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Berghain’s bouncer reveals its notorious door policy secrets in new memoir

As legendary Berlin techno institution (and temple of inhibition-free decadence) Berghain celebrates its tenth anniversary with an art exhibition featuring – amongst other attractions – an aquarium filled with male urine, its most infamous (and heavily tattooed) face has revealed some of the secrets behind its notoriously unpredictable door policy.

Sven Marquardt has long ruled the queue at Berghain, enforcing a strict door code that’s prompted numerous guides for how to dress and act, and even a ‘How to get into Berghain’ app. But at the launch party last week for his memoir of life as a Berlin bouncer Die Nacht ist Leben (The Night is Life), as The Guardian reports, Marquardt revealed that it’s all about getting the “right mix”.

“I don’t mind letting in the odd lawyer in a double-breasted suit with his Gucci-Prada wife. If they make a good impression, let them in,” Marquardt said. “We 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… Don’t be afraid. People who are afraid usually aren’t very good at partying.”

Meanwhile, the techno-temple’s retrospective art exhibition 10 will be open to all-comers, so if you’re lucky enough to be in Berlin before August 31 you can check it out in the hallowed Halle, behind the main dancefloor (more info at the Berghain website).

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