Berlin Clubs Navigate Between Protection and Bankruptcy

Clubcommission Berlin
– Clubcommission Berlin

A task force of the Clubcommission in Berlin, Germany, has developed a catalog of measures to help stem the spread of COVID-19 by visitors to the capital’s many clubs.
A temporary closure of all clubs is currently being taken into consideration, provided that a solution for club owners, who cannot make up for the losses are protected as well.
The Clubcommission had sent out a letter to its close to 200 members prior to the first cases of the virus being reported in Berlin, on Feb. 29, informing about preventive measures. Some clubs, including the iconic Kitkat in Berlin Mitte, made infrastructural changes to allow people more space.
The club also collected details from attendees and forwarded them to the district health department to be stored for four weeks. 
In the beginning of this week, the Clubcommission launched a task force and invited some 50 club owners to a meeting.
The resulting catalog of measures recommends all clubs collect their visitors’ email addresses and phone number. The should also offer their guests a contact address to notify the health department in case of illness.
The Clubcommission also recommends running events at 70% capacity.
The commission reasons that club events shouldn’t pose the highest risk, seeing that they’re mainly attended by young and healthy people.
Still, a few clubs have already decided to close business temporarily or at least cancel events.
Berlin’s underground club scene is huge and has been thriving. However, the small and medium sized independent businesses in particular cannot afford to lose even just a few events. Many are facing existential decisions. 
According to the Clubcommission, this also concerns other venues, labels and booking agencies.
The statement reads, “It’s foreseeable that the spread of the Coronavirus will ruin a lot of club operators. The privately acting music venues that usually manage without public financial support, are not capable of survival without the essential proceeds.”
The Clubcommission goes as far as predicting the bankruptcy of most clubs in case of a shutdown even for a few weeks only. It has started contacting banks and crowdfunding providers as well as the Berlin Senat in order to establish a rescue fund for cases of social hardship.