Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mika's birthday party in Colmar

Right, I promised to write a report. I don't usually do that for a variety of reasons but I felt like I had to do it now. If I start talking jibberish, blame the lack of sleep. After I finish this I will go back to sleeping for an eternity.

How did the party come to be

I remember looking at the calendar for upcoming events and noticed Colmar was the only gig before his birthday (this was before Switzerland was announced). I thought it would be cool to do something with it, as it would be his 30th birthday and you only become a dinosaur once (just kiiidding).
I immediately contacted Deb and she suggested it to team M who thought it was a good idea. At that point only 16 people had RSVP'ed so I suggested to get Mikawebsite involved and I emailed the lovely Bea who was very helpful.

Fast forward a couple of months. It was very uncertain whether or not the party was going to happen. Also we had no clue how many people were going to be allowed in. The rsvp list on MFC was 35 at this point. We decided to come prepared so we had ordered a cake, bought everything we needed and just hoped for the best.

The day before the gig

The day before the gig we still hadn't heard if we had the ok. I picked up Luke and Laura from the airport and we drove to the wholesale to buy wine, soda and a bottle of champagne for Mika. Somehow we managed to get all the stuff in the back of my tiny car. Kudos to Laura.
We drove to Dusseldorf to pick up Niko and continued our long journey to Miri's place where we arrived a little later than planned due to a shitload of traffic jams.
We went out for dinner and I got very nervous as I still hadn't heard a thing and I wasn't looking forward to having to down 12 bottles of wine. We went back to Miri's house, chilled out and then I got a dm from Deb that team M would contact me that night. I was insanely happy that finally we'd hear something. It was around 23.00 when I got that dm. Around 2 am I finally got the email. It was going to go ahead. 35 people only.
We were happy it was going to happen but I was a bit worried as there were the French sites who had members going as well. But as this was something organised by MFC, we had to give MFCers priority at that point.
We went to sleep, not knowing what the day would bring.

Gig day

We woke up, got ready and went to the bakery to pick up the cake. Laura had made cupcakes and we had no idea if we could store them anywhere so we just hoped for the best. We arrived in Colmar in the afternoon but were told that once we were in the festival, we couldn't go out. We decided to buy tickets just for the fair so we could go in and hand out wristbands.

That's when the drama started. No more than 35 people were allowed in. In no time we were surrounded by people begging and pleading for a wristband even though they were not on the list. I found it difficult to say no as I wanted everybody to be happy, but we had strict rules to follow. This lead to us being abused in real life but also online, mostly by people who weren't even at the festival. I understood the anger and disappointment but we had to draw a line at that point and if we had given out the leftover wristbands to 2 people, then another 8 would be upset. People made it seem like we purposely tried to leave them out, but trust me, this is not true. I really wanted as many people to go in as possible.

After we had given out the wristbands, we went for drinks and food and I tried to explain to people on twitter why things were going the way they were but nobody would listen. I decided to save my battery as it was nearly dead and I still had to wait for a call.

We left the festival at around 6 to go back to the car. I had had an email that said they would arrive at around 20.00. Mika then tweeted the picture of his pick-up and we knew he was on his way. We killed time by making lame videos and taking weird pictures and at around 9 I finally got a call.

We were asked to come to the backstage area but apparently there was more than 1. There wasn't much time as Mika was about to go on and the security did not understand English or our lame French so my contactperson had to get someone who spoke French to convince him to let us in. At last she came out and because we weren't allowed to drive the car inside the venue, we had to carry everything we had to the backstage area.

Miri and I had about 10 minutes to set everything up. There was a lovely security guy who helped us out so everything went smoothly. I don't think I've ever been this fast in organising anything. Right before the show started, we were done and the security brought us to the show after kindly giving us some water.

I loved the show as usual and he really was on fire, but as there was so much we had to deal with I couldn't enjoy it as much as I usually do. We were very surprised when he did a little bit of Overrated, even if it might have been the band who initiated it.

After the show

STRESS! There was confusion about where we had to go, people without wristbands still tried to get us in, I got a phone call saying ONLY 35 PEOPLE AND WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? It was very stressful. Eventually we managed to get everybody with a wristband in. We explained what was going to happen and we explained the rules. Stay seated. No following around. First one who does that will get kicked out. Everybody agreed to it and we handed out wine and cupcakes.

Team M wanted to speak to me then and she said there were about 40 MFCers outside who were very sad and she felt sorry for them and what my take on it was. Could she let them in or would I feel more comfortable if not. I said they could all come in as long as they behaved and that we did not have enough cupcakes. So all the people who waited got in and it was a relief for me as I had had to deal with so much shit at that point, I just wanted it all to be sorted.
I was told 2 minutes until Mika came down. I explained the rules to everybody once again and told them we would sing happy birthday when he walked in. Not much later he did and when we started singing happy birthday he looked very happy and slightly emotional.

Fanny filmed this lovely video of the party:

Basically I had no time to sit down. It was my job to take pictures and to help with crowd control and basically any other things that needed to be done. I kept running around and barely had time to drink and also had to beg for a piece of cake to be kept aside. Luckily everyone behaved. Thank you so much for that. It made the job much easier and I just loved watching him interact with everybody and be happy.
I have uploaded quite a few pictures here: http://s255.photobucket.com/user/ingievv/library/Colmar%20Party?sort=3&page=1 if there are any you would like to have any in full size, let me know.

When he arrived at our table and was told we had organised it, he jokingly said: "Ah the table of troublemakers!" He also called us his ringleaders. I just forgot to bring my whip!

Every table was supposed to get a picture but due to the fact that we were running out of time, it was decided we'd do a massive group picture. I was asked if I wanted to be on it, but I said it was ok and that I'd take the pictures instead because I prefered to be on the sideline for a change. After the group pictures were taken, Mika moved on and everybody else was hanging around until they were kicked out.

Miri and I got to have a picture with Mika alone and Miri got Mika to write "Live Your Life" as she wants to get a tattoo of it. He then grabbed my shoulder and rubbed it gently whilst saying "Thank you so much. I really appreciate this."

The last people left the building and we were left with our little group and the 2 American girls. We handed out the leftover wine bottles to Max and Ed who had just walked in and also to the security guard. Joy came out a little while later and we spoke a little with her and gave her a bottle as well. We then left the backstage area, accompanied by our personal security guard.

It ended as a great day even though I had to go through quite some shit to make it happen. I am very happy so many people got in and I'm sorry for those who didn't in the end. Also thank you to everyone who made this party possible. You know who you are and you know how grateful I am ;).


  1. thanks for your report :)
    and your welcome for the video!
    this birthday party was amazing and that's the most important ;)

  2. Amazing job Ingie (and the MFC) ! Glad it all went well in the end... Hope i can be part of something like that in the future, it looks great :o)

  3. Thank you all for the sweet comments :)


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