In the last couple of days, things have been moving really fast. Every day the situation concerning the virus outbreak seems to get more serious. But the more time we spend at home in self-quarantine, the more time we have to think about the repercussions, not only on our social life but also the economic effects this new situation might have on some parts of our society.
As we already pointed out in an earlier piece, especially those independent freelancers, artists, and small businesses are already affected by most jobs getting canceled right now. But now that most places for social gatherings including clubs, bars, event locations, theaters, concert halls, and galleries all have been closed for the unforeseeable future, their existence beyond the pandemic is in jeopardy. It might sound extreme, but these kinds of businesses can’t compensate month-long shut-downs, as their expenses like rent, wages, taxes, fees, etc. will continue to come in without them being able to generate any kind of profits. This means insolvencies, bankruptcies, loss of jobs, permanent closures. And when we all come out of this in a few weeks or months the places we used to go to and love might not be there anymore to reopen. This is not an exaggeration or overdramatization. It’s the brutal truth.
So, understandably a lot of people are already worried and start to come up with ideas on how to maintain everything during the quarantine. We want to share some of these ideas here with you guys hoping that you will take advantage of them.
United We Stream
One of the biggest projects of this kind that has just been announced is initiated by the Clubcommission Berlin. They just released the plan for the new platform United We Stream which combines a relief fund with a streaming platform that will be offering live streams of DJ sets, concerts, performances, talks, and films related to club culture in collaboration with Arte concert. With a fee of 10, 20 or 30 EUR per month you will be able to access the stream that lets you stay connected to the club scene even from your home. The raised funds will be used to support struggling clubs in the times of the crisis. You will also be able to donate straightly to your favorite clubs or buy their merch.
Call For Donations
Before the project of the Clubcommission was announced a few clubs had already started to campaign for donations to secure their survival through the pandemic. One of them is the iconic Schwuz in Neukölln, a relatively large space not only for the LGBTQI* community, but also a venue for concerts, performances, and other types of events. On their GoFundMe page, they explain further, way they had to start gathering funds from their fans and visitors.
The legendary SO36 club in Kreuzberg, home to many different events from different subcultures, was also one of the early ones who asks their visitors not to ask for refunds of already purchased tickets and for donations to help them through the times of the closing.
The Friedrichshain club aboutblank, home to such parties as staub and Buttons, has also started a crowdfunding campaign that managed to already gather over 30k EUR since their launch earlier today. So it looks like the support of club-goers can actually be quite significant!
Our friends from Urban Spree also had to close their gallery, book shop, club, and beer garden and ask now for donations and for people to make use of their online shop in the next weeks. Understandably, a lot of places might follow suit.
Artist Relief Funds
Apart from the club culture, of course, a lot of other types of workers are affected, such as artists and independent freelancers. We found two relief funds that you can support. The Berlin Artist & Freelancer Relief Fund and the Emergency Relief for Queer & Womxn in Berlin. Both fund organizers try their best to allocate donations to those that are most in need in these difficult times.
As more calls and projects like this will pop up we will be adding them here to the list in the next weeks, so keep looking back here every once in a while if you wanna support your local club and art scene. Let’s hope this is over soon!