studio urban catalyst
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Club Commission Berlin
representative body of night clubs in Berlin
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The Berlin club scene consists of many informal and temporary (frequently moving) establishments, which could be classified as temporary use. The Berlin scene has created a specific representative body with the following aims:
- to facilitate close links and internal communications within the Berlin Club-, Party-, and Culture scene.
- to form a shared representative body which can lobby on behalf of all members
- to help to lobby for the recognition of the employment club scene as profession
foundation of the club commission following an initiative of three club managers
AMOUNT OF PEOPLE
ca. 41 members (2001)
membership fees: 15-50 EUR/ month
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The club commission (CC) Berlin is a society, which has been formed as a joint representation of organisations involved in the citys club-, party- and culture scene. It is the declared aim of the cc to voice the interests of its members to official bodies and authorities as well as to the general public. Since its foundation 41 members have joined the organisation which declares in its statute: to support the profession and preserve its integrity and ensure that its interests are acknowledged by the city districts, the city government and the economy. With its work the cc aims to increase the standing and acknowledgement of subculture in the city and the recognition of its significant contribution to the general cultural and economic life in the city.
In addition to internal thematic working groups, an external forum was set up with several workshops involving protagonists and supporters from the culture scene, economy, property developers and urban planning, in order to communicate the complex framework conditions that are required for the running of the club scene.
The night life of Berlin is an important economic and cultural factor in the city, a reality, which has not been sufficiently recognised by the city authorities. In this context three Berlin club managers, Olaf Kretschmar (Oxymoron), Sascha Disselkamp (Sage Club) and Sascha Wolf (Ariadne & Wolf) initiated a dialogue between city authorities and clubs. On the 25.06.1999 a first informal conversation was organised which included the then Culture Senator Wolfgang Branoner who criticised the absence of an organisation that would represent the shared interests of the diverse scene. In consequence the three club managers decided to form an umbrella organisation. As a first step, the independent company B:sides was commissioned to co-ordinate and manage the formation of such an organisation who was asked to act as co-ordinator and representative of the club commission. The organisation was founded on the 31.02.2000 and officially registered on the 27.06.2000.
41 members include 5 bars, 7 offices, 9 event organisers and 20 clubs who are obliged to contribute a fee of 15 EUR/ month (DJs and individuals), 25 EUR/ month (small event organisers and bars) or 50 EUR/ month (large event organisers).
- negotiation and mediation between city authorities and the clubs
- speeding up and simplification of application and approval process for events
- internal and external network building
- lobbying with political decision makers
- organisation of relevant thematic workshops
- joint initiatives/ events (e.g. Club Night, flyer/ poster for events, etc.)
- negotiating tax and tax rates (20% discount for members)
- space and information exchange
The improvement of internal communications is considered to be the most important purpose of the CC. Through closer and more effective communication within the club scene a better use of available resources is guaranteed and, above all, the scene can improve its image and external perception. The CC set up a specific working group which co-ordinates internal and external communication and is responsible for the web site (www.clubcommission.de) as an independent information platform for club goers, the press, official bodies, etc. Additional working group include a group for funding issues (Kultur- und Wirtschaftsförderung) dealing with the dissemination of public funds and sponsoring, a working group for the dealing with official bodies (Ämter/ Behörden) and a group for tax issues (GEMA/ GVL). All groups meet for regular and thematically focussed discussions.
The CC considers itself as a bridge between clubs, authorities, property owners and the public. The diverse concerns of its members (club managers) are gathered and communicated. At the same time the CC has become the main representative and address for external queries. It has succeeded in improving the conditions for Berlin clubs through persistent negotiations. Achievements include:
- tax (GEMA) reductions of 20% compared to usual figures
- special deals are negotiated with local transport (BVG)
- the CC acts as a mediator between clubs and property owners and guarantees regular payment of rents and the strict keeping of arranged tenancy agreements
Workshops and chaired debates on relevant issues are held to stimulate closer collaboration amongst all stakeholders and provide internal and external support for day to day aspects.