Ted Langenbach about Amsterdam VS. Rotterdam and Now&Wow at Milkshake

Ted Langenbach about Amsterdam VS. Rotterdam and Now&Wow at Milkshake

Jun 5, 2012 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Tall, dark and handsome collector of obscure timpani-jazz recordings from Bermuda and neighbouring countries. Also likes to resist arrests and eat garlic. In that order. Reports all of this to Nine Licks.

Ted Langenbach (1959) is by far the most famous nightlife personality from Rotterdam. He reaped major success with Now&Wow, of which you could say it was Rotterdam’s equivalent of Amsterdam’s infamous RoXY. Now&Wow is now back in a festival format, Now&Wow Fest. And for the first time ever Ted & Co. will land in Amsterdam this summer. At Milkshake Festival, with Now&Wow’s most naughty descendant Lolita Klup. Time for some questions.

How would you define Now&Wow?
“Now&Wow is a giant platform for everybody from everywhere. It’s a night museum, always full of surprises, new mysteries. I strongly believe everyone has to define him- or her, freely choose to do whatever he or she feels like, no matter what. I myself am a total abstainer, but I’ll never tell anyone who isn’t that he or she is making a mistake.”

“Now&Wow had its first party last December, June 9th the second edition will take place. Right now we’re establishing ourselves, but later on we will celebrate in Berlin, Sao Paolo, Barcelona.”


Ted Langenbach, man of many talents.
“I’ve always wanted to attach the concept of Now&Wow to a specific case, for instance when I was creative consultant in several cities. I also worked for major fashion labels, such as G-Star and Cruyff. Music has always played a big part in my life. At first I played in a punk band, Dojoji, and as a DJ I was a support act for Underworld and Urban Dance Squad, back in the eighties.”

Name some differences and resemblances between then and now.
“Actually there isn’t that great a difference between then and now. There was one in between though. In the nineties, the time most people can remember, there was an incredible thirst for community. Crossovers emerged, boundaries between different music genres faded away. Everything was possible. We introduced DJs like Soulwax, Erol Alkan – later Joost van Bellen and me brought Lady Gaga. However, the changeover occurred when copycats stood up, and went commercial with unhealthy organisations. That was the moment I drew back for a while, around 2007. But right now it’s all about quality again.”

To me, there is no Rotterdam versus Amsterdam principle.

What about the new, young generation, and modern times?
“The new generation creates diligence. What we do is connect new talent with iconic folks, giving everybody a place to exhibit. This whole new scene, where we’re living in, has to be revitalised constantly. Everyone now has his own expertise, so I can focus myself purely on creative aspects. I don’t believe in reunions or thinking in such a direction. There’s so much new energy; new people with new ideas, waiting for exaltation. And via social media we’re readdressing our crowd, the old and new ones. We, the Netherlands, were quite sophisticated and forward thinking, but nowadays the issuing of rules ruins so much.”

What is Amsterdam to you?
“I spent lots of times in Amsterdam as a child. To me, there is no Rotterdam versus Amsterdam principle. The two cities correlate, their nightlives have great similarities. Joost van Bellen is still running many shows, so it’s fair to say that generally the scene in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam is a giant melting pot. The only thing here in Rotterdam is overregulation. We have the largest amount of youngsters, but politics were killing, the city interfered in a disastrous way.”


What can we expect from Milkshake Festival, and from Now&Wow’s Lolita Klup?
“Oh, it’s going to be enormous. All will melt together, Milkshake challenges you non-stop, and everybody will have his or her moment of glory. You know, creativity goes beyond age and generation, one of the most important aspects of Milkshake. Lolita Klup is all about open-mindedness, smelling, tasting, feeling, brought to you by ‘little girls’ on stage. Lolita Klup is the metaphor for your inner child.”

How should we remember Milkshake Festival?
“As a fantastic day naturally, on which we’ve redefined freely what we stand for and what we’re doing. Milkshake will be about puerility, searching for the X-factor of your own creativity. Old meets young meets new. We won’t accept anything bourgeois, but we will embrace cross-pollination. Milkshake Festival is going to be one universal festival.”

This little chitchat got me excited. On Sunday July the 22nd Milkshake Festival will take place in Westerpark, Amsterdam. But first I’m off to Rotterdam, to experience the Now&Wow Fest, on Saturday June the 9th.

Photos courtesy of Studio Tatiana Stoute

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