Berghain

 
98% love it
  144
Quite possibly the greatest club in the history of the universe

An oversized disused 1953 East Berlin power plant made good by two low-profile gay visionaries (Norbert Thormann and Michael Teufele) in 2004, Berghain is an elegant and sexy cathedral worshipped by Berliners and discerning visitors for its otherworldly sound system (ultra minimal, techno, tribal, house etc), sexy dark areas and an overall Dionysian atmosphere. Berghain attracts a big, mixed, free-spirited crowd. On a Saturday night clubbers can wait a while to get in, only to be subjected to a discriminating door policy, with large groups of tourists, drunken heterosexuals and others not making the cut. But the pay-off is well worth it, and many of those who gain entry linger well into Sunday or Monday. For less demanding (but still worthwhile) music there's the stylish and very popular Panorama Bar upstairs [see entry], which is open also on Fridays (when the main part of Berghain is closed). In February 2017 a reinvented bar space opened as Säule. Between Thursday and Sunday a separate entrance provides access to the no-holds-barred gay-male fetish sex space Lab.oratory [see entry]. And for one night each Easter weekend Berghain stages the leather/rubber/fetish SNAX party [see entry] — an anything-goes male-only Saturday/Sunday sex event on a grand scale (while never feeling corporate, though increasingly circuit-party-like), previously staged at Berghain's earlier incarnation Ostgut (demolished in 2004). The SNAX party takes over the entire Berghain except for the Panorama Bar, and is alone worth the trip to Berlin, though its original core target group – leather and rubber fetishists – no longer dominates here, instead opting to stick to the Schöneberg bars that night. A second now-annual party, FC SNAX UNITED, prescribing sportswear and trainers and held late autumn, started December 2011. The complex also stages events and concerts during the week, plus clubs such as Pet Shop Bears and open-air summer/lounge options connected to the Bierhof Rüdersdorf/Kantine. The club's name is a composite of neighbouring areas Kreuzberg (former West Berlin) and Friedrichshain (former East Berlin). No mirrors in the club, and photography is not allowed. Capacity = 1,500, and as of 2014 (earlier, actually), international attention has triggered a certain rise in tourist infiltration, though less so on Sunday. Uniquely, Berghain is a major tourist attraction with a tourist-wary door policy. As of 2019 the club no longer stamps the hands of clubbers —a policy that allowed them in-and-out access across the weekend. Instead, clubbers are given a designery wristband, with club re-entry costing €5. For the record, co-creator Teufele bowed out in 2017. For a spell during the pandemic, from September 2020, Berghain reinvented itself as a gallery with works by 115 international artists throughout the vast club – devised by Christian Boros with his wife, Karen and curator Juliet Kothe.

Location

Tags