Members of an Aberystwyth stag do that made international news by unknowingly booking a weekend away in a city blighted by anti-capitalist protesters during a G20 summit have relived the dramatic trip.
The groom, Dafydd Davies from Penrhyncoch, and best man Anthony Parry appeared on the BBC Sounds Best Men podcast, presented by comedians Jason Manford and Steve Edge, to discuss ‘What happens when the real Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin rock up at a Welsh stag do?’
The 30-strong stag party landed at the Helmut Schmidt Airport in 2017, in stereotypical French fancy dress – a tribute to Dafydd’s mum who was French – and fears were first raised on landing when they spotted Air Force One on the runway and a pilot announcement hoping everyone ‘stays out of any trouble’.
Arriving in the city at the same time as Donald Trump, the alarm bells started ringing when they entered the first pub – and were given a word of warning from the Welshman behind the bar, suggesting they ‘stay here for the night’.
Because, unbeknownst to the stag party, the G-20 Summit was also taking place in the city and an anti-capitalist protest had been organised, which drew around 100,000 people.
Dafydd told the podcast: “The penny dropping moment for me was when we were walking through Hamburg airport and on the TV screens was live feed of Air Force One landing at the same time as us.”
Anthony explains: “Dafydd’s late mother was French (which is why they were dressed in French theme). There was a mixture, there was a mime artist, a bag of French fries, maids, Napoleon, Eric Cantona and a pint of Kronenberg.”
The scale of the situation became clear when they turned up to a pre-booked laser quest venue to find it locked and were told by a bemused man ‘the city is expecting hundreds of thousands of protesters and the military has been brought in.’
Although the group managed to largely avoid the protests, a couple of members of the party got caught up in the fracas on the street.
Dafydd said: “It was busy, [there were a] lot of protesters, they saw these people coming towards them, dressed in black, hoodies up.
“They started pelted police with bricks and stones and the police retaliated.
“Nearly got tear gassed, shot at with rubber bullets and legged it.
“Thankfully they weren’t hurt but that was a little too close for comfort.”
Their escapades went viral after German national paper, Speigel Online, posted a photo of the group in their fancy dress, which led to a live interview with Radio Cymru.
Dafydd’s dad, Meirion, told the podcast: “I felt quite honoured to be invited to my son’s stag do. What I remember was that feeling of a city being so deserted, empty streets and an eeriness because of the lack of people around. Almost as if a nuclear bomb had hit the place.
“The stag party made the national news in Wales. We had a really good time. Everyone got into the spirit.”
The full podcast can be found on BBC Sounds by searching Best Men.