Berlin clubs and live venues could be declared cultural institutions

Funkhaus Berlin

The proposal is being presented to the German federal government today (7 May).

Berlin’s clubs could soon be declared cultural institutions. Earlier this week (5 May), an almost unanimous vote was made in favour of changing the status of Berlin’s clubs to cultural sites, the Live Musik Kommission reports. At present, clubs and live venues in the German capital are considered to be entertainment sites – apart from Berghain, however, which was recognised as a cultural institution back in 2016.

The vote in favour of the change in site status was passed by the Berlin Building, House and Urban Development committee. It follows a year of campaigning from the Parliamentary Forum For Club Culture & Nightlife. The proposal will be taken to the federal government later today (7 May) for final approval. If all goes to plan, the change in legal status will allow certain venues to operate in wider areas of the city. They’ll also be offered support and financial aid in the wake of the pandemic and its economic impact, as well as new tax breaks and protection from gentrification, among other benefits.

“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,” said Berlin Club Commission chairwoman Pamela Schobeß in a statement published via RA.

“Music clubs are cultural institutions that shape the identity of city districts as an integral part of cultural and economic life,” she added. “Now, an outdated law is to be adapted to reality. This helps to keep cities and neighborhoods alive and liveable and to protect cultural places from displacement.”

Earlier this year, the Berlin Club Commission announced a six-point plan to safely reopen the city’s venues.