The Secret Hedonism of Berlin’s Berghain.

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The Secret Hedonism of Berlin’s Berghain.

NIGHTLIFE SERIES

berghain logo

Berghain

The “world capital of techno” is Berghain in Berlin and has been since its opening in 2004 by Norbert Thormann and Michael Teufele. Its name carries notoriety amongst clubbers worldwide as an indulgent and mysterious place where partygoers can find the best night of their lives.

Berghain
Thormann and Teufele had become legends of the Berlin scene during the 1990s, regularly hosting their men’s club night Snax and starting their club Ostgut in 1999. Ostgut was a proto-Berghain, a place of absolute indulgence in sex, drugs, and techno.
It ran from 2002-2003, and came to an end with the rebirth of Berghain in 2004. The old power plant was the perfect spot for the club, a massive stone block towering over the surrounding area. The narrow windows let us get a glimpse into what’s happening inside, but never provide a complete picture. This is reserved for those lucky enough to sneak past the bouncers.
Berghain’s fame means thousands queue outside its capacity of 1,500. It is now down to head bouncer Sven Marquardt to decide which clubbers are going to make an appearance at Berghain. This is all that is known of its admissions policy, which only adds to the place’s mystery. And the rewards once inside.
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Much little is known about what goes on inside Berghain. The bar opens on Friday night, then runs through a massive party into the early morning hours Monday morning. Managers have imposed a camera ban and are covering any phone cameras with stickers. They don’t want the Berghain experience to be marred by any kind of scandal or incident, so they allow people to dance around knowing that the outside world will never know.
Using that step was to preserve the unparalleled freedom that Berghain is famous for in this day and age of social media. Partygoers took drugs and had sex openly or in the specially designated “dark rooms.” All mirrors and reflective surfaces were taken out so that people didn’t have to think about how they looked, especially by the end of the night.
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Drugs and sex are not the only things that make Berghain unique. It is known for having the best in the world. Iconically enormous, the main room with a high ceiling and metal girders focuses exclusively on techno. For house lovers, the floor Panorama Bar will feel like home. Very little is known about what lies below Berghain, where its untainted hedonistic heart still beats from Lab.Oratory. Lab.Oratory is Berghain’s basement sex club, where only men are permitted.
After years living underground, Berghain is now recognised by the legal system as a cultural institution. It has transcended the club culture and become a fixture in the city’s fabric. Berghain carried out this major role during the COVID-19 crisis when they used a nearby beer garden to host sound installations.
Now, you don’t have to go to Berlin and queue up for hours to get a taste of the Berghain experience. Berghain have their own tech house label: Ostgut Ton.

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