Nightlife: So You Didn’t Get Into Berghain?

How many articles or (ranting tweets) do we have to read about the illustrious door policy at Berlin’s infamous nightclubs? The same complaints abound.

"I don’t understand, why me, they are racist, what snobs, they just don’t like tourists, etc., etc…."

I had a friend come visit from the states recently and I suggested we go out. I could hear the reservation in her voice. A terse trust me, she put her woes aside as we made plans for a night out.

Within a ½ hour of arriving at the newly re-designed Fiese Remise, she looked at me and said, “this is cool, when I think of nightclubs I think of girls in hi-heels, men coming onto me, too loud speakers, drunks…all around annoyance.” I replied with a classic, “I told ya, Berlins nightlife is amazing.” Part of the magic stems from the knowledge, that assholes are rarely tolerated. If you have a shitty attitude you likely won’t get into the clubs that you want to get into, ie: Berghain, Watergate & being that those are pretty much all you know, I can rest assured that you won’t be annoying me on a dance floor elsewhere. In fact, the only recent come-on I've experienced was at Berghain, from some douche that should have been rejected at the door. He said something like “hey you wanna come with us?” Signaling his friend dancing across from him. I responded with, “I don’t know what you’re trying to say, but dude I just came to dance.” Yes I actually go out because I love dancing, I’m not interested in being hit on & if you don’t truly wanna dance, if you can’t let it all go & let the DJ take control, then stay home. Dancing is one of the greatest gifts Berlin has to offer and there is no shortage of places to shake a leg at.  So the next time you get denied entry to that club, perhaps you can take a moment and think to yourself, ‘maybe that bouncer just hooked me the eff up.’

Personally when I travel, I make it my mission to explore off the beaten path places and find hidden gems. So how about you take that next rejection as a spur to get you to think outside the box. Bouncers could actually have some crazy logic to their rejections, so lets assume the people inside deserve to be there and you perhaps don’t. Maybe you just haven’t paid your disco dues yet.

So now what? Do you honestly think that all the Berliners in this city venture to one of two or even three known clubs? Well think again, because yes indeed there are actually hundreds of clubs in this city to be discovered. I met a guy from London at Watergate recently, he told me it was his third time coming to Berlin, that he had been denied entry at Berghain on every trip, and that basically he just kept returning to Watergate. I looked at him and was like dude, come on, you've never been to Kater Holzig/Blau, Golden Gate, Griessmühle, Sisyphos, About:Blank, Wilde Renate/Else, Kosmonauts, Ritter Butzke, Prince Charles, Suicide Circus, Ipse, Fiese Remise, Chalet (actually yes I have been to Chalet, well of course you have), CDV, Yaam, Arena, Kit Kat, Cassiopeia, Klunkerkranich, Hoppetosse, Rummels Bucht, Loftus Hall, Tresor, Mikz, Stattbad, and and and…hundreds of other bars with hidden dance floors, not to mention the countless other clubs scattered about the city? Each one of these clubs has something unique to offer, like beach dance floors, incredible views, lakeside decks and they all tend to have their own special atmosphere that Berlin’s nightlife is famous for. Which is a feeling of freedom, creativity, a phoenix risen from the ashes tenacity that is unique to this city.

So come on, be a little adventurous, there is more to Berlin than Berghain & Watergate…maybe you won’t LOVE where you end up, maybe it won’t be the most famous club in the world, but who knows you might be surprised. One thing it will be is something new, and who knows you might just end up having one of the best nights (into days into nights) of your life.

And find yourself saying, “I’m so glad I didn't get into…I ended up having the most unexpectedly wicked night.”

Note: I do not endorse all the clubs listed and this is by no means a full list of nightclubs in the city, just the ones I could think of off the top of my head that I care to mention. Additionally, you might not get into one of these clubs either. Don’t come pointing the finger at me. It’s not my fault you don’t exude natural disco charm.

Photographs and text by Linka A Odom 
You can find Linka on IG, EyeEm, Twitter, & FB @themissinglinka

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