Music & clubs

Dance music is back in Berlin, kind of

TIPS! The coronavirus has the global club scene on standby, but Berlin’s DJs have begun to emerge from hibernation. Here’s where to catch them.

Clubbing has been put on hold for the time being, but there are still ways to get your weekend dose of electronic music. Clubs reopening as beer gardens may have felt like a poor substitute at first, but as they settle into a groove they’ve become home to some of the best music currently on offer in the city. Losing your mind on a sweaty Sunday morning dance floor remains off the cards, but there are plenty of chances to catch world-class DJs behind the decks. They likely won’t play the banging house, disco and techno they usually serve up, instead using the quieter environment to dip further into their record collections.  Here are the six best spots to hear music outside. 
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://about blank’s “sektgarten” is here for summer, soundtracked by the club’s excellent resident DJs and their friends. (Photo supplied by club.)
://about blank Markgrafendamm 24C, Friedrichshain Pre-Corona, settling into one of the many nooks and crannies in ://about blank’s sprawling garden was a great way to watch a Saturday drift by. Its wooden dance floor, flanked by bars and plenty of seating, is one of Berlin’s best open-air party spots, thanks to a crisp soundsystem and slick booking policy. The garden is back as a self-dubbed “sektgarten”, soundtracked by its close-knit roster of resident DJs and their friends. The wet weather dampened last weekend’s Sekt sessions, but you’ll get plenty more chances over the coming weeks and months. Expect cheery house and disco when you make the trip to Ostkreuz, supplied by big-name DJs performing under aliases.
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The beer garden at Golden Gate is soundtracked by the same rolling tech house that features in the club’s live streams. (Photo supplied by club.)
Golden Gate Schicklerstraße 4, Mitte Calling the collection of creaky wooden deckchairs outside Golden Gate’s entrance a “garden” feels too generous, but don’t let that stop you from dropping by for a few drinks. This grimy spot by Bahnhof Jannowitzbrücke is known for rolling tech house and parties that run until there’s no one left standing, so take this opportunity to visit and leave with your plans for the next day still intact. The club’s weekend schedule seems to shift week-to-week, so it’s best to check the official Facebook page for before heading down. But Thursday evenings, the busiest nights pre-Corona, are are sure shot, soundtracked by local DJs like Duncan Macdonald, Bonstantin Kald and Danielle Nicole.
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Several Panorama Bar residents are locked in for slots at the nearby Bierhof Rüdersdorf. (Photo supplied by club.)
Bierhof Rüdersdorf Rüdersdorfer Straße 70, Friedrichshain We won’t be back on the Panorama Bar dance floor for a while, but some of the club’s DJs will spend the next few weekends spinning at Bierhof Rüdersdorf, the sunny beer garden next door.   In addition to great tunes, there’s food from Schiller Burger. Their sweet potato fries go down well with beers and new Panorama Bar resident Paramida’s pop and disco selections this Saturday. Open in the evenings from Thursday to Sunday, weather permitting, the entrance to Friedrichshain spot is around the corner from Berghain’s front door, a weekly pilgrimage the coronavirus put on hold for many Berliners. With no reservations and space limited to 150 guests, get down early if you want to secure a spot on one of Rüdersdorf’s wooden benches. nd_baumecker, another Panorama Bar resident, is scheduled to spin early next month.
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In addition to its famous minimal house, you’ll hear ambient, trip-hop and other cosmic sounds during evenings at Club der Visionäre. (Photo by Michaela Braun.)
Club der Visionäre  Am Flutgraben, Alt-Treptow Transformed into a beer garden by the spree, Club der Visionäre’s wooden decking is currently home to a calmer scene than the one usually found there this time of the year. Rather than jostle for position on the tiny dance floor, which is currently closed, you can recline with an Augustiner Helles in your designated deck chair, sipping the evening away as ambient, trip-hop and other cosmic, laid-back sounds waft across the decking. Club der Visionäre’s pizza kitchen is also up and running once again after last year’s fire, which makes an evening at Berlin’s home of minimal house even more appealing.
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Pizza meets house, dub techno and drone at the Zero Stress Garden. (Photo supplied by club.)
Suicide Circus Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain For its “Zero Stress Garden” in the RAW Gelände by Warschauer Straße, Suicide Club teamed up with the top stone-oven pizza team behind Zero Stress. Alongside the pizza, often mentioned among Berlin’s best, the bar will serve beers, coffees and cocktails, so every guest is covered. Expect a large seating area with big tables so you can bring your group of mates but still retain some social distance. DJs representing crews like Cashmere Radio and Same Bitches are locked in for sets, so expect music that touches up ambient, drone, hip-hop, deep house and more. Entrance is free but Suicide Club is requesting donations to support the DJs.
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Hop-hop, soul, dub and reggae are a perfect match for YAAM’s beach bar. (Photo supplied by club.)
YAAM An der Schillingbrücke 3, Friedrichshain YAAM is the best option for anyone looking for sounds beyond electronic music. The spree-side spot, located a short walk from Ostbanhof, has reopened its sandy beach bar, this time with extra deckchairs and DJs playing smooth hip-hop sprinkled with R&B and soul. It’s open every Friday for the next ten weeks, but nights there will finish early, opening 4pm and ending around 10pm. Due to Corona they must limit their numbers to 250 people, so it makes sense to get there earlier. Entrance is free, but consider donating to YAAM’s PayPal ([email protected]) to show support.