A new wave of allegations has surfaced against the staff of Berlin venue Revier Südost and the team’s previous club, Griessmühle.
Back on August 18th 2021, American ballet dancer and activist Nicholas Rose posted a video to their Instagram account accusing the RSO (RSO is the name of the venue within the Revier Südost complex) staff of racism and homophobia at the SYNOID party, which took place on August 15th.
After these allegations from Rose emerged, further allegations have emerged. Others claim they have experienced discriminatory behaviour, maltreatment and aggression towards customers at both RSO and Griessmühle. The allegations are said to have taken place during 2019 and 2021.
Sedric Perry is a singer who was recently at RSO for a party he hosted on October 17th 2020, called Black Parade. The party focused on Black pride and being a person of colour in Europe.
Perry spoke to the underground electronic music publication Resident Advisor about the event, saying the treatment from RSO staff was “terrible from the moment I walked in.” Perry encountered numerous staff members “freaking out” at attendees given the context of the environment they were in, finding this to be somewhat ironic. He says some of the staff did apologise for their behaviour at the end of the event.
It became clear that they were being treated differently from attendees in other parts of the venue. The venue had been divided into two separate events. When Perry first arrived, he was at the wrong party. This party was predominantly attended by a “mostly white crowd”, where no one was wearing face masks & the staff were a lot more relaxed in their policing.
Yann Mathan, a Frenchman who has resided in Berlin since 2015 also encountered alleged mistreatment from the venue, which he detailed on his Instagram profile. The mistreatment claimed to have taken place at an RSO Open Air event on July 24th 2021.
Mathan says he was using the toilet when the cubicle door burst open slamming into his back with force by two bouncers. They were allegedly accusing him of being a drug dealer, where they proceeded to manhandle him and tell him to “get the fuck out” Mathan subsequently denied the accusation. Mathan then found himself joined by a third bouncer, being left alone with three bouncers in the toilet, where Mathan agreed to be searched, provided they didn’t touch him again.
“I do not like being touched because I’m on the spectrum. It was very overwhelming, being grabbed, shouted at and having to explain myself.”
Next, the bouncers threatened to call the police to which Mathan eventually responded, saying “he would do it properly” and call the police himself. At this point, the bouncers went quiet and let him leave.
Mathan has previously worked as an awareness, safety and consent agent. He believes the incident was down to a “lack of proper training” and “not meeting people halfway.” Given his experience, Mathan said he will not be going back there.
Renowned event brand Cocktail D’Amore has also confirmed they would not be returning to RSO. The party announced its intention to leave RSO via social media on August 20th 2021.
A statement from Cocktail D’Amore said:
“many times to address incidents of violence at RSO and Griessmühle” and “RSO should commit to doing better by investing resources (e.g. Time AND money) [sic] into training bouncers and staff so that they can address racial inequality, discrimination, and harassment in the industry.”
When the RSO team were pressed on these allegations, they didn’t respond, instead releasing a statement saying:
“Recent incidents made it evident that we were not meeting our standards in every area of our club.”
The statement also said RSO would be “implementing necessary changes,” such as training its entire staff on conflict resolution and diversity and inclusion awareness, with help from “a diverse team of experts, including music industry DEI trainer Lindi Delight.” RSO said training had already started and will be mandatory when employing all new team members.
The venue has also committed to launching “an external awareness team that will attend our events, acting as a go-to for guests who have experienced any form of wrong-doing, harassment, or discrimination.” While legendary Berlin bouncer Smiley Baldwin has been brought in to oversee “the reorganization and management of the security team moving forward.” The venue closed the weekend following Rose’s allegations to “fully concentrate” on the situation; it will remain closed for the foreseeable future.