Watergate Club Berlin

20 Years Anniversary

Berlin club institution Watergate celebrates its 20 Years Anniversary with a birthday compilation on Watergate Records in November, Watergate X Irie Daily fashion drop in October and festival showcases in Berlin and internationally.

The Berlin club Watergate is celebrating its 20th birthday until December this year. With Laurent Garnier (5.08) and Charlotte De Witte (12.08) having already paid their tribute to the unique location and its crowd by the river Spree, numerous other high-profile bookings like ANNA (30.09.), Recondite (01.10.), Richie Hawtin (7.10), Maceo Plex (14.10), Acid Pauli (21.10) Solomun (30.10), Kölsch (18.11), Kollektiv Turmstrasse (25.11), Anja Schneider (26.11.) and Pan-Pot (dec) are lined up, letting the international history of electronic dance music shine bright and colourful. Meanwhile, the club’s resident DJs are touring both nationally and internationally under the banner Watergate 20 Years (#W20) – in clubs and at festivals, for example at Tomorrowland, the Exit Festival or at ADE (19-23 October). In November, the “Watergate 20 Years” compilation will be released as triple gatefold vinyl & digital on the in-house label – with 21 exclusive tracks.

Also in October, the fashion drop Watergate X Irie Daily will match the club’s culture – with an old-school club tracksuit, hoodies, T-shirts and other accessories. Items are available online via Irie Daily and Watergate channels or in Irie Daily flag ship stores and in the club.

Founded by Steffen “Stoffel” Hack, Ulrich Wombacher and Niklas Eichstädt, the club opened on 26 October 2002. What began as an open-ended experiment at the Oberbaumbrücke – one of the most striking urban symbols of the former border between West and East – quickly developed into a place for all who celebrate beats of any colour and the associated inclusive (music) culture as an integral part of a better future. Today, the club is a world-renowned and recognised institution.  Berlin music culture has always been more than house and techno. The founders of the Watergate had already internalised this fact long before the club opened. From the post-punk and industrial of the early 1980s, to the cultural change brought about by hip hop, which reverberated far beyond the music, to early acid, ubiquitous soul and the imported and always immediately adapted imprints of global sound cultures like reggae or drum and bass. Berlin always had – still has – an open ear. “We completely rebuilt the building,” operator and co-founder Ulrich Wombacher recalls the six-month renovation. One building, two floors, two floors. “From the beginning, we felt the magic that this place right by the river unfolds – especially in the morning hours.” And with the rave tourism of the noughties and the increasing displacement of clubs from Berlin-Mitte, the Watergate in Kreuzberg developed into both an internationally known hotspot and a safe space for ravers from Berlin. Today’s musical direction came about as if by magic.

Our club cannot be reproduced digitally. It is a place that brings people together. A place of warmth and closeness. A kind of cocoon, protected by the night and early mornings. It doesn‘t work virtually, says Ulrich Wombacher. 20 years of Watergate. 20 years of constancy in Berlin club culture, nobody can take that away from us, that’s what we want to celebrate.

You may also like

Road to Neopop 2022

Art&Culture | Spotlight
Pure wonderland for techno lovers: Portugal's favourite electronic music festival Neopop is returning to celebrate their 15th anniversary from 10 to 14 August in the gorgeous seaside town Viano Do Castello near Porto.

Saints and sinners / WGT 2019

Art&Culture | Spotlight
A diary from the World's biggest dark festival, Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2019, Leipzig, Germany.

Soundscapes vol.38 / Xiu Xiu

Art&Culture | Soundscapes
Between the breaths: a curated selection by Xiu Xiu, the American experimental band, formed in 2002 by singer-songwriter Jamie Stewart in California.