We asked our international students who have been to Berghain what their experience was like with regard to getting in. Berlin is a city (Stadt) known for its infamous techno clubs. For this reason, a cluster of tourists and locals each weekend get ready to go out, leave their worries behind and groove to the superb beats of national and international DJ´s at one of the notorious Berlin night clubs. Despite the big selection of techno clubs (Griessmuehle, etc.), no club can compete with the staple of Techno Nightlife: “Berghain”. The resurrection of the late 90’s to early 2000´s gay, fetish techno club “Ostgut” has made a name for itself as one of the most exclusive clubs in the world.
Every week(end), a queue of people are eager to give getting into the club a shot. Many succeed, many don’t. While everyone (jeder) has their own reason as to why they were or were not allowed to enter (reinkommen) the gates of the “holy” club, we will give you some ideas on how to improve your chances of getting in without trouble.
How to get into Berghain? Clothing Matters!
First of all, it is important to state that Berghain celebrates inclusivity and diversity (Vielfalt). When you enter the infamous club, you will notice a diverse group of different ages, sizes, cultures, sexual orientations, etc. Although Berghain welcomes a mix of different people, there are some unspoken rules (Regeln) in what to wear (tragen) and what not to wear.
Because of the more laid back vibe of the city, club goers tend to opt for more comfortable, informal clothing so that they can dance freely for hours (and possibly days) long. In Berghain, the unwritten rule is to wear all black (schwarz) with some edgy (auffallend) accessories (leather harness, chains, etc.). Although wearing black is a good and safe choice, being unique and staying true to yourself (bleib dir treu) is also highly encouraged. It is important to feel comfortable in what you wear. This is because body language (Körpersprache) plays a big part in how the bouncer (Türsteher) will perceive you. If you don’t feel good in what you wear, they will notice.
Don’t be THAT person
Before entering the club, you will have to wait in line (in der Schlange). These queues can last for up to 4 hours depending on the day and time you decide to shoot your shot. In order to escape the long waiting hours, you should try to avoid the busiest hours (11 a.m. – 1 a.m.). In line, there are some rules you should follow to increase your chances to get in.
Going back to body language, from the moment you enter the line, the bouncer will keep an eye on you. When queuing, it is important to not stand out by being obnoxiously loud (laut), drunk (betrunken) or outright annoying (nervig). Other than that, you should also keep your selfies to an all time minimum. Your phone camera will be covered with tape before you head inside in order to create a free environment where people can be themselves and not worry about what they will look like on the pictures. From the moment the bouncer sees you taking selfies, it is possible they will think you will not respect the rules.
Another thing to note is that Berghain bouncers tend to not like tourists. This is most noteworthy on Sunday where locals tend to attempt to get in for a good night out. Before entering, a good suggestion would be to practice some basic German (üben etwas Basisdeutsch), like saying “Nur ich” (me only) if you are alone, or “Zwei” if you are going with your friend. You might even consider taking a German course in Berlin before you try talking to the bouncer. Other than that, wait until the bouncer starts talking to you before saying anything. Otherwise they will notice (merken) you are a first timer (zum ersten Mal).
How to get into Berghain: (r)Age
Unlike a lot of clubs, the average age (Durchschnittsalter) in Berghain is around 35 years old (Jahre alt). The bouncers tend to let in people who are in their mid twenties or above. When you are under 25, or look very young (jung) in general, we would suggest tagging along with someone who is older (älter) than you.
No squad goals here Taylor
Even though you think it would be a fun idea to go to Berghain with your entire squad, it is believed that this will reduce your chances of getting in. When going with a big group, it is best to split up into smaller groups of maximum 4 peopl. Even though some of your friends might not get in, the lucky few will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what Berghain is really about. However, your biggest chance of getting in is if you are alone and meet some friends inside.
How to get into Berghain? Know the DJ Becky!
When standing in front of the bouncer, he might ask you what DJ´s are playing (welcher DJ spielt). If you answer correctly, you will most likely get in. Get it wrong and you are out.
Finally, I would like to mention that the process of getting in is very (sehr) subjective. Some people get in the first time they go, others have to try multiple times (mehrmals). Even a lot of regulars get turned down from time to time. Try to take a few breaths before standing in line, and remember it is just a club and there is always next time.