Ban On Outdoor Dance Events Not Reasonable, Say Berlin’s Clubs

Pamela Schobeß, operator of club
Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images
– Pamela Schobeß, operator of club “Gretchen” and chairwoman of the board of Berin
Schobeß is pictured in the currently closed club in Obentrautstraße in Berlin Kreuzberg. Many clubs in the capital are fighting for survival.
The clubs represented by Berlin’s Clubcommission demand that the Senate of the German capital rethink its stance on outdoor dance events, which are still not allowed under the latest easing of restrictions in effect since June 1.
Under the latest restrictions, events are still only possible if the audience is seated on allocated seats. 
“Given the low risk of infections outdoors as well as a contemporary understanding of culture and the needs of the population, does not allow for any other conclusion than removing ban on dancing in the open air,” the association writes in its latest statement.
The step by step approach taken by most of Germany’s authorities, including the Berlin Senate, sees a gradual easing of restrictions. Since June 1, visitors or outdoor gastronomy aren’t required to show a negative test anymore, culture and event spaces like museums are opening up again at limited capacities.
The easing of restrictions is justified, given the low number of cases, wide-ranging test offering as well as a well-advanced vaccination campaign, writes the Clubcommission.
What is not justified, however, is the continued ban on outdoor dance events. Such restrictions flew in the face of scientific findings, according to Clubcommission, for example by Germany’s Association for Aerosol Research, which published an open letter to government, criticizing its current lockdown stance.
The letter states that outdoor transmission was “extremely rare” and never led to “cluster infections.” While the current state of science, in particular aerosol research, should offer reasons for hope, findings are rarely being put into practice, the letter continues.
Furthermore, the Clubcommission has published a six-point plan for reopening, which includes indoor events. It points towards other European countries, which have successfully carried out indoor dance events without distancing mandates, proving that they weren’t sources of new infections.
It also points toward’s Festival Republic’s 5,000-capacity festival in Liverpool in May, which didn’t pose a greater risk for infections than any other public place where people are already allowed to meet again.
Same goes for Barcelona’s most recent test event.
Pamela Schobeß, chair of the Clubcommission, said, the country’s clubs already proved that outdoor events could be held safely in the summer of 2020, when several pilot events were already held with sophisticated hygiene concepts in place.
“Now that infections have gone down significantly, it should go without saying that politics return society’s right to dance under the open sky,” she said.