Berlin Club Culture & the Exclusive Berghain Nightclub

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Berlin is a hot destination for partygoers – it’s the unofficial nightlife capital of the world. But it too frequently ends in tragedy, such as when a young American woman died of an overdose at Berghain. It is Berlin’s most iconic club, allowing countless people, both local and foreign, into its doors.

This documentary delves into the current drug culture in Berlin, with a particular focus on the recreational use of ecstasy/MDMA at Berghain. It examines the ease with which these drugs are obtained and explores the effects that clubbing and drug use can have on both individuals and the community.

Published in 2022

Viewing Time: 42 minutes


“MDMA is the third-most consumed drug among 15-34 year-olds in Germany. 10 years ago, ecstasy tablets looked completely different than they do today. They are now made to target specific demographics.”

“Just like in the 80s, ecstasy is the drug most commonly taken in techno clubs. Today, the effect sets in after about 20-30 minutes. There is an initial feeling of warmth, waves of euphoria, comfort, and safety. All sensory experiences are intensified with ecstasy. This feeling continues to build until the peak is reached after about 45 minutes.”

“The composition of ecstasy is not always the same. Often they contain other psychoactive substances besides MDMA. In Europe, it is primarily produced in the Netherlands or Belgium. It costs between 15-20 cents to produce one ecstasy tablet and a user can expect to pay around 5 to 10 euros per tablet on the black market.”

Berghain nightclub in Berlin where many use ecstasy to participate in the club culture.

“The dealer will promise you the world saying: ‘It’s great stuff, they’re the best pills, they’re incredible and completely harmless.’ And of course you believe it because you want to get high.”

Berghain – a labyrinth of concrete pillars and dark passageways. On a typical night, around 1500 people come to the techno club. The entrance and coat check are on the ground floor. Climbing a big steel staircase, the visitors reach the dance floor on the second floor. On the top floor is another dance floor, the panorama bar. In the basement, is the laboratory fetish club, catering to a predominantly gay clientele.”

“The increasing drug consumption in this city is without a doubt fueled by its intense and abundant nightlife, but this is not to suggest that drugs are exclusively being consumed by partygoers. There is most certainty a segment which is exploiting the situation to acquire drugs with relative ease.”

“Honestly, it’s pretty amazing to me that all of this is even possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s illegal, whether the state agrees or not makes no difference at all. I can call this number and then in 20 minutes to half hour a taxi will show up here and deliver as much cocaine as we want to buy. Most of these groups are accessible to anybody, including to minors, and it’s almost impossible for police to take down these drug networks.”

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Berlin Club Culture & Berghain

Ecstasy / MDMA

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