Rating of Ipse Club: 8/10. A very alternative and interesting venue. Great, eccentric outdoor space. Extra points for the random garden and hut with laundry hanging outside. Minus points for creating a suffocating steam room in the main dance floor.
My journey of techno tourism continued over the European labor day weekend (April 30th). Boys Noize has been at the top of my favorite artist list since I saw him at Ultra Music Festival Miami in March of 2013, so when he announced that he’s celebrating the 10-year founding of his record label, Boys Noize Records, at Ipse club in Berlin, I bought tickets with a Catalan friend of mine to go.
Doing research, I saw that Ipse is right on the riverfront, and that there are a lot of clubs in Berlin along the river, with open air events in the spring and summer. That’s awesome! I also saw that Ipse club is a new club, only opened recently so there weren’t any reviews of the venue, and very few photos of it online. Well, just the fact that it’s by the river, has an open garden and dj booth, and Boys Noize and his crew is spinning is enough reason to expect a good night!
We got tickets for 15 euros on Resident Advisor and pre-drank some very cheap drinks on Simon-Dach-Strabe street (I think. It’s a nice street with a bunch of cocktail bars) in a bar run by Indians/Pakistanis. Not sure what their heritage is, but they look different from the Pakistanis in Barcelona. We walked over to Ipse around 1am. There was no line! It was probably the only time the whole weekend that we didn’t line up for something.
I would describe the venue as a mix of eclectic, alternative, and grungy, which makes an interesting combination for a rave. There was an outdoors stage that had minimal techno. Due to the weather (it was drizzling) there was probably no more than 20 people at the stage, but I can see it being a great place to party once the weather is better.
We left our coats in coat check (2 euros) and went into the inside room, and was hit by probably one of the largest concentration of heat/smoke/smog/sweat/evaporated liquor I’ve encountered in my life. There was zero ventilation in the room, and 10% visibility. We went on the second floor balcony to see if will give us a breather, but no, it was even worse, as the air was scorching hot (hot air rises). Also, the DJ booth was on level with the dance floor, so basically no one could see the DJ except for people in the first row. I guess this makes it all about the music!!
We got a drink at this point, two gin and tonics and 2 jagers (a must in Germany). The bartender told us that the gin and tonics are 10 euros total, and we should just tip her for the jager shots and the free shots she poured us, which we happily obliged! The bartender earned herself two loyal customers for the night.
We danced to Boys Noize and his crew’s edgy techno beats. We didn’t really interact with the crowd, but the crowd seems unpretentious and focused on having a good time. Time flew by and before we knew it it was dawn.
We stumbled to the outdoor stage and found a secret garden at the back of the club, complete with a hut and laundry hanging outside, right next to the riverbank. Sooo random…Does the bouncer live there?! I have to say I’ve never seen such an eccentric club! Someone closed the door to the garden after we went in, and it was locked, so we spent a good 5 minutes banging on the door before we were let back in. We thought we were going to have to sleep in the hut!
Now that it’s day time, I was able to better access my surroundings, which consisted of a bunch of strange furniture (a couple of chairs, none of which looked like the other), a chair for one person on a platform, and a gigantic ear. Everything about this night was synonymous how people have been describing Berlin to me: “alternative”!
Looking to go to more parties in Berlin? Check out my guide to Get Into Berghain. Also, read about what it was like to attend a German dance music festival, Airbeat One. Germans are so cool and fun! <3
With all the partying, don’t forget to eat. Here are my top picks for Asian food in Berlin.