Preview: Sylvester, Patron Saint of Party Animals

Time now for my long overdue roundup of Silvester parties! Silvester is the German name for New Year's Eve. The name comes from Saint Sylvester, who passed away on 31 December 335. Since his death has become synonymous with one of the biggest celebrations on the German calendar, I assume that old Sylvester must have been a bit badass. I'm picturing a 4th century dilettante, stumbling around a monastery strewn with empty barrels of sekt, his followers draped over their pews with robes askew, groaning in hungover agony. But, historical speculation aside, here is my preview...

If I'm too impatient to wait for the night of the 31st, I might start with a warm-up at Golden Gate's Saturday after-hours, which starts around noon. It promises to provide "madness as usual". Nice!

After that, Blo Atelier and PK22 will be hosting the intimate, Berlin-friendly party Kiez 2.0. One 5 euro ticket will get you into two venues: one in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg and the other in the heart of Friedrichshain. The double do's seem to be a form of positive protest against the fact that "only people with money can celebrate the New Year in this city", which fits nicely with Saint Sylvester's notions of hospitality. Both venues are DIY yet stylish, and both will offer veggie food as well as low-priced drinks. Given their associations within Berlin scene, there will probably be a healthy dose of underground culture present at both locations. All proceeds from the door go to local community projects.

Last Silvester, the only fireworks display I saw was a blitzkrieg of misfired missiles that had me running for cover in one of Berlin's trendy eastern
kiezen (and I'm no coward about pyrotechnics, having lived through a dozen Guy Fawkes nights in some of London's dodgier boroughs). This year, I hope for a more dignified fireworks experience; I'd like check out an official display from the relative safety of Leap. The Mitte arts space is hosting a masked party which costs just 7 euros. Like Kiez 2.0 they are sharing the proceeds with charity instead of using it to finance their January sun break - again, Saint Sylvester would be proud. As an added bonus, Leap's vast plate glass windows will provide spectators with protection against stray fireworks. Yey!

After that, I will be off to Love Lite's Balkanska party (9 euros) which will feature Balkan beats, house and disco on two floors. It is bound to be crowded with a range of cultural cross-breeds so be sure to bring your grapes, lead figurines, marzipan, white clothing, masks, old coins... basically, every symbol of Silvester that you can think of from your corner of the world.

Some time in the morning hours, I would like to end up at Griessmuehle. This Neukoelln party mill will offer four floors, indoor and outdoor areas, fireworks, live shows and more. At 10 euros I think it will give the bigger and giddier Silvester parties (Oddysee, Hippie New Year, Sisyphos*, Bodywerk) a run for their money.

That's all for this year.
Guten Rutsch!
*FYI, Sisyphos is not in Neukoelln or Friedrichshain or Mars or wherever its PR team is claiming it's located these days - it is in LICHTENBERG. Good thing to know when one is planning one's journey there, though the club doesn't seem to agree.


  1. starting silvester on saturday noon in golden gate sounds awesome :D

  2. Glad to have inspired you... or maybe 'corrupted' is a better word ;-)


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...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.