Monday (after work) is party time!

In this interview with Hermann Schmickler, CERN accelerator expert and, more recently, manager of the Open Day organising team, the Bulletin looks behind the scenes of the organisation of CERN’s most popular events for the public.  After the huge endeavour, the “Bosons&More” party awaits you too!


The Open Days core team.
“In the early days of the preparations when we still had some spare time, we
decided to take photos in two different dress codes to illustrate the spirit of “Bosons&More”: formal evening dress and festival type clothes,” says Herman Schmickler. What will your dress code be on Monday evening?

When Hermann is asked “what did you like best” about this whole adventure, he has no hesitation: “The team,” he says. “We have a wonderful team of very motivated people.” Let’s make a rough calculation: the core team comprises 12 people; the enlarged team (logistics, communication, IT, etc.) comprises about two hundred people; and if we count the more than 2000 volunteers, you get the picture.

Coordinating the huge energy of thousands of motivated people is not an easy task. “It was not always easy to understand when people were overdoing it or acting in an uncoordinated fashion,” Hermann admits. “However, we have come a long way to get here and have managed to avoid any major hiccups and to keep smiling.”

Based on previous Open Days and on the response to the ticketing system for the underground visits, CERN is expecting over 40,000 visitors each day. Pretty challenging for an “industrial site”, as the safety experts would put it. Although the underground visits are obviously very popular, these Open Days also comprise over 30 different activities on the surface, for which the Bulletin’s guide to the Open Days will provide a very useful complement to the official programme. “The amazing variety of initiatives and activities CERN will be offering on these two days builds on the enthusiasm previous open days generated,” says Hermann. “CERN people want to actively take part in the event and are proud to show their work to the outside world. They are not doing it because they are asked to but because they want to.”

Let’s not hide it: these last few weeks and the Open Days weekend have been and will be very challenging for a large number of CERN people. Hence, this time, the “thank you” will not be confined to a reception for all volunteers two weeks after the event but will also feature the “Bosons&More” party on Monday evening. “We have sent out 12,000 invitations, each for two people, which is ten times more than any other previous parties of this type,” says Hermann. His accelerator expert soul clearly emerges when he explains the scope of the event. “We will celebrate the LHC machine, this unique instrument that will reach its design luminosity in just a few years' time. Its success is a great achievement for the thousands of people whom we want to celebrate at “Bosons&More” in addition to the physics discoveries.”

Forget about the parking restrictions, the uncertain weather forecasts and even the tiredness: enjoy the Open Days and we look forward to seeing you at “Bosons&More”!

More information can be found on

by Antonella Del Rosso