WGT - Volkspalast
There are two venues here in one building, there is the Kuppelhalle and the Kantine. It is located to the east of the city down towards the Kohlrabizirkus. The building is absolutely wonderful, as you enter you feel that you really are in a grand venue, the insides are plush and the fittings are very comfortable (if you are lucky you will be able to sit at a table next to a bar and watch bands play).
The Volkspalast (peoples palace) was designed by architect Wilhelm Kreis and called ‘Hall 16’. It is styled in the Neoclassical Style modelled on the Roman Pantheon whilst the large dome is meant to be a copy of the night sky. Built from concrete with a steel structure in 1913 the design will remind you of the White House in Washington DC from the outside. Wilhelm Kreis had previously submitted a design for the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig 1896, although the commission later went to Bruno Schmitz. Kreis later became famous for his designs especially the hygiene museum in Dresden, however he fell from grace in 1933 only to later find himself employed by Albert Speer in the redesign of Berlin.
In 2005 the Volkspalast formerly known as Hall 16 was renovated at a cost of 2.5 million Euro's after 10 years of abandonment (although it was used previously as a WGT venue). Today the 3,500 square meter venue is used for many events from Cabaret to Classical and from a Disco to Fetish Parties and of course WGT.
As you enter the Volkspalast you will find yourself in the outer circle that surrounds the main hall. Here you will find the cloakroom, toilets and some rather nice sofas (you may mock, but after a week of standing watching bands, shopping and clubbing it was great to lounge on these with a beer or two). From the surrounding outer circle you can enter the Main Kuppelhalle, just turn left or right from the doorway and you will see the entrance to the Kuppelhalle a short distance away. As you enter the main Kuppelhalle you will see that you can turn left or right and up some stairs to a bar area with some great viewing seats/tables. If you are here to see a band then get here early, you really need to be in the middle of the hall between the speakers. If you find yourself to either side then you will find that the sound will bounce off the opposite wall and you may struggle to hear the band clearly.
Although the place is large its does get very full and viewing the bands can also be a little awkward, as the stage area is quite small. If you choose the raised area near the bars then these areas will obviously be busier, the sound quality will be poorer although you do have beer very close and the chance of a better raised view. The WGT Fetish night is normally held at the Volkspalast, called 'Obsession Bizarr'. This Fetischtreffen is always a popular event, being more show than play (from a fetish club point of view) its a chance to really show off (just a shame baggage allowances do not allow many of us to bring more exotic clothes to wear).
Within the same building is the Kantine, a lovely venue sometimes used by WGT for after parties, large and comfortable its worth a visit. If you leave late, turn left outside and walk down the steet, taxis will be heading this way, and you should not have to wait that long before you can hail one.