The YAAM Club has long been a lasting institution in Berlin. People of all kinds and colors have been lolling in the sun, listening to chill vibes from Reggae to Rap. YAAM provided a community for all those who had roots outside of Europe, regardless of their origin.
But due to the Mediaspree plans of the city, YAAM finally had to move out of their premises at the Eastside Gallery- after 20 years of moving from one place to the next (the YAAM used to be in the Cuvrystraße-Brache). But instead of being dismissed and forgotten, the YAAM has gone to bigger and better places: the old Maria at Schillingbrücke, which was turned into the club Magdalena in 2012, is now the new YAAM.
This was the result of a big protest against the YAAM closing, in which the Senate decided not to sell the property of the Maria/Magdalena to the highest bidder and instead give the premises (after renovations) to YAAM, acknowledging the importance of this unique cultural hotspot. Unfortunately, it also meant that Magdalena had to leave the premises to make room for the heavy-weight.
It’s a compromise that works well for the YAAM, as the people responsible have been putting a lot of sweat and blood and tears into polishing up the new location. Not only have they re-vamped their logo into a more contemporary (and honestly a little less tacky) symbol. The club itself is a lot larger than the old one and the program for the next weeks look damn sexy and a lot more flexible and holistic than before. From Reggae to Pop, from Dancehall to Rap, Hip Hop, Bass & every other genre you won’t find in your typical Deep House vs. Techno club (no offense though).
We’ve entered the premises while it was still a construction site to get you hyped up for the opening week of the YAAM (starting next Wednesday), and to capture the eery and singular moment in which one institution is transformed into another, merging the past and the future of Berlin in a very exceptional way and building a precedence for the future of clubs. Because although the “Clubsterben” and the death of “cool Berlin” have been proclaimed eagerly, it seems, quite the opposite, as if new opportunities are being born everyday.
Only the formalities are changing, forcing the people behind the institutions to become more professional and sustainably thinking. Everybody, the Senate and the people, can profit from this approach, as long as Berlins heritage isn’t lost in the commercialization process. Where before, it was sufficient to start a club or party series and only planning one week ahead, the structure of the city has changed today. While it’s still got the space for new and spontaneous things, the requirements to successfully use the spaces have increased. What started from Bar25 turned into Holzmarkt, and look at Else, Ipse, the newly opened Kiki Blofeld and all those other Open Air locations that seem to unite the concept of the parties with the economic (and literal) stability needed.