- Here's the latest on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the Berlin scene.
This post has been updated throughout. Last update: 16:24 CET, Thursday, March 19th.
Berlin's club scene has been left reeling as the German government's measures for tackling the coronavirus pandemic come into force.
Neukölln rooftop spot Klunkerkranich yesterday confirmed that a recent guest had since tested positive for COVID-19. He was at the venue between 5:30 PM and 7 PM on Wednesday, March 11th.
"It's unlikely that there were infections in this short period of time, but we can't exclude the chance," reads the club's Facebook statement.
The team also urges anyone who has tested positive for the virus and was at the club between February 28th and March 12th to please let them know. Here's the email: [email protected].
In a bid to support the local scene, Clubcommission Berlin and Reclaim Club Culture are launching the world's "biggest digital club" on Wednesday, March 18th. Different venues will host the stream, starting at 7 PM each night.
As well as DJ sets and live performances, there will be discussions, presentations and films related to club culture. Viewers will be asked for voluntarily donations, which will go towards supporting the roughly 9000 nightlife employees currently left with little or no work. Head to the website for more info.
Kater Blau issued a statement over the weekend confirming that one guest, who had partied at the venue for most of Saturday, March 7th, had since tested positive for COVID-19.
"We do not currently have more detailed information (e.g. whether symptoms were present before visiting the club)," reads the statement. "Should this change, we will publish it immediately."
If you were present at Kater Blau during that time, the statement outlines possible next steps and who to contact.
In addition to clubs and bars being closed and events across the city being called off, Berlin's popular Mayday celebrations, known locally as Erste Mai or Myfest, have been cancelled.
On Friday, March 13th, Berlin mayor Michael Müller announced that all clubs, bars, pubs and shisha lounges will be closed until at least April 20th, beginning last Saturday, March 14th. Restaurants will remain open with distance rules, while public transit will also be scaled back considerably, reported The Local.
The latest clubs to close temporarily are ://about blank, Tresor and OHM, which will not reopen before April 20th. Renate will also close, opting to livestream club nights instead. Marathon ambient event The Long Now, which was scheduled to take place at Kraftwerk on March 28th, has been cancelled, as have all the events of its parent festival, MaerzMusik.
Berghain announced Wednesday, March 11th, it has cancelled all "self-produced" events until April 20th. This follows news that the city will be banning all events with more than 1,000 people, as urged by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was frustrated today to learn that Berlin had initially ignored health minister Jens Spahn's instructions, the Guardian reports.
Earlier on the 11th, the Berlin Club Commission released a statement saying it had set up a task force to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus. The commissions says it met with nearly 50 venue operators and organizers to discuss concerns and possible courses of action. Suggestions include limiting capacity to 70 percent and distributing handouts with key information.
"The task force is also considering temporarily closing Berlin clubs, but a shutdown of just a few weeks would inevitably lead to the bankruptcy of most clubs," reads a translated excerpt. "The club commission has therefore contacted banks and crowdfunding providers, as well as the Berlin Senate, to set up a rescue fund for hardship cases."
"Our question is who will cover our costs if we have to close?" Steffen Hack, founder of Watergate, told Resident Advisor. "We would like the government—who will be responsible if we have to close—to cover the cost of our rent, taxes and loans."
Mitte venue Trauma Bar und Kino announced on Tuesday, March 10th, that it would close until the end of the month. Popular party Gegen has also cancelled its upcoming events.
We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.
Find the latest on how the coronavirus is affecting the electronic music scene around the world here.
Photo credit: Giesemann / Schulz