A group of campaigners comprised of DJs, club owners, festival organizers and fans are campaigning to grant Berlin’s world-renowned techno scene what they feel is deserved UNESCO World Heritage Status, amongst fears that the culture is at risk of not surviving.
The organization, called Rave The Planet, is lobbying German authorities to apply for intangible cultural heritage (ICH) status.
Rave The Planet’s objective is to have the genre of techno recognized as a cultural form worthy of protection from UNESCO. This comes following reports that approximately 100 clubs have closed down in Berlin in the last ten years, and right after new COVID restrictions mean that Berlin Berlin no longer permits dancing inside clubs as of December 8th, while nightclubs in areas with 350 COVID cases per 100,000 must close to prevent the spread of the virus.
Other niche music genres have been granted ICH status by UNESCO, including Slovakian bagpipe culture, Irish harping and Tibetan opera, with reggae making the list in 2018 only and not since.
Detroit DJ based in Berlin, Alan Oldham spoke to The Observer: “Unesco protection would go a long way towards maintaining that old spirit,
“Legacy venues like Tresor and Berghain for example would be protected as cultural landmarks.
“So many venues have closed in just the seven years I’ve lived here full-time. In other cities, it would be the natural club cycle at work, but Berlin is a different kind of place, where the club and creative scenes are the currency of the city.”
We certainly hope Berlin clubs and the city’s scene receives the protection and help they need to survive. We made our way to Berlin and even tested our DownBeats hi-fidelity earplugs in Berghain once and let us tell you… the sound is perfect in there but you still want to keep your ears protected!