For each person who has been inside Berghain, there are hundreds who wish they could get in—or are simply curious about what sort of debauchery is going down inside. The strict no photo, video or audio policy at the temple of techno makes it nearly impossible to gaze inside the walls without being there yourself, and this sense of mystery has only elevated the club's mythical status. But where there are rules, there are rule-breakers—and a number of rebellious club-goers defiantly take pictures every weekend.
Last month we reviewed every grainy video we could find inside the club, and now, we've dug up an Instagram account called @berghainsticker which skirts around the no-photo policy by posting pictures of the colorful stickers that cover your phone's camera when you enter the club.
These tiny circular stickers are placed on your phone's camera lens by security as soon as you walk through the club's security checkpoint, effectively eliminating your ability to take pictures. You may, however, still use your phone for texts and calls while you rave all weekend long. But if you're ever caught taking a picture, you risk getting ejected and blacklisted from the club for the rest of your sorry life (or at least that's what they tell you).
The trend of posting these sticker-pix with the #berghainfilter doesn't end with this one account. It's nearly a rite of passage for ravers (or maybe just my friends) to post their solid-color photos to Snapchat as proof that they've made it past Sven's tattooed face. A Tumblr page called Berghain Sticker Fun also posts these images, with tongue-in-cheek captions about what one would see if the sticker wasn't there: "Yes, that's a huge picture of a butthole and testicles on the wall. Get over it!" referencing the Wolfgang Tillmans photo which hung in Panorama Bar until recently, or the Euro-ubiquitous "Selfie with totally wasted french tourist."
The #berghainfilter signals a new age of Berghain mythology, where the club has become so hype that even its most ephemeral artifacts, like photos of colors, are fetishized. For the thousands of punters who regularly fly to Berlin from all over the world just for a weekend-long bender at the club, taking a picture with the #berghainfilter might be the only thing they'll have to remember their experience—both a funny, empty memory, and a reminder of the power of the Berlin institution.
Jesse is THUMP's intern. Hit him up with your best #berghainfilter on Twitter