Did we even have a winter this year? It is an unusually mild January evening as I rode my bike from the after work Inspire 925 event in Zurich's Prime Tower over Hardbrücke towards the newly gentrified and up-and-coming trend quarter Kreis 3.
Despite it being a Thursday and work the next day, I am going to a singles party. It is a singles party, but not one of those drink-until-you-get-enough-courage-to-talk-to-someone, slur-your-words-and-possibly-embarrass-yourself singles parties.
No, this singles party is the work of two creative entrepreneurs with a love for music and a desire to compete with Cupid! Started by Eva Pauline Bossow and Samira Lütscher, NACHTAKTIV is a project aimed at bringing people together, whether for a few hours or for life.
Bringing Young Singles together in Trendy Bars
As I pull up on my bike in front of Raygrodski, a relatively new bar that once you step in you feel like you have been teleported to Berlin were it not for the price, I see a few people outside. And as I enter the bar, I am greeted by Eva and she signs me in and gives me a coupon for a drink. I am a little late, and the band has already started playing...
The concept behind NACHTAKTIV is to bring singles together at concerts. For their inaugural event, the Swiss band Noti Wümié is playing. As is typical of Swiss music, most songs are in dialect.
The duo's blend of guitar and vocals is perfectly suited for the intimate size of Raygrodski. The music does not overpower talk amongst the singles, nor does the chatter take away from the musical message being delivered from the stage.
Music is a Natural Conversation Starter
Concerts might seem like natural places to meet new people - perhaps even your future husband or wife. But in all reality, most of us do not visit concerts alone. We go with friends. And while having a wingman or girlfriend with you might help to get into conversations with new people, chances are you are there for a good time out together.
This is a shame because music is a great conversation starter, much better than "So... what do you do?" With this knowledge, the two friends thought that it is hard for young professionals to meet new people. The same sentiment is often voiced by expats about meeting locals.
Well, going to a concert where everyone is single is a great way to meet new people - whether just to become friends or for something more. "What do you think about that last song?" is a much more interesting question than "How about that local sports team?"
A Love Connection?
I made my way to the bar, collected my complimentary cocktail, and listened to the band a little before engaging in any conversation. Truth be told, I was scoping out the scene and there was a good mix of men and women from their mid-twenties to late-thirties. After about ten minutes I spotted a group of ladies sitting in a quieter corner talking, so I went over, introduced myself and we started talking.
For the next two hours, we talked about the music, about the challenges of looking for flats in Zurich, about work, travel and other interests. On this occasion, I did not ask for any numbers of Facebook contacts, I just let the night carry on naturally until I realized it was after midnight and I still needed to bike home. I then said my farewells and went on my way.
No love connection that night, but it was pleasant nonetheless.
A Missed Encounter at NACHTAKTIV?
However, let's say that I had got the sense of a connection. Maybe I was still too shy to say something, to ask for a number or give mine. A missed connection? No, NACHTAKTIV has taken this into consideration. After the event, everyone who was there can sign into a special private short-term website, where they can upload a picture of themselves.
Other guests can then click and send messages without email addresses ever being revealed after a week or so the site is taken down. In this way there is a sense of urgency forcing you to make a move if you did feel a connection that you want to pursue, but also there is a security feeling in knowing that you won’t be bombarded with emails forever - and there is no obligation to answer.
Not into Singer/Songwriters? Then how about Composers?
Maybe, though, trendy bars and live music is not your scene. Again here, no problem, Eva and Samira have another option for you. How about classical? Before starting their second sister venture NACHTAKTIV, they launched Konzertliebe.
Aimed at people who love classical music, Konzertliebe works much in the same way was NACHTAKTIV, but also features an apéro riche, as drinking, eating and talking during a classical music concert is, well - frowned upon.
Singles in Bern and Zurich are getting NACHTAKTIV
For any and all singles looking for chances to dating in Switzerland, NACHTAKTIV and Konzertliebe wonderful opportunities to get your groove on and slip into a romantic rhythm.
Now that the winter has left us, it is time to get out again, meet new people and maybe catch a little spring fever.
- NACHTAKTIV and Konzertliebe organize events in Zurich and Bern, and will be expanding to Basel, St. Gallen and other cities soon.
- Next event: Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Fazil Say, April 11, 2014
(All photographs copyright by NACHTAKTIV/Konzertliebe)