In Berlin, the party goes on despite threat of club closures

Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:07am EDT
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By Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - From swing, salsa and sex to tango, transvestites and techno, Berlin's nightlife offers something for everyone.

The city that shocked the straight-laced during the pre-war Weimar Republic - portrayed in the film "Cabaret" - and then became a center of counter culture during the 1960s and 1970s - to wit, David Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" - is rocking.

Night after night thousands of Berliners and visitors head to hotspots like RAW, an old graffiti-covered train-repair site in the eastern part of the city that was once under Communist rule but is now home to clubs, bars and a pool replete with beer garden.

There, in halls and sheds situated along railway lines, people dance to reggae, punk rock, dancehall, hardcore, metal, rap, hip-hop and techno in clubs with names like Cassiopeia and Suicide Circus.

"Berlin nightlife is like a big adventure. Every day you can explore something new," said Richard Shawn, a British expatriate living in Berlin.

Nico Brodersen, head bouncer at Bassy Club, said it is the people who count.

"Excessive, wild, free and never-ending - you can forget their names but never their faces," she said of those who like to hit Berlin's clubs in the evening.

There is some concern about how long it can last in a city where rents are rising and demand for space is increasing as the population grows. Several clubs have closed recently and others are expected to follow suit.   Continued...

People attend a rock concert at Bassy Club in Berlin, Germany, August 30, 2016. Music at Bassy Club is defined as "strictly before 1969" - featuring a mix of Blues, Soul, Country, Rock'n'Roll and more. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke