UK ‘rejected offer’ of visa-free tours by musicians in EU

The Independent reports that the UK turned down the “standard” proposal for non-EU countries, which would allow touring professionals to stay 90 days without a visa. This is because the UK, which recently introduced stricter controls on immigration, doesn’t want to grant EU states the same arrangement.

From this month, European artists must, like non-EU artists, apply for visas – to visit for more than 30 days – as well as providing proof of savings and a sponsorship certificate from an event organiser.

The Independent understands the UK did ask for a similar 30-day exemption for its performers, but rejected 90 days – to fit with its own new rules.

Read the full article here

VibeLab launches the “Denkathon” – a hackathon for collective ideas to #SaveTheNight.

Every bright, German speaking night owl with a love of nightlife can get involved.

In order to find solutions to the impact of the global crisis, the collaborative creative laboratory of VibeLab and Jägermeister is organising the very first hackathon to save nightlife. “The Denkathon” will take place digitally between the 15th -17th January 2021.

The aim of the digital Denkathon is to find creative solutions for the preservation of night culture, taking into account diverse expertise from scientific, political, technological and the nightlife industry backgrounds.

“Awareness of the dire situation in the industry and financial support are important. But what is needed now above all is solutions and perspectives on how the nightlife industry will continue.” 

Kathleen Schied , Head of Marketing Jägermeister Germany:

Participation in the Denkathon is free. Everyone over the age of 18 can take part and the winners will be offered prize money. Register here.

What areas of nightlife will the Denkathon focus on?

The Denkathon will address five current nightlife challenges which will be processed in virtual rooms, called “clubs”, with groups of up to six people.

  • The Club Social will focus on how we can stay connected in our private and professional life, despite the challenges physical distance can impose upon communities.
  • The Daybreak Club is dedicated to problem solving how major events such as festivals and concerts can be resumed.
  • Movers and Shakers Club will look at the pathways restauranteurs can take to generate sales despite persistent restrictions.
  • Club Culture Club is about generating ideas for established and emerging artists who have been hit hard by the crisis because they can no longer live out their creativity. How will it be possible to give them a stage back? 
  • Club Dance explores what technologies help us to reopen locations like bars and clubs, taking into account the current restrictions? 

Each club is moderated and inspired by experts. For example, the Berlin graduate psychologist Franziska Lauter will contribute to the Club Social . In her practice in Berlin-Mitte, Lauter primarily advises artists and people whose creative work is in public.

At the end of the think tank, a five-person jury will evaluate all possible solutions according to criteria such as creativity or feasibility. 

On January 17th, the three most promising ideas will be announced at the Denkathon and the first three places will be rewarded with prize money. 

The jury will consist of representatives from the hospitality, event industry, science, technology and politics. Among others, David Süß, who runs the Harry Klein Club in Munich and, as a member of the GRÜNEN in Munich’s city council, is committed to sustainable nightlife, is part of the committee.

“2021 will be a difficult year of transition, where creativity is required to give artists a stage, to generate income and to be able to hold events safely. We are hoping for exciting impulses and ideas with the Denkathon”

Lutz Leichsenring, co-founder of VibeLab.

Find out more about the Denkathon here


Hard Reset: Crack magazine writes on climate change and music in 2020

Crack Magazine interviews three artists; Jayda J, Darwin, Kelly Lee Owens on the impact that the pandemic has had upon addressing sustainability issues in the music industry.

“The answer to being more sustainable is going back to more regional bookings, more local residencies. We need to get back to the essence of what we do. It’s about communal spaces and shared experiences.” – Darwin

Read the full article here

2020 Round Up: An exciting and essential time to be active as a nightlife advocate.

📷by Phil Vol at Disco Zwei Mannheim, displayed at “End Of The Night“ exhibition.

It’s never been more important to join the nightlife advocacy movement.

As 2020 draws to a close, the future for nightlife is wide open.

Though the pandemic swung at nighttime industries and communities like a wrecking ball, this year became about much more than just damage control.

2020 may well be known as the year nightlife advocacy truly took off on a global scale, with engaged advocates like yourselves working together to bring the needs of nighttime industries into mainstream discourse, to lead by example in encouraging government to be proactive and not reactive in its policy making, and to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and redesign better, bolder and more resilient nightlife scenes throughout the world.In the midst of the pandemic new positions were created, new alliances formed, and new opportunities seized to communicate our message to decision makers. Cities with active nightlife advocates proved more resilient, despite being some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

As we enter 2021, nightlife scenes across the world have never been in a more precarious position – nor have they ever held so much possibility for change. It is both an exciting and essential time to be active as an advocate.

On that note, we’d like to applaud those in our network who have volunteered so much of their time, energy and expertise this year. Thank you for your ingenuity, your enthusiasm and your inspiring tenacity. Keep it coming in 2021!Stay safe, stay positive, and most of all – stay the course. We hope to see you on the dance floor next year.

With love and disco balls,

Mirik, Lutz, Jess, Diana and Jordan (The VibeLab team)
To find out what we have been up to and what is upcoming next year you can read the full 2020 round up newsletter here

Ex-Berliner reviews how Berlin went from almost bankrupt to techno capital

How did Berlin, once a city in deep crises, become home to one of the world’s leading music scenes? As nightlife around the planet sits at a standstill, we take a look inside Ten Cities, a new book sponsored by the Goethe-InstitutIt collects 21 essays penned by 25 writers that tell the story of club music and culture in 10 urban centres across Africa and Europe, from 1960 to March 2020. 

In an essay from a new book through Goethe-Institut, Tobias Rapp tells the story of a scrappy city that became home to one of the world’s most influential music scenes. Photo: Tilman Brembs

Order Ten Cities through Spector Books.

Read the full Ex-Berliner article

Rebuilding starts now – why your city needs a nighttime economy recovery plan

Image by: Leni Schwendinger

In cities across the world, the night time industry is one of the hardest hit of any economic sectors, and yet many governments are still not addressing its needs – or the needs of millions of its struggling workers. 

Without action, countless businesses, jobs and cultural spaces will be lost. And without a strong night time economy, cities stand to lose money, cultural vibrancy and reputation

The time to plan for recovery is right now. 

Some cities are leading the way: Manchester, UK and Sydney, Australia for example, have both recently launched detailed strategies to protect and strengthen their nightlife sectors during and beyond the pandemic. 

“Since March, we have all witnessed the devastation of our creative and night time economy sector. In Greater Manchester, we recognise this sector is the heartbeat of our towns and communities. We launched the Recovery Plan, not just to help the sector return back to pre COVID levels, but to also come back stronger, building on our previous successes.”

– Sacha Lord – Manchester Night Time Economy Adviser

Read about Manchester’s plan here

Read about Sydney’s plan here.

No matter where it is on the pandemic timeline, every city needs a targeted and individually tailored strategy to rebuild its night time economy. 

But there’s no need to start from scratch.   

Using the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan

In response to the severe vulnerability of nighttime economies and cultures caused by Covid-19, a global collaboration of some of the foremost minds on nightlife governance and urban planning, spearheaded by nightlife advocacy agency, VibeLab, has created the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP)

Having released three of its seven chapters, the GNRP is written to provide all members of the night-time ecosystem the tools and inspiration to aid their cities in planning and executing responsible re-opening. 

Its released chapters cover:

1 – Open-air nightlife and Covid-19: Managing outdoor space and sound

2 – The future of dance floors: Building more flexible, open and innovative clubbing experiences. 

3 – Innovating for safe and welcoming 24-hour cities

Its forthcoming chapters cover:

4 – Building nocturnal governance: Capacity-building for night

mayors and other nighttime governance institutions

5 – Sustaining our nightlife scenes I: Financial support models for creative industry workers, individuals and vulnerable populations

6 – Sustaining our nightlife scenes II: Financial and other forms of support for independent businesses

7-Learning As We Go: Measuring impact and data-gathering through the process

We can learn from each other. The GNRP has drawn on examples and expertise from all over the world to inform its discussion. Its case studies range from Tokyo to New York, Lagos to Lithuania, Sydney to Berlin and more.

Some of the key insights the GNRP community has learned so far

  • The instinct to socialise is universal and enduring. In cities where there are no legal options, dangerous illegal alternatives are found.
  • Open air spaces can be activated to safely increase capacity and revenue, and enliven subdued urban areas. 
  • Outreach is crucial. City authorities need to be close to their populations, communicate clearly, and win the trust of their business communities and to encourage cooperation between all interest groups.
  • Mediation is proven to be a more effective alternative – or at least important precursor – to enforcement. 
  • The event industry should adopt lean start-up approaches as common practice to build resilience to crisis. Cities can support this through funding, training, and capacity-building.
  • Club operators already have expertise in health, safety and prevention, and the narrative around this can and should be more positive.
  • There are huge opportunities to exploit longer and later opening of services to address issues of physical distancing.
  • Flexing regulations and simplifying licensing applications is essential to allowing nightlife to rebuild
  • 24-hour transport – for essential workers and nightlife participants alike – is key to safer and more vibrant cities 
  • Lighting plays a critical role in placemaking, cultural activation and safety at night
  • The pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing fragility of the nightclub industry – venues serving marginalised communities are especially vulnerable. 
  • Measuring and monitoring are fundamental to identify challenges and opportunities, and envision tactics.

This international exchange of information, ideas and resources is intended as a launch point. We invite local governments and nightlife stakeholders to engage in the discussion, then take action within their own communities.

What can you do now?

Analyse local opportunities and challenges via 1:1 consulting sessions with VibeLab, the nightlife consultants behind the GNRP. 

VibeLab is founded by Amsterdam’s former night mayor Mirik Milan, and Berlin Club Commission spokesperson Lutz Leichsenring, and offers extensive expertise and an international network for those seeking out new paths to make change. 


These unprecedented times have created an opportunity for those passionate about the night – entrepreneurs, urbanists, politicians, artists, academics, local activists – to challenge its marginalisation, so that both during and beyond recovery, nighttime is better integrated into how we plan, manage and understand cities.

Let’s seize the moment. 

Incoming rapid testing provides a glimmer of hope for future parties ✨

Cassette rapid test for COVID-19 or novel coronavirus 2019 found in Wuhan, China

Jordan Rahlia explores how rapid testing can provide a transition strategy for nightlife and events industries to survive the inevitable lag between lifted lockdowns and a sufficiently vaccinated population.

Read the full feature here on

2020 the year of Tech Acceleration?

Covid-19 might have turned the world on its head in 2020, but hi-tech advances have helped mitigate the damage. In this special report, covering everything from remote working to live streaming, Music Week unite a handful of forward-thinking execs to analyse how technology is changing the music business for the better…

PRS’ August AGM was held virtually and set a record for the highest participation in its history, with more than 1,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members engaged either on the day or through the voting process.

“Coronavirus has without doubt accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and we were perfectly placed to capitalise on that shift in the interest of our members,” said Martin. “We were able to seamlessly transition to remote working. The morning following the first lockdown announcement, all of our teams were up and running remotely without any disruption to our core services.”

Read the full article on Music Week

UK: Pubs and venues may turn away people not Covid-vaccinated

The Guardian reports on how Minster Nadhim Zahawi, who is in charge of UK rollout, says technology could help track who has had jab and that “people who do not get vaccinated could face severe restrictions”

“Customers who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine could be turned away by hospitality and sports venues, the government’s vaccine minister has suggested, as he discussed the idea of using technology to reopen the economy.

Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed on Saturday to be responsible for overseeing the rollout of the jab, said that while having the vaccine would not be compulsory, businesses such as pubs and restaurants might require proof that people have been vaccinated before allowing them in.

It raises questions over whether the government might use immunity passports as a way to get people back into shops and hospitality venues after a vaccine is licensed. They are already used by some countries to see whether people have protection against yellow fever or polio.

Asked by the BBC whether those who have been inoculated would get an immunity passport, Zahawi said: “We are looking at the technology. And, of course, a way of people being able to inform their GP that they have been vaccinated. But, also, I think you’ll probably find that restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues, sports venues, will probably also use that system – as they have done with the [test and trace] app.”

Read more about it here

New Web Survey for Sexism Free Nights

Take part in the web survey designed to research the intersections between sexual violence, nightlife environments (e.g. party spaces, going out at night) and drug use in Europe.

The aim of the study is to increase knowledge about sexism and the rape culture in different European regions, and inform policies and practices in nightlife.

Take the survey here

And follow the organisation on socials