Elon Musk has been on a tour of Berlin’s sex clubs, but Twitter’s largest shareholder may wish he had an edit button for a recent night out. Musk tweeted that he “refused to enter” the highly exclusive, sexually permissive techno nightclub Berghain, but according to reports in Vice, The Sun, and users on Reddit, he may have actually been denied entry.
Musk has been in Germany to open the new Gigafactory, Europe’s first Tesla manufacturing facility. On Friday, he hit up the fetish and sex club KitKat, which uses as its motto, “Do what you want but stay in communication,” and which boasts a strict dress code that calls for either leather, latex, lingerie, fancy dress, swimming gear, superhero outfits, or nudity. It’s unclear which of those Musk chose; thankfully, pictures aren’t allowed.
He followed that on Saturday with a stop at the warehouse club Sisyphos, where he was spotted in a Zoro mask and afterwards headed for Berghain. Berghain is perhaps the world’s most well-known techno club, described by Rolling Stone as “infamous for its sex parties,” and boasting a couple of darkrooms, several closable cubbies, and unisex bathroom stalls big enough to host a party of six, which are cleaned with industrial-strength products “not used outside of the meatpacking industry.”
Musk and witnesses all agree that he arrived at Berghain Saturday evening. What happened next has been disputed. “They wrote PEACE on the wall at Berghain! I refused enter,” Musk wrote on Twitter. He also quoted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (“Peace? I hate the word,”) and added, “Those who do care about peace (myself aspirationally included) don’t need to hear it. And those who don’t care about peace? Well …”
This explanation is perplexing, to say the least. According to Musk himself, he does “care about peace,” and furthermore, who is offended by “peace” when you’re trying to get a piece? Besides, he was standing outside the world’s techno Mecca, and we know he loves techno, having even released the EDM song “Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe.”
He may have balked at the long line — waits of two hours or more are common — but he may instead have been one of the many, many people who are routinely turned away from the exclusive club.
It’s famously hard to pass Berghain’s vibe check, to the point where getting past the door has inspired YouTube videos, a WikiHow, and a card game, Bergnein, that casts you as a bouncer saying ‘nein’ to most people trying to get in. In fact, Berghain’s primary bouncer Sven Marquardt is almost as famous as the club itself, having done interviews with GQ, Playful magazine, and Artnet.
One alleged witness told Vice that Marquardt himself turned Musk away due to his “arrogance.” He said, “Arrogance and ignorance are both attributes real Berliners can’t stand, including Sven.”
It’s hard to verify this story, and it’s possible that Musk was so offended by the word “Peace” that he decided to move on. But on the other hand, maybe this witness is telling the truth; maybe the time has come for Musk to doubt his vibe.
It’s not as if his energy has been beyond reproach recently, from sharing a transphobic meme to comparing Justin Trudeau to Hitler and news that 15 of the 23 monkeys in his Neuralink trial died. At least he’ll always have Twitter — and a Twitter that is more reflective of his interests, now that he’s joining the board.
Peace. Peace? I hate the word. Those who do care about peace (myself aspirationally included) don’t need to hear it. And those who don’t care about peace? Well …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2022