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Club Quarantäne offers virtual Berlin club nights during lockdown

The website lets clubbers queue up, visit bathrooms, and even get turned away by bouncers, all to raise money for charity.

Are you missing the sticky and cramped dance floors of nightclubs? Craving the heavy bass beats of an underground DJ?

While I can’t promise you’ll be able to do the real thing outside anytime soon, a team of European promoters and creators have banded together to launch ‘Club Quarantäne’, a virtual online experience that recreates the highs and lows of late night clubbing in Berlin. Three live events have been hosted so far that can last up to 40 hours at a time and over 700,000 unique guests have taken part. More are planned for later this year.

All you have to do to attend is visit the ‘Club Quarantäne’ website via your desktop browser whenever a ‘club night’ is scheduled. The site uses a mix of 360-degree-video, live streaming, and interactive selection screens to bring the idea to life, complete with virtual bouncers and security questions you’ll have to answer correctly if you want to be ‘let in’.

There’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed entry, by the way. The first club night on the website saw 40,000 people rejected for getting questions wrong, though you can just refresh your browser and try again if you’re determined enough. Carlo Luis Ruben Schenk is a Berlin club promoter who’s part of the team behind Club Quarantäne, and he explained to Business Insider that there’s no clear way to get the security questions right. ‘It’s random. It’s also a joke about security guys and the night hosts in clubs. Sometimes it really feels random why you aren’t chosen to get in’.

While other online club nights have been floating about during lockdown, most have involved a simple Zoom stream of a DJ at home with a live chat. Club Quarantäne cranks things up a notch, with fully realised 3D spaces that you can roam around in and interactive visuals that will shift and alter depending on what you do. Virtual ‘bathrooms’ also serve as smaller chat rooms where users can alter their profiles and exchange Zoom links for external virtual parties with one another.

Club Quarantäne is completely free, but a virtual ‘bar’ area allows you to make donations if you so wish. Over €14,000 has been raised for charities such as Seawatch, which helps rescue refugees in the Mediterranean, and the team are eager to continue hosting virtual events for Pride dates in the future.

Schenk said they didn’t want to ‘just fill the gap until Covid is over’. Club Quarantäne aims to be ‘a new way of performing music on the internet’ and could be become permanent moving forward. Thanks to relatively recent innovations such as 360-degree-video and group live streams, these types of events that recreate real world experiences are becoming easier to produce, and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see more companies doing similar things with virtual live music. The industry has seen huge financial losses due to lockdown and any way to potentially bring in extra revenue will no doubt be jumped upon.

Plus you’re less likely to make a drunken fool of yourself and crash into other people via a virtual experience. Not that I’m speaking from experience, of course.