Party Ruins – A History of Berlin’s Club Culture

Ruins of Maria am Ufer, photo: Michael

With events scattered around the city and free of charge the festival FUTUR25 celebrates the German reunion this upcoming weekend. Some may ask: Didn’t we celebrate the same thing last year? But no. Last year we celebrated the anniversary of the fallen wall with illuminated balloons along the way of the wall. What had become reality for the people only became politically official with the signing of the German reunion contracts, which happened a year later.

FUTUR25 now celebrates the 25th anniversary of this political milestone with great installations, exhibitions and concerts. Radialsystem V serve as the centre of the festival, but is certainly not the only venue! The section Trümmern und Träumen (“ruins and dreaming”) is for us the most exciting one as it focuses on the developments of the Berlin Club scene, brings important figures back on stage, and takes you around on rickshaws to the locations of previously legendary clubs and those that still exist after a wild history of over two decades.

Read more about a couple of the program highlights and see some archive photographs of long forgotten clubs and parties after the jump…

Berlin Musictour

New clubs popped up in the ruins and fallows in the East of the city after the fall of the wall in ‘89. This put the scene in the West out of the spotlight, but it did still exist. A bus tour takes you to those places responsible for Berlin’s reputation as the party capital of the world. A guide with knowledge of the scene will moderate the tour, give extraordinary background information and tell exciting and interesting stories and anecdotes. More details about the tour here.

Saturday, September 5th 2015 | 19.30h | Departure from Radialsystem V, pier

Here is a bit of archive footage from some of the famous clubs that the tour will lead you too:

SO36 – Very punk in the beginnings over 30 years ago. It still exists and now hosts a wild array of parties including the oriental gay party Gayhane and the queer RnB party Sissy.

SO36 in the 70s, photo: Rainer via

Bauhaus live 1980, photo: William Roettger via

Tresor is one of the most legendary techno clubs in Berlin. It used to be at Leipziger Platz back in the 90s and early 2000s, but got torn down and later re-opened in the Kraftwerk at Köpenicker Straße.

photo: Michael Lange

Tresor exterior ca. 2001, photo: Christian von Steffelin

Ostgut was a famous gay fetish techno club that ran until 2003 and was torn down in 2004 to make room for the O2 Arena. It was neighboring the old Panorama Bar (that actually had a panoramic view over 3 sides of the building – hence its name) and the sex club lab.oratory, all of which now are inside the Berghain. The name Ostgut still remains for the record label.

Ostgut ca. 2003/4, photo: Nicor

This is an interesting video that must have been captured sometime around 2000 as it shows previously popular clubs such as Ostgut, Casino, Maria, eWerk, Tresor and more. It’s a little shaky and you can’t see much more than the exteriors but it sure brings up some memories…

Last but not least a photo from the Loveparade in 1992 that shows Sven Väth. It’s taken from the book Nachtleben Berlin 1974 bis heute.

Love Parade 1992, photo: Ben de Biel

But the club tour is by far not all that the Trümmern und Träumen festival is offering:

Boat Rides with Contemporary Witnesses

Take a boat ride on the Spree and let the events of the last 25 years pass by on the water: East Side Gallery, Oberbaum Bridge, Arena Berlin, the remand center of Oberschöneweide, Kater Holzig, Bar25, Tresor, Sage Club and other cultural landmarks. During the ride contemporary witnesses such as Ben de Biel, Monika Dietl, Arne Grahm, Jim Avignon or Mark Reeder will speak with media makers about the fall of the wall and the cultural life of Berlin after the reunification.

Saturday and Sunday | September 5th & 6th 2015 | 14, 16 and 18h , RADIALSYSTEM V, pier

Water installation and Silent Clubbing

The artist collective Light Art Projects wants to remember 25 years of Berlins urban development as a liquid video projection by the riverside of the Spree. The focus is clearly set on the Berlin Art, music and club Culture. Animated image sequences, which are projected onto a wall made of water, show the development of the city from 90s-underground-secret tip to today’s Club Hotspot. 60 minutes of video projection including silent-Clubbing Set invite you to remember with others.

Saturday, September 5th 2015 | 21–24h | Mercedes-Benz-Arena, pier

For further information about Trümmern und Träumen visit their facebook page. The entire amazing festival programme of FUTUR25 is available on their website.

Everything is free of charge. So there is absolutely no reason not to pop by!

Diesen Artikel auf deutsch lesen.

<a href="" target="_self">Lia</a>