hagelstein. In the run-up to the event we had a little chat with Sebastian Wilck, an important figure in the club’s organization (as well as being a DJ/producer), on Watergate’s connection with Amsterdam, the festival and competing with Berghain.

Let’s first start with your history at club Watergate. Can you tell us how you started out there and what your function is in the organization?
I started being a trainee preparing the DJ setups and taking care of the general maintenance for the club. Now I’m the head agent of our very own artist agency. I have been growing along with the club and it’s ideas over past decade.

How does Watergate set itself apart in Berlin’s clubbing culture?
Music-wise this is something that is of course done by the taste and influence of the bookers. Location-wise this is done by our outstanding view and the terrace as well as our idea how the club should look like: we like minimal arrangements and clean structures without losing the feeling of being an underground music club.

park am see club watergate

What has been the most memorable set that you’ve witnessed in your career at the club?
Since we have 150 parties a year this is a question I couldn’t possibly answer. There were too many good moments already and there will be a whole lot more in the future.

What is Watergate’s relation with Chasing The Hihat Records, the initiators of Park Am See Festival?
Marcel Freigeist, who I knew from Berlin, came up with the idea to cooperate with Chasing The Hihat for doing an event in Amsterdam. After several chats it was clear we are pretty much on the same level regarding ideas and visions.

What would your perfect day in Amsterdam look like?
Going to the Ajax Stadium to see Germany beating Holland haha! I have lots of friends who I want to see when I’m around. Diggin’ records at Rush Hour is a must for me as well as partying with our friends at club Studio 80.

Haha good luck beating us in the Arena, we’ll actually be in Brazil the coming months!

So Amsterdam has a pretty vibrant festival scene every summer for a while now, with new players still popping up every year. What’s the scene like in Berlin?
On the one hand you have established clubs and on the other hand you have people just setting up a sound-system somewhere in the park doing their own illegal open air. The Berlin scene became much more professional in the last years but it still has its own unique flair. It’s cheap, it’s open minded and it’s excessive.

park am see club watergate 1

When people discuss Berlin nightlife, two names immediately get mentioned, Watergate and Berghain. Is there a rivalry felt between Berlin’s two most successful clubs on a cultural/ideological level?
It’s the normal competition you have when being in the same city and working on the same acts sometimes. But rivalry is the wrong word here. We actually have good relations with each other!

Even though it’s a Dutch festival, Park Am See has a German name and a more or less German stage, which Watergate will host. Can you describe what it is that makes the German dance culture such a successful export product?
Germans have the image to be very churlish and focused on their work. I think that’s right somehow and therefore musicians and promoters try to do the best they can. Another reason is of course the history of Techno in Germany. The old Berlin warehouse scene as well as major events like Love Parade and Mayday and, last but no least, the non-existence of a curfew, which is like a trade mark for clubbers worldwide, are some of the factors that play in the success of German dance culture.

Thanks Sebastian, we’ll see you at Park Am See!

Pachanga Boys | M A N I K | Digiteria | Doctor Dru | Prunk | Tiefschwarz | Catz ‘N Dogz | Ruede Hagelstein | Marco Resmann | Matthias Meyer | Sebastian Wilck & Stassy | NiCe7 | Marcel Freigeist | Dirty Bastards | Faux Couture | PONY | KIMOU | Kevin Duane | Charlotte Thorstvedt |

24 May | Park Am See Festival | Tickets |