Berlin’s Berghain sits atop the pinnacle of world clubbing. The legendary Mecca for ravers was dubbed the best club in the world by The New York Times. Take a look inside Berghain.
From the outside it appears to be no more than a derelict power station from the Communist era, but indoors, Berghain is an outrageous world with suitably industrial architecture. The holy grail of techno beats, the motherland of aberration and a haven where the most brazen of casual and random sexual encounters occur.
Located in the impressive turbine hall of the defunct power plant, Berghain boasts a cavernous, 60-foot high dance floor supported by massive pillars made of nude concrete. Upstairs one can get to the not less iconic Panorama Bar, which focuses on groovier, more melodic sessions rather than the main floor’s severe techno. Panorama makes use of cages that formerly housed electrical equipment featuring tall windows with a view of Friedrichshain that are alternately shuttered and exposed over the weekend.
Nestled in the basement of the building, Lab.Oratory is a gay sex club staging themed fetish nights. ‘Anything goes’ at this labyrinthine hardcore men’s club. The dark and sinister setting gives The Lab the right atmosphere to cruise and play with cages, slings, bucks, glory holes, dark rooms and alcoves. They are asked to strip off and place the clothes in a bag in order to enter. And at the Easter Weekend, the club hosts Snax Club, an infamous men-only sex party.
Described as a ‘religious experience’ by Rolling Stone, Berghain houses one of the most powerful sound systems in the world. The imposing hard music sanctuary blares out hypnotic techno with some people choosing not to see the light of day over the duration of a typical Friday-to-Monday clubbing marathon.
Taking photographs and videos isn’t allowed and phone cameras are usually taped up before entry. Despite, there are few people that could manage to take a video inside Berghain.
More than anything, Berghain is the club with a reputation for being incredibly hard to get into, with people turned away by its bouncers with no reason. My advice to get into Berghain is to wear black clothes and to avoid peak times. If you really want to get in, try to arrive in the morning or early afternoon in a small group (no more than 3 people). There is even a website that simulates coming face-to-face with the stern bouncers, which tracks your movement and speech to decide if you enter the infamous club.
If you can’t get into Berghain, a good alternative is the debauched Kit Kat Club known for both, its sense of freedom and techno nights.