Berlin Nightclubs: Unraveling The Fascinating World Of Dress Code Culture And Reserved Rights Of Admission

Berlin Nightclubs: Unraveling The Fascinating World Of Dress Code Culture And Reserved Rights Of Admission

Lola Sasturein by El Planteo

Berlin is a global technology mecca, and its clubs are an important part of the city's cultural capital. A holy aura surrounded them.

It's a fact: there is no club in the world like Berlin, and what happens there doesn't happen anywhere else.

Photography is prohibited, you can run into a moving crowd, stand in line for four hours, and "security" won't let you in if you don't know enough - a lot is said, and most of it is true.

While the story is of course part of reality and the endless possibilities that open up as you go (or don't go) through the doors of Bergaine, Tracer, KitKat, Sisyphus, RSO and others, it is reduced and simplified. More websites than more clubs are now organizations. So much so that they have their own governing committee, the body through which political, economic and social decisions about Berlin's rave scene are made.

The issue of right of entry and dress code itself involves a series of conflicts . Something that would be especially problematic in a country like Argentina, where acceptance based on clothing inevitably has class implications. But in Germany it is taking place and being celebrated.

Why is it so discriminatory and arbitrary, contrary to currently promoted values, not only tolerated, but celebrated? How did it become such an important part of youth folklore in one of the most modern and progressive cities in existence? Are there any positives? And lastly, how can we guarantee our access to the club?

A little context

Berlin is a city of polarities and contrasts, with many distinct personalities and several contrasts between East and West, winter and summer, day and night. We'll reflect on this last dichotomy: Berlin is a (very) green city during the day that can be explored on a bicycle, with the family, with outdoor events, community fairs, and a vegetarian and ecological haven. Its position as the capital of counterculture at night is noteworthy. The music is loud, the clubs are boring, drugs and sex are open, and they're not really pushing anyone.

Berlin is a city of individual freedom, because everything coexists without major tensions. Their society is built on a social contract of respect for others, absolute trust and non-interference in other people's lives. As long as all three are met, balance is maintained.

Although you will find more people on the streets than in any other European city and it seems to be the main capital of hedonism, the crime rate is very low, children walk alone from an early age and self-sufficiency is paramount. Pillars of everyday life in the neighborhood.

One thing that may be difficult for those living in other societies to understand is that the rules of freedom are strictly individual . While no one who isn't a local should do this, knowing them (and following them closely) is key to having a good experience. It carries over to what's happening inside the club.

For example, doing drugs on the dance floor is grounds for expulsion, and not in a good way. But 5 people going to the bathroom to eat something and spending fifteen minutes in there while people wait outside, or taking a gold bath in a dark room, is acceptable and to be expected. Confused, right?

In general

There's one piece of advice that applies to all raves: don't go somewhere without knowing where you're going.

Each club has its own dress code and in most cases varies depending on the theme of the night. There are strict (Bargain, KitKat) and more relaxed (Tracer, Renate, Sisyphus), but it's worth finding out if they all have a nightly theme, eg: kinky, fetish, and whimsical are relatively common catchphrases.

Information about what to wear each evening is often not available on social media, but it is available and can be found . However, there are some general rules of etiquette when waiting in line that have nothing to do with appearance: don't appear in large groups, don't use your cell phone too much and take less photos, don't talk too much. Many (especially if in a foreign language), do not spare and do not exaggerate the lack of enthusiasm.

Uploaded, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Berghain is the man who popularized this dynamic and has the most serious reception right, his gorilla, Sven Marquardt, is such a cult figure that he even has his own documentary. The likes of Britney Spears and Elon Musk have reportedly left Berghain. In mythology, no other recreation area in the world comes close to it. Needless to say there was no mirror or clock inside.

Berghain was born as a gay men's club – when it was called Ostgut at the start of the last millennium – and some of the signs are still there, though all dissidents are more likely to enter than men and women of normal appearance.

Yes, wearing black wouldn't be bad at all, and being German helps: it's become a game for tourists to follow all the letter instructions to see who's wearing what. Consensus point when it comes to this topic: the goal is to let those who are there for the music dance and experience it, at all costs avoiding those who want to get in because they are there. This makes appearance very important, but trying is a reason to come back. So: it's dark, it's fetish, it's very comfortable. Suits, coats or according to style guidelines, no.

Something similar to what Joaquin described was happening inside the club: it's understandable why there was so much commotion at the entrance. The atmosphere is very eclectic, with places to dance, walk, and listen. The DJ stand is above and beside the people: the dance floor is the hero with the best sound system in the world, the famous Funktion One and the most famous DJ in the world of techno . Therefore, the dance floor demands attention. Being inside, it's inevitable to think about it: yes, all the myths are true, this is the best club in the world.

"When I went to Bergen I stood in line for three hours and got in. And there was a lot of room inside. I don't know if it would be enough for everyone to get in but it's true they didn't need it. I got in at 4:30am and Ben Clock was playing and I could catch him a meter away, was in front of the speakers and had the perfect dance floor,” said Pau.

And it just so happens that among so many stories, legends, mysticism and gossip something fundamental has been overlooked: there is more demand than these clubs can bear . There is no room for the number of people who want to come every weekend of the year. And as the legend grows, there are more people and less places. And even more vicious gorillas.

This chronicler arrived one day at the gates of Berghain, with less than ten people ahead of him: all of us, even the non-Goths. If you go and you fail, in the end you never know whether you got the wrong clothes, the accent you didn't like, you woke up in a bad mood, or you had a hard time overcrowding. Traffic "Yeah, there's a lot of mythology around it, some based on reality and some not, but I think that's a small part of the fun," says Pau .

Taken at the factory

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