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Campaign launched to give Berlin techno scene world heritage status

If the Unesco status was granted, clubs would receive subsidies and get extra protection against closure

By Will Richards

A crowd enjoys a live gig
(Picture: Pexels)

A new campaign has been launched to protect Berlin’s techno scene by granting it Unesco world heritage status.

The campaign comes from Rave The Planet, a group formed by Dr Motte – aka Matthias Roeingh – a Berlin-based DJ that has been instrumental in the city’s iconic techno and clubbing scene before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s.

On their website, Rave The Planet have laid out their plans for lobbying German authorities, and the reasons for the move, writing:

“Berlin is not the only place where techno culture originated. The roots lie in Detroit, Chicago, Belgium, among others, but also in early electronic music genres such as electronic body music, synth-pop and new beat.

“Due to its peculiarities, such as the historical situation with the fall of the wall and the euphoria that resulted, Berlin was of decisive importance for its development.”

It adds: “Vacant, administration-free rooms provided the ideal breeding ground for the creative cultural scene in the 1990s and promoted its exponential growth, which is reflected in the Love Parade and has led to the close connection between techno and Berlin.

That is why the international techno family today speaks of Berlin as the “capital of techno”.”

Gaining intangible cultural heritage (ICH) status would give nightclubs in the city extra protection and access to financial subsidies.

The campaign comes as Sky News estimate that around 100 nightclubs in Berlin have closed over the last decade.

Detroit-born, Berlin-based DJ Alan Oldham backs the plans for heritage status, telling 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.”

You can donate to Rave The Planet’ ‘Fundraving’ campaign here.