If you’ve ever felt nervous about getting into a club, better buckle up for Berghain with a notoriously strict door policy. Europe’s most iconic club can have you queue up for four hours and still turn all your hopes of entering its hallowed dancefloors into shatters. Famed for its groundbreaking sounds, we bring an ode to this Berlin legend and how to get into Berghain.
Berghain, named after the location between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, is the reincarnation of the famous techno club ‘Ostgut’ (1998–2003). Two Berlin club promoters, Norbert Thormann and Michael Teufele, ran their gay club Snax in various pop up locations around town until they settled in a factory building. There they expanded their techno club activities and named it Ostgut. In 2013 the factory building had to make place for the new O2 sports stadium. After a 2 year search, Teufele and Thormann found a location well worth the wait and Berghain was born.
The Mecca of clubbing hosts the world’s best DJs and named ‘world’s best club’ by the New York Times. Berghain’s building – a former power plant – is characterized by its huge dimensions. Dancefloors have 18 meter high ceilings and space for 1,500 guests. Minimalist steel and concrete make up most of its décor.
Famously secretive Berghain has often been associated with hedonism, decadence and leather reigns. There’s a strict ‘no pictures’ policy, its fetish parties have been the source of many rumours and the club is renowned for its long opening hours. The cool kids arrive well after 3 am and most marathon parties don’t end until Monday morning.
Street photographer by day, legendary Berghain doorman by night. Meet Sven Marquardt. Berhain’s gatekeeper will decide on whether you get in or not. So how to up your odds with Sven and how to get into Berghain?
How to get into Berghain
To get into Berghain, as many describe it, is an almost spiritual experience. The building is like a huge medieval dome and the popular Sunday nights known as ‘Sunday Mass’.
Unlike other clubs, Berghain doesn’t really care about glitz and glamour so you’re not likely to spot glamourous models, movie stars, scantily dressed teenagers or slick mafia dudes here. People genuinely come here to enjoy the techno music. So don’t try to show off. High heels? Nope.
It definitely helps if you speak German, so have the person with the best German language skills in your midst do the talking.
Read up on the program and convince the doormen that you are a big, long time fan of one of the DJs playing that night rather than being a tourist who wants to ‘tick off’ Berghain.
Don’t drink too much before you arrive. If you appear tipsy or drunk when you arrive, your chances of getting in will almost reduce to zero.
Wear black. There’s no rules on any dress code favouring. But people wearing black are more likely to get in more often than the denim squad.
Break up. No, no need dumping the love of your life for Berghain! But don’t arrive in big groups. Break up in smaller groups to favor your chances of getting into Berghain. And don’t chatter your way through the queue as well, don’t attract any attention.
Like we said, the cool kids arrive after 3 am so the gatekeepers tend to wave away people arriving before midnight.
Ow and when you do get in, book a comfortable room at Berlin’s friendliest hostel for the next couple of days. Late check out and breakfast bursting with vitamin C to recover! We know what it’s like…