Zur wilden Renate
This wonderland is only about 500 meters down the road from our Apartment.
I had passed it in the daylight many times and thought it was nothing more then one of the many ‘illegally’ occupied apartment complexes found in Berlin.
Around a two years ago though, one dark and drunk night, we wandered down that way to do some exploring. Surprise surprise! There was music pouring from the windows, the sound of chatter and the unmistakable stench of cigarette smoke wafting from over the 3 meter tall wooden fence.
We did a quick perimeter search, till we found an open gate, with some of the most intimidating bouncers I have ever seen in my life. I thought for sure this was a private party, and we were about to be thrown out on our arses.
Yet, after we had been patted down and my bag searched (for weapons only it seems, since drugs and ‘personal’ alcohol were aplenty inside) we were to enter this mindfuck of a club.
A 10 euro cover charge changed hands, and beers were brought from the garden bar. We sat ourselves down, some in an oversized hammock, the others on the roof of an old VW Beetle that seemed more art piece then car, and listened to a very chilled DJ somewhere above us in a treehouse.
A lady at the bar told us that there is a labyrinth made from found objects in the basement, and that for 10 euros you can go down there to explore.
One at a time.
At this point though we were getting pretty drunk, and going alone into a dark basement and trying to find our way out of a labyrinth just seemed like to much effort/probably would end with one of us falling down something then needing a trip to the ER. We wanted to Dance.
After a beer or two more, we decided to head on inside to see what the rest of this complex had to offer.
Entering into something that could only be described as ‘Your Grandma takes acid and then decorated’, we realised it was going to be a looong night.
By this point we were all pretty well pissed off our brains, so the memories are foggy, but what I do recall is four stories of madness, wrapped in techno music.
It was a maze itself, we walked up stairs and found ourselves in complete apartments dedicated to music, drinking and debauchery. There was bedrooms, lounge rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, little closets, all taken from their original purposes and given a healthy dose of WTF.
One bedroom had everything upside down, another that was barley 5x5 meters was filled with what seemed like a hundred people and a DJ, there was a room showing silent films, another showing what seemed to be porn… it was a sensory overload and it was amazing.
I lost some of the people we were with, but it didn’t matter, it seemed everyone else in there wanted to be your friend as well.
We kept changing levels, rooms, and getting lost. But we didn’t care. There was at least 5 major DJ’s spread across the building, and countless chill out/art spaces in between.
Eventually, though, all good things needed to come to an end. We were starting to get tired, and money for drinks was getting short. We decided to take the short walk home.
We got our coats, and walked out into the dawn. So much time had passed?? There was still people arriving, out in the garden dancing, and laying in the first rays of sunlight.
The world seemed a little too normal on our stumble back home to bed…..
Salon zur wilden Renate