A couple of months back, we reported on concern that the Berlin club scene could change dramatically with the proposed introduction of a steep rise in the tariffs charged to venues. The GEMA tariffs would charge club owners a percentage-based surcharge for events running longer than five hours, which could see tariffs rise up to 1,000 percent. “For an average Berlin club with 410 square meters of space, charging €8 entrance and running two events per week from 10 p.m. until 5. a.m, the price paid to GEMA will rise from the current €14,500 to some €95,000,” hypothesised German paper Spiegel.
There was particular concern that GEMA might force the closure of arguably the city’s most iconic club, Berghain. However, today we’ve been reassured that Berlin’s techno institution isn’t going anywhere. While the GEMA tariffs will still be enforced next year, the new fees won’t come into effect until later in the year (from April 1, rather than the initially-planned January 1), the new fees won’t kick in until after eight hours, and the amount payable has been reduced from 50 to 25 percent. While the GEMA fees may well still pose a threat to other venues, Berghain has confirmed to a Berlin newspaper that they won’t be affected. RA has the full story.
In short, GEMA goes on but Berghain will remain open – meaning they’re free to refuse Richie Hawtin entry any night of the week.