Now Hamburg’s most iconic club has been saved, head to a tribute night at Kampnagel before it re-opens.

It’s worth acquainting yourself with the history of Golden Pudel to understand its significance. The 1990s saw deindustrialisation and the decline of Hamburg's seedy nightlife. This led to a lot of empty spaces – offices, warehouses and buildings – around the city’s famous port. As is often the case, the void was filled with artists and other ne’er-do-wells looking for cheap rent to pursue their creative interests. One manifestation of this new community of artists was Park Fiction, which we’ve recommended on Parallel before, and another was Golden Pudel – a nightclub like few others. 

Although you may have experienced some nightclubs that seem overly concerned with making money rather than the music – booking whoever’s trendy and charging high ticket prices – Golden Pudel’s commitment is to exploring new forms of music and keeping entry accessible and cheap. As Ralf Köster put it in a profile for Fact Magazine, the Pudel gives “unrepresented forms of music a platform, so they won’t be forgotten”. As a result, it occupies a dear position in the heart of Hamburg’s music aficionados. Despite the fact it can't offer its DJs super high fees, many renowned names keep on coming back to play, knowing they can experiment with sounds and be treated seriously by the audience.  

But fans of Golden Pudel have spent the last year on tenterhooks. There was a protracted dispute between the two co-founders over the club’s future; and, just when things couldn’t get worse, there was a fire (later confirmed to be arson) in February of this year

Luckily, a few months ago everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the Pudel announced that the venue had been saved: “Filled with tremendous joy and with a deliriously beating heart, the Golden Pudel can declare the following news: … Wolf Richter’s [one of the warring co-founder] shares have been acquired. The property can now be used for public cultural benefit. Consequently the club is now protected…[and can be] used for counter-cultural experiments and the developing of our social idea. Happily, loudly, and forever!” 

Although they haven’t announced a new programme yet, you can celebrate the victory at another venue in Hamburg (while the old one’s being repaired from the fire damage). Some of the regulars – musicians like Shackleton, Move D, Ratkat – will be playing at “Die Grosse Golden Pudel Gala” at Kampnagel. It’s a way of paying tribute to the club and enjoying its sounds until everyone can all go back to the real thing. 

'Die Grosse Golden Pudel Gala’ starts at 8pm on Friday 28 October. Tickets cost €24. The Kampnagel Theatre is a twenty-minute journey from Generator Hamburg – ask at reception for directions.