Berlin is known as the hedonistic capital of the world. People from all over the world come here to explore their fantasies, even if only for one night on the dance floor. But, with so many clubs to choose from, so many distinct crowds and different DJ bookings things can get a little confusing. So, instead of going to a party that turns out to be a flop, you don’t go at all and spend your night watching Grey’s Anatomy alone on your sofa – And we can’t let that happen! True, not every club guarantees an insane night out but there are plenty of party series in Berlin that might not happen every weekend but if you watch out for them, you might just experience what this crazy city is all about. So, here’s a little list of parties that won’t dissappoint, with a ‘lil something for everyone in the mix.
Since 2015 TRADE has been putting out event nights at OHM, a smaller club located in the former Heizkraftwerk in Mitte that is best known for the Techno Club Tresor. With TRADE the promoters have created a hub for electronic music that goes beyond the borders of the expected House and Techno. If you want DJ-sets that clearly don’t give a damn about swifting from dubstep break beats to hammering Dancehall, classic Hip-Hop and crazy electronic productions, then TRADE is your party; and definitely an address that keeps the sound of Berlin nightlife fresh and interesting. You might just have to take Thursday off to put on your dancing shoes as the party kicks off Wednesday nights at 9pm and runs into the early hours of the following day.
Bi-monthly, on a Wednesday, 21:00h, OHM, Köpenicker Str. 70, Berlin-Mitte
Simon Kaiser, photo: Camille Blake
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I love Engtanz
Most certainly not a destination for hardcore club kids but for a more relaxed crowd that just wants a casual night out, some sexy tunes and the definite possibility of not going home alone. Since 2004 “I love Engtanz” hosts nights regularly, where it’s likely to catch some very intimate dancing while Bonny Tyler is singing: “The total eclipse of the heart”. If you’re looking for a dancefloor that offers beyond 120 beats per minute, you might be disappointed; but if the thought of “The Power of Love” meets “Back for Good” makes you drop to the floor, “I love Engtanz” it is!
Monthly, one Saturday, 22:00h, mostly at Prince Charles, Prinzenstraße 85f, Berlin-Kreuzberg
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From the underground porn party at Prince Charles to the enormous party extravaganza of thousands of half to fully naked people running through a gallery space in Mitte – Pornceptual’s three year run definitely is a Berlin success story. Fetish and sex parties easily have stigmas attached to them that cast a poor light on a scene which is actually all about broader concepts including liberation and acceptance! Pornceptual has done an excellent job at creating a space that lifts these stigmas; bringing together the worlds of art, sex and underground music at one event where people from any gender, race or sexuality can come together to explore their fantasies. Often described as a party that is a lot about the “to-see-and-be-seen“- it’s for sure a place where anything can, but nothing has to happen. So, if you have the urge to be a little kinky, or are just really into voyeurism: Go!
Bi-monthly, on a Saturday, 23:00h, Alte Münze, Berlin-Mitte
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Feel like a ravy Techno Saturday? Then, STAUB is what you need! Despite its name (DUST), this party is far from being old and dusty. Also hosted at ://about blank, the organizers of STAUB are especially good at keeping things mysterious and interesting. No line up is shared with the public before or after the event. Music released by the STAUB label or on the STAUB podcast series never carries the name of any artist. So, in order to see whether the team booked names next to scene-newcomers you have to actually BE there. As of its running time from 10am to 10pm, this party is perfect for anyone who needs a good nights sleep… or wants a solid warm up for an even crazier Saturday night.
Monthly, on a Saturday, 10:00h, ://about blank, Markgrafendamm 24c, Berlin-Friedrichshain
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Room 4 Resistance
All black everything is not so much your thing? The name says it all! Like STAUB, this party belongs to the ://about blank party family. The collective focuses on creating an inclusive space for women, queers and people of color; and therefore represents a refreshing relief from the very men-driven queer party scene in Berlin. From the colorful artwork, their starting time at 6pm, to the easygoing and overall joyful atmosphere – Room for Resistance does things just a little differently. If you’re into a little resistance as well, come join the party!
Bi-monthly, ://about blank, Markgrafendamm 24c, Berlin-Friedrichshain
photo: Room 4 Resistance
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Formed by former Planet and E-Werk resident Woody in 2012, this party has managed to keep up its secrecy and under the radar reputation. Which is a hard thing to do in a city where events either dry out pretty quickly or just become too big. Every second week the doors of a small fortress-like club space in Moabit open up for its ravy following, but in order to get there and actually get “in” you have to subscribe to “Heide’s” newsletter; no Facebook-event, no sufficient details on any homepage. But it’s all worth the effort when you get a night of up-and-coming artists or big names like Ricardo Villalobus, Ame or Radio Slave.
Every second week, Saturdays. 23:59h, secret location, Berlin-Moabit
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“Spare me all the electronic nonsense, I wanna shake my booty!” In a city that is so known as Techno capital, anyone whose heart beats for R’n’B and Hip-Hop might easily feel sidelined and have a harder time finding a fun night out. True, every big mainstream club has a Hip-Hop floor, …but do you really wanna go there? But don’t you plunge yourself into misery because Berries treads in, and might just be the savior that we’ve all been waiting for. Hosting regular nights at the intimate OHM club, the Berries team wants to bring people with different identities together to celebrate diversity and the diversity of Hip-Hop itself – YES! And if Berries does it for you, their sister party “R’&’She” at St.Georg in Kreuzberg should definitely be on your list as well.
Irregularly, Fridays, 23:59h, OHM, Köpenicker Str. 70, Berlin-Mitte
photo: Linda Rosa Saal
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With Herrensauna the rule of thumb is: If a Gay-Techno-Basement-Rave is what you want, a Gay-Techno-Basement-Rave is what you get! Despite its name suggesting that we’re talking of a kinky gay sauna, this is actually a party which might be sweaty, but people do keep their clothes on (pants at least…mostly). Despite their move into the iconic Tresor club, Herrensauna kept their intimate basement feeling by only occupying the lower floor of Tresor. If you want to experience a Berlin club icon (at least one floor) and don’t mind a room with a majority of gay men dancing to roaring Techno (or maybe that is exactly what you are lookig for…), Herrensauna at Tresor should be added to your monthly party schedule.
Monthly, on a Sunday, 18:00h, Tresor, Köpenicker Str. 70, Berlin-Mitte
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The hole that the infamous Homopatik at ://about blank left behind got filled by its colorful, trippy successor. Since last summer the Buttons team invites all the ravers and freaks, and queers, and each and everyone in between, and somewhere in the middle to celebrate some dancefloor-driven hours of sexy madness with them. Mudfights, water bomb games and Garden-Sex-Explorations (whatever that exactly is?!), accompanied by pushing House and Techno sets, this party definitely offers a crazy night (or day) out. Especially in summer when ://about blank reopens its great outdoor area. So, just push the ButtOns and let’s party!
Monthly, on a Friday, 23:59h, ://about blank, Markgrafendamm 24c, Berlin-Friedrichshain
photo: Ema Discordant
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Started by DJ-Duo Discodromo and Berghain resident Boris, Cocktail d’Amore has been around since 2009, and as of today, it’s hard to imagine queer nightlife in Berlin without this sweaty Italian sausage fest. Yes, truth be told, it does not have a reputation of inclusivity, but with world known DJs as residents, tightly-selected bookings each month, and an accompanying record label that emphasizes Cocktail’s focused taste in electronic music, this party definitely offers some of the finest dancefloor hours. Especially in summer the spacious outdoor area of Neukölln’s club “Griessmuehle” makes this party a perfect destination for a little Sunday-Funday.
Every first Saturday of the month, 23:55h, Griessmuehle, Sonnenallee 221, Berlin-Neukölln
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From their regular nights at “Das Gift” in Neukölln, to hosting parties with crazy DJ-Sets and intimate concerts all over Berlin pushing underground artists in the likes of Blondage or Alex Cameron. Shamless/Limitless is not lacking versatility and certainly the right address for some great music. Events happen irregularly but several times a month, so watch out for what’s happening. Also, free entry and a free mexikaner shot to your first beer at “Das Gift” pretty much sound like a bargain!
Irregularly, different times, different locations
photo: Shameless/Limitless – “Magic Island LP Release show”
Not that Berghain really NEEDS any more publicity, but – there is more to Berghain than Klubnacht, AND there is more to it than ‘just’ House and Techno. Organizers like the Berlin based record label Janus occasionally book one or many floors of Berghain to host their own, and quite unique parties in these infamous halls. Just in march Janus took over the new Säule floor where DJs Lotic and Total Freedom would throw unexpected tracks of Rihanna or Michael Jackson into their mixes – at Berghain! If you want more unexpected nights at Berlin’s techno temple, also watch out for the events of Electromotive Force and Leisure System.
Irregularly, 23:59h, Säule (Berghain), Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Berlin-Friedrichshain
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And then there was GEGEN… If the visuals of its location at KitKatClub in Berlin-Mitte were not weird and crazy enough, GEGEN manages to attract a crowd that feels like a melting pot of everything that is abnormal, outrageous and fabulous in Berlin nightlife. Even if the banging Techno on the main floors might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no way you could leave this party without having had a very interesting time. Every second month the masses gather at KitKat for one night of sexy, beautiful gluttony.
Bi-monthly, on a Friday, 23:00h, Kit Kat Club, Köpenicker Str. 76, Berlin-Mitte
photo: Gili Shani
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And what are your favorite party nights in Berlin? Let us know in the comments below.