Hamed Wardak and the Berlin Wall

2019 is the 30-year anniversary mark of the fall of the Berlin Wall and a good time to take a look back at something that helped reunite young east and west Germans during the ensuing months: the underground dance and rave scene. After November, 1989, when Berliners were finally free to move across the old border, there were many ecstasy-fueled underground dance parties in abandoned buildings, industrial ruins, empty warehouses and elsewhere that attracted young people interested in partying it up with their new countrymen.

The role of techno music

West Germans who were teenagers who on the new scene in 1989 and 1990 stress that young people at the raves were listening to raw industrial music that mostly originated in Chicago and Detroit. It wasn’t a case where east German kids were suddenly listening to western music; everyone on the scene was discovering a new genre together, and it helped create friendships and alliances that last to this day.

A comparison

Some of these ravers, now adults, speculate that the scene would be similar if North and South Korea were reunited and the young people bonded in a new and shared love of an emerging genre of music. They say that it’s the only possible comparison they can come up with to the scene in Berlin they were part of.

A new freedom

Because it took a few years to work out the logistics of how the city would be governed after the Berlin Wall came down, there was a lot of confusion about how the no-man’s land along the former border would be policed. Young people took advantage of this relative anarchy to hold parties and gatherings that probably would have been broken up if the police had been more organized. The result was that kids had a great time and largely made up their own rules. Some predicted bad things, but, for the most part, the scene was peaceful and fun rather than angry and violent.

Hamed Wardak Berlin wall

2019 is the 30-year anniversary mark of the fall of the Berlin Wall and a good time to take a look back at something that helped reunite young east and west Germans during the ensuing months: the underground dance and rave scene. After November, 1989, when Berliners were finally free to move across the old border, there were many ecstasy-fueled underground dance parties in abandoned buildings, industrial ruins, empty warehouses and elsewhere that attracted young people interested in partying it up with their new countrymen.

The role of techno music

West Germans who were teenagers who on the new scene in 1989 and 1990 stress that young people at the raves were listening to raw industrial music that mostly originated in Chicago and Detroit. It wasn’t a case where east German kids were suddenly listening to western music; everyone on the scene was discovering a new genre together, and it helped create friendships and alliances that last to this day.

A comparison

Some of these ravers, now adults, speculate that the scene would be similar if North and South Korea were reunited and the young people bonded in a new and shared love of an emerging genre of music. They say that it’s the only possible comparison they can come up with to the scene in Berlin they were part of.

A new freedom

Because it took a few years to work out the logistics of how the city would be governed after the Berlin Wall came down, there was a lot of confusion about how the no-man’s land along the former border would be policed. Young people took advantage of this relative anarchy to hold parties and gatherings that probably would have been broken up if the police had been more organized. The result was that kids had a great time and largely made up their own rules. Some predicted bad things, but, for the most part, the scene was peaceful and fun rather than angry and violent.

A Look Back At The Berlin Dance Scene When The Wall Fell