Coronavirus: Berlin Clubs Facing “The Biggest Crisis for Nightlife Since Post-War Period”

According to Berlin’s Club Commission, drastic measures are needed to save Berlin’s nightlife.

3 min
Berghain 1920
Mar 13, 2020
Chandler Shortlidge

With coronavirus showing no signs of slowing, nightlife and events industries everywhere are under increasing financial jeopardy.

Most recently, governments in Portugal and Belgium have ordered closures of clubs, bars, and restaurants, while the Australian government has banned all non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more.

In Berlin, Berghain has cancelled events until April 20th, as have Tresor, OHM and Salon Zur Wilden Renate, which will livestream events instead. The German government has also banned large-scale events (over 1000 people) until Easter.

The closures in Berlin have prompted Berlin Club Commission spokesman Lutz Leichsenring to speak in no uncertain terms about the threat coronavirus poses for the city’s nightlife — which generates millions of euros annually for Berlin, and employs nearly 10,000 people, by some estimates.

”The mere closure, even for just a few weeks, would inevitably lead to many private bankruptcies and bankruptcies without financial aid,” Leichsenring told Berliner Zeitung. “Most scene actors’ finances are sewn on edge. Nightlife in Berlin is experiencing its greatest crisis since the post-war period.”

While politicians have not yet banned small-scale events, Leichsenring thinks the move seems likely.

He also said that the clubs have already seen losses of 20 to 30 percent, as people become more wary of public gatherings, and as smaller spaces close their doors voluntarily.

Read: How Coronavirus is Impacting Electronic Music

Leichsenring said the Club Commission has already asked officials for a government-funded bailout, “to help clubs survive for at least a few weeks.”

“We also need access to cheap loans and the expansion of short-time work for small businesses,” he said.

The Club Commission recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, asking the public to help “rescue particularly vulnerable clubs” through donations.

Savour The Moment founder and Renate resident Marlon Hoffstad announced on Twitter that the club is also seeking donations during this difficult time.

Meanwhile, Help Musicians UK has established a helpline to artists affected by the coronavirus.

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