We have all experienced the adventurous and cosy atmosphere of Tivoli on a busy summer's day, but what does the garden look like when the gates have closed, and the season is over? What goes on behind closed doors in the run-up to the opening, and how naïve is the notion that the garden is just sitting there, waiting for us, through the low season? Today, we'll go behind the gates and get a sneak peek on what's going on in the garden when no one is looking.
It's early morning on a Monday, and we are at the back entrance of Tivoli. Busy workmen in yellow vests, the noise of various machines and vehicles are overwhelming, and the hectic atmosphere reminds us of a construction site, more than the idyllic and magical amusement park we all know and love. On a concrete block in front of one of the garden's many hidden workshops, we meet the main person of the day, who will show us what goes on behind the scenes in the old garden.
Her name is Louise, and she has been working as a painter in Tivoli for more than 10 years; she knows better than anybody about the extensive and detail-oriented work that goes into maintaining and preparing the garden for the opening of the season. We are moving through the garden towards the paint shop, past The Demon and up the small stairs, sneaking over and past piles of gravel, a forklift, and a wheelbarrow. And although the garden is still recognisable, we are getting a somewhat different impression of it today. The magic and childlike notion that Copenhagen's fabulous theme park, when the gates close, is still as beautiful, flower-covered, and candyfloss-scented as we know it is a little challenged.
An army of painters, carpenters, and blacksmiths
We are greeted with smiles and "good morning Loui" from everyone we meet before reaching the small workshop, which, despite its central location in the heart of the garden, we have somehow never noticed before. We push the sliding door to the left and enter a small room filled with paint cans, a white piano from the Tivoli party, and a Christiania Bike used to transport paint and cans around the garden.