By Joel Alas
TALLINN - A year ago I attended a party in an old factory in the suburbs. It was a grungy experimental rock concert populated by art student-types sipping warm beer.
The floor was pockmarked, beams of metal hung precariously overhead, and the whole place smelled like petrol.
A year later, I attended a party in the same place, though in very different circumstances. The factory had been transformed into a massive two level nightclub, the bohemians replaced with Tallinn’s A-list partyhoppers, beer cans banished in favor of cocktail glasses.
The transformation of the old factory reflects much about changes in Tallinn itself. Is it progress or gentrification? I guess that depends on whether you’re in the club or out on the street.
The venue is called Club Von Uberblingen, and it’s arguably Tallinn’s first metro-style superclub. It aims to emulate the superclubs of London and other European capitals.
The club’s owners have taken a huge gamble by choosing a massive location outside of the city center. The factory is in the suburb of Kristiine, which isn’t very far from the Old Town according to the map, but in the minds of club-hoppers it seems a great distance. It’s too far to walk, meaning guests will have to take a cab or trolleybus.