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SINISTRY OF SOUND

Sex rooms, bondage dancers and 60 hour drug raves… a rare look inside the world’s most exclusive club

Florence Welch and Jake Gyllenhaal are amongst the A Listers who have been turned away by the daunting bouncers at Berghain in Berlin

COVERED in face tattoos and piercings, the German stares me down, running a finger across his skull-shaped rings as he decides my fate.

My heart is racing and a tiny voice inside me is screaming, ?쏱lease, please!??/p>

Berghain in Berlin
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Berghain in Berlin boasts sex rooms, bondage dancers and 60 hour drug raves
Lady Gaga in Berghain
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Lady Gaga partying at the club in 2013… wearing just her bra, knickers and a moustache

Then it comes, a slow nod of the head from the man in black.

My ordeal is over. I try hard to control my trembling body as I slowly walk forward inside, to safety.

Welcome to Berghain, ?쐔he world?셲 best club????where getting past legendary doorman Sven Marquardt is to survive an ordeal that has been known to make grown clubbers weep.

Housed in a former East Berlin power station, it is as famous for its door policy as for its sex and drug binges at parties that run from Friday night to Monday afternoon.

There are even special ?쐂ark rooms??downstairs where couples have very explicit sex ??to a soundtrack of bullet-hard techno beats.

Meanwhile upstairs on the main dancefloor, male and female performers ??naked apart from the odd slice of bondage leather ??dangle in cages attached to the ceiling or gyrate on podiums.

A man covered in paint dances in the infamous German club
WENN
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A man covered in paint dances in the infamous German club
Huge queue outside of Berghain
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The huge two-hour long queue outside of the Berlin club
The infamous doormen at Berghain Club
Oliver Dixon
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The infamous doormen at Berghain Club

 

On the top floor is the Panorama bar with its X-rated sculptures.

Florence Welch and Jake Gyllenhaal are just two of a long list of stars said to have been denied access and the chance to boggle at it all.

But those that make it in speak of an almost religious experience.

Homeland actress Claire Danes, 37, has described as ?쐔he best place on Earth??

And Lady Gaga chose the venue to launch her last album, arriving for the night in little more than a bra and knickers???????뎎nd a moustache.

The club?셲 enigmatic entry rules are the subject of endless debate among Berliners and tourists alike.

Legendary doorman Sven Marquardt
Alamy
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Legendary doorman Sven Marquardt
Sun writer Jacob Lewis failed to get into the club on his first attempt
Oliver Dixon
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Sun writer Jacob Lewis failed to get into the club on his first attempt
Jacob's new, all-black Berghain look
Oliver Dixon
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Jacob’s new, all-black Berghain look

Internet forums buzz with rumours about how to win the right to pay your 16 euro entry fee. Turning up in big groups, talking in line and wearing anything but black are all reported to see you waved away.

There is even a website called Berghain Trainer that uses your camera and microphone to analyse your body language and voice as you try and get past a virtual doorman.

The 1,500-capacity club opened in 2004 in a deserted part of town and has since become an institution.
This month it was even awarded the same cultural tax status as the city?셲 theatres and museums.

I arrived at 12:30am on a Friday night and had barely opened the cab door out the front before I was offered drugs by one of half a dozen busy dealers.

The queue is mostly full of stony-faced, black-clad hipsters, despite Sven insisting there is no dress code or even favoured ?쐔ype??

The bearded icon, 54, who recently designed a T-shirt range for Hugo Boss, said: ?쏧 don?셳 mind letting in the odd lawyer in a double-breasted suit with his Gucci-Prada wife.

?쏧f they make a good impression, let them in.

?쏻e also take guys in masks and kilts, or Pamela Anderson blondes in run-of-the-mill high-street outfits who tag along with bearded blokes, licking the sweat off each others??armpits. That, for me, is Berghain.??/p>

Tom Gallagher, a 25-year-old expat from Dublin has seen for himself just how liberal the dress code can be.

Clubbers queue for hours outside of the Berghain nightclub on a Sunday afternoon
Alamy
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Clubbers queue for hours outside of the Berghain nightclub on a Sunday afternoon
The outside of the club
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The outside of the club

He recalled: ?쏧 was there at 6am having just been rejected when I saw a bloke wearing nothing but a huge elaborate wedding turban and high heels step out of a cab.

?쏷he bouncers didn?셳 bat an eyelid and he strolled right in.??/p>

I only managed to get in on my second attempt. For my first try I had worn black jeans, black boots and a buttoned denim shirt.

The queue of stern, silent hopefuls moved slowly, with as many being sent packing as made it inside.

I watched as all but two friends from an eight person group of stunning girls were rejected.

The lucky two didn?셳 so much glance back at their former friends as they entered.

Five others were swiftly sent packing with German efficiency and then it was my turn.

Sven sat in the doorway behind a lackey who dished out his judgements, swiping us left or right like we were faces on a Tinder app.

The gatekeeper stared into my soul for ten seconds. I stared back. Then just as the underling seemed to be about to wave me in, I heard a barely audible mutter: ?쏯ein.??/p>

Like some satanic Simon Cowell, Sven had decided. His minion spoke: ?쏧?셫 sorry. You can?셳 come in.??/p>

Florence Welch
Getty Images
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Florence Welch was reportedly turned away from the exclusive club

 

Jake Gyllenhaal
Getty Images
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VI-please… A Lister Jake Gyllenhaal also failed to make the cut

Judged uncool, I walked back up the path face turning red with shame, past the waiting crowds to the hotdog stand that makes a killing selling beer to rejects. Stall-owner Alex P, 38, gave me some tips for next time.

He said: ?쏽ou should look like you can party. If you have a good vibe and don?셳 look like a f***ed-up English tourist then it?셲 easy. No buttoned shirts for example.??/p>

Alex also assured me not everyone takes the rejection as well as I had.

He said: ?쏧 met an Italian girl, she tried to get in 13 times and never got in. She would change her style every single time.

?쏶he was crying like a baby.??/p>

Paris student Antoine Rousseau, 24, had also been turned down, despite leaving his favourite flowery shirts at home and dressing all in black.

He fumed: ?쏧 spent a lot of money to wear this f***ing shit. I think it?셲 ridiculous. I bet the doorman can?셳 even get in.??/p>

On the way home my cabbie Paul Yeats, a 64-year-old expat from Canterbury, Kent told me: ?쏶ome people take it really badly.

?쏛ll these old resentments against the German come out. There was an Israeli guy who took it really badly and said that they?셱e anti-Semitic. He even said to me that we should call the police. They?셱e not racist though.??/p>

My rejection just made me more determined than ever to get in. The next day I went shopping in Zara for black clothes and met three other wannabes doing the same.

Digby Burges, 30, a master?셲 student from Australia now living in Berlin, admitted: ?쏧?셫 trying to find some dodgy black shoes. They?셱e really ugly but that?셲 what Berghain wants.??/p>

I bought a jacket similar to what I had seen Sven wearing, as well as a black felt cap, some suspect ?쐄ashion??specs and a black T-shirt.

And this time when I rocked up to the door I had a tactic.


Ignoring the two hour-long queue stretching down the road, I set my face to stern mode and strolled right to the front, slotting in arrogantly in front of a group of friends.

My gamble paid off ??people were too worried about seeming uncool in front of the bouncers to call me out.

A few minutes later I was in front of Sven again. This time I made sure to tap my feet to the sound of techno beats and look impatient.

Then came the stare, the fingering of his skull rings. And moments later I was inside. Victory!

Photography is strictly barred and once in the club, both my iPhone?셲 cameras were covered with stickers. Privacy is the key to Berghain?셲 success. And it is not hard to see why.

Within minutes of arriving I find myself in the ?쐂ark rooms??where naked bodies romp in the shadows.

Mirrors and reflective surfaces are also banned the club. This is presumably to save party-goers from the sobering horror of catching their reflection halfway through a 36-hour drink, drug and sex marathon.

Some clubbers have been known to spend 60 hours straight here, despite beats so hard that I feel like my ears are going to bleed, even though I?셫 no dance music novice.

Len Faki, resident DJ at the club since it opened, said: ?쏻hat I value the most is the freedom and diversity it offers.

The ground floor of the club is made up of sex rooms
Alamy
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The ground floor of the club is made up of sex rooms

?쏧t?셲 an open minded space that gives everyone the chance to be themselves, to express themselves without judgement.??/p>

Alan Smith, a 33-year-old musician and British expat, said: ?쁈 think it?셲 really good that?셲 there?셲 a place where people can do whatever they want to do and not be judged.

?쏧t?셲 very free. What I love about it is that there?셲 a real sense of freedom and sexual emancipation.
?쏷hese people are not wanting your approval, they?셱e just there to do whatever the f*** they want and have a good time.??/p>

As I left the party, I saw the fresh-faced shoppers I?셝 met in Zara excitedly waiting in line in their new kit.

They called me later to let me know they never made it past Sven.

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