photo: Burg Schnabel.
Yesterday has been a historic moment for Berlin. In what can only be described as the best news of the week the Berlin building and planning committee has declared clubs as cultural spaces putting them in the same category as theaters and operas, and no longer places of entertainment such as casinos and brothels.
This is a milestone accomplishment that was made possible by the work of a parliamentary forum titled #Clubkultur consisting of members from Berlin’s ruling parties SPD, Die Linke, and Grüne in collaboration with members of the CDU that fought for this for over a year. Only the political parties AfD and FDP voted against this (take note, dear voters…) which is no surprise, but also didn’t matter enough to stop this.
A confirmation from the federal level for this ruling of Berlin’s local government is expected this Friday and according to Die Linke politician Caren Lay it’s pretty safe.
So why does this matter – or is it a purely symbolic move to give Berlin’s club culture the recognition it deserves? It’s more than that for various reasons. It starts with simple things, such as reduced VAT (7% instead of 19%) but it goes up to bigger things such as easier access to public funding, and more protection against being pushed out of the city center by commercial building projects. This could be an important change to stop the dying of clubs that’s been going on for years now. It’s also quite meaningful for clubs to be recognized as an important cultural good and not disregarded as some shady underground hubs for excess and intoxication.
But also in regards to the hopefully soon coming relaxation of the lockdown measures clubs will have much better standing to negotiate new conditions than they had before with their new label as places of culture. This will be important in regards to re-openings of clubs and in what why this will be possible. We are pretty sure the Clubcommission – Berlin’s nightlife lobby – already has a plan hatched out and we can’t wait to be dancing the night again and immerse in Berlin’s diverse club and music culture.