photo: Keith Telfeyan.
Just around two weeks ago, iHeartBerlin guest author Daniel was wondering where Berlin ravers party without the clubs and vice versa, what Berlin’s clubs are doing without raves. While these questions have been quite relevant for the past few months, we’ve just witnessed an almost unbelievable change.
The newest development in the volatile narrative of Berlin’s gradual reopening is the re-emergence of some clubs, specifically those with outdoor areas. Not just as a more funky alternative to beer gardens, but as an actual party destination. Of course, Covid-19 regulations apply: so be prepared to leave your contact info at the door and include a face mask as an obligatory addition to your attire.
We are really craving for some adventures to undertake in Berlin. Aren’t you, too? The options were quite limited lately, to be honest. But luckily there is something fun on the horizon this weekend and we wanna take you on this ride! Prepare for a view of the town you haven’t had before.
From August 27 till 30, the glo Wheel is coming to Berlin and bringing along some much-needed festival vibes right to Neukölln. We are totally down for it!
When the entire nightlife pressed the pause button a few months ago, we really had to completely rethink how we experience Berlin. This was especially noticeable to us when we were putting together our event listings. All of a sudden the calendar was empty, then slowly it filled up again with streaming events, and eventually, IRL events returned, but not in the same way as before.
The sound installation “Eleven Songs” that happened at Halle am Berghain a few weeks ago was one of these events that stood out: Through its iconic venue it bridged the longing for a return of the club culture and our craving for a cultural and artistic experience. It was, as to be expected, a huge success.
photos: Eylül Aslan.
Berlin’s dating scene is shaped by three important factors. First of all, mostly thanks to its kinky parties, Berlin is a city commonly characterized by a spirit of sexual liberation. Secondly, while it’s a popular choice for international expatriates, some see it as an ultimate destination, and others as a temporary stop. And finally, the notion of “finding yourself” in Berlin is used equally often as a synonym for deep soul-searching and as an excuse for flaky behavior.
The club lockdown has put the entire nightlife scene into the most difficult situation it has ever been. While other countries are already back to partying the Germans haven’t released their clubs yet from their enforced hibernation. In our previous two stories, we already took a look at what the Berlin clubs are up to during their closing and what Berlin’s party people are doing without their clubs.
As if by magic the big news broke yesterday, that Berlin’s most famous club – Berghain – will transform into something else for the remainder of the club lockdown starting on September 9th: Berlin’s biggest gallery. In collaboration with the private art collectors Boros who are showcasing their pieces in yet another big grey cement building that used to be a nightclub – the bunker – the new exhibition will, most likely, include Berghain’s resident artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans who has his abstract artworks at Panorma Bar, Joseph Marr who made the sugar men sculptures inside the Klobar, and Norbert Bisky who has his large painting downstairs opposite the cloakroom, as well as Sven Marquardt, Marc Brandenburg, and Piotr Nathan.
The clubs of Berlin have reopened with new, Corona-friendly daytime concepts but one key element is missing: dancing. This has forced Berliners to deconstruct the idea of clubbing and ask themselves what they were searching for in clubs before and where they can find it now.
At the risk of stating the obvious, dancing is a big part of club culture. It is fun, it is a way to enjoy the music, and it is refreshing not to sit straight and hold a conversation all the time while being intoxicated. Consequently, the lockdown gave new life to the recently somewhat neglected illegal rave culture. The second part of this series investigates the illegal, private, and spontaneous dance parties that have been popping up all over the city and the controversies surrounding them.
Halle, photo: Roman März.
There are many other reasons to come to Berlin apart from the clubs but they are definitely among the most popular ones. Techno has its roots in Detroit and the Afrofuturism movement but both the name and the current widespread popularity have to do with what it evolved into in Berlin.
While these parties are still relatively underground in many cities, Berlin has embraced rave culture and built a special relationship with its clubs and their audience. Berghain has already secured legal status as a cultural institution, and other clubs are fighting for the same. Club tourists are also valued by the city’s government as a major contribution to the economy.
Some say dating in Berlin is an extreme sport. Interestingly, it’s a rare discipline that doesn’t necessarily get much easier with practice. And when you do manage to find a match, the age-old question of the location for the first date arises. We’ve come up with a list of seven locations that can serve as a romantic backdrop for your grand occasion.
Last week, we had the absolute pleasure to co-present the first IRL Voguing Ball in Berlin since the lockdown. It was hosted by the charming David Milan who already gave us the big Pride Ball and Ocean Ball last year that we also covered. The venue was once again the Säälchen at Holzmarkt – it’s just the perfect venue for a ball of this size!
The theme of this ball was Superheroes which was without a doubt the most specific and playful theme of the series. Of course there were a lot of classic superheroes and villains such as Spiderman and Catwoman. But the call for participation asked people to be creative, so you could also see everyday heroes such as nurses, single moms, activists – we even saw the first trans presidential candidate there.
As we are still living in a pandemic the circumstance for the event was quite different: Usually, over 1000 people show up for these balls, but to comply with the current legal safety measures this time only the participants and a few fellow house members were allowed into the venue. The usual spectators were able to watch a professional live stream of the ball either from the comfort of their homes or at the public viewing at Neuzeit Ost in collaboration with Mobile Kino. The required distancing and face mask rules also had to be respected, which was hard during the performances when the energy of the voguers was taking over, but I think the crowd did a fairly good job at complying.
It was a great ball, with a lot of stunning performances, great international participants, and a powerful audience. Of course, we took some impressions for you which you can enjoy below!
For me, the success of the Berlin summer is measured by the number of lake visits that I managed. I’ve come to learn to take immediate advantage of good weather no matter if I have time or not, because you never know how many good lake days you gonna get. This year has been not great. Not been to the lake at all. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the remaining weeks of the summer. Let’s hope for some good weather, right?
We already published a big lake guide a while ago which you can find here. For this year we decided to make a smaller, updated version for you guys that reflects a bit more which lakes we personally actually frequent. Enjoy!