Music & clubs

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Despite the ever present threat of gentrification, the banks of the Spree remain alive with the sound of music as former favourite Maria dolls up and re-opens as Magdalena.

Image for How do you solve a problem like Maria?
Photo by Ana Garcia De La Blanca

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Simple. Change her name to ‘Magdalena’ and resume the techno-fuelled resistance to the development of Berlin’s premium riverside real estate.

For those who saw Club Maria’s ‘obituary’ in Exberliner last May, you’d be forgiven a little confusion. Corporate takeover of the site seemed inevitable as Mediaspree, the developers tipped to buy the site supposedly waited (not so patiently) for the residents of the factory-turned-nightclub to clear out.

But since then, after adopting more identities than Jason Bourne on acid, Club Maria/ADS/Chez Jackie/Magdalena seems to have been rehabilitated, conveniently forgetting all the hype surrounding its closure as if it were an embarrassing psychotic episode.

Cynics amongst us may see these various incarnations as a thinly veiled marketing ploy. Whatever the case, the lease has been extended until 2015 – and the club is under new management.

At the (re-)opening party, it was apparent that little had changed. Maria’s minimalist décor remains, the music policy – a combination of live acts and DJs – is remarkably similar. Even our favourite toilet attendant is still pedalling safe sex and lollipops in the hallway. However, the air smells a little different and beneath the scent of cheap aftershave is a fragrant optimism.

So, with renovations in the pipeline and an expectant crowd, it seems that Berlin’s own little techno slut will be touting for business a while longer.