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CULTURE NIGHT– It was the only night of the year that you could walk on the grass
The main walk-street Strøget is packed. I make my way through, heading to the Botanical Gardens. Drum ‘n Bass is heating up the cold autumn night. I follow the music and suddenly find myself in the middle of some kind of happening called Yabba Yabba.
People of all ages are painting on a wall, and you can view an exhibit of oil paintings, get fed and informed at stands with an eco-friendly kitchen while DJ Master Fatman delivers the soundtrack. I am wondering about the connection between this art party and the Botanical Garden. The heavy beats don’t really match with this place of calm fairy tales.
So I roam the Yabba Yabba area and suddenly I realize that we are all walking on the grass which you are usually not allowed to step on. The DJ plays a remix of Dub Rock and Tanya Stephens sings: ‘It’s such a pity…’
Nearby is a crowded University of Copenhagen tent. In this ‘BIO City’ people have the chance to get close to biological research. They can peer through microscopes, watch birds and fish, and listen to scientists and students from the Department of Biology presenting their projects.
I listen first to different recorded birds sounds, and then to Nana and Barbara from Germany talking about their study of birdsong. Within a second they find in a book the answer to my question: ‘What is the sound of a swallow?’ Very impressive.
The shining moon and the candles on the path guide my way to the Palm House. Tonight it is a glowing oasis of light and sound, an installation by Tura ya Moya.
But it’s now time to leave. At the exit to the Botanical Gardens I meet Josephine and Anders, the doorwoman and doorman for tonight’s event. They have to tell arriving people that the programme folder is printed wrong and that Yabba Yabba is already over.
»I don’t understand why they do this whole art party here,« Josephine tells me.
»They should address the people who care about plants. Years of work are getting destroyed tonight!«
Anders is also worried:
»The culture night is a good excuse for people and institutions to do things they are never allowed to. But they forget that the rules are there for a reason«.
Hopefully the botanical gardens recover fast. In a year we all return.