Birgit has been a staple of Berlin nightlife for years, situated in the heart of the centre of Kreuzberg's party scene on the Lohmühlinsel. It is around the corner from the likes of Club der Visionäre, IPSE and next door to the newly opened ÆDEN.
Like everywhere else, the pandemic has forced the venue to change its setup somewhat. Sandwiched between the rickety wooden buildings and shaded under a giant blue tarpaulin-cum-circus tent, the refitted open air dance floor is nicely intimate. There’s room for a crowd just about large enough to lose yourself in. The walls are high enough to give a sense of isolation from the outside world. And the giant speaker hanging over the DJ booth adds to the atmosphere somewhat too.
First on the decks on Friday were Dachgeschoss and Schmitzkatzki. Opening parties is never easy. There’s always the risk of getting a pretty quiet crowd and lots of awkward dancing, no matter what the music is like. But this duo managed the mood well, offering up some chunky bass and wall-of-sound style layered synths, along with more laid-back cutaways to keep things relatively mellow. A particular highlight was ‘Close Your Eyes’ from Shadym and Tximeleta.
Things ramped up a few notches in the runup to the changeover and the space filled up nicely (within the limits allowed by the hygiene concept in place, of course). With A.D.H.S taking over the decks, however, there was an almost palpable change in the air.
From the first to the last in his two-and-a-half-hour set, A.D.H.S. played nothing but high-energy, whoop-inducing tracks back to back. And throughout all of it, Groß was dancing as hard as anyone, as you can see in his Insta post below.
A sweet combo of Weska – ‘This Time Around’ and Dimi Mechero’s ‘Feel the Impact’ gives you a decent idea of the style that A.D.H.S. stuck with for much of the set. It was full of the kind of ripple-distorted synth and full bass that you might expect from a Victor Ruiz or Joyhauser set.
The last half hour of the evening was set up beautifully with ‘Dance Escape’ from Julian Jeweil & Popof. A little injection of acid and midnight-dark tonality synchronised with the storm that set in for the night. This was followed by the resounding beats of ‘Comet’ by Thomas Hoffknecht. In this section, as throughout each set we’ve seen by A.D.H.S., there was a beautiful mix of styles, creating the ideal backdrop for one hell of a dance.
There’s a word in German, that we should really adopt into English: feiern. It means both to party and to celebrate. It’s a word that sums up why these events exist in the first place, but it also perfectly describes the atmosphere of the open-airs in Berlin right now. People aren’t just out to dance and party. They are also there to celebrate the fact that they are able to.
As the music faded on the dot of 10pm – in line with the curfew and noise rules in place – we had to take a minute to catch our breaths. It was one of those perfect end of party moments when you look around and realise that every single person around is as elated, exhausted and grateful as you are.
Birgit opens its doors again this weekend for Birgits Weekender 5, featuring TiM TASTE, Jake the Rapper, Weska and Shlomsen across three parties from Friday to Sunday. Tickets are available on RA.