Can you guess which clubbers got into Berghain?

It’s the most exclusive club in the world

Berghain is an infamously exclusive Berlin techno Mecca with the toughest door policy in Europe. 

Every weekend the queue resembles something like this:

11:00pm. Three stray herds of tourists slowly circle the club: Two Japanese girls, two Parisians and six Canadians. The herds interact nervously: “Is this the entrance? Yeah, Google said…”

11:30pm. Six men built like brick shithouses in acid-wash shorts, wife-beaters and knee-high socks emerge.

11:59pm. Fresh-faced foreigners jostle among metal bars. The building remains silent.

Midnight. Four windows suddenly flash violet. A thump sounds. Someone has switched on Neverland. The game begins.

This, for the grand majority, is the extent of the “religious experience” which Rolling Stone once claimed is Berghain. A three hour wait for entry which only ever ends in rejection. No decadence. No drugs. None of that gritty, surreal hedonism promised in every Berlin travel-guide for the past decade.

By day the former socialist power plant  squats on an industrial estate,after midnight Berghain de-robes into a decadent, Dionysian techno-freak show. For many, clubbing doesn’t get better than this. The iron curtain of cool only adds to its allure.

The Berghain queue goes on and on

Wear black. Don’t smile. Go alone. Know your techno. Speak German. Shave your hair. Get a tattoo. Wear glitter eyeliner. Wear nothing. Pose as a bouncer.

Since its opening in 2004, the number of unwritten laws of Berghain grows longer and more ludicrous every year. Just like its queue.

But most importantly, frantic theories like these beg the question: Did you get in? We spoke to clubbers flying from across the globe to try their luck. Can you tell who made it in?

Sarah, student, Toronto

Why did you choose Berghain?

Google said it was the best club in Europe.

Josh and Tom, students, Dublin and London

Why did you guys choose Berghain?

…It’s Berghain?

Did you guys do anything to prepare?

We’re wearing black! Look at us! Oh, and we found a Swiss girl in our hostel to come with us. She speaks German (Josh winks).

Hannah and Elisa, students, The Netherlands

Why did you choose Berghain

It’s famous?

Yeah. So do you girls like techno?

Not really.

Seb, student, Montreal


Why did you choose Berghain?

I love techno. My favourite DJ is playing tonight. I flew to Berlin especially for this.

Did you prepare for entry?

Well, apart from buying a ticket, I’m wearing all black, very nondescript clothes.

What advice would you give to me if I stood in the queue right now?

None. It’s obviously irrelevant.

Joe, bartender, Berlin

Why did you choose Berghain?

It’s famous. And I’ve got in before and it was awesome.

Did you prepare for this attempt?

Yes. We drank Club Mate (a popular caffeinated mate-tea in Berlin) and tried to look less high.

Are you into techno?

Only when I’m high.

If you had to give any advice to Berghain attemptees, what would it be?

Don’t go during peak times. Go in the morning after 9. And rather obviously at this point, don’t be high.

So. Is it worth it?

Oh god yeah.

Jen, Martha, Guatemala

(Before I approached them..)

Don’t even try. Don’t even try.

Why? What happened?

Nothing, actually. They didn’t even say anything.

Did you try anything in particular to get in?

We actually pretended to be gay. I mean, I wouldn’t touch her like that. She’s my best friend! But we tried to. *giggles*

Why did you do that?

Well, it’s a gay fetish club isn’t it?

Berghain succeeds in being ominous even in broad daylight

Berghain succeeds in being ominous even in broad daylight

So which of our brave clubbers made it? Answer: not a single one of them. The doors of Berghain were closed. Can anything be learnt from this bleak experience?

All the above came to Berghain because it’s famous. Everyone tried a different strategy… but apparently, black clothing, knowledge of EDM, queuing solo, speaking German, and pretending to be gay. None of these were good enough.

Young clubbers gape at the institution that spurned them

Young clubbers gape at the institution that spurned them

If you find yourself in Berlin you still ought to try Berghain. Yeah, you might lose three hours of your life. You might end up drinking £5 bottles of beer to keep you sane while you wait. You might be humiliated by a smug, bearded, East-Berlin bouncer.

If you don’t make it, so what? Urban legend suggests Britney Spears was turned away. After a decade of suffering, nobody seems even remotely ready to fold in one of the most irrational gambles of 21st century clubbing. So why should you?

At this rate, by 2020, queuing for Berghain might actually be the Berghain experience.