He will forever remain a legend of Hvar nightlife. Total Hvar talks to the legend that is Wolfgang Schulze-Boysen, or Wuf!
We are approaching 5,000 articles written about the island of Hvar since we started in October 2011. In that time, I have had the most incredible journey around this magical island, seeing truly amazing things and meeting some truly sensational people.
I have been privileged to spend time with – and learn from – some true professionals, to hear their opinions on how the island should develop. They are people from all walks of island life – those who are pro-party, those who think the island should embrace its culture more fully. In the first of a new series on Total Hvar, I would like you to meet them, to see Hvar and the development of Hvar through their eyes.
We begin with Wolfgang Schulze-Boysen, one of the legends of Hvar nightlife, from an early mover and shaker at Carpe Diem, to the brains and energy behind Hula Hula. A fascinating interview – and a very honest one.
1. You were one of the leading lights in the early days of Carpe Diem and built Hulu Hula into one of the top beach bars in the world. How would you say Hvar nightlife has changed in the last 10 years?
In the last 10 years Hvar has in my eyes changed drastically. Back then there was Veneranda, Kopito, and …what was it called ” Luda Koka” in Vrboska? With Carpe Diem a new era started 14 years ago, and since then everything changed. But also the tourism industry has rediscovered Croatia and Hvar. The Nudist beaches have diminished ,and the guests have changed. Regarding the nightlife, i feel its has become more Quantity, but not always more Quality ! There were Super Parties on the Fortress until about 13 years ago……
The party crowd at night is now mostly very young, and contrary to what is told and sold in the media and Tv: The party crowd isn’t quite as hip as we told. How many people get rejected at the entrance to Carpe Diem Beach at night, for example?
2. People often call Hvar the new Ibiza. Do you think this is a fair description?
From my point of view, NO place should try to copy another. By doing that you actually deprive yourself of the chance of creating your own unique identity. The comparison with Ibiza is in my eyes just pure stupidity. Just alone the fact that Ibizas Top Clubs can together host about what, 25.000 people ( a vague guess), exceeds the Hvar capability by a multiple factor. And even if Carpe diem beach is putting on a real good DJ line up, and a good show all together ( i really have respect !), lets face it: its not Pacha , DC 10, or any of those. And please; When the majority of people in Hvar stops dancing, in Ibiza the majority are just getting ready to go out !
3. Hvar is an island of great heritage and great nightlife. Does Hvar have the right balance between the two?
Unfortunately there is nothing like a balance. The problem is that Hvar doesnt have or hire a tourism PRO. Depending on the given Mayor, Hvar cannot grow a natural, longlasting identity.
There is not one top touristic destination in the world, where basically the best objects like Fortress have hardly been used in the last 14 years. Cultural events: ZERO …….. The same thing for the Arsenal, or Galasnik……………..ZERO !!!!! “Tradition is not praying to ash, but passing on the fire!”
I know places in Germany and Austria, used to be unbelievable top-status Magnets for the rich and the beautiful——–Wolfgangssee Austria, “Monkey circus” best Cocktail bar Austria, the lake, all over now……..same with Tegernsee……………these 2 have at some point stopped pushing the pedals. Now its over…….Then places like KITZBÜHEL, SÖLDEN or ISCHGL: each destination has mountains and snow, their individual very strong identity they created through their gastronomy . Thats how its done. The problem in Hvar: On international comparison: SERVICE and TREATMENT SUCKS !!!!!!! If i would write down all the complaints from guests over the years , it would fill a book, and you would’t believe some of the stories……….
So, Who is right now deciding the Tourism Strategy in Hvar: NO ONE ! It is laid down by outside forces . A Balance between Heritage and Nightlife could take place, when the offer for nightlife is small and exquisite ! When it becomes mainstream , Heritage and Culture (in the classical sense)will give way……….
Or perhaps it is summed up better like this: The majority of guests come because of BOOZE, not Brahms !!!!! Ya dont catch a Tuna with breadcrumbs, do ya ??
4. Is having Ultra Europe beach party at Hotel Amfora in peak season a good thing for Hvar tourism?
Ultra in peak season… lets put it this way: IT IS !!!!! from my point of view, it is great for Ultra! For Hvar? That depends on where Hvar wants to go. If that is the way, then i’m a big believer in being consequent and authentic. every Bar and Club should be open as long as they want in the 5 months of tourism… If ULTRA is becoming your most advertised Highlight of tourism, then you should’nt be surprised when guests are more interested in DJs than the oldest public theater of Europe…
I am a big fan of Ultra, and if hvar is going that direction: SUPER, ………….then maybe somebody should open a CLUB in the oldest theater of Europe. This way at least some people would get to see it !!!!!!
5. How would you develop Hvar nightlife. What is good, what is bad, what are the opportunities?
The Hvar Magic in my eyes always hosted the whole Hvar experience,; No Mega beaches- just rather small individual ones- for every taste, the same with dining, the same with rooms: something for every taste and wallet. And the “cheap” rooms sold by the Ladies on the street, I have never seen likewise in Monaco, St. Tropez or Portofino. Hvar is exeptional in that sense. It catered vacation fantasies to the extremely wealthy, as well as to lets say some Skater friends from Austria. Unfortunately there is no TOGETHER in Hvar, and in my past business life i have learned :Together is not a choice, it is a fact………a must !
So , i don’t feel the nightlife needs development. The people do, in order to understand consequences. What goes up, must come down, just a question of time. And I am talking about the town of Hvar, the island is a different story.
Take a look at Salzburg: Their “Aushängeschild” is the Opern festspiele……………that creates one form of Identity. Kitzbühl…..”The Hahnenkamm race” another one……….Ischgl the mega concerts end of season………all to create an identity……..and in Hvar: 100 identities…….night people would love to brand it IBIZA,…….Others call it the new Monte Carlo,,,,,,,,,,,,,and all the hostel owners and old ladies renting appartements are creating a BACKPACKERS HEAVEN! St Tropez would host ULTRA only on the 30th of February !!!!!!
And something else: for me the BIGGEST VALUE of Hvar old centre is that it is commercial free. No Coke, no Ads no nothing…..THAT IS in TODAY’S WORLD – amazing.
The mayor of St Tropez would be a proud mayor if he could say that his town centre was free of commercials.