The clubbing landscape is facing major challenges

Summer full of festivals and outdoor events, weekends full of concerts and club events – at first glance, you might think that the event industry would survive the crown pandemic unscathed. However, appearances are deceptive: the Berlin club scene in particular faces serious challenges.

Crises are as big as they are varied: although staff are scarce everywhere, concert halls and clubs report that they are no longer using their full potential. Demand seems to have dropped.

In addition, most venues are still lagging financially as a result of the closure of previous blockades, and in particular a small, subcultural and less commercial culture of celebration is less likely to survive.

Long lines in front of the clubs – but the industry is facing a lot of uncertainty.
© imago / imagebroker / imago stock

In the midst of this difficult phase, fall is approaching with new, drastic coronation forecasts and a new Infection Protection Act. It is scheduled to enter into force on October 1, 2022 and will be effective until April 7, 2023.

Testing, masks and distance

With the entry into force of the new law, FFP2 masks and compulsory medical and nursing home examinations, as well as the requirement for masks on long-distance trains, will be prescribed nationwide. In addition, the Länder have the option of imposing further conditions.

In the first phase, gastronomy and events are exempt from the mask requirement, as long as visitors can show negative tests. However, if the infection rate worsens, the state parliament resolution may also introduce a mask requirement, an upper limit for visitors, and a distance requirement for indoor and outdoor events.

The Club Committee warns against distance rules and mask requirements

Clubcommission eV once again confronts the club culture and culture with enormous dangers and challenges arising from the planned law. “If the Infection Protection Act comes into force as planned in October, the situation for clubs and music venues across the country will be even more dramatic than it is.” explains Pamela Schobeß, president of the association.

The reinstatement of the testing obligation is understandable, provided that they are offered again free of charge.

As before any coming wave of Corona, we can only repeat ourselves now. Club culture only works without mask and distance.

Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman for the Club Committee

From the point of view of the Club Committee, the planned requirement for masks in club interiors cannot be implemented – rather, as with the dance ban imposed at the end of 2021, it would result in inevitable closures. “As before any coming corona wave, we can only repeat ourselves now,” says Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman for the club committee. “Club culture only works without mask and distance.”

The association also criticizes the fact that the new Infection Protection Act does not provide for any concept of bridging aid. Any kind of restriction would automatically lead to a reduction in the number of visitors, so “contingency concepts” are needed in case of an emergency.

The lack of financing plans for the coming months threatens the existence of many clubs and music clubs.

Pamela Schobeß, Chairwoman of the Club Committee

However, the event industry “survived the particularly difficult times of the last two years only thanks to subsidies and aid programs.” Schobess explains. “The fact that no financing is planned for the coming months puts the existence of many clubs and music clubs at risk.”

Clubs are also affected by high energy costs

At the same time, the current social crises do not end with the clubs. Limited supply chains, high energy costs, constant staff shortages and the pressure of gentrification lead to huge cost increases that visitors have felt for a long time. Joining the club for 20 euros has now become a painful norm – a turning point for inclusiveness in Berlin’s club culture.

In addition to the current crises, Berlin clubs also face challenges. For example, the expansion of the A100 is planned. The expansion would close three clubs: O Blank, Else and Wilden Renate would have to give way to Autobahn.

Safe rounds also work well in a pandemic

Above all, however, the coming winter puts the clubs under pressure. Many model projects, some with scientific backing, were tested at the start of the pandemic. They all showed that safe events can be implemented even with a large number of infections at the same time.

“It is precisely these experiences that must now be relied upon,” says Lutz Leichsenring. “In order not to close the entire event industry again in the fall and winter.”

To the home page

Leave a Comment