The infamous club Berghain in Berlin had been on our bucket list for quite some time, and when it came time to start planning for the summer of 2015, we finally made it happen as part of our European tour. People often talk about it being the club of all clubs, and this magical place where you have the most incredible experience ever, and wow did it live up to the hype! As proud Torontonians, we often compare clubs that we go to, to the infamous Industry Nightclub, or to Lotus, Life, or to System Soundbar, and we talk about the good old days and how the scene will never be the same. We even feel bad for “the kids these days” because they’ll never really get to experience the magic of the scene before it became over saturated with EDM and commercial music. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s your thing!) But when we walked into Berghain all those feelings came back ten fold.
So part of the allure of Berghain is that not everyone gets in. You don’t know if you will be selected to enter, or if you will be turned away. You can plan this outing for months in advance, pick your all black techno outfit, make sure you don’t talk in line, don’t make eye contact with anyone, and maybe even learn a few German words to try and impress the bouncers who will ultimately make the final decision of who goes and who stays. I have to say, the butterflies in our stomachs as the taxi dropped us off in front of the club were out of control. We specifically flew to Berlin just to go to Berghain and we didn’t want the trip to be a bust!
We really wanted to experience the club in the daylight so we decided to go to Berghain around lunch time on Sunday. We read many articles and spoke to a lot of our DJ friends about going to Berghain, and they all said that you just had to experience Panorama Bar in the sunlight. As we walked up to the front of the club we were so confused where to go, we didn’t want to walk in the wrong line and not make the cut. But, there was almost no line at that time, so we just rolled with it and picked a side. The bouncers let us past and we looked at each other with total excitement in our eyes, but were too scared to show it in fear of getting kicked out! Once we made it to the second set of bouncers they immediately asked for our phones. I gave him my phone, it was off as I had shut it down completely, but he still covered both camera lenses with a green sticker to ensure we abided to their strict “no photos rule.” We’ve heard of people not even making it in the door because bouncers had seen them using their phones outside in line. We made it to the cashier without a hitch and were happy to pay the 15 euros to get in.
Like two kids in a candy store we were off on another adventure! I can’t explain the feeling we had when we walked in. Ecstatic is really the best word I can think of! We really had no idea what to expect and no idea where to go. We heard many rumors about sex rooms, and fetish dungeons and we were scared that we would end up somewhere that was beyond our scope of interest, but yet so intrigued to try and find these places at the same time. We even heard that they had a ice cream parlor in the club and were disappointed that we didn't find it. We went on a mission, going from room to room. When you first walk into the main club area it's total darkness and chaos. We had to step to the side until our eyes adjusted as we were completely blinded from being in the daylight just moments before. The sound system was incredible and you can feel the bass from head to toe, your whole body shakes in that room… in a good way of course! Sunday afternoon and people were still going strong. As soon as we could see clearly, we continued our walk and came across a bar on the main floor and decided to get some waters. We clearly looked like fish out of water as we were immediately approached by a few Italians from Napoli who were super excited to meet us. Fresh meat as they say lol. We quickly made an escape and continued on our journey. We found a set of stairs and followed them up. Again, having no idea where we're going, just observing and people watching was the game. We love seeing people who feel so free to be themselves and express themselves with no judgement. That’s really what Berghain is all about. People from all over the world, meeting in this one place with the same things connecting each other; music and adventure.
We made our way upstairs and got lost for a little bit behind the scenes. We kept taking stairs to nowhere until we followed the music to what turned out to be Panorama Bar. First, we stopped to find a washroom and asked the bartender if there was a girls bathroom and he laughed at me and he’s like “no we don’t have that!” So, we rolled with it and went into the not so scary, scary unisex bathrooms. The first thing that I noticed was that there were no mirrors… and honestly it was probably best that there weren’t any as some people would be scared of their own reflections! But people are the most friendly and helpful in the bathrooms, and people that we met there ended up hanging with us all day!
Moving along, we finally made our way into the much anticipated Panorama Bar. It was a wide open space with a bar in the middle, DJ booths to the side and tall windows making it feel like we were open to the outside. It feels like you are at a roof-top day party with all the light coming in. Immediately we meet people from Germany, France, Italy and were laughing and having a great time with our new crew. Pretty sure we were speaking in three languages by the end of the night. lol. Whether we were making any sense at all is a whole other story. The music was amazing and everyone was super positive and the place was vibing. The most exciting part for us was when our friends from Toronto rolled in! We hugged and cheered as if we hadn’t seen each other in months lol. We were all just so excited to have made it in, and that we would be able to talk about this experience for years to come.
As the day progressed, the dance floor became more and more packed with new arrivals. We had an amazing time until the point where we literally couldn’t move anymore so we decided to call it a day…. well a night at this point.
As we left Berghain, we left with such a euphoric feeling of complete satisfaction. It was 110% the highlight of the trip that summer and it will definitely be one of the hardest memories to top. Our only regret was that we didn’t get to meet the infamous front door bouncer Sven. But there’s always time for that this summer ;)