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Photos from the 2012 Hipster Olympics Festival in Berlin

Hipster Olympiade stickerYes, Berlin is so goddamn hipster, there’s even a festival to determine the best hipster in Berlin. Don’t mistake the word “hipster” for douche, though—because the hipsters from Berlin’s Hipster Olympiade were nothing to be afraid of. Over-stylized and hyped up on Club Mate and Vitamin D (July 21st was the first day with more sunshine than rain!), these hipsters were all there for the fun.

Irony aside, these Berlin hipsters let loose and posed for one gazillion photographers, eager to be in the spotlight. (Which there were many—maybe more journalists than audience members.) The event was essentially a pubic gathering of gawkers and hawkers with a lot (and I mean a lot) of media attention.

The 2012 Hipster Olympics were held at the Postbanhof concert venue. The hipstery afternoon was full of events such as horn-rimmed-glasses throwing, a cloth tote bag race, glitter tossing, bubble-tea slurping, mustache painting and a tug-of-war over the epitome of hipster fashion: skinny jeans. The winning team won a spray-painted “Golden Club Mate”—that eternally hipster drink imbibed by just about everyone in Berlin.

While at the festival, I snapped a few photos (even some old-school ones with my Polaroid camera) of the hipster-tote-bag/potato-sack race, but mostly of the fans. People make the festival, am I right? And the people at the Hipster Olympiade were certainly interesting. Most of the contests were flocked by photographers and media so it was challenging to see much more than the crowd that would circle around each event. That’s why I ended up with a lot of shots of hipsters’ shoes and butts.

Is 2012 maybe the year of the hipster in Berlin? If this Olympics festival has anything to say on the matter, they’d have you believe yes. But in reality, the word “hispter” still inevitably brings up negative connotations and denials by its most likely contenders. Discussions of “labels” and “identity” were rampant but, in the end, it was all just a show.

The hipster teams at the Olympics were the most ostentatiously dressed hipsters at the festival. But most of the crowd also embraced the day’s theme. I’ve got plenty of gratuitous shots of some hipster butts in the gallery below, but quite a few of the shoes folks were wearing. Neon colors weren’t as prevalent as I would’ve expected and I was surprised to discover Converse weren’t even the most popular shoe.

hipster neon shoes

All-in-all, the event was mildly entertaining. I was happy to be there to support my friends at Yelp, though, even if the day moved slow. If you want to enjoy some more hipstery goodness, click play on the sound below and browse through my photo gallery from Berlin’s Hipster Olympiade 2012!

  1. I just saw a news article about this and had to come see if you were there. What a crazy event! I love that Berlin embraces its hipster-dom.

    Shoes and butts are good. Those shoes with wings are pretty sweet. I think it would be interesting to look at the differences in hipster fashion around the world. I don’t think any American hipster has worn Converse for a few years now, but I noticed they’re still big in Toronto.

    • Adam says:

      Hey Scott,
      You don’t know how special that makes me feel that you read an article about it and immediately came here! You made my day :)

      Definitely agree about hipster fashion around the world being an interesting topic. Something I should definitely explore more!

  2. Callie says:

    What a cool event! (Also, I WANT those fuzzy winged shoes!)

  3. If any post has ever highlighted my cluelessness, it’s this one–I had no idea Berlin was so overrun by hipsters. Unfortunately, my tickets to Berlin next month are non-refundable, but hopefully this post can reach others in time so that they may take the necessary precautions.

    • Adam says:

      You’re going to be in for a real shock, Daniel! Berlin is the capital of “cool” and “hip.” But there are plenty of uncool places here if you look hard enough and don’t mind being bored out of your mind.

  4. Hilarious! Love the shoes….

  5. Whut? Not a lot of Converse? So which one’s the most popular during the event? First time I heard about this, and I reckon my hipster friends are gonna obsess ’bout it.

    • Adam says:

      Yep – this year’s Hipster Olympics got a lot of attention. It was the 2nd annual event so I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like next year!

  6. Janella says:

    lol no offense to the hipsters but this has got to be the cheesiest/laziest “olympics” I’ve ever seen!

  7. Ali says:

    Adam, this is hilarious! Glad you had fun and captured a bunch of it in your photos!

  8. Wow, Berlin Hipsters…? I had no clue. Extremely cool.

  9. Arti says:

    Had no clue of something like this happening! Glad you had a fun time! Nice captures.

  10. Abby says:

    Lol I would expect nothing less from Berlin! But what did they compete in?!

    • Adam says:

      All the contests were a bit goofy:

      “horn-rimmed-glasses throwing, a cloth tote bag race, glitter tossing, bubble-tea slurping, mustache painting and a tug-of-war over skinny jeans”

  11. Ally says:

    Those shoes are awesome

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  13. Hipster fashion for the indie traveler set - Travels of Adam Lifestyle Blog says:

    […] They’re the ones that you get for free at events and film festivals—things like the Hipster Olympics in Berlin last summer. It’s a quick and easy way to carry things around without lugging some backpack […]

  14. Franca says:

    It’s the least I could have expect from Berlin which is an hipster heaven :)
    What were they competing in?

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