Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange- The night the world swapped nights

Let me begin by saying that I was more than impressed with the level of production that had gone into the night as a whole, from the moment you walked in, the security was friendly and on the ball, something that we consider to be fairly important here at MyCityByNight. MCBN arrived to the likes of DJ Fresh playing an absolute killer of a set, dropping some local anthems like Crazy White Boy’s – Love you Better track, which had the entire crowd jamming it up- I was super impressed by his set this time around- cant wait to see him play again!

On the night a direct feed of Berlin’s party was broadcasted on screens throughout the venue and it was pretty awesome to see that the crowd from Berlin was absolutely enjoying themselves and jamming away to the likes of Gazelle- walking around the venue with their hair braided and munching on boerie rolls- all that was missing from there was pretty much a couple of car guards and then you would have had a typical Long Street evening without the irritating foreign nationals asking you if you’d like some heroin. Awesome!

While they got some of our delicacies- Cape Town was treated to the likes of everything from Falafels to chicken shnitzels with a lemon mayo sauce, which was totally out of this world (well out of this country to be exact). The venue was spectacularly laid out with plenty of different stands and areas that captured the essence of Berlin set out in it, including a nightlife crate containing German music and strangely shaped beds. The headphones they used to bump the tunes were pretty funky and the sound quality was next gen. Inside the nightlife crate, which was positioned to overlook the entire venue, you could go on Facebook and update your status/load exclusive pics taken from the venue by the awesome roving crane camera and tag yourself in these- pretty cool touch in my opinion.

There was also a movie theatre playing German flicks (no not those kind) for you to get a little bit lost in. Then as a nice finishing touch, you were even allowed to venture under ground and mix your own cocktail from Smirnoff vodka, which I thought was an absolutely killer idea. Granadilla Thriller anyone? 🙂

Now on to the rest of the music- I thought that Monika Kruse played an absolute banger of a set with impeccable mixing though out, although I thought that the crowd who had been invited to the party didn’t quite understand how to dance to the German techno which did highlight the main shortcoming of the event- the crowd that was sourced. In future maybe some sort of filter mechanism should be put into the crowd-sourcing element so that it is ensured that the majority of the crowd that is attending is fans of whatever music style is playing. We all know that electronic music is growing to reach more people than ever before but a great deal of people are still rather sceptical about electronic music and what it means, including the likes of Euphonik who asked the dreaded “do you think that people still take drugs and listen to techno” question at the NLE press conference- demonstrating the stigma that so clearly still exists in and around the music.

After Monika Kruse was ATB, who I must say started his set off nicely but then proceeded to mess things up a little with some below par mixing. Don’t get me wrong it was a complete honour to be jamming it away in the crowd while ATB dropped 9pm till I come while glitter was being shot over the dancefloor from glitter guns, but a little less use of the jet function and turning the monitor down for people to sing along would’ve been nice. Anyways- a legend playing a set with a couple of utter classics in his set, including the likes of a new age classic in the form of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream was a nice touch.

Following on from ATB was the guy who I had come to see- Markus Shulz. For a superstar dj this dude was an all round nice guy, who was super humble and incredibly good at what he did. He played an absolutely awesome and cultured set that had all of the peeps who had been waiting for his 1am start time, jamming up a complete storm on the dancefloor. I didn’t stop dancing for the entire set and I think that the crowd, myself included absolutely lost their minds when he dropped Above and Beyond’s On a good Day just a week after they came to SA and destroyed dancefloors in what easily the best party of the year.

Overall I was totally astounded by the effort that Smirnoff made- I’ve never seen that many screens in an audio visual set up (I mean there even screens on the ceiling). They made every single person who had been lucky enough to get invited to the Nightlife Exchange by Smirnoff, feel incredibly special, which is what is often missing from most parties. I was super impressed by what Berlin had to offer and I think that the same can definitely be said by all of those over on that side of the globe- they looked like they loved being Cape Townian (even if it was just for one night). What a crazy brilliant idea by Smirnoff, I hope that your marketing/concepts management team that came up with this concept is laughing all the way to the bank- because there is one word to describe the NLE fittingly- and that word is WOW.

More of the same please Smirnoff- what a freaking awesome night!

A huuuuuge thanks has to go to Smirnoff and Carey for looking after MyCityByNight so well, once again we were astounded by the work done by them and had a super time on the night.


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  1. The pics & review makes it sound sooooo awesome! Wish I could’ve been there!!
    Next time…

    1. Was insane. Very clever concept that can def be done again with one or 2 tweeks.

    1. Yoh! That’s debatable 😉 Synergy will be back… Berlin was in Bellville once! You cant beat that! LOL!

      1. Sorry – but “Berlin was in Bellville” – Couldnt help myself chuckle…

        Havent heard many overly GREAT reviews about Nightlife Exchange – compared to the AWESOME reviews from Synergy!

        Just saying… 😉

        PS: I dig what Karel says below… Free parties = wrong crowd… big NO NO!

        1. Yeah, look there are 1 or 2 things that could’ve been re-worked to make it better, but as a concept and execution of something this size, it was well played as a first.
          you know that the next one (here is hoping) will be MENTAL GOOD!
          Maybe MCBN should be Smirnoff party planners!! ***LIGHTBULB MOMENT***

            1. I like the idea of that- the amount of people that ask us why we dont plan things is ridiculous- mcbn party planners ftw 🙂

  2. Those bastard security guards stole my joint.

    These ‘free’ parties in my mind are a big fail. (im not saying this party was a fail, free parties in general) Parties like Above&Beyond, people want to go and see the DJs and therefore will pay to go see them. With this free stuff, the most random people attend, and they have no idea about music, so they just stand there wondering who Markux Schulz is.

    I understand its a Smirnoff party. But for the love of god, have some Cuervo there. Some people, im not mentioning names (Benjamin Queen) cant drink vodka cos his throat swells up and he cant breath. So he would have had a real good time if he could have had some few tequilas. Cuervo should throw a party. 😀

  3. Gr8 review!! Sounds like a top class party indeed with fab food also! How nyc! I absolutely adore ATB and Markus Schulz. You Capetonians are so lucky to have experienced their music and sets!! Awesome one!

  4. I have to share this article with all my Jozi connections and make them jealous 🙂

  5. I was a bit apprehensive at first realising that the crowd would mostly be made up of people who weren’t there for the music, but rather there only due to the free ticket. I saw more than one person who just stood around having no clue what to do, and who most definitely wouldn’t have been there if they had had to pay.

    As Karel mentioned, there were one too many randoms. It’s great to open events such as these to people who might not go to this – educate the masses – but a good night out on Saturday would have been a great night out if the crowd was there of their own volition.

    Still a top night out though =)

    1. It was indeed! nothing like the true partiers left that love all thing awesome!

  6. I thought that the event was awesome but the crowd could have been improved. Nevertheless, I was pretty impressed when a British ‘veteran’ answered one of my questions with, “ATB is awesome but Nick Warren is a LEGEND.” So, there were some people present who were appreciative of the music. You still had your ‘veteran corner’ in the back left and a lot of water bottles going around. 🙂 I think that that answer Euphonik’s question. The same type of question could be asked about people listening to Hip Hop and smoking pot though.

    ATB played a bit of cheese but he dropped some classics that took me back ten years or so! I recall him dropping ‘Daft Punk – Aerodynamic’. Yoh!!!! Markus was amazing.

    I reckon that Smirnoff should have done a bit of research as to the target audience and held the competition solely through nightlife blogs.

    1. Daft Punk was thrown in along with Katy Perry.. Yoh! He was cool though in a weird kind of way, well for me anyway as it took me back to the late 90’s in London when I first arrived there. Maybe not too ideal in general on the night, but hey, I was happy! hahaha!
      Smirnoff will definitely be looking at these comments and other factors and I’m sure making it even better next time.
      Like I said above though, what a experience for a 1st though! Shit a brick, I think I can do shit, but 14 parties in 14 cities on 1 weekend! FUCK ME!!!!

  7. I had an awesome time. Like everyone says…many were standing around not knowing what’s going on. I saw a few familiar faces whom I know wouldn’t appreciate the sets. I got so carried away since I didn’t stop dancing until I left, I developed overnight rock hard abs…hahaha. I just couldn’t sit down. Everyone was staring at me cuz I was the only one dancing on the balcony thing i was chilling. How duh! I didn’t give a shit! This was definately a 2010 highlight for me.

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