The final days of summer are upon us, and soon Berlin will descend into its dark and dismal winter. Soak up the final rays of sun in some of our favorite “Biergarten” (beer gardens), open-air clubs, and rooftop bars. Peruse this list, pick your favorite, and make the trip. Make sure to check Resident Advisor, Facebook, or our events page for all the latest news about events. Cheers!
We can’t believe that we are writing this, but after 1,5 years of lockdown, Berlin’s indoor clubs will finally be allowed to re-open without mask requirements and distancing rules. The Berlin Clubcommission announced the news yesterday after the Senat of Berlin lost a court case about it and decided to not challenge it any further. From Friday, September 3rd onwards, clubs will be allowed to re-open their indoor dance floors. Of course, there is a catch because we are still in the middle of a pandemic: Entry will only be allowed to vaccinated and recovered people. Especially since the enforcing of mask rules at outdoor parties has been reportedly causing some friction in the nightlife scene lately, that last bit seems to be a relief for many.
The news is of course welcome, not only for the struggling nightlife makers but also for hungry party-goers that have been starved of their favorite activity. We feel you. But they don’t come without some concerns.
Since our first blog post, we have been dedicated to capturing and documenting Berlin in its many facets so that the whole world can have a glimpse of this wonderful city. It has always been important to us that we address both the residents of this city, as well as visitors, no matter how long they are here and no matter where they originally come from. Our special focus is on those people who have come here and brought a piece of the part of the world they came from with them when making their projects. Because Berlin is never just Berlin – it’s a potpourri with influences from all over the world. And that’s a good thing.
The new interactive exhibition BERLIN GLOBAL, which ceremoniously opened last week in the new Humboldt Forum, takes exactly the opposite approach here, showing Berlin with all the footprints that this city has left behind in the world. We find this approach extremely exciting, which is why we took a closer look at the exhibition.
photo: Tjard Asseng
I’m not usually one for sports, but there’s something truly magical about Berlin when Germany plays. The excitement and tension that fills the city is not only palpable but also infectious. Every waiter and waitress pause what they’re doing to check the score, every moan from the crowd is felt whole-heartedly as communal suffering, but when Germany (or whatever team you support) scores, a glorious wave of serotonin washes over the city. Whether you’re routing on your favorite team, admiring the sexy players (and commenting on how homoerotic the whole ordeal is), or just in it for the atmosphere and big beers, we’ve compiled this list of five of our favorite spots to watch the Euros.
If we can’t dance in Berlin clubs, at least we can watch a documentary about clubbing there, right? With the corona regulations operating a club has become really difficult and this is threatening the one thing that has put Berlin on the map worldwide in the last couple of decades. While everything is back open again after the endless lockdown, clubs are still the one type of place that is still not allowed to open. It’s not that that is not understandable – but it doesn’t make it any better or fair for the people behind it.
The new documentary Clubkultur by filmmakers Leonie Gerner and Andrea Schumacher for Hauptstadt.tv shines a light on the importance of the Berlin club scene with various interviews with club owners, nightlife artists, DJs, and musicians, but also politicians and the Berlin Clubcommission. We also get to see a lot of footage from some wild Berlin nights that make us super nostalgic and that feel like they are from a distant time decades in the past.
photo: Birgit & Bier.
Despite many different efforts and many alternative concepts, it’s the Berlin club scene that is probably suffering the most from Berlin’s cultural landscape during the pandemic as the majority of the places have been locked down now for over a year. While their future is in the balance and a re-opening for indoor partying is not really inside, at least a political movement has managed that they are recognized as places of culture which makes a big difference for them when it comes to taxes and funding.
But the Berlin nightlife scene has always been inventive, so pretty much like last year after the first lockdown where the few clubs that have the luxury of an outdoor area came up with alternative usage concepts such as beer gardens to be able to partially re-open over the summer, the same thing is happening right now with the first clubs already open again for guests.
As far as sustainability goes, we’re super lucky to be living in Berlin. I’m reminded of this every time I speak to friends and family back home. Often marketed as trendy, time-consuming, and expensive, a lot of people assume you have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to be more sustainable…but that’s simply not true. Being more sustainable is about figuring out what you use the most, and then finding a way to get those same products in a way that doesn’t have such a negative impact on our planet.
There are some fantastic unpackaged stores to choose from in Berlin that not only enable us to support local businesses and encourage innovation but also give us the power to refuse — to send a clear message that we don’t want our products wrapped in plastic. And because we live in Berlin, we can achieve this without too much extra effort on our part, and without breaking the bank.
Completely unrelated to the ongoing pandemic, the beloved Neukölln club Griessmuehle had to close down a year ago for reasons you can read up about here. It was a blow to the nightlife scene of Berlin as it stood for the worrying recent city developments of Berlin and the ongoing club closings we’ve witnessed now for a decade and more. The city is full of night clubs but oddly the popular district of Neukölln doesn’t really have that many, so it was a major loss for the party kids of the neighborhood.
Luckily, the club makers of Griessmuehle could move their outstanding programming to Alte Münze last year and also found a new location in Schöneweide at the Revier Südost. But with the permission for outdoor raves coming relatively late last summer, there was not much raving to happening.
La Case Paulette. photo: Vitaly Soroka.
Celebrating and empowering Black communities should not just be limited to Black History month, but this is a good time for us to reflect on how we as individuals can help dismantle institutionalized racism in the spaces we occupy.
To keep the conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement from 2020 alive, it’s important to continue to do our part in uplifting BIPOC communities going forward. One way you can do so from your own home is by supporting Black-owned businesses and donating to community organizations. Needless to say, any contribution is particularly valuable during these times due to the negative financial impact of the ongoing pandemic.
To get you started, here is our curated list of Black-owned shops, restaurants, and organizations for you to get to know. Make a donation, share their pages on your social networks, enjoy a delicious takeaway meal or find your next favorite clothing item from our guide below.
Berliners love to recycle. We love a factory-converted-club or just getting that Pfandbon from all the bottles from last weekend. Well, this summer Berlin is recycling another event space rife with the memories of parties past. Built over 200 years ago and once called the “Sanssouci of the East,” the ZENNER House was one of the go-to spots for party animals of the 1800s. The Villa was home to celebrations such as the Stralauer Fischung and the Loveparade, one of the city’s wildest festivals, which was banned in 1873. The ZENNER is scheduled to open a 1,500 seat Biergarten on the banks of the Spree in Treptower Park this May under the management of Sebastian Heil and Tony Ettelt, previous operators of two already well-renowned Berlin venues: Salon Zur Wilde Renate and Else.