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.
Wilden Renate’s Overmorrow is an immersive walkthrough art experience created by over 40 artists, from well-known collectives like Bad Bruises and TrashEra to newcomers. The installations, performances, and exhibitions occupy most of the indoor spaces of Wilde Renate, and offer about 1 hour of exploration in dark, morphing spaces.
The audience enters in groups of two, with 5-minute intervals, which is about the time allocated to each room, and makes their way through the 17 interwoven “Positions.” The Positions range from exhibitions of oil paintings through interactive installations to performances, and are loosely tied together by the themes of isolation and future. They often overlap, reflect on each other, and can be seen or heard in advance, which adds to the dreamlike nature of the journey.
Summer is slowly awakening Berlin from the long winter sleep and many people miss the long nights out with their friends in their favorite clubs. While many clubs are now proposing outdoor beer garden concepts, this might not be the perfect solution for the passionate raver and dancer among us.
It’s not a surprise that the amount of illegal raves at Hasenheide and in the forests surrounding the city has increased dramatically over the last weeks. Many might not feel comfortable with the idea of throwing themselves into a big crowd of strangers. Others can’t suppress their desire anymore for a night out with music and dancing. It feels a bit twisted that something so natural like dancing together has to be postponed to an unknown future. Yet the Pandemic is not over and the international development of numbers shows that the world is still in a fragile state.
photo: Spyrosdrakopoulos / CC BY-SA.
YAAM, the unique cultural venue at the banks of the Spree by Ostbahnhof providing a space for BPoCs living in Berlin, was forced to vacate its premises this week – no matter its legal background or intentions, there has never been a worse time in history for public officials to suddenly close a black venue!
The stability of the bank wall, the venue is built on, would no longer be guaranteed – an official static report stated. While legal justifications might make things sound a lil cuter – closing a club space on a more than lucrative real estate property… we all will assume just one thing, won’t we? – however, the timing of these events almost seems like a fairly bad joke. Like – whoever gave the instruction to make representatives of YAAM clear its indoor spaces – “You do read the news, right?!”
photo: Birgit & Bier.
Our fingers are itching. After months of staring at the woodchip wallpaper of our Berlin flats, we have “BOCK” as we like to say in German (which means to be very much in the mood for something). Bock, to go out again. Bock to sway to smooth electronic or raging techno beats while moving our bodies, sipping on a cold beer. Normally the Berlin crowd is used to completely different circumstances at the start of the summer party season when the painful question is, what party to attend, instead of none at all.
This year everything is different. Or least we thought so. After Berlin’s motivated party crowd heavy heartedly accepted the no-clubbing-corona-rules for 2020, there now appears to be hope. Little by little the bigger clubs with an outside area are opening their gardens! At first only for gastronomy purposes with strict “no dancing” rules, but that’s enough to give our grieving party community a glimmer of hope.
Note: Please consult the corresponding social media pages of each club for any changes in regards to their opening times. These might change according to the weather and the current situation.
photo: Ole Ukena
For the past three years, my friend Anahita kept doting about Garbicz Festival. She kept telling me about its magical atmosphere, the friendly and open-hearted people, the heartfelt and detailed Katerblau-like decoration and colorfully dressed people. So, after all the gushing, this turned out to be her third year of Garbicz and, eventually, I called it my first!
The Garbicz Festival exists for 5 years now and is a communal project brought to life by the party creators Bachstelzen and Katerblau/Holzmarkt. These guys joined forces and bought the serene nature reserve bordering at the small village called Garbicz in Poland, where each year, the Festival is brought to life and in the end is taken down almost completely again. The area is an absolute gift to the festival, with a big lake to swim in or chill at and lots of trees, to camp in the shadows, protected by rain. The talented photographer Ole Ukena kept his camera close during those exciting 5 days, to distinctively capture the vibe of Garbicz Festival for you.
It’s summertime and open airs are the true love of the city! Who doesn’t love a cold beer in the sun, while dancing to mellow beats by the water? Berlin’s summer period is short but sweet, so you gotta know your best spots to drop by during the week or (reasonable as you are) at the weekend to enjoy a drink, a little dance and a chat while sunsets draw us in like moths to a flame and the following city nights are long and warm. To ensure you summertime fun we put together our favorite outdoor open-air clubs, that will give you serious festival feels in the middle of the city – yaass to that!
A week ago the Berlin club map welcomed its latest edition. Arkaoda opened its doors at Karl-Marx Platz 16. The opening party had a stunningly long-line up including Acido Records and Dynamo Dreesen. Arkaoda is a familiar name for many Turkish expats living in Berlin, the venue shares its name with a famous club in Istanbul, which opened in 1999. Instead of believing the hype, iHeartBerlin took a trip down the U7 to see for ourselves what this bowling alley turned nightclub has to offer.
photo: Marcel Berkmann / CC
The end is near – of the year 2017 – and isn’t it a special place to celebrate it, our beloved Berlin? This city offers so many opportunities to spend New Year’s Eve and make the best of it. The pressure is high to have the best possible time in this night, so you don’t want to make any mistakes. With our ultimate New Year’s Eve guide for Berlin we want to give you a bit of guidance how to do it right.
As for most of you NYE is pretty much an affair that can’t be had without a bit of alcohol we have teamed up with our long-term partner Absolut. We already spend Midsommar and the Lollapalooza with them this year, so why not also New Year’s? They recently revealed the new limited edition bottle Absolut Uncover that comes in a special blue wrap that needs to be peeled off. I’m sure there will be a lot of peeling off during New Year’s Eve.
For our guide we want to help you cover all aspects of this special night: how to decorate your place, what to drink, what to eat, what music to play, what entertainment to offer, where to see the fireworks, and where to party in Berlin’s clubs. You can discover all seven parts of our guide by clicking in the menu below. Enjoy! And “Guten Rutsch!” as we say in German.