It feels like Berlin’s nightlife has been on hold for so long now, we can’t even remember how a club looks and smells on the inside. While the few clubs blessed with an outdoor area are shyly and quietly hosting some open-air parties this summer giving at least a small part of Berlin clubbers a bit of dancefloor magic, the majority of clubs that only have indoor dancefloors (which are about 75%) are now shut down for over a year.
Of course, this has totally created an imbalance. For the clubs, because those that don’t have the luxury of outdoor space are clearly at a disadvantage here, but also for clubbers because since there are so few options for legal parties that many organizers decided to keep their events on the low, or even if they publicly announce them, tickets sell out within hours which leaves many willing ravers without access to all the fun. This, too, seems pretty unfair.
It’s a mystery why it took sooo long to come up with a solution – or at least an attempt at one for all those closed clubs. And it seems a bit of an odd moment to come out with one now that numbers are rising again. But regardless, it’s happening – and as per usual, we have to thank the Berlin Clubcommission for it to even happen.
This weekend, the Senat and the Clubkommission are starting a trial called “Clubculture Reboot” with 6 clubs that will host special parties under special conditions and with scientific monitoring. The participating clubs are SO36, KitKat, Crack Bellmer, Metropol, Wilde Renate, and Festsaal Kreuzberg. To be able to participate, all ticket holders will have to undergo a PCR test, before AND after the party free of charge. This will, on the one hand, ensure that no one is going to carry the Delta Variant into the club, and on the other hand, evaluate afterward how reliable the testing was. As a big advantage compared to the current legal open-air parties these new test parties will not require mask-wearing or social distancing which will allow for a much better club experience.
Considering how pricey PCR tests still are, it really makes us wonder how this will be a feasible option for a wider club opening later on – but it does sound safer than a rapid test that got a bit of a bad reputation lately for being too easy to just fake. Keep in mind that all of this is just a trial at this point – a similar one but with rapid tests was attempted last year in the fall and was actually aborted amidst a new wave taking over.
We’ll have to come to terms with the fact that new waves will probably keep coming due to new and more aggressive variants (Hello Delta Plus…) and that these will continue to make our lives more complicated. Clearly, we can’t continue to just shut everything down again with every new wave because, in the long run, this will have damaging effects we can’t even foresee now. So coming up with solutions that give us safe environments to come together in is really something we welcome. We are quite curious how the PCR test parties this weekend will go and what the consequences of the trial will be.
This brings us to the second new development in terms of corona and nightlife: Vaccination night events. This is again an initiation made possible by the Clubcommission and the Senat. The vaccination nights will happen next week on August 9, 11, and 13 at the vaccination center at Arena Berlin starting at 20h. Renowned DJs like Tama Sumo, Basti Tiefschwarz, Markus Meinhardt, Nick Höppner, Phonique, and many more will play DJ sets while guests can receive their first shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. It’s not exactly a party, but nevertheless, there are two things that make this special: You can pre-register or just come without an appointment. You will not have to show any identification, which means non-residents will also be able to receive their vaccination here that might have not been able to qualify for a vaccine appointment before.
The second interesting fact about this initiation is that all of the participating DJs and artists have been working at the vaccination centers in the last months. Of course with so few parties and events happening, there is little work for DJs and apparently, some of them found temporary work at the vaccination centers which is actually quite cool. Imagine showing up at your vaccine appointment and having your favorite DJs as your guide or – even better – as the one administering the vaccine.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, this is the perfect opportunity to finally do so as the numbers of vaccinations really have to get a serious bump to prevent the fourth wave from shutting everything down again.