Some operators from the Berlin club scene are preparing for a difficult autumn. Dancing has been allowed again in the capital for months, life is back in many corners. In view of the lack of staff, rising prices and the ongoing pandemic, many questions arose. “We’re going into autumn with a huge fear because the omens are totally unfavorable,” said Pamela Schobess, head of the association.
Spring and summer were anything but smooth. There was an oversupply of events. “People don’t go out as much anymore, some are still afraid to move around inside,” said Schobess. According to her, money is also an issue. “A lot of people are afraid of rising energy prices.”
The industry has also lost employees during the pandemic. In view of the uncertain prospects in the fall, it is difficult to win people back, says Schobess. Her colleague Robin Schellenberg tells a similar story. People have switched to different jobs. Also at the supermarket checkout, which may have been considered less sexy in the past. Now some have learned to love not having to work at night anymore.
Schellenberg operates the “Klunkerkranich” on a parking garage deck in the Neukölln district. Because a number of things have become more expensive, they too should have increased their admission prices this year. He refers to the difficult situation of many cultural workers. If you used to book cheap DJs, today you feel sorry because they ate pasta with pesto or ketchup for months. “Then you also say: Come on, let’s pay something extra.”
They are lucky that there are still certain subsidies this year, said Schellenberg, but are now looking to 2023 with concern. His impression: the guests go out less often and make decisions more spontaneously. “Planning is difficult.” In addition, the people in the neighborhood sometimes reacted more sensitively to noise. “The silence, many found that very tempting.”
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Some in the industry are wondering how things will continue. Will going to the club become significantly more expensive? Does this exclude people who can no longer afford it? And what happens if the number of corona infections should rise sharply?
A mask requirement indoors from October is being discussed. According to Schobeß, that would not be a good option for clubs. “Even if we are not closed by the state, we actually have to close it ourselves.” In the club, people are out and about, have drinks in their hands, “jump around and dance”. So you would have to send security personnel around the area to point out to guests: “Hello, please put your mask on.”
In her opinion, a mask requirement would be practically impossible to implement. The club is also about feeling free and immersing yourself in the music. “We would torpedo ourselves with it. And nobody wants to organize things like that,” said Schobess. There is a debate in federal politics as to whether the federal states should be able to make masks compulsory indoors from October. Exceptions should be possible, for example at cultural and sporting events, for tested, newly vaccinated and recently recovered people. In the event that the corona situation should get out of control, the countries should be able to tighten the rules and remove exceptions.