On Monday, Berghain found itself embroiled in controversy surrounding an after party at Soho House for a Bottega Veneta fashion show hosted at the Berlin techno institution. Only the latter venue, however, is currently the subject of a police investigation to determine whether its gathering violated emergency COVID-19 guidances.
According to a spokesperson, the Berlin police force had received a call at 2:45 AM on Saturday complaining of noise coming from Soho House. Video shared by Burna Boy on Instagram (that he has since deleted) showed him apparently performing to a crowd without wearing a mask, and additional footage showed maskless patrons dancing in close quarters.
“We are currently viewing footage of the event with view to possible preliminary proceedings for a breach of measures against the coronavirus,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.
Soho House is a British company that boasts 31 members-only clubs in 10 countries. A spokesperson on behalf of brand said they were internally investigating a spontaneous party at the Berlin branch, but many have said that the gathering appeared to have been planned. “They had already a huge sound system installed before the party, and rumors were going around the house that Skepta was going to perform,” an employee told The Guardian.
Although Berghain’s policies forbid attendees of the fashion show from posting images or video on social media, photos taken outside the venue suggest that Honey Dijon, rappers Skepta and Slowthai, ballet dancer Roberto Bolle, and designer Stefano Pilati were among the guests.
There is no evidence that the fashion show organizers flouted COVID-19 prevention measures – but that hasn’t spared the club from social media scrutiny for holding such a gathering amid Germany’s surge in cases and deaths. “They think the virus will not get through the door politics from Berghain,” wrote influencer Loona Hamilton. “This is so fucking immoral, we are in a MF lockdown here in Berlin.”
At the time of writing, inhabitants of Berlin must abide by a strict 9:00 PM-5:00 AM curfew. Visitors from designated risk areas including the U.K. and U.S. must quarantine for at least five days upon entering the city.