Next Friday (18 December), marks the 16th birthday of Klubnacht, Berghain‘s infamous Saturday night to Monday morning marathon at the Friedrichshain venue, which has been on hiatus since March due to COVID-19.
Featuring Len Faki, Marcel Dettman, Cassy, Steve Bug, André Galluzzi and others, the 18 December 2004 event laid the foundation stones for the creation of the legend, establishing the former power plant’s status as the world’s most celebrated techno club, making a celebrity of stone-faced head bouncer Sven Marquardt and inspiring even the likes of Robbie Williams to seek to emulate its allure with a techno club of his own, as was reported last week.
The New York Times also recently paid a visit to the venue to experience its recent incarnation as an art gallery.
Commenting on the venue’s 16th birthday, longtime resident Andreas Baumecker, aka nd_baumecker, posted a humorous video outside the venue, of him spinning a Girls Aloud track – trust us, it works.
“Every year I try to find and play the one track that pretty much sums up what everybody is thinking, but that is also totally unexpected and never heard at the club before,” he wrote. “It’s usually a no-go ;). I wonder what that track would have been in this very unusual year. I think I found it.”
Over the years, Berghain’s foreboding exterior has also inspired artists, including artist Virginie Kypriotis, who a couple of years back put together one of the best club illustrations we’ve ever seen – the level of detail is exceptional, from the cyclops-like security personnel to the wild abandon on the dancefloor and wait,… is that a group of people riding a unicorn in the toilets?
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“To me, Berlin’s nightlife intensity is like nowhere else,” she told I Heart Berlin in 2018. “It brings so many different people of all ages, of different cultures and different sexuality together, with a common passion for electro music. Berlin is a place of intense freedom, which I think is pretty rare to find in other cities nowadays.”
All going well, Berghain will reopen in April – with a concert by James Holden and clarinet player Waclaw Zimpel – paving the way for yet more memories (and forgotten weekends) on the dancefloor.
As a massive venue on its facade reads – Morgen ist die Frage (Tomorrow is the Question). Techno is, hopefully, the answer.
[Main image by Virginie Kypriotis]