Baikaltrain Disco: a taste of the East


If you see someone roaming the streets with glassy eyes and visible hangover tempo, but a silly smile underneath, you know the event was worth attending. In Connewitz, they may have just come out of Baikaltrain Disco.

Its conductors DJ Mahalla and DJ Petrike, along with visiting acts, set off a rare kind of magic that a) makes your soul sing with pleasure and b) is able to persuade even the most notorious dance-haters to move their hips.

Just imagine a train rolling its way peacefully from Slovenia and Serbia through the Balkan Peninsula all the way to the Baikal Lake.

A long line of cars passing between steep hills, strolling through beautiful meadows along the greatest European rivers. Quite a peaceful picture to imagine, right?

However, when you look in the windows, you see a completely different picture; one that stays in your mind for a really long time. There is a little stage in the corner with a band that’s playing the most unusual kind of music, music you’ve probably never heard before. But seeing all the passengers move like crazy to its catchy rhythm makes you smile and wish you’d bought that train ticket before it was too late.

Tino Grasselt and Peter Lau, the founders of Baikaltrain Disco, photo Andreas Lamm
Tino Grasselt and Peter Lau, the founders of Baikaltrain Disco. (Photo: Andreas Lamm)

Tino Grasselt and Peter Lau, the two DJs and founders of Baikaltrain Disco, first met during the summer of 2004 in Romania. Their common love of Eastern Europe and extraordinary and diverse taste in music tied them together for good. As the name gives away, it was a train ride through the Carpathian Mountains that inspired the idea of sharing a part of the Eastern European spirit with the rest of the world.

The DJs share their collections of rare music picked up on their way through numerous states: pulsating Balkan brass, passionate Gypsy rhythms, energetic Russian ska, Romanian punk. The untamed tunes won’t let you sit in your chair without at least tapping your toe to the joyful sound. Others find themselves trying to tame the constant urge to grab a bottle of beer and raise it above their heads while frantically dancing to the sound of playful strings and roaring trumpets.

The Baikaltrain Disco crew has been getting the “Leipziger party” going since 2005 and has never missed the opportunity to connect people through music.

They are always ready to rock your brains out at UT Connewitz – be it with the feverish rhythms of hot Balkan beats, Ukrainian high-speed polka, exploding Carpathian punk, or Moldavian turbo-ska.

Fanfare Ciocarlia, photo Arne Reinhardt
Fanfare Ciocarlia, one of the Baikaltrain acts. (Photo: Arne Reinhardt)

Special acts are brought in to “climb aboard” the Baikaltrain and show you what the crazy ferocious fun is able to do when they fill the stage.

The two crazy DJs will do everything they can to bring the train to the absolute top speed with the best dance music – a stormy ride in the wild zigzag course from Balkan to Baikal, from Bucharest to Moscow! With your hands in the air, sweat beading on your forehead and a lot of infectious joy for life in your heart, everyone will experience an unrestrained ride full of turbulence. In the end, it’s the audience that keeps the Baikaltrain rolling.

BAIKALTRAIN-DISCO with DJ Petrike & DJ Mahalla

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