Berghain is the mysterious, hedonistic haven that has become the poster-child of Berlin’s wild, world-renowned clubbing scene. Located on a barren block, in a former power station, the culture of the club and the people who regularly frequent it have become the zeitgeist of the city.
The mystery that surrounds Berghain is amplified by the club’s strict no-photography policy. Felix Scheinberger an author, illustrator and professor at the Münster School of Design, found a creative way to circumvent this notorious and strongly enforced rule. In his book, Hedo Berlin, Scheinberger explores the wild nights at famed hedonistic clubs Berghain and KitKat, capturing the weird, wonderful club kids inside. Here are 10 types of people you’ll find at Berghain, best illustrated with sketches from Scheinberger’s Hedo Berlin.
They’ve lined up in dead silence, worn black and even mastered one German phrase in order to get inside. Now the unsure tourist is finally inside one of the hardest clubs in the world to get into. They’re elated, ready to dance and slowly coming to terms with all the nudity.
Berghain emerged from the male-only fetish club Ostgut and it remains a safe space for expression for the wider LGBTQIA community. As such, it’s common to find beautifully sculpted, shirtless, Adonis-like gay men dancing in tight, leather shorts and enjoying their beloved stomping group.
Berghain has two techno-fuelled dance floors. One is a thumping, dark infinity of bodies stomping to techno, and the other is the upstairs, slightly more airy and bright Panorama Bar. Both dance floors promise crowds of sweaty bodies moving to melodic techno but, for some, the less-intense vibe of Panorama just can’t be beaten, and they spend most of their Berghain weekends here at the bar.
Berghain is a palace of self-expression, where kinks and fetishes blend with world-class techno. Unsurprisingly then, nudity is a common and accepted part of hanging out in the club, as men and women, in nothing but a bum-bag and some trainers, chat over beers and dance the night (or day) away, without anyone batting an eyelid.
Heading out on your own in the German capital is completely normal, and it’s not strange to befriend solo partiers in clubs across Berlin. There to have a good time, maybe make some friends and enjoy the fetish-freedom or engulfing music, these lone dancers are common at Berghain.
Sporting leather harnesses, masks and fetish-wear, Berghain’s roots as a fetish club are still prominent today. So, it’s common to find kinky regulars throughout the club exploring and expressing themselves in this safe, non-judgemental environment.
The bathroom hogs at Berghain usually run in pairs, taking up the few stalls and causing understandable frustration for those club-goers who just need to use the toilet. Whatever they’re doing in there, it certainly isn’t PC, and it also makes the bathroom queue annoyingly long. Rumour has it, though, that if you mention you need the toilet (and not just the privacy of the bathroom stall) they’ll let you go first.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Think of that partygoer who’s probably been inside Berghain for two days straight already, has pushed through to the best of their abilities, and is now slowly drifting off to sleep on one of the beds at the smoothie bar upstairs.
Berghain’s wild persona aside, this regular is truly there for the music. They enjoy the seemingly monotonous beats with a chin-stroking (or foot-stomping) enthusiasm that can only be mastered by someone who truly ‘gets it.’