The Berghain - the wildest and most secretive techno club in the world1: Cameras are banned, and partygoers are made to tape up their camera phones before they enter. The Stalinist-style power-plant-turned-party-warehouse is notorious for its long and ruthlessly ambiguous screening process with many waiting up to three hours only to be rejected at the door , and the seriously hedonistic happenings inside.
Lucky for me, my name was on the guest list, enabling this filthy little tourist to stroll straight past the metre queue to the door. People queue outside Berghain nightclub in Berlin. Dark, trippy and minimal, with speakers so heavy they make your stomach bleed, the world-famous sound system is for neither the drunk nor sober.
I stumble towards the bathroom, my vision struggling to adjust. All right, fine — he crouches down beside you and drinks your urine. People of all ages and skin colours are rolling their diverse little faces off in harmony, from the young Turkish guy in a head-to-toe white lace wedding dress, to the something, seemingly genderless Chinese person donning a shiny pinstripe suit.
A sneakily taken picture inside Berghain nightclub. By now everything — the hard acid techno, the stench of sweat and urine, the onslaught of swaying zombies — is completely saturated in drugs. Near the bar, a young girl staggers up to me. I jump aside at the last second, but a thick glob of her orange-red spew hits my arm. The most popular hangout spot is the upstairs bathroom, which is gender-neutral and jam-packed with people lining up for free cubicles.
Cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy are the most popular drugs available, and thick clouds of weed smoke permeate the entire venue. Even GHB — a colourless liquid depressant said to be loathed by the bouncers — is offered to me for free on four different occasions. If they catch you with anything illegal, you have two options: But nobody is having trouble scoring. I shake my head and crack a joke about my deceptively shady resting face.
Reporter Gavin Fernando pictured after spending 24 hours at Berghain nightclub in Berlin. Men and women dance completely naked, their pupils so dilated you could push a screaming ten-pound baby out of them.
Sexual acts take place in every nook and cranny. Modest lovers disappear into dark alcoves removed from the centre, but many embrace their inner exhibitionist and bang away right there on the dance floor. At one point, I see a girl penetrating a guy with a strap-on penis. Up near the DJ, two guys take turns spewing into the swaying crowd. No one seems super fussed. My shirt is lost on the floor somewhere, never to be seen again. Hundreds of people remain glued to the dance floor, still going strong.
As I finally step outside, the greeting of midmorning sunlight makes me feel twice as dirty.