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Clubbing Berlin – ‘Berghain’ Door Policy – How to get in – ‘OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog’ contributor Evo Lucian tells you how! (Berghain – Rüdersdorfer Strasse 70, 10243 Berlin)
What are they looking for in the people they admit?
What are they looking out for in the people they turn away?
Some would say that there are no rules and that it’s completely random. Some say it’s down to the mood the bouncer is in. Some say you should pretend to be gay, if you are not. The fact is that there is no definitive answer, but there are definitely some things you can do to greatly increase your chances of getting in.
I am speaking as someone with lots of experience of getting in as well as some experience of getting refused, and I know the reasons why I was refused. I’ve also spoken in depth with friends about their experiences and I’ve observed intently, on every occasion that I’ve been there, what it is the bouncers seem to be looking for, based on who they let in and who they turn away
It’s not like going to a club with a dress code, like Felix, where you know they are looking for particular items of clothing: that is, for men, a shirt with a collar and shoes.
No, Berghain’s dress code is less defined than this.
But you can fairly safely say that if you go dressed as you would for Felix, you probably won’t get in. If you go dressed in very dull and boring clothes you might not get in. If wear an anorak up to the door you probably won’t get in.
But there’s a lot more that you should know. So here is my best advice:
Before you even think about going think about what age you look. In general Berghain like their crowd to be over 25. This does not necessary mean you need to BE over 25. Just as long as you look around this age and if all of the other reasons for refusal don not apply, then there a good chance you’ll get in. They don’t often actually check ID, as far as I’ve seen.
Do not talk whilst queuing. Don’t say a word. This is not about whether you speak German or English or any other language. People who talk a lot in the line don’t seem to get in. So be quiet, even if you have to queue for 30 minutes or more.
And if you have to say something, say it quietly.
When you get up to the door don’t act too anxious. Have a laid-back demeanor, even if you feel extremely nervous inside (I know, it’s only a club – but it’s a really, really good club, and one you should see while you’re in Berlin).
Do not be too drunk. If you are quite drunk, act sober. Do not be on any drugs! They will see it in your eyes and they will know, and you will be told to stand aside. That means you are not getting in.
When you become the next in line, don’t walk forward and stand right in front of the bouncer. Stay back at the end of the queuing bars. Wait. Be cool. The bouncer will ask you how many of you there are: “Wieviel sind Sie”, and you will say “Wir sind zwei” (We are two people), or “Wir sind drei” (We are three people).
Whatever you do, don’t go up in groups of more than three. Ideally, only be two people. If you are going in threes don’t be three girls or three guys. Try to mix it up a bit, if that is an option. Couples (a guy and a girl or two guys) tend to get in, especially if the rest of the my advice is abided by.
People who go up on their own tend to get in too. It’s probably a good idea to agree with your friends that if some of them don’t in, they will have to accept this, and go somewhere else, rather than expecting you to wait inside, deciding whether to stay or go. You can’t be waiting around inside the door to see if your friends get in, showing the door staff that really, you’re all together.
They often subsequently eject people who have gotten past the bouncer, perhaps for this reason, but also if they notice something major that the bouncer has missed, like that the person is very drunk or on drugs. So continue to be cool as you are being searched and paying in. If you have a camera on you, you have to hand it in at the cash desk and get a token. This is a free service. You’re only safe after you’ve paid and walked through the entrance to the ground floor area where the cloakroom is.
Anyway, back to being at the door, facing the bouncers: Being gay might help but it is not grounds for automatic entry. Remember the other hints too. Also pretending to be gay and going over the top in the queue to prove this will probably have the opposite effect and you won’t get in. Remember, Berghain is not a gay club. It’s a gay-friendly club and what they want is a really good mix of people.
They want cool people. They want open minded and chilled people. They want lots of straight people and lots of gay people. They want everyone to feel comfortable inside and not threatened. They also want to protect their gay clientele from any kind of disapproving looks, words or actions. You need to show them by everything you do at the door that you are cool, laid back and open minded, and won’t be shocked if you happen to see two men together. Dressing fashionably can help. This shows them that you are in touch with your feminine side. This can be what’s “in” or your very own style. Having your own really unique and obscure style can be something that will earn you a “geh weiter” (go ahead [inside]). But at the same time, don’t dress up too much. Don’t go overboard. But don’t dress boringly either.
Wearing a scarf is always good. They love scarves. If you look like you are interested in style, you will probably be the kind of person they want in their club. That’s not to say that someone in a T-shirt and jeans won’t get in if they abide by the rest of my tips. They do want some T-shirt and jeans types of people too. Having a shaved head seemed to cause a problem for a friend of mine. So he wore a hat, which seemed to work, and then he grew his hair a bit and that also worked. I don’t know if this one is that important. I shave my head sometimes and I’m pretty sure I had it freshly shaved a few times when I went to Berghain.
But to be on the safe side I now wear a hat when necessary. A woolly hat.
And they seem fine with this look as well.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to give it a try and remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get in. There’s a few really good clubs nearby: Maria am Ostbahnhof is open all year round and Bar 25 is a great place to go in the summer.
There’s also lots more great clubs not too far away, like Tresor, Weekend, the Watergate, Ritter Butzke and Spyz. This attitude of not really being too bothered can help to get you in.
If you act cool, and act like you know you’re probably going to get in, but without looking cocky, and also like you don’t really care if you don’t get in, will probably get you.
Seems like a lot to remember, and you might not be able to rembember all of it. So the most important things are:
Try to dress stylishly, whatever that style is Be reasonably sober and do not have taken any drugs Go in small groups Shut up in the queue!
And act laid back in front of the bouncers.
As for when to go there, if you don’t want to have to queue for too long, or at all, go at 5am. Yes, that’s very late, but the club goes on all day Sunday and remains busy the whole time. It’s probably the best time to be there. Just get some sleep before you go out and go out about 1 or 2am, have a few drinks, then head down to Berghain, and enjoy what might be the best clubbing night of your life.
Saturday night is probably the hardest time to get in, i.e. between 2am and 4am, as this is when all the tourists go. On Fridays night / Saturday morning it is not as good as only one of the floors is open – the Panorama Bar – and it’s not the main floor. Although, it is easier to get in on Fridays night / Saturday morning, and it can still be good enough, but it can be quiet if you go very late, like after 7am. 2am is a good time to go, if you do go on Fridays night / Saturday morning.
Take note: Sunday morning between 5am and 8am is one of the best times to go in order to queue very little or not at all. Arriving then, but looking reasonably sober seems to be golden. Arriving on Sunday afternoon is also a gem of a way to get in. That’s when the locals come and the club goes on until at least 2am on Monday morning; often much later if it’s a big night. Keep that in mind when planning your weekend (long weekend) in Berlin.
Link to the club @-http://www.berghain.de/
and also – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghain
See our latest articles about Berghain.
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