With the expansion of retail store chains worldwide, shopping miles look just about the same in every big city of the world. One’s happiness is another’s sadness and personally, I do not mind that I do not necessarily have to travel hundreds of miles to purchase what I would like. On the other hand, the fact that stores and their offerings are very much the same at most places is getting quite boring. Luckily, entertainment venues have not been effected by this ‘trend‘ yet, and venues do count as a differentiating factor giving a town or city a very special touch – besides architecture, people and food, of course.
As we all know, Hungarians love to party and to go out – be it to the opera, theater or a concert, a local event or clubs & pubs, such as e.g. the famous Ruin Pubs. Hungarian event locations and clubs are a bit different from what visitors are used to in other areas of the world, but it does not mean anything negative – rather the contrary actually. Most places are totally creative and they reflect the nation’s tendency of ‘recycling’ existing venues and giving them a new purpose other than destroying and building them up from scratch.
The best example of this is A38 – that was awarded with the ‘Best Club Worldwide’ prize by Lonely Planet in 2011 and it was voted as ‘Best Venue’ in a Readers’ Poll by the German Electronic Beats in 2012. A38 is an old Ukrainian stone hauler ship from 1968 from the communist era and is permanently docked on the Buda side at the Petőfi bridge. Just about 10 years ago it was recycled to a party ship and opened its doors April 30th, 2003 to concerts and parties, art exhibitions and workshops. It houses dance and concert halls, indoor & outdoor restaurants and bars. Although it is open all year long, during the summer it is an exceptionally nice location to sit on the deck in the lounge area enjoying a cold drink while the Danube rocks the ship.
The four-story A38 ship is a cultural hub, offering a diverse collection of local musicians performing hard rock, jazz, reggae and occasional pop concerts, and it is a preferred location of renown bands, too. Obviously, it is not only the locals, who love this venue and its unique mix of atmosphere, location, music choice, food & drink and hospitality as millions of guests from foreign countries have already visited and had a wonderful time.
Have you wondered what A38 actually means? “A” stands for Artyemovszk and it is a town in the Ukraine. :) However, no one should think that Hungarians are nostalgic about the many years of Soviet ruling. Not at all. I guess we are just inventive and creative, and if there are not enough financial resources to build fancy clubs then we tend to use what we have and – literally – make the best out of the situation and the circumstances. Next time you happen to be in Budapest, make sure to pay a visit the good old A38. In April 2013 A38 celebrates its 10-year anniversary . . . and I hear the party bells ringing!
Source of images: courtesy of A38. Concert photos by Mark Somay.