As the influence of electronic music continues to make its way into mainstream culture, nightclubs and festivals have become a huge focus in the political eye. And usually in a negative way. As this article is being written a “Sunshine Meeting” is being held in Miami in an attempt to ban Ultra Music Festival from Bayfront Park. The arguments against these events and clubs usually focus on the damage they can do to the community. But it is hard to argue with money. The millions of dollars in tax revenue and tourist activity generated by large clubs and festivals is not easy to ignore. But instead of limiting club activity, the German techno hub of Berlin is trying a different approach.
Georg Koessler of the centre-left Greens party has fully endorsed “using some taxpayer money to support” Berlin’s vibrant “Techno culture.” With techno superclub Berghain hosting a 60-hour NYE party and many other 24-hour NYE events like the HYTE NYE party, techno’s importance to Berlin’s culture is obvious. But these event’s don’t just create a great party atmosphere. They also create tons of jobs, taxable revenue, and an undeniably unique culture for the city. And city politicians on both the left and right agree. It’s time to give back to the nightlife that “has given so much to Berlin”. A €1 million investment plan into soundproofing clubs is already underway.
Berlin plans to support the club scene in a way that is also friendly to other development. Hopefully, these public investments will be as productive as city officials expect them to be. This could signal a change in public opinions surrounding club and festival activities. Perhaps soon these initiatives will lead to a more open dialogue of cooperation between cities and the nightlife community.