Giving up secure jobs in order to work at festivals? This may sounds as dumb as adventurous to some people. Why we did it and how we transformed boxes made out of paper into a festival-village is explained in our latest blog entry!
When time runs by so quickly: I still remember it as if it was yesterday - Mathias (a trained carpenter who used to work on an oil rig as shift supervisor), Nico (who used to work for the Rocket-Startup „Zipjet“) and Fritz (a former office acrobat who has studied something that has to do with media sciences) were sitting on Nico's balcony, thinking big. It was early summer, back in 2015. It didn’t take much to convince Mathias and Fritz that the idea of mobile Festival-Lodges could become a hit. They both knew: Comfort Camping will become hot shit. We all have been aware oft he fact that camping in tents is nothing for people our age. The year before, Nico has attended the "Festival-Water-Games". In brief: Setting up the tent in pouring rain, buying a pavilion as a protector from the rain, but still getting wet to the skin. The result was: The festival-fun was gone, as well as the last Cent.
From the idea to the first Lodge
The idea of festival-accommodations – stucking in Nico’s mind for more than 8 years by then – was not a new idea back in 2015. Living-in containers have already been provided at festivals, but their look and equipment was far away from being sexy. This is why we have started to put our heads together and find a more comfortable solution. The garden shed of Nico’s mom was the perfect spot to get creative. The result of our brainstorming was the future of mobile living-in: a small box made out of timber. The first test runs have been, let’s say, there was space for improvement. Lodge #1 was not rainproof. It looked more like a sieve when the first rain hit us at the open-air festival on Usedom, a Baltic Sea island. But still – our first promotion video (which hasn’t been published yet) was shot there.
A totally different experience for our lodges was their second festival in Warnitz, a little village in Brandenburg, located next to a beautiful lake. Our guests – winners of the raffle on Facebook – were happy AND stayed dry. This was the first time that other people started to talk about us. The "Nordkurier" was the first magazine to publish a story about our idea. What a great feeling!
How timber makes you big
We used pictures of our prototype, a drawing from our festival-camp and some market data to find investors and make festival organizers aware of our idea. The feedback couldn’t have been better. We didn’t even have one single Molo when the first enquiries hit us.
After a few meetings with potential investors, we had to realize that funding our project wouldn’t be easy. Hardware-Start-ups like ours seemed to be as popular as ringtone subscriptions. As a result, we have had to attend every single pitch event we could find, handing out business cards and talking to people – with less success though. This is why we’ve decided to think outside the box, literally. Finally a new home for our Molos was found in Brandenburg, thanks to the “Investitionsbank Brandenburg”, the associated “Zukunftsagentur Brandenburg”, the guarantee bank Brandenburg and the Berliner Volksbank, as well as with a little help from family and friends. The seed money for our project was secured.
Sweat, blood and tears
This is how most of the Start-ups begin their hard journey: With a lot of patience! And a hell lot more money than previously calculated. In July all 16 of our lodges were finally ready to explore the festival world. It has been a lot of work and fixing until then. What an exhausting time. Only 2 days before the first festival – the famous splash!-Festival – the final touch was put on our babies.
The first time our camp got set up – thanks to a lot of helpers and supporters (such as the organizers of the splash! and melt! Festival, who gave us the opportunity of proving that our lodges are the future of comfort camping), who have never lost their believe in our idea. But – instead of resting after 5 great, but exhausting festivals – we’ve had to keep on going. After the festival is before the festival, so they say. Our aim for the time in between: acquisition, business development and finding new investors.
How to keep the Festival-Lodges busy during the winter season
Festivals traditionally take place only during summer. So our next challenge was to find a usable solution for our lodges in the wintertime. We were wondering if the lodges would also survive minus 20 degrees? Well, you only find out if you give it a shot. Thanks to the latest installation of a heating, the lodges have turned into a cosy place to stay, even when it’s snowing or pretty freezing outside. Qbe Hotels – a Hotel from Berlin, which is specialized I exceptional living-in concepts, has started to use our lodges as accommodations for tourists during the cold season. We have also started a pilot project in cooperation with the Caritas and the association “Brot des Lebens” in order to provide homeless people with a warm place to stay these days. Lodges as emergency shelters!
2017 is going to be the year of the Molo!
This year we will participate at several festivals, such as: Deichbrand, melt! Festival, splash! Festival, Airbeat One, Helene Beach, Ikarus Festival, Burning Beach, Singolsand Festival and the Rockharz Open Air. If you would like to support us on our journey, please feel free to contact us or help our lodges to become more popular. You can either book one of them for your next festival stay, recommend them to friends and family, share our blog entries or follow (and like) us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We are ready to reach the next level of hospitality this year: Our next step will be to convince not only festival-visitors, but also sponsors and organizers of multi-day sport events or any other kind of events, to book our Molos. We will also extend our hotel and emergency shelter projects. Thank you all so, so much for your help and great support over the last months. Stay tuned, stay molo! Cheers, Mathias, Fritz and Nico