GRETCHEN's program as a (live) club reflects the complexity of current musical trends. We curate our program according to the so-called cutting-edge principle, where - of our understanding - the core feature is novelty through musical openness, which constantly expands in the dialogue of different musical styles and is characterized by tolerance, improvisation and the pursuit of innovation. In short: We are looking for niches, new and innovative sounds, exciting artists, but also heroes from a wide range of genres, mainly outside of 4/4 time.
Our styles are ranging from electronica, bass, drum'n'bass, dubstep, trap over IDM, electro, glitch, experimental, avant-garde to hip hop, funk, soul, folk, afrobeats, jazz and world, derive from one another or mix with one another.
GRETCHEN is multifaceted and stands for quality and experimentation.
GRETCHEN is electronic to unplugged, presents DJ sets and live concerts. Musical quality of genre and artist is crucial, not limited imagination, narrow-mindedness or boredom.
GRETCHEN loves to offer a stage to young and/or (still) unknown artists. Artistic quality and originality are in the foreground, not commercial success.
GRETCHEN represents Berlin, gives national and international artists, their labels, but also newcomers a platform. We support FLINTA*, LGBTIQ*, POC and other socially marginalized groups and their communities.
For our ambitious and lovingly curated program we have won the "APPLAUS" award five times (2015, 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2023). With this program award, the Minister of State for Culture honors concert programs from independent music clubs as well as series of events from all areas of popular music and jazz. In 2023 we received the main prize in the category “Best Live Music Program”.In 2020, 2021 and 2022 we were honoured from the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe for our cultural program as part of the "Tag der Clubkultur".
GRETCHEN is located in the middle of Kreuzberg on the 'Dragonerareal'. It is housed in a heritage building from 1854: the former stables of the Prussion 1st Guards Dragoon Regiment of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. Inconspicuous from the outside, historical charm surprises inside with cross vaults and filigree cast-iron columns.
Our L'Acoustics sound system covers two floors (Box1 and Box2) with beats and basslines, grand piano and violin or drum sets and trumpet.
In summer we organize small concerts in our backyard - in a charming, urban atmosphere.
Since 2015 we work together with city-political initiatives, to ensure a social develepmont of this area. We were able to successfully prevent the privatization of the 4.7 hectare area.
We are part of the 'Dragonerareal Future Council', the political board consisting of the Senate Departments for Urban Development, Finance and Economics, the Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg District Office, the BIM (Berlin Real Estate Company), the WBM (Berlin-owned Housing Construction Company) and two actors from civil society, the 'Rathausblock networking meeting' (merger of initiatives) and the 'Rathausblock forum'.
In a jointly negotiated cooperation agreement, all the actors involved have agreed on an area development oriented towards the common welfare, which, in addition to housing construction and the creation of an industrial complex, also includes the protection of existing traders.
In Goethe's Faust the character Gretchen stands for purity, honesty and innocence, the good, the beautiful and the decent.
At the same time she is an object of desire for Faust. Obsession.
Chelsea Cain's Gretchen is perhaps the most seductive and cruel serial killer in modern literature.
Music has all these characteristics.