HAPE, HAVANA’S TROPICAL SECRET TAKES OVER EUROPE

3968
0
Share:

A secret on everyone’s lips. An exclusive party in the beating heart of the Caribbean. Cuba’s atmosphere spreading into the world. It’s HAPE, the event that turns Havana’s spirit into music. And now it’s ready to take over Italy.

HAPE

HAPE

Everything starts in Havana, in front of a plain gate in the Vedado’s neighborhood. A bodyguard lets HAPE’s guests in.

A path leads towards the music, sided by tall palm trees. At the end stands a castle that seems taken out of a fairytale.

Lights bounce on the palm trees and dance up and down to the tropical electronic beat of Wichy de Vedado and the jazz trumpet of Yasek Manzano.

HAPE EVENTO CUBA

HAPE

HAPE

This is HAPE. Foreigners and Cubans dance together in front of the castle and among the garden’s fountains. Electro and dance music flows into some rumba beats.

Entering the castle is like stepping onto Granada’s Alhambra. A circular hall opens on tall arches adorned in an exquisite Arabic style, while the lights match the colour of the decorations: green, red, blue, white and gold. People chat and tip tap on marble floors.

Many guests wear a t-shirt with the party’s headline: “I HAPEn to be in Havana”. I’ve found myself in Havana by chance.

Ironically, even the Cubans wear the same t-shirt. After all, Cuba’s inhabitants descend from people who, by chance, desire or force, migrated mainly from Europe and Africa to the largest island in the Caribbean.

HAPE EVENTO CUBA

HAPE

HAPE

An impressive staircase raises up to the ball room, where people with their phone flashlights illuminate the walls adorned with antique Spanish ceramics.

The castle is impregnated with an atmosphere that evokes past glory, youth, decadence and renaissance.

There’s that same energy as in the streets of Old Havana, where tourists rush to see an authentic Cuba, still stuck in time.  

Even the drink-icon of the event summons the same atmosphere. The Hape cocktail is made from ginger, lemon, honey and rhum, as in the best Cuban fashion.

Paola, a delightful Italian lady, explains that the castle was built in 1903 by the owners of La Tropical, Cuba’s most popular beer prior to the 1961 revolution. The castle was specifically designed for the purpose of throwing parties.

Music ranges from DJ Jigue, one of Cuba’s electro dj veterans, who drops some Afro beats accompanied by the rapid tapping of El Menor’s tambourines, to Nickodemus, a NYC dj and producer that pioneered in the 90s the mezcla between electronic music and rhythms from Latin America, Africa and Middle East.

HAPE EVENTO CUBA

HAPE

HAPE

Jay and Ben, the event’s founders and organizers, tell us the origins of HAPE. We meet ar Bar Roma, a stunning bohemian rooftop in the heart of Havana Vieja, which has become the go-to-place for Havana’s avant-garde and travellers who manage to go through the strict door policy.

They explain:

HAPE, which stands for Havana Aperitivo, was born as a collective to promote boundary-breaking musical experiences between Cuba and the world, enrich Havana’s nightlife through the organisation of unique events which showcase the city’s emerging musical talent, iconic urban landscape and connections with the wider world. We carefully organise an event during the last weekend of every month in a different location, so people can look forward to it. The event starts at 6pm and goes on until 12. We want people to meet, exchange ideas and dance!

HAPE EVENTO CUBA

HAPE

HAPE

The HAPE project started almost a year ago as a friends-of-friends party and so it wants to remain. Still, the group of friends managed to become bigger and international.

In February 2017, the HAPE collective threw its first party outside Cuba, in D’Jamena, resurrecting the nightlife of Chad‘s capital. The success was so big that the idea of exporting HAPE all over the world was born.

And that’s how HAPE comes to Europe, with its first stop in Venice on May 26th. With the promise that many other European cities will be soon hit by this Tropical sound clash.

As one of the founder explains:

We believe that bringing about new centres of gravity helps people to break barriers and be part of the cultural discovery that HAPE represents. With the right team a HAPE can be organised anywhere and at any time. It starts from discovering the right place, right moment and right people to bring about a new centre of gravity. When that happens, HAPE will lend its network, physical and intellectual capital to allow that centre of gravity to become part of this cultural discovery and fly. All it takes is a little push! Gravity will do the rest.

If you don’t want to miss a HAPE thing, be sure to follow its Facebook page: http://facebook.com/hapecollective.

Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. Da. Per se. 

Share: