Berghain has just announced it is opening a third dance floor on its hallowed grounds. In addition to the two existing axes of the club, Panorama Bar and Berghain, “Säule”—German for “column” or “pillar”—will open on the existing ground floor of the club, directly under the Berghain dance floor.
Until then, let’s remind ourselves what makes this the most known electronic music venue in the world?
I would start with a couple of interesting facts; Berghain is famous by its door policy more than by the music. It sounds unbelievable, but it is a fact. Whoever heard of the club, knows how difficult it can be to get in, but ask the same people to name some of the resident DJs and you will be surprised by the answers…
Bouncers in Berghain are sometimes acting like football fans in the eighties. There is no other explanation after you see a gorilla slamming people to the fence in order to be more clear how he or she can not get in. Berlin is a city that promotes diversity among people, nations, cultures etc., however, it does seem as if the city’s main party venue is doing exactly the opposite by having door policy organized the way it does. On the other hand, if you are regular in Berlin there should not be problem to get in. But as an alternative, the city is filled with great clubs and there is always excellent parties to go to.
If you ever wondered how a particulate club can reach such a cult status in a relative short period of time, this fact might shade some light on it: Berghain is the reincarnation of the Berlin’s Ostgut club and emerged from a male-only fetish club night called “Snax”. Thus, we can imagine the club enjoying some support from the early beginning. Even before the beginning, if we can say..
Nevertheless, it is my favorite place when going out. My preference goes more towards house music so we usually spend more time in the Panorama bar. From my perspective, night you spend there is like having a good party plus some extra thing which you usually do not have in other places. That extra something can be the crowd, sometimes the music or the fact that you can lose yourself as much as you want and nobody gives a fuck about that.
No doubt the place itself is more than appropriate for having a good night at the party, but worth mentioning is also the sound system which is definitely something we do not see/hear every day. Main space is set up with the famous Function One sound system that dominates the dance floor. Benedikt Koch (the man who installed the Berghain sound system) claims that system usually operates up to 20% of the full capacity. Let’s not forget this is one of the most powerful systems in the world, so could be that the guy called Benedikt knows what his is talking about…
Panorama bar is equipped with Meyer Sound System, with a set of loudspeakers in each corner of the dance floor, subwoofers and visceral bass saturates that make a perfect combination for more intimate space.
From the nineties onwards
There is an obvious difference between the scene nowadays and, let’s say the nineties. Clubs like Tresor (which btw. still operates, quarter of a century later) were more oriented towards the music itself. When you say “Tresor” there is not much of a doubt which sort of electronic music you associate it to. From the beginning this cub was tightly connected with Detroit and is largely responsible for bringing the sound to Europe.
Nowadays, we can actually see how the party crowd is changing and what is important to the people on the scene. Clubbers want something a bit more extra, just music may not be enough anymore. Maybe because of the that this place is so successful in attracting people all over the world. I would always recommend Berghain as a place to go to, no matter if you are a serious clubber or just an occasionally party goer. Rules are gone when you enter the door and this is not easy to find in other nightclubs around.
More experienced clubbers will always appreciate the atmosphere, selections of DJ’s, sound system and what is very important-privacy. All this together is something Berghain is holding on a certain level and the recipe is working for 13 years already…