Cultural Bridge over the Middle East: OYE Berlin joins Beirut’s Common Fest

commonfestThese days around East meets West in Lebanon’s capital, the fast-paced and fashion-conscious Beirut during Common Fest. From May 7th until the 10th, the historic edifice of La Magnanerie, a splendid renovated 19th century silk factory is the host of a cultural festival bringing pieces of Berlin into their local setting. Berlin’s own OYE records have stepped up to the plate and are present with a Pop-up store, musical showcase and many more.

Common Fest is a celebration of arts, culture and cuisine alike, bringing forth the diversity and talent of the Lebanese and global creative scenes. If you’re there, you’re invited to immerse yourself in art exhibitions, enjoying the music played by the OYE staff, while at night Berlin’s Sage Restaurant in collaboration with Lebanese chef Kamal Mouzawak will offer a Libano-Berlinois menu combining particularities from both culinary worlds.

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But what we’re interested in, is of course the musical part. Not knowing a lot about the scene there, we asked OYE’s own Gloria Fock to give us an insight about their contribution to the lovely event.

LSD: How did the collab between OYE and Common Fest come about?
GF: The festival is organised in part by people who used to live and work in Berlin. They felt it was a nice connection and we were happy to join and bring our input.

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LSD: It’s probably a bit of an effort to take a lot of records overseas for a pop-up event. How big is your assigned team and how did you make the record selection?
GF: Yes, it’s quite a big effort, so four of us are going to be there. As for the selection, since our crew members all have slightly different tastes, we all sat down and picked our favourites, as well as OYE classics. Even though the OYE catalog abounds in dance music, mostly house and techno, we also have a big selection of hip hop, jazz and funk, so we’re bringing everything there.

LSD: Is there a big vinyl lover/record fan scene there?
GF: There’s definitely a scene, but they’re more oriented on funk, soul, classics and rock. The people who are into dance music aren’t necessarily focused on vinyl. But we’re looking forward to present our sound and our selection from each genre and exchange knowledge and of course record with people there.

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LSD: Is this the first time you’re doing a pop-up store overseas? Any more on the radar soon?
GF: Yes, it is. Although we do have a lot of events, this is the first of its kind. Right now we have no other plans, just focusing on this one.

LSD: Are you preparing anything else special for the event?
GF: Yes, we have a lot of surprises for the visitors – special buttons, they can win records and we are also playing DJ sets throughout the event and there will even be a broadcast on Berlin’s Radio Renate from Common Fest on May 22nd.

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If you’re in Beirut, check it out, otherwise you can tune in to the radio’s next episode here!

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