GOLD + BETON – The crazy one
After all of these legends and crown jewels, here’s a real insider tip: Gold + Beton, which translates to Gold + Concrete. And what a fitting name that is, seeing as the venue is hidden in the midst of the post-Apocalyptic concrete jungle that is the area below Ebertplatz. A few “off” locations began to pop up here a number of years ago, mostly galleries that didn’t require much of an infrastructure. These developments have provided ample inspiration for Cologne’s nightlife scene, with idealists from the local art schools and affiliated organisations producing quite an atmosphere.
Gold + Beton is very much part of this scene: a one-room space with picture windows and nothing more, save a toilet and a fridge for visitors. Sounds positively spartan, but in fact that’s all that is needed for this small, austere gallery to create a setting for encounters that is more exciting than many traditional venues. Experimental art “happenings”, walk-in installations and unconventional artists make this a very changeable and diverse place to be. And so visitors to Gold + Beton can be sure to experience something entirely different from the run-of-the-mill bar and band combos that dot the city.
My favourite Gold + Beton memory: An incredibly intense, sweaty appearance by queer band Sans Gene from Cologne on one of the hottest days of the summer. The picture windows were literally opaque with the water (if that’s what it was) dripping down them. The humidity and endorphine levels went through the roof.