I’ve just come back from Germany and posted on my facebook page about my general excitement to be in one of the most vibrant city breaks being Berlin, known for its art scene, nightlife and modern architecture. Little did I know what I would later on encounter, whilst doing what I always love to experience during city breaks – the nightlife!
Berlin was a weekend like no other. A ridiculous number of famous and historical artefacts I constantly stumbled over, seeing Bryson Tiller live, and digging deeper into my ever-growing wanderlust.
It was our last night in Berlin and despite an early morning flight, a celebratory last night out was due. Through recommendations from friends, we headed to Avenue nightclub. It had a very classy and cosmopolitan feel, with dimmed lighting and a gold and black colour theme throughout. It’s a shame that my ID and a simple bag check weren’t the only things required when entering the club.
Whilst walking up to the entrance of Avenue, my friends and I noticed an oddly strange queue order; people were stood in a semi circle and random pairs and groups would occasionally be let in. I initially thought it was a ‘one in, one out’ situation, so patiently waited, until a pair of girls beside us told us that they’d been standing for over 30 minutes, and that security are judging people based on what they wear.
Fair enough, a dress code is a dress code. Not that we searched this up prior to coming. However, the biggest shock came when the hipster-style dressed bouncer approached my friends and I, confirmed it was three of us females going in, then asked us to unzip our coats to reveal our revealing tops beneath. I was so perplexed by such a question that I didn’t even follow the deranged request.
We were let in, shrugged off the fact that we were blatantly objectified, and thoroughly enjoyed the night.
I spoke about this experience with friends that also visited Berlin, who didn’t directly experience this, but have been turned away from German clubs for a reason that they were unaware of.
“Maybe the club was full, or too expensive” one friend said.
I then did some online research and found stories about profilling being a big issue in Berlin. The Telegraph reported about Berlin’s most expensive and popular nightclub, Berghain, being one of the most difficult clubs to get into:
“(The head doorman) has a squad of formidable bouncers have an enigmatic entry policy that clubbers have been trying to crack for years. There are hundreds of forum posts online with advice ranging from the bizarre “look more gay” to the much more reasonable “don’t be too drunk in the line”, as well as an equal number of negative reviews from disappointed punters who claim that the mysterious door policy is xenophobic, sexist, racist and discriminatory in every way imaginable.“
Profiling, whether it’s sexist, racist, or discriminatory is wrong in every way, is completely immoral. This is not just a problem in Germany, but in several other parts of Europe (see articles below).
Despite this disappointing revelation, I did overall have a wonderful time in Berlin; there is so much deep rooted history that is recognised as soon as you enter parts of the city (or even a suburb), parts are quite similar to London, where I live, and is filled with multiculturalism and subcultures in itself.
Some photos from my awesome weekend in Berlin:
More articles on profiling in European clubs: