We arrived in Bielefeld earlier than expected and had time to visit the Café Welthaus. I always appreciate these kinds of cafés that sell fair trade coffee and we even bought a homemade, vegan pizza. Super nice! This rest-stop gave us time to check out other locations and festivals in Bielefeld that could potentially be playing opportunities for us. Of course we also left some flyers there. You never know what comes from that 🙂
We found our host Jenny on CouchSurfing and her profile already seemed super interesting. She has traveled a lot with the help of CouchSurfing and now wants to give these great opportunities back to that community. She’s currently doing an apprenticeship to become a carpenter! How cool is that?! We could see her passion for working with wood right when we entered her room. She designed her own “flying bed” that is hanging from the ceiling, built herself a desk, and decorated her whole balcony with wood (oh, and she drew a map of the Lord of the Rings universe on her wall!).
She lives together with three roommates who are also carpenters (or on their way there) and their whole flat is a playground for their creative, wood ideas. First we went inside to see the performance space and get to know our hosts a bit before we brought all the instruments in. Upon meeting everyone, we quickly got caught up in conversations. When we came back to our car 10 minutes later we had a ticket from the meter maid. Samuel (one of the flatmates) gave us a resident permit for the parking space but it seemed like we got there 4 minutes too late. But we wouldn’t let a paper on our windshield ruin the day for us. We took our instruments upstairs and faced the next dilemma. The plan was to play outside on their huge terrace; I could tell that Joe really, really liked that idea. We went outside on the terrace and discussed where we could set everything up. The problem was that the weather forecast predicted a 60% chance of rain around 8pm, one hour after we would start our first set. There was a marquee on the terrace that would protect our instruments from the rain but was also hanging so low that nobody would see anything that was higher than our belly buttons. Plus, while our instruments would be dry the audience would had to stand in the rain. So the question was if we risk the 60% chance of getting wet outside or if we “played” it save and set up in their spacious living room. We decided to play the concert inside and at 7:30pm when it started to rain (not dripping, but pouring) in the middle of our set, it proved to be the right decision.
The concert was very energetic and filled with a fun vibe. Several more carpenters, students, parents, free spirits who love to travel, and even four students from the UK showed up. We could even work in a blues-scale-improvisation session for Jenny. She really did well and her friends supported her by clapping along. It was an awesome experience for everyone. After the concert we had great conversations with Jenny and her friends. She told us about her plans to travel the world and we exchanged philosophies and travel experiences. They have a huge world map on their wall where each traveler who passes by can mark a city they’ve been to with a little flag. We pinned our flag into Chicago.
The next day we finally had the time to sleep in since our next gig would only be 7 minutes away. We took our time to shower, get dressed, and have breakfast and decided to visit an animal park that Jenny recommended to us. It was a free park and it was very nice for us to take these few hours off just to walk around a nice landscape. On our way back to the car we met a couple from Gütersloh. We were curious because they were speaking English with their kids and the Dad didn’t seem to have any accent. Turns out he was from Iowa and his wife from Italy! It was cool to see another international couple. We gave them our flyer and got into the car. Onto concert #2 in Bielefeld!
Thank you Jenny and her flatmates for your hospitality and enthusiasm towards our concert in your home! You were great hosts and we’d love to see you again soon!