Reuters

Berghain's exclusivity is legendary. And a new app isn't going to help you past the velvet ropes.

The stiff door policy at Berlin nightclub Berghain is the stuff of legend. Widely dubbed Europe's hippest place to dance since it opened in 2007, the converted power station and its tattoo-faced doormen have a reputation for being pickier about who they let in than the average Victorian-era duchess planning an At Home day.

But for those turned away, "help" is on the way. A new app, plainly titled "How to Get Into Berghain," has just been unveiled at Berlin’s Hackathon. In addition to the basics, like directions and DJ line-ups, it has a style section showing what clothes aspiring Berghain visitors should wear and where to buy them online. For what it's worth, the app's doorman-pleasing sartorial recommendation is to wear what looks like standard issue hipster gear, just mainly in black.

 

 

Flimsy it may be, but the forthcoming app (which has yet to be released) demonstrates the strong hold Berghain has on European clubbers. When people talk about Berlin as a city for nightlife, Berghain is often what they have in mind. A towering old cavern of a building in Berlin's East, it would have probably become an art gallery in any other city.

The exterior of Berghain. Image courtesy of Flickr user mlaiacker

In nightclub form, it looks like a sort of techno Valhalla, all elegantly raw concrete and lofty, beamed vaults. The walls themselves seem to vibrate with the noise of a sound system that makes the average PA in, say, London, sound utterly lacking. All this rakes in cash and tourists, and people fly in from across the continent to visit weekly.

Despite this popularity, Berghain has managed to hold onto its cool reputation while other super clubs across Europe have shut down or gone out of fashion. This is partly because its music policy has strict quality control and partly because its door policy has prevented its initial anything-goes mixed-gay crowd from being scared off. Which means there's still plenty of attitude to be endured at the entrance.

This is, alas, where the app goes horribly wrong. The sort of people who've dutifully donned what they think are exactly the right items of clothing to secure entrance are in fact the club's worst nightmare. As a not particularly stylish person who used to visit Berghain regularly, I would say the real guidelines for getting in are pretty basic: Don't dress too smartly or showily – this is not the Berlin way – and don't look like any louche behavior going on in corners is going to freak you out. It also helps if you don't speak loudly in a British accent, as the British have earned themselves a local reputation as giggling, aggressive prudes. Finally, you might consider copying many locals and coming on Sunday afternoon, when the staff have mellowed somewhat. The thought of being surveyed and found wanting is understandably still enough to deter many, of course. Perhaps some readers who have made it this far are wondering if there's an app that shows you how to get out.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a WeWork office building
    Life

    What WeWork’s Demise Could Do to NYC Real Estate

    The troubled coworking company is the largest office tenant in New York City. What happens to the city’s commercial real estate market if it goes under?

  2. Life

    Why Do Instagram Playgrounds Keep Calling Themselves Museums?

    The bustling industry of immersive, Instagram-friendly experiences has put a new spin on the word museum.

  3. a photo of Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters in London
    Environment

    When Climate Activists Target Public Transit

    The climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion is facing a backlash after disrupting commuters on the London Underground.

  4. Uber Eats worker
    Life

    The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

    As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.

  5. a photo of cyclists riding beside a streetcar in the Mid Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
    Transportation

    San Francisco’s Busiest Street Is Going Car-Free

    A just-approved plan will redesign Market Street to favor bikes, pedestrians, and public transit vehicles. But the vote to ban private cars didn’t happen overnight.

×