WHAT: The “Berghain Trainer,” new web app allowing people simulate trying their luck at getting into one of the world’s most secretive nightclubs.
WHO: Fabian Burghardt, Vinzenz Aubry
WHY WE CARE: The Berghain (pronounced Berghine) nightclub in Berlin is located in an enormous former East German power plant, and known for being the heart of the Berlin techno scene, its opening hours (turn up no earlier than 3 a.m. and expect to be there until at least noon), and general atmosphere of debauchery and sex-fueled hedonism. Cameras are verboten.
It is also notoriously hard to get into, with a brutal and opaque door policy that routinely sees hundreds of hopefuls, who often queue for hours, turned away for no apparent reason. The door is run by Sven Marquardt, who himself has become something of a cult figure. He says the door policy is “subjective” but nevertheless there are literally thousands of online guides and articles on how to improve your chances. It is unlikely they will help.
This new (Chrome) web app, “Berghain Trainer” takes things one step further by simulating the experience, inviting people to practice getting in. Using facial recognition technology, the system assesses the user’s emotions as a doorman (not the real Sven) asks three questions, and speech analysis software evaluates the answers. A verdict is swiftly delivered.
Its creators, digital designer Fabian Burghardt and Vinzenz Aubry, a visual communications student, both from Berlin, appear not to have sought permissions from the club, which has reportedly asked for its logo to be removed from the app, in keeping with its “total silence” social media policy.