Lonely Planet Writer

A festival recreated Berlin's famous Berghain nightclub... and no one could get in

For techno worshippers, Berlin’s Berghain nightclub is heaven – but it’s a heaven that’s notoriously difficult to get into. Now a Netherlands festival has recreated the experience perfectly… by getting festival-goers to queue and repeatedly be denied entry.

Festival-goers queued with no hope of getting in. Image by Bauhaus.

Berghain is the mecca for techno-lovers and with a capacity for only 1500 clubbers and a huge international reputation; queues are long and the door policy is strict and confusing. There are numerous websites, blog posts and forum threads filled with contradictory advice about the correct dress code or behaviour to try and impress the bouncers at the door but ultimately many hopeful clubbers’ experience is that of queueing for hours and getting rejected for no apparent reason.

Mini-Berghain and big-Berghain.
Mini-Berghain and big-Berghain. Image by Rens Mor/Nicor

Last weekend, the Beyond festival in the Netherlands decided to recreate the typical Berghain experience to perfection with a mini art installation that invited people to “train your in-the-line stance and ‘walk of shame’ skills” by queueing for mini-Berghain then firmly being rejected, with tantalising sounds of  thumping techno coming from behind the famous facade.

The organisers explained: “We built and simulated a certain club in Berlin in the middle of the festival site including fences, a facade, and little too pretentious dark techno.” They even posted short video clips online to show clubbers what they’re missing out on.


Still confused about how to participate? The organisers created a handy guide to refer back to:
1. Stand in line
2. Get refused
3. Go back to stand in line
4. Get refused
5. Go back to stand in line
6. Get refused
7. Go back to stand in line
8. Get refused
9. Go back to stand in line

Seems an authentic experience to us.