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Music & clubs

New club: Turbulence opens in the former Tegel Airport

Berlin has suffered a series of nightclub closures over the past years, but a new club offers hope. Turbulence is located in the defunct Tegel Airport.

Photo: Johannes Jelinek

Ever since the last scheduled flight took off in November 2020, the future of Tegel Airport (TXL) hung in the balance. Seasoned Berliners may remember TXL for its stark brutalist style, labyrinthine halls and oddly bus station-like atmosphere. Rather than parting with this architectural anomaly for good, Berlin commissioned the state-owned Tegel Projekt GmbH to transform the campus into a stomping ground for sustainable innovation. Urban Tech Republic and the Schumacher Quartier have since moved in, offering room for urban innovation and sustainable living alike. 

One section of the grounds, however, remained unused: the Alte Frachtkantine, TXL’s former canteen. In June of this year, however, a group of cultural foundations aimed to revitalise Berlin’s club scene by finding someone to repurpose the bright orange brutalist structure into a new club. 

Enter Turbulence, a collective of six community-minded creatives. Selected by an independent jury, Turbulence received the go-ahead to transform the old TXL canteen into a cultural venue with inclusivity on the mind. 

Photo: Johannes Jelinek

Accessibility onboard 

At the forefront of Turbulence’s mission is accessible and sustainable partying. In close collaboration with Initiative Barrierefrei Feiern, an organisation committed to barrier-free and affordable events for all, Turbulence aims to curate a welcoming and accessible space where people from all walks of life can gather and celebrate. 

Turbulence’s friendly multilingual website features details on a number of accessibility solutions implemented for their events, from barrier-free entry to accommodations for hearing- or vision-impaired attendees. Need help onsite? Just make your way to the Accessibility Point at the entrance to the canteen, where a dedicated Awareness Team can assist with any accessibility or discrimination concerns. With their pink vests, this team is sure to stand out against the black outfit of the Berlin club scene. 

The club’s inclusivity mission also extends into their choices of artists. The collective promises to only book artists with backgrounds clear of anti-discriminatory behaviours or practices. 

Photo: Johannes Jelinek

In-flight offerings

All pre-flight checks complete, Turbulence is now ready to soar. Boasting 3,747 square metres of outdoor space, the club is equipped to offer live and DJ’d music, visual installations and performance art. Those inclined to relax a little can enjoy ample seating away from the stage. They even have ping pong tables! 

To celebrate the completion of their new space, Turbulence held their inaugural event – aptly named “LIFTOFF” – on September 30. Complete with workshops, performances, libations and an evening rave, this small festival offered an auspicious glimpse into the future of inclusive clubbing in Berlin. Future events are still under construction, but keep an eye on their Instagram page for updates. True to their barrier-free mission, admission to all events is free. The head count is capped at 700, though, so be sure to arrive early! 

  • Turbulence Fractkantine, Flughafen Tegel, Tegel. Further events and information on Instagram

This article has been adapted from the German by Alexandra Ertman.