Preview: The Silly Season Is Here

Forget summer: in Berlin, the dead winter months of February & March are when the really silly season begins.

At this time of year, you can see what a big part of the city's identity clubs are... and how tenuous they are, too, much like that identity (wow, how deep is that?).  When I check out the optimistically long listings on the party sites each winter  weekend, I can't help thinking that some of these places are just throwing out regular events with increasingly stranger names out of sheer bloody determination to exist and legitimize their own ephemeral, moonlit presence on this landscape.  Same goes for some of the pale & gaunt regulars who trek through the snow and the daffodils (thanks again, climate change) to get there. 

In the summer, it seems all too legitimate to try and stay in Berlin all year, seeking your fortune and infamy in this city's party scene.  But come the winter, that self-assured sense of permanence goes away... taking a sabbatical in Spain, India, the UK, California, or anywhere else that's several hours' flight away (and we wonder why climate change is happening, tsk). 

Left behind in the cold, empty streets, Berlin's clubs can start to seem more like place-markers left behind to ensure that we don't forget that "other" Berlin, the summertime Berlin that lies buried under several feet of snow, ice and still more premature daffodils.  All go on offering us a roster of vaguely important sounding line-ups, consisting of relative unknowns from big labels who play one-off parties that cling to whatever momentum has survived from the freewheeling summer.

I guess it's a kind of preemptive strike against all the people that would try and sell Berlin's independent clubs out from under their feet if they ever dared to take a break.  After all, the Senate generally treats the party scene like it's a teenager who's going through a temporary rebellious phase that it can't wait for everyone to sell  grow out of. 

Ergo: Berliners grimly carry on keep on leaving the house at 11:00 pm on every winter night of the weekend, braving stiff winds and dog-poo icicles to re-enact a schedule of celebration that was scripted during the summer months, when there was still light in the sky at 10:30 p.m. and the heat outside was just starting to fade enough by midnight that you could face the sweaty dancefloor...

Sorry, I was miles away in my mind, just then... can't afford the airfare or the guilt of flying there in person... 

Sure, there's a whiff of delusion about partying in Berlin's winters, but these party people want to be deluded.  That's why they throw themselves into the spectacle with even more gusto now, than they do in the summer.  Don't believe me?  Have a look for yourself!

Below I've listed the spots that have a reliably warm and absorbing indoor culture, where people will definitely be putting on their party hats... with their woolen ear flaps down!

Salon Zur Wilden Renate: every Saturday & Sunday

Golden Gate: every Thursday & Friday

Kater Blau (ex-Bar 25): every Saturday & Sunday

Berghain: every Saturday & Sunday

Else: Openair party this Sunday

Salon Zur Wilden Renate

And here are Unscene's recommendations for fans of the off beat & unknown...

Wild Wedding indoor festival at Brunnen 70 this Saturday



Urban Spree.


Ohm club (pictured) this Saturday - obscure sounds & visuals.

Stattbad Wedding

R19 on Saturday and Sunday, all round friendly party and chill with variety of underground styles.

Dymaxiun Droids @ Normal Bar (Tonight only). They say: "Our mechanic minions have started to cook a semiconducting soup with only the finest non-biological ingredients including synthetic beats, throbbing soundscapes and pitch-black vinyl! Prepare for more Dark Techno, Breaks, UK Bass, Acid and more!"



New Yorck im Bethanien offers an underground smorgasbord of activism, vegan food, punk, reggae, psy music and techno all night... times and acts vary week by week.

OHM club in Koepernickerstrasse
The Koepi has punk bands, vegan food and a record distro during "two days of madness in the vault of the Køpibasement (...) in order to help some friends in need".  So basically it's a benefit, too. 

Enjoy the weekend ;-)

Tip: Don't let the low attendance numbers on sites like Resident Advisor put you off of going out. Many Berliners don't mark their attendance...


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