Berlin's Club Comeback (2021 release) (2023)


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A disco successfully sued the city to ban indoor dancing, and the club reopened. However, the local government has a backup plan in place if coronavirus cases increase.

Berlin's Club Comeback (2021 release) (1)

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BERLIN - Long after the sun has risen, the beat strikes at the Salon zur wilden Renate. Hundreds of euphoric, unmasked revelers filled the dance floor, the only social distance created in makeshift pockets by the rhythmic movement of the crowd.

After being frozen for 18 months, Berlin's famous hedonist club reopened last weekend for the first time since the pandemic began.

That's not how the city was originally planned. Earlier this summer, the Berlin government funded a study to test that high-precision P.C.R. testing could keep club regulars safe. The study involved about 2,000 people who were released into six clubs over a weekend.

But before the results were officially announced, a local court ruled in favor of a disco that sued the city to ban indoor dancing, forcing the Berlin senate to allow the club to reopen. Those who have been fully vaccinated within the past six months or have proof of recovery from coronavirus will be able to enter. Admission does not require an exam.

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Crowded clubs full of sweaty dancers who yell for hours to music are ideal environments for spreading the coronavirus, scientists have warned. Some of the first recorded cases in Berlin in 2020 have been traced to several clubs in the city.

But, at least for now, the party is officially back on.


comma rotation

The rules surrounding the reopening of European clubs vary and are constantly changing.

Italy and France have allowed clubs to reopen to vaccinated people. The UK will require club members to be vaccinated by the end of this month.

In the Netherlands, clubs were briefly allowed to open in June before cases surged across the country -Includes approximately 1,000 cases related to dance music events- causing them to be closed again. (yesClosed until November 1st, but another review of the restrictions took place later in September. ) clubs had similar openings in parts of Spain and then closed.

In Berlin last weekend, lines outside many clubs stretched from squares to street corners. Elderly people sometimes have to wait hours to get to the door.

“It’s like waiting in line to ride a roller coaster,” said Joe Friedrich, who had just arrived from Hamburg to celebrate his birthday, as he waited in line with friends outside the Salon zur wilden Renate early Saturday morning. .

Outside of KitKatClub, a fetish and dance spot, a well-placed kebab stand sells drinks to people clad in leather, latex and mesh in about half the line.

"It's almost surreal. I'm back in my teenage years, going out for the first time, not knowing what to expect! Will people be okay? Do I have the right clothes?" Sanne van ' Walderveen, 40, from Amsterdam with her boyfriend Here it is." It's been on hold for a year and a half, so we're ready to party! "

Of course, at the end of every line are picky con artists who are notoriously picky about Berlin's most sought-after attractions. Even after enduring the wait, many, including this reporter, were fired with a "sorry," "not tonight," or a simple, silent shake of the head.

Many other clubs in Berlin - including the iconic Berghain, housed in a disused power station in East Germany - remain closed for now. Some have already started decoration and are still under construction, so it is difficult to open suddenly. Others can't arrange a DJ or crew last minute.

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There were also concerns in the club scene about how long the party would last. Cases are making a comeback in Berlin as the Delta strain spreads across Germany, leading many to believe authorities may once again stop music. That would leave club owners further in debt after a costly restart effort.

Over the past year, the club has attempted to reinvent itself, turning its indoor dance floor into a gallery and exhibition space. At various times during the pandemic, venues with outdoor spaces have reopened as beer halls or hosted relatively low-key outdoor parties—often with masks, social distancing rules, and often with designated seating or space.

Some clubs have also been turned into Covid-19 testing centers, employing ex-bartenders and bouncers to deal with nose problems.

But the long-term survival of Berlin's club scene, which exploded to international fame in the wild, cozy 1990s amid the freedom, chaos and turmoil after the fall of the Berlin Wall, was important to the city.

While many clubs in Berlin are a relatively low-margin business, the industry attracted around 3 million tourists to the city in 2018, injecting 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) into the economy, according to the Berlin Club Council. )industry.

And whether due to growing respect for their economic power or the place club culture plays in a city's identity, what was once an underground scene has become a growing presence in local politics. Berghain received official legal recognition as a cultural site in 2016, giving it the same status as museums, opera houses and other institutions, which means tax breaks and possible relaxation of noise and zoning restrictions. In May, after a lengthy lobbying campaign, Berlin lawmakers voted to extend the designation to most of the city's remaining clubs.

Substantial financial support from the German government has kept clubs afloat during the pandemic (although many operators have complained about the discrepancy in subsidies). Loyal fans have also donated to some popular nightclubs, including WatergateCollect over 100,000 Euros. Many clubs have also been loaned out.


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possible comeback plan

In early August, six Berlin clubs launched a government-funded pilot program to see if the rapid transformation in the People's Republic of China would become a reality. Testing could filter out infected club regulars and provide a safe path to reopening. Doctors at Charité, a renowned research and teaching hospital in Berlin, agreed to analyze the results.

Two thousand clubbers bought tickets and rushed out to get wiped down hours before they hit the dance floor.

The first round of testing found seven infections, sending the would-be predators to quarantine rather than the club. The rest were allowed to gather at an agreed location for two consecutive nights and were directed to report back after five days for follow-up inspections.

It wasn't a peer-reviewed study, or a scientifically designed clinical trial, but the results were more encouraging than most would hope: No new infections were found in about 75 percent of people who were swabbed again.

The local government of Berlin kindly provided approximately EUR 40,000 to cover the costs of the entire P.C.R. “Club culture is part of Berlin culture,” said Klaus Lederer, a left-wing party politician and Berlin’s current culture minister.

On the first night of the pilot project, huddled outside the Metropol nightclub to shelter from the pouring rain, Mr. Luedler told reporters it would cost taxpayers a lot of money to keep the closed club afloat.

Dr. Frank Heppner, a professor and research fellow at Charité with Mr. Lederer, said the P.C.R. tests were necessary for the study because the rapid antigen test is "leaky and suboptimal."

"You have to use the best, most sensitive tools available to filter out potential positives," he said.

The pilot project mirrors other recent experiments in Germany, including a testing protocol in Berlinclassical concertThe venue last spring and an electronic music festival outside the city in the summer.

"After a long period of isolation, we know that we have serious side effects in society, and you have to bring those side effects in as well. You can't just focus on the virus and the immediate consequences," said Dr. Heppner. "The indirect impact on social, psychological and economic levels is also something you have to weigh."

Currently, club studies are on hold due to the club's reopening. But club committee spokesman Lutz Leichsenring said the P.C.R. testing strategy remains a likely option, rather than new closures or stricter restrictions, if infection rates rise this fall. In August, the Berlin club has formed an alliance with a laboratory partner, offering the club a special P.C.R worth 15 euros. Tests - a lot of money in a city where entry fees rarely exceed 20 euros but results are guaranteed within four hours.

Mr Leichsenring said another lockdown would be the "worst-case scenario and kill a lot of jobs". But quick turnaround P.C.R. research. Testing could lead to alternatives, he said, "so that we can at least make sure that people who go to the club are safe."

Alex Marshall contributed reporting.


September 12, 2021


An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the surname of a Berlin club friend. It's Sanne van't Walderveen, not Sanne vand't Walderveen.

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What is the hardest club to get into Berlin? ›

But access isn't all that easy, Berghain is notorious for being one of the most difficult clubs to get into. This place is not keen on tourists; arriving in a group, being too loud or cheerful, showing any signs of nerves or too many bright colours, are all frowned upon.

What is the hardest nightclub to get into in the world? ›

Berghain is infamous for being the most exclusive, hard-to-get-into nightclub in the world.

How hard is it to get into Berghain? ›

Is it hard to get into Berghain? Berghain is super exclusive, and getting in can be difficult. However, there are a few things you can do to try to improve your chances. Try going on a late Saturday night or an early Sunday morning, when there are likely to be fewer people in line.

Why is techno so big in Berlin? ›

The roots of Berlin's no-curfew culture can be traced to the start of the Cold War, when negotiations over a bottle of whiskey led to the abolition of a postwar curfew — and set the stage for Berlin's becoming one of the world's hottest destinations for techno music.

What German club can no one get into? ›

Stone-faced and black-clad, in the dead of winter or shine of summer, the Berghain club kids wait patiently to grace the walls of their techno haven. The hype around this secretive club is only magnified by its no-photos rule and notoriously difficult door policy.

What club in Berlin can no one get into? ›

Berghain is one of the most famous and most exclusive clubs in the world. Located in Berlin, this club is considered to have the toughest door policy ever seen. People are said to wait for hours in line and that too without any surety of getting in.

What is the most exclusive club in the world in Berlin? ›

Berghain (German: [bɛʁkhaɪn]) is a nightclub in Berlin, Germany. It is named after its location near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in Berlin, and is a short walk from Berlin Ostbahnhof main line railway station.

Where is the #1 club in the world? ›

For the second year running Hï Ibiza has claimed the top spot in our poll. Opened in 2017 on Ibiza's famous Playa d'en Bossa strip by Ushuaïa Entertainment (the global entertainment company led by CEO Yann Pissenem), Hï Ibiza prides itself on being the world's most technologically advanced club.

What is the most exclusive nightclub in the world Berlin? ›

Berghain is Berlin's most famous club as well as its most exclusive.

Is it legal to smoke in Berghain? ›

Is smoking allowed in Berghain ? No, you are not allowed to smoke in Berghain. Technically smoking is only allowed in clubs or bars smaller than 75m2 (800ft2) that don't serve food.

Can an American get into Berghain? ›

And tourists that are visiting Berlin are no different. So yes, tourists can get into Berghain! While you don't need to speak German fluently, it won't hurt to know how to answer the bouncer in German when he asks 'Wie viele'? Don't make a mistake many tourists make and answer that by saying 'two, please'.

Is Berghain cash only? ›

Also in Berghain: Cash only

Travel warning to all Berlin tourists or those planning a visit: who travels without cash in Berlin is lost. And not only in taxis.

What is the number 1 techno club in the world? ›

No list of the best techno clubs in the world would be complete without mentioning Berghain/Panorama Bar in Berlin. This iconic venue has become synonymous with techno culture, thanks to its industrial architecture, impressive sound system, and world-class DJs.

What do you wear to a rave in Berlin? ›

Shirts, jeans, trainers, it doesn't matter all that much. Rather vibe check yourself if you are not one for donning dark colours. But you are encouraged on wearing black attire. For example, getting into Berghain is difficult.

Is Tresor like Berghain? ›

Tresor Berlin

Much like Berghain, Tresor is housed in a former power plant which creates a dark and gritty vibe, almost reminiscent of a horror film set. There's quite a few different dance floors each with their own music bouncing off the walls and pounding into your ears.

What do Berghain bouncers ask? ›

There are two commonly asked questions at the front of the Berghain queue. The first is 'How many people? ' and the second is usually 'Who are you here to see tonight? ' If you can't name at least one of the DJs playing, then it's very likely you'll be on the receiving end of a head-shaking 'no' from the bouncers.

Is Berghain closing? ›

The iconic Berlin club Berghain is said to be closing its doors to the public for the last time by the end of 2022. The legendary club has been open since 2004, and speculation about its future has arisen since its in-house record label and booking agency, Ostgut Ton, ceased operations earlier this year.

Why is it so hard to get into clubs in Berlin? ›

After a history of conflict and restriction, Berlin has become a city of freedom. Berlin techno clubs are freedom-focused. There's no better place to express yourself. It's this culture of freedom that has made partying in Berlin a challenge for many tourists.

Where do I go if I get rejected from Berghain? ›

The riverside club will be hosting a house and techno lineup that includes Extrawelt, Matthias Meyer, La Fleur, Sebo K, Lee Jones and more. The venue isn't too far from Berghain/Panorama Bar either, so the transit should you make it an option after not getting in won't take you more than 30 minutes or so at most.

What is the oldest Berlin club? ›

BFC Germania 1888 is a German football club from Berlin. Founded on 15 April 1888, it is the oldest active football club in the country.

Did Elon Musk go to Berghain? ›

They wrote PEACE on the wall at Berghain! I refused enter. Around four hours later, a clearly burned Musk added, “Peace. Peace?

Where do rich people hang out in Berlin? ›

Charlottenburg The Charlottenburg district is the wealthiest and most commercialized in western Berlin.

What happens in dark rooms at Berghain? ›

Once inside, you are free to let yourself go, and to enter a world where indulgence and self-expression are king. Berghain is infamously a sexually driven environment, and the lower levels of the nightclub still feature 'dark rooms', where club-goers are free to engage in sexual activity with others.

What is the smallest club in the world Berlin? ›

The phonebox-shaped club has been the source of fascination for many in Berlin over the years, hosting intimate parties at a small fee. Punters are encouraged to contribute €2 to enter and “go crazy” with friends. “The teledisko is the smallest disco in the world,” reads Teledisko's website.

Has anyone won The 1% Club? ›

Daniel O'Halloran won the whopping jackpot on Lee Mack's ITV gameshow The 1% Club, which began airing on the Trigger Point broadcaster in 2022.

How many people are in The 1% Club? ›

The 1% Club sees 100 contestants compete to make it to the end and answer a final question only 1% of the country can get right. Daniel told The Echo: “I was quite confident in getting to the latter stages of the show, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined taking home that much money.

What is the top 1% club show? ›

The 1% Club is a British game show that has aired on ITV since 9 April 2022 and is hosted by Lee Mack. The show is styled as an IQ test and the questions are not based on general knowledge, like many shows, but of "logic and common sense".

What is the Berghain rule? ›

In Berghain, the unwritten rule is to wear all black (schwarz) with some edgy (auffallend) accessories (leather harness, chains, etc.). Although wearing black is a good and safe choice, being unique and staying true to yourself (bleib dir treu) is also highly encouraged.

Does Berghain check ID? ›

The age limit for clubs like Berghain is 18, but normally you do not need ID to get in. The thing is that the conversation with bouncers will rarely get to the point where they feel they should let you in even if they are suspicious about your maturity.

What is the darkest club in Berlin? ›

Top 10 Best Dark Room Near You in Berlin, Berlin
  • All "Dark Room" results in Berlin, Berlin. Showing 1-11 of 11.
  • New Action. 2.0 mi. €€Gay Bars. ...
  • Sisyphos Club. 4.2 mi. 60 reviews. ...
  • Salon zur Wilden Renate. 3.0 mi. €€Dance Clubs. ...
  • Tom's Bar. 2.0 mi. €€Gay Bars. ...
  • Tresor. 1.1 mi. 123 reviews. ...
  • Hafen. 2.0 mi. ...
  • Sammlung Boros. 1.2 mi.

What does Berghain smell like? ›

"The strongest note is probably male body sweat," says Lewis, "and it has these other notes of perfume, cologne, alcohol, burnt tobacco. It's a very earthy, heavy, pungent smell. Pleasantness is not what we're going for," she laughs. What they are going for is deep resonance.

Can celebrities get into Berghain? ›

Its head bouncer, Sven Marquardt, has even published a memoir of his time acting as the St. Peter of Berghain. His philosophy is all about ensuring the crowd is a “right mix”, which means even celebrities do not get preferential treatment.

How much does Berghain cost? ›

Berghain Berlin Club » Who comes in, is in.
District:Berghain Berlin im Friedrichshain
Address:Am Wriezener Bahnhof
Opening hours::Fridays and Saturdays 24:00h
Prices/Admission:Admission from 15 euros
4 more rows

What is not allowed in Berghain? ›

It is well known that photos are not allowed in Berghain. The club has even gotten rid of all mirrors and reflective surfaces as well. Upon entrance in the club your phones cameras will be covered with stickers, so do not think about taking them off. If you do and get caught taking a photo be prepared to be kicked out.

Can I wear white sneakers to Berghain? ›

Berghain is an underground club but an extraordinary outfit does not have to be wrong if that is you. If you drink, put the bottle away before you get close to the bouncers. Do not cut the line, even if many people do this. Skip white sneakers or casual canvas shoes.

How to get into Berghain girl? ›

You get into Berghain if you fit with the vibe – and that vibe is pretty simple: be free, be yourself, enjoy the music. If you show up looking too immaculate and like your outfit is more important to you than losing yourself in the techno dreamscape, then you are going to get knocked back.

Do you have to wear black to Berghain? ›

Berghain allows everyone to be the way they want to be. No one is being watched or judged and this freedom is also applied to style. Whether it's a full look in black, a red lace dress or a yellow shirt, fashion here is not about trends, but self-expression.

Is Berghain a queer club? ›

Berghain is a mixed club, but it can at times be hard to tell who's queer when straight people use queer signals to help them get past the omnipotent doorpickers.

What is the most prestigious club in Berlin? ›

Berghain is Berlin's most famous club as well as its most exclusive.

What is the most legendary club in Berlin? ›

Berghain (German: [bɛʁkhaɪn]) is a nightclub in Berlin, Germany. It is named after its location near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in Berlin, and is a short walk from Berlin Ostbahnhof main line railway station.

What is the most famous nightclub in Berlin? ›


If you're talking about Berlin and clubs, obviously Berghain has to be at the top of your list. It's the most infamous club in Berlin, and possibly the world, too. Once you've been there in person, you'll know why.

Who gets into Berghain? ›

You get into Berghain if you fit with the vibe – and that vibe is pretty simple: be free, be yourself, enjoy the music. If you show up looking too immaculate and like your outfit is more important to you than losing yourself in the techno dreamscape, then you are going to get knocked back.

How long is the Berghain queue? ›

The queue to get into Berghain can be anywhere from 2-4 hours. So once inside, revellers make the most of it and spend anywhere from 10-24 hours.

Is Kater Blau hard to get into? ›

Kater Blau can have a pretty tough door at times, and confidence is needed to impress the Kater Blau doorman. Although a dark outfit is a safe bet, an individual style will be appreciated if you can wear it with confidence! Like with all clubs, know the DJs, know the event, and be nice! What is this?

What do people wear clubbing in Berlin? ›

Berlin nightclubs are associated with dark gothic style-oriented dress codes. However, while you are encouraged to fit the feel of the night you aren't actually expected to wear black outfits. Shirts, jeans, trainers, it doesn't matter all that much.

What time do people go out in Berlin? ›

Apart from the rules, also remember these tips to have a good night out in Berlin: Don't go to clubs before 01:00 A.M. Most clubs start getting crowded around 2:00 A.M.

Does Berghain allow Americans? ›

Can tourists get into Berghain ? The Berghain bouncers will allow anyone through the doors that they feel match the flow of the night. And tourists that are visiting Berlin are no different. So yes, tourists can get into Berghain!

Who got rejected by Berghain? ›

“Today he got rejected at Berghain door!” they posted on Sunday. When asked for confirmation by another user, they replied: “I saw it.” They told VICE over Reddit DMs that they saw Musk rejected by none other than Sven Marquardt himself, Berghain's imposing and heavily tattooed head bouncer.

Is it OK to go to Berghain alone? ›

Going to Berghain alone is fine—you'll meet people, you'll have fun, you'll dance, and it'll be awesome. But there's no doubt that you'll get bored more quickly unless you've got a friend to keep you company, and to pressure you to stay another hour when you really want to go home. 7.


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