Whew, where to begin. Kaahele and I agreed Sommer Gönnung was the best party of our lives. It all went down in SONNENPARK. A beautiful green space on the outskirts of Sankt Pölten, Austria. The cement buildings were recently saved by the citizens of Sankt Pölten. The land remains a creative community space instead of new apartment buildings. In the main structure there is a kitchen, bathrooms, meeting rooms, dining rooms, and the best DIY concert venue I have ever performed in. Upstairs there is a clothing swap (a proper DIY Thrift Shop), and also about 10 beds. The adjacent building is another concert hall with a smaller venue perfect for punk shows and late night DJs.

The Festival was outstanding, the food delicious, the crowd unbelievably supportive, and the music/dancing went until 8am the following morning. The night was complete with face painting, an outdoor bar, and the best photo room I have ever seen – yes, an entire room! We had a full projector on all night and plenty of costumes and new friends to take pictures with.

We’ve never quite experienced a crowd like the one at Sommer-Gönnung. Their attentiveness, warmth, and participation was above and beyond. I literally felt like I was being lifted up by a wave of appreciation as the audience clapped and cheered after every song. We sang, laughed, and celebrated life together. I made friends from Austria, Spain, and Afghanistan. We painted our faces and danced all night.

A heartfelt thank you to Valerie, Denise, Wilhelm, Klaus, and the entire team at Topseriös for putting this unforgettable evening together. We met Valerie & Klaus in Hilo, Hawaii after one of our performances at Kava Dave’s. After hosting us and traveling 8 hours roundtrip to support us at another show in Southern Austria (Klaus played percussion!), they have become close friends. We will miss them dearly and hope to connect again soon. Mahalo Sankt Pölten for all the love and memories. See you next year, Aloha!

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