Berlin’s local council has pledged to keep techno alive. The council is investing €1 million (around $1.13 million) in providing soundproofing for Berlin’s clubs, states German national newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel. This is in response to the fact that 170 clubs have shut down in the city since 2011 and is also an effort to reduce the conflicts between Berlin’s clubs noise and residents.
While many other cities would be quick to shut disruptive clubs down, Berlin’s council is adamant that the clubs should not be displaced and is committed to preserving techno culture in the city. With over 200 club organizers currently networked in the Berlin Club Commission, they recognize how important nightlife is to their economy and culture. Senator Ramona Pop told Der Tagesspiegel that “Berlin’s club culture is known worldwide and is a hallmark of our city.” Lawmaker Georg Kössler also supports the initiative and said that “techno culture has given so much to Berlin, using some taxpayer money to support it is the least we can do.”
Berlin’s council began planning this noise protection fund last year and based the idea on a funding that already exists in Hamburg. Both cities are aiming to keep their densely populated areas habitable without evicting the nightlife and have learned from the mistakes of other cities.
Many clubs cannot afford their own soundproofing, which often leads to their shutting down because they cannot comply with the laws that restrict noise in the city. These venues can now apply to the Berlin Club Commission for state-funded support. Each application will be considered and granted up to €50,000, although projects “of extraordinary importance” could be granted up to €100,000. However, if said club doesn’t succeed in staying open for at least two years after the grant is given, they must return the money to the council. This is also not the first time Berlin clubs win in the German courts. Back in 2016, Berghain was given the status of “high-culture”, thus being awarded a lower tax rate (from 19% taxation on ticket sales to 7%).