Bonn Thanks to air filtration systems and thermal imaging cameras, 200 mostly young people were able to enjoy the nightlife together for the first time following the lockdown. They met up in Bonn's "Plan B" on Friday night, with a strict hygiene protocol in place. For some of them, it was the first time out out in a club atmosphere.
Thomas Hoffmann attaches great importance to the fact that his establishment on Theaterstraße is not a discotheque, but rather a "rent and event location". For a year and a half, the property owner had not been able to operate his business. Like so many in his industry, Covid hit him hard, but now he is allowed to reopen. He was expecting a manageable number of people on Friday evening. Even so, it could certainly be considered Bonn's first club event following the lockdown. Around 200 people had registered for the event in advance.
As initiator and organizer, the event planning company "Vision 53" was finally able to do its thing again. It hosted the event in conjunction with "Beats Nation", which focuses on club events with a predominantly young target audience. Together, they sought to ensure a smooth and above all, Covid-compliant event after 503 days of quiet. The organizers wanted to keep the event from becoming a FFP2 masked ball or a superspreader event, so personalized tickets were issued and negative corona tests required.
Event organizers remained relaxed
As the final preparations for the event got underway at 6 p.m., the mood among the organizers was remarkably relaxed. Admission was due to start in an hour, but there was not a trace of tension to be detected among "Beats Nation" founder Puya Heidarian and his staff. "We have been organizing events in the Bonn area for five years. Even if the circumstances are somewhat different now, something like this is ultimately like riding a bike. You don't forget how to do that," said Heidarian. In view of the recent slight increase in incidence values again, however, it was still too early for him to be euphoric. "I am very pleased that we can hold the event today in compliance with the current corona protection ordinance," he says. But Heidarian could not say whether it would be "morally acceptable" to hold such events in the near future. "Today, however, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our guests."
Three large air filter systems provide fresh air
Earlier, Hoffmann had made a big investment to ensure safety for the guests. Three large air filtration systems were distributed over the almost 200 square meters of “Plan B”. "99.9 percent clean air comes out of there," explained Hoffmann, whose real mainstay is music. At 6:45 p.m., the thermal imaging camera was ready at the front door; it would become a small attraction in the course of the evening. It was there to measure body temperatures on the basis of facial scans and to raise an alarm in case body heat became too high.
Shortly before 7 p.m., a few good-humored young ladies were already waiting in front of the entrance to be admitted. When one of them asked if they could go in earlier to visit the ladies room, the bouncers who had arrived shortly before remained firm. For organizational reasons, they had to adhere to the exact timing of the event. Inside, the disco balls were already glowing and the air conditioning was working at full blast. “Vision 53” managing director Louis Deffor did a sound check together with DJ Vedi.
Drink tokens to prevent queues at the bar
The first young partygoers entered the club shortly after seven. At the cash register, “Beats Nation” employees Franka von Doorn and Inga Jansen scanned the QR codes presented to verify the negative tests. At the same time, they handed out the "Plan B Dollars" so people could pay for their drinks in advance. "In this way, we ensure that payment at the counter is faster and that no crowded queues form," said Heidarian.
Until 8 p.m., this measure seemed to have been a little unwarranted. In the first hour, only a few people trickled in, all of them young ladies. "The guys come later. They're still hanging around, eating and drinking," joked Heidarian, who in the meantime had to help out at the cash register because the QR app refused to work. Soon, there were the first tentative attempts at dancing in front of the DJ booth. Some of those who came to party didn't seem to know at first how to deal with the regained freedom. "You have to consider that for some it is the first club visit in their lives. Some are still quite shy," Louis Deffor noted. At 9:15 p.m., the thermal camera alarm went off, followed by a quick all-clear - it was just a cigarette. "I can't wait to get in. I'm 18 now and I finally want to celebrate it," exclaims young Anastasya Masalova, who with her friends Jan-Luca Pfeiffer and Tomas Vorankov was looking forward to visiting the club for the first time. As the first male guests arrived, the air filled with the tart, sweet smell of Kölsch on tap.
An hour later, there was no sign of shyness or distance. Thanks to a beer pong table, cocktails and a balanced gender ratio, the dance floor was shaking. DJ Vedi played Icona Pop's song "I Love It" and everyone joined in on the chorus: "I don't care!" (Orig. text: Jakub Drogowski / Translation: ck)