GEMA – Will New Laws in 2013 Ruin Berlin’s Legendary Party World?
Some people believe that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end in 2012, but Berlin clubbers are faced with a much more realistic possible catastrophe. Will 2013 mark the end of the infamous Berlin party scene? If GEMA, the copyright organization, has its way, then yes, indeed, you better say goodbye to endless confetti-laced party sprees along the Spree.
GEMA will demand starting in 2013 that some clubs pay 10% of their entry price, with clubs paying significantly more when they stay open longer than 5 hours, which let’s face it, every self-respecting club in Berlin does. A club that at the moment pays €28,000 annually will be forced to pay €180,000 – a price increase literally none can afford.
Berghain, Berlin’s landmark club that constantly tops lists as the best club in the world, where partygoers regularly go for 24 hours at a time, has announced that it will close after the New Year’s 2012 party, if GEMA laws do indeed go into effect.
Watergate has followed suit, with Watergate manager Steffan Hacks telling Die Tageszeitung in an interview, “How is one supposed to operate as a free entrepreneur under these kinds of conditions?” He is right, how COULD Watergate survive fee increases that will go from €10,000 a year to €200,000? Well the simple answer is, it couldn’t. This is where it gets murky.
Some suspect that this is an underhanded way of ending Berlin’s outlandish and legendary nightlife. Berlin has long been known for its hedonistic and some might say depraved party scene, with rumours of substance abuse and sex abounding about certain establishments, yet what some theorize might save Berlin is that this is such a strong part of its touristic attraction.
25 year-olds do not visit Berlin for the wurst or lovely architecture, they visit to party their minds into oblivion. Berlin will lose tons of visitors, thus upsetting its already shaky economic system. Not to mention, claims the successful DJ Steffi in an interview with PulseRadio.net, “This will ruin the whole music scene in Germany!” She is correct, DJs will go to other countries to earn money, and other kinds of artists might follow.
At the moment an anti-GEMA petition has been signed by over 200,000 protesters, and more and more clubs are announcing they will close, thus forcing GEMA and the German government to step back and realize what they could do to Berlin, to the music industry in Germany, to Berlin’s tourism, and not to mention to all the Berliners who have grown accustomed to the Berlin lifestyle. Let’s just hope they realize it before it is too late, and GEMA eclipses the strobe lights that once shone on partiers across Berlin, both day and night.
July 4, 2012
Berlin club scene opposes Gema!!!! More than 5,000 people demonstrated on Monday evening in front of the club in Prenzlauer Berg Frannz against the new tariff proposal by the Gema. The club itself organized the collecting society of their members meeting. http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/video-berliner-clubszene-beschallt-gema/6799154.html
The Gema’s image of a ‘charitable organization’ that cares about the welfare of all copyrights is somewhat misleading – it is in fact quite reactionary . In truth, the big money just go to the top as Dieter Bohlen and Co. About 65 percent of the royalty-flowing dividends at five percent of the members.
And in English -http://www.findingberlin.com/tag/demonstration/
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