From Industrial Wasteland to Tricked Out Pool Party: Bath & Beats Berlin

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As things heat up in Berlin this summer, we’ve been searching for cool ways to cool down. We hit the jackpot with Bath & Beats, a roving pool party that brings together DJs, artists and diehard partygoers.

We’d been hearing rumours all summer: A new, underground party was coming to town. It sounded too good to be true. It would be a pool party. DJs would play sets from midday Friday until breakfast on Saturday. There would be everything from massages to water guns to a guy in a gorilla suit. Turns out, it was all true. (Well, except for the gorilla suit.)

Bath & Beats held their inaugural party on 20 July at the Badeschiff. For the uninitiated, the Badeschiff, which translates roughly to “the bathing ship,” is a giant swimming pool that floats in the River Spree, surrounded by decking and palm trees.

It’s an awesome spot, but it’s not easy to find. It’s hidden behind a row of defunct-looking warehouses on the edge of Berlin’s Treptow region. To get there you have to pick your way across swathes of industrial dead space, coated in vibrant, colourful street art. (And you know we love Berlin’s graffiti scene.)

Your reward for this trek: a beach bar complete with beach shacks and those masseuses we’d heard so much about. Once there we were immediately drawn into the intimate vibe of the event.

We showed up at sunset, and the DJs were just cranking things up to 11. Our favourite: Berliners Frida & Gurte who meld techno and trance into the perfect pool-party soundtrack. We kept chatting with strangers (destined to become our newest teammates before the evening’s end), wondering how they heard about it. Just like us, it was through word-of-mouth and Facebook.

As the beats got more twisted, so did the party. Out came the bubble guns and water pistols. And, if that didn’t cool you down enough, the pool was lit from below and perfect for an evening swim. After dark, VJs began projecting huge street-art style visuals onto the side of the building. Sand between our toes, bier running though our veins and music pumping through our bones, we had one thought: This is the party of the summer.

The next Bath & Beats is yet to be scheduled, but keep your ear to the ground. Marcel, the organiser, explains that the idea is that it’ll be held in different locations throughout summer, “in places where people don’t expect to be able to swim!”

Photo courtesy of Louise Brailey.