Photo: Rubén Vique

Berlin Recognizes Dance Clubs As Cultural Institutions

Following a year of lobbying by the Parliamentary Forum For Club Culture & Nightlife, the city of Berlin has officially recognized clubs as cultural institutions.

The recent announcement comes after more than a year of campaigning, culminating in an almost universal vote that reclassifies clubs and live venues as cultural institutions rather than entertainment venues. On Friday, May 7, the vote was presented to the federal government for final approval.

Pamela Schobeß of the Berlin Club Commission said in a statement, “We would like to thank the members of the Parliamentary Forum in particular for their commitment and perseverance in this matter. With today’s decision, the Bundestag is sending a strong and long overdue signal to the republic. Music clubs are cultural institutions that shape the identity of city districts as an integral part of cultural and economic life. Now, an outdated law is to be adapted to reality. This helps to keep cities and neighborhoods alive and livable and to protect cultural places from displacement.”

Cultural institutions will include clubs, galleries, libraries, and concert halls and these venues would now be eligible for tax exemptions, as well as permits to work in more areas of the city with protection from eviction. Many of the creative centers that have been closed due to COVID-19 pandemic would be able to reopen with the ability to function and make a complete recovery. Thore Debor, a LiveKomm spokesman, said:  “We are counting on the federal government taking up this parliamentary mandate quickly and implementing the amendment of the building use ordinance in this legislature. Especially now in times of Corona, we need this overdue step more than ever.”

Berlin financed 40 clubs in October to commemorate the city’s first “TAG DER CLUBKULTURE,” or “Day of Club Culture.” Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s Senator for Culture, and Clubcomission Berlin arranged the affair.

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Author: Luke Traina

Photo: Rubén Vique