'Clubkultur ist Kultur': Hundreds gather in Berlin to protest Griessmuehle closing

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  • News broke early that the club will remain open one extra weekend for popular party Cocktail d'Amore.
  • 'Clubkultur ist Kultur': Hundreds gather in Berlin to protest Griessmuehle closing image
  • Hundreds of people gathered in Neukölln, Berlin, on Wednesday to protest against the closing of beloved club Griessmuehle. By 4 PM, a large crowd—young ravers, older folk, mums with prams—had assembled outside the local town hall, waving flags and placards with slogans like "Let Us Dance," "Hard Trance Against Profit" and "ACAB: All Clubs Are Beautiful." Classic tunes played from a soundsystem. On a small stage, various local politicians and stakeholders made brief speeches, occasionally amping up the atmosphere. "Clubkultur ist Kultur!" hollered Falko Liecke, deputy mayor of Neukölln, to loud whoops and applause. A big announcement came early via Griessmuehle founder David Ciura: the club will remain open one extra weekend for the finale of popular party Cocktail d'Amore, now scheduled for Saturday, February 1st. This is a total turnaround—earlier this week, the club's landlords cancelled the closing. The good news was met with cheers, though the larger issue still remains. "The space isn't actually being used for anything, no development is happening for a couple months," said one Griessmuehle regular, who's lived in Berlin for three years. "There's no reason why the club shouldn't operate as usual. What's the point in the plot being left vacant? It's a shame for everybody, for the community, for everything that happens there. It's not just music events, there's the mobile kino (cinema), there's flea markets. Why shouldn't the space be used? It's not fair on anyone." "It's one of the last bastions of true techno, underground techno, in an increasingly commercialised space such as Berlin," said another protester. His friend, who was holding a cardboard sign ("Techno Acid Hardcore Trance Anal Sex Gabba"), added: "It's an amazing venue, a place where you can really be your true self, where you can find your true self. To lose somewhere like that really, really hurts." Now that Cocktail d'Amore is back on, it's unclear whether the rest of next week's schedule also remains. Before news of the extension, the team announced a closing party for this weekend called Griessmuehle—Is This The End?, which may or may not still be going ahead. Opened in 2011, Griessmuehle, a former pasta factory, will come to the end of its current rental contract on January 31st. The owners of the property plan to knock it down and build offices.