Chapter Five: Nighttime Governance in Times of Covid

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  • What is a night mayor? 
  • And what other forms of governance exist to manage a city at night? 
  • How have nighttime governance institutions helped communities survive Covid-19? 
  • And how can your city go about building one from scratch? 

These are just some of the questions answered in Chapter 5 of the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP) series, which draws on expertise, perspectives and case studies from nightlife communities across the world, to provide inspiration and information to nightlife industries as they recover from Covid-19. 

Find out more about the contributors on the GNRP page

Sign here to download Chapter 5

Sign here to attend a group call with the the chapter’s contributors

New feature article live on Saving Night life in Tbilisi!

“Thus far, we had never had any politician, let alone the mayor, accept that electronic music is a form of art. But Kaladze declared club culture is a culture – his speech was an important moment.”

To outsiders, it looked like here was an electronic music scene that knew its own value, and that could defend itself. And yet, lacking any formal support or even acknowledgment from the government, nor any organisation directed towards securing it, Georgian club culture found itself in immediate peril and without aid within weeks of the national lockdown. David Lezhava, together with Naja Orashvili, owner of the aforementioned Tbilisi techno haven Bassiani, decided to act. “We knew we were in tough situation,” says Lezhava. “And that’s when the association was born.” The pair, aided by a growing number of motivated industry stakeholders, has mobilised, organised and formalised the representation and protection of Georgian electronic music and club culture through a non-government, non-profit association called the Cultural and Creative Industries Union of Georgia (CCIU Georgia).

One year since its inception, CCIU Georgia can count itself among the pandemic’s silver linings, a clear success story in advocacy, born from adversity.

Read the full feature here

Last Night A DJ took A Flight: Clean Scene Releases A Report on Sustainability in the dance music community.

The demand for a small number of DJs to tour constantly is the result of an environmentally unsustainable industry — and an industry that we have an opportunity to collectively reimagine. This report collates and analyses the carbon footprint of Resident Advisor’s top 1000 DJs touring in 2019, and shows that collectively:

To read the full report head to Clean Scene’s page

The world’s first dance-powered fundraising app is saving clubs one rave at a time.

Nightclubs have been shut for well over a year now, and in this year, we’ve seen many iconic venues around the world shut their doors for good due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Desperados is calling on party people around the world to save party culture by doing what they do best. Dancing. All night long. Just like they used to. 
As the self appointed patron saints of parties, the brand created the app “Rave to Save” to give the club community a way to save the scene, by letting party goers dance at home to support their local club.
People are invited to join a series of eight virtual raves through the app and dance. Using the pedometer available in smartphones, users’ dance moves are tracked and turned into a cash donation by Desperados to the club they are dancing for across Europe. 1000 dance moves = €1. Users also have the option to boost their personal contributions by making a cash donation to clubs in Germany, UK and Spain. The company will donate up to €30,000 at each event.
With the first rave at Prince Charles in Berlin, featuring Purple Disco Machine and Nakadia: 27 March: Prince Charles, Berlin
Upcoming: 4 April: Reineke Fuchs, Cologne / Germany10th April: Halo, Hamburg / Germany17th April: Cassiopeia, Berlin / Germany
How it works

  1. Go to any major App Store on your phone.
  2. Download the Rave to Save app.
  3. Login and turn on notifications as the app will let users know when a rave is starting.
  4. Tune into the livestream.
  5. Dance all night long.
  6. Make a cash donation of your own if you like

🌱 VibeLab’s five point strategy for reactivating the nighttime economy

Cities need safe and feasible strategies for reopening and reactivating their creative and nocturnal economies. The VibeLab five-point-strategy provides governments and nightlife practitioners five key areas for action — a roadmap for reopening nightlife during, and post-COVID-19. Now, more than ever, cities must ensure that these vulnerable sectors bounce back stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient than before. 

Regulations and infection rates differ geographically, so each city should initiate an online COVID-19 Event Risk Model.

An Event Risk Model can be adapted to suit the needs of different nightlife-related events, so it can be an online resource where organizers are able to plan in alignment on current regulations and latest scientific findings.

E.g. The Government of Flanders’ COVID Event Risk Model can be adapted and used accordingly for different nighttime events/operations. The model is an easy-to-use traffic light risk assessment, and is a useful tool for local authorities and nightlife practitioners alike when planning for nightlife-related events.

Tracing apps or entry management app solutions for live operators with rapid testing/vaccination information.

Tracing apps, also known as ‘health passports’,allow venues to register and track whether guests have been vaccinated or tested, and are a useful tool for live event operators.

YouCheck, which is being trialed in the UK, was originally designed as a ticket/ID system to combat ticket touts, as well as a means of communication between event audiences. It has since been adapted to connect with test, track and trace software.

  • Event Pass App (UK) App-based event passport underpinned by a user’s very own digital identity. Name, age, ticket, Covid test result and vaccine status, in one go
  • Luca App (Germany) The app is focused on contact tracing in exchange with the health authorities issuing direct notification of risk assessment by the health authorities as well as personal contact and visit history
  • Liberty Pass (Spain): With a negative test the app grants access to all the events and collaborating activities of the Liberty Pass APP for 72 hours
  • Videmic (Germany): This app is for contactless location tracking that helps organisers of film and music festivals, symposia, trade fairs or other events with location-based contact tracing to automatically trace chains of infection of coronavirus without storing personal data centrally
  • RapidTest Kit (Austria): DIY Covid-19 test kit with fingerprint verification support event and tourism industries
  • Covid-19 EyeScan Technology (Germany): SEMIC EyeScan App detects SARS-CoV-2 and more in just 3 minutes with a hit rate of 95%
  • Covid-19 Breathalyser (Belgium): Widespread, daily testing is essential for assessing the spread of the pandemic

Longer opening hours outdoors, and simplified approval procedures for licenses.

Cities should change regulations to support later opening hours and more use of outdoor space, in an effort to respond to the short-term need for physical distancing, whilst further promoting a long-term cultural shift towards longer operating hours, and changes in citizens’ habits. There are ‘shades of night’ ━ different times and contexts ━ that can be adapted to different uses and regulations.

Repetitive data surveying of operators to measure nighttime recovery and facilitating awareness, as well as providing grants or investment capital in the post-COVID-19 phase are an essential step for reopening.

Developing strategies for cities at night requires regular data collection, surveying and monitoring. See list below for some good examples:

Partnerships with the scientific community on public surveys, research projects and hygiene concepts.

With situations and information in each city constantly evolving, pilot and trial events which combine the safety of the community, feasibility for operators and fun for attendees are an important part of the transition phase towards normal operation. Without them, creative and events industries may be left in damaging stasis.

Collaborations between nightlife practitioners and the scientific and medical communities are essential to this process in order to ensure that a) all event ‘experiments’ are conducted safely, utilising the latest in Covid health and hygiene information, and b) research and surveying is accurate and ongoing.

This five-point-strategy is intended as a launch point: industry stakeholders, urban planners, academics and nightlife participants alike are encouraged to engage in this solutions-oriented discussion, then take action within their own communities:  

  • Build the dialogue and share examples of good practices within your city. If you are not part of the local government, petition them to take action.
  • Analyse local opportunities and challenges in adopting good practices via 1:1 consulting sessions. We provide you access to our international network and knowledge base.
  • VibeLab will help you to develop an action plan unique to your city.

Read more on about showcases from around the world and about VibeLab’s network of experts to help you create sustainable strategies to reactivate the nighttime economy.

Contact us at

“Testing the test”: Berlin Clubcommission is trialing the reopening of venues

Other cultural institutions such as operas and even Berlin’s tourism marketing agency participating in the trial later this month.

Berlin – A Mitte club will temporarily open its doors this month as part of a broader trial that may indicate how the country’s cultural institutions can reopen in the midst of the pandemic.

Holzmarkt, together with the Club Commission lobbying organisation, will hold a concert 27 March in its Säälchen event space at Holzmarkt where visitors can get a quick-test and ticket for €20.

“Of course the Säälchen isn’t really a club, it’s more a hybrid of a theatre and an event space,” Holzmarkt tweeted on Thursday. “But it is of course a step toward how events can soon also be possible inside clubs.”

The concert is part of a pilot program launched by Berlin’s government with the cooperation of some of Berlin’s biggest names in culture. Visitors must buy a ticket and then be tested at a local testing centre. At the door, they will then show proof of their identity and negative test.

Concerts, operas, football too

Surgical or FFP2 masks must be worn during the event and the hygiene rules everyone now knows by heart still apply.

“This kind of pilot is unique in Germany – and will hopefully contribute to being able to visit cultural events without fear,” Berlin culture minister Klaus Lederer (Die Linke) said. “As soon as possible.”

The results of the trial will be reviewed in April.

The Berliner Philharmoniker, Volksbühne theater and two operas are also participating in the program.

How does ticket booking and testing work?

  1. Booking of ticket as usual via the web-shop and completing the booking process. The Ticket, will then sent by email, will be issued with surname, first name and date of birth in order to enable clear identification.
  2. Together with the personalized ticket the ticket holder receives an information about certified test centers where a free SARS-CoV-2 antigen test will be carried out. The test must be up-to-date on admission and must not be older than 12 hours.
  3. After the smear test (SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test) by medically trained staff in the test centre, participants will receive an email with a link to your test result after approx. 30 minutes.
  4. If the test is positive, participants are advised to go directly into isolation and to inform the responsible health department and the organizer. The ticket price will be reimbursed by the respective institution upon presentation of the test result.
  5. The SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid tests are free of charge for visitors as part of the pilot project.

For more info read the Berlin Zeitung article

Music industry figures say government-backed insurance is needed for festivals to plan with security for 2021

Mixmag reported last week on how in the UK festival season dealt a blow with no event cancellation insurance forthcoming in the Spring Budget.

The government’s recent unveiling of a roadmap to reopening the economy aiming for clubs to reopen and festivals to be able to take place from June 21 sparked positivity among the industry and consumers, with multiple festivals around the UK selling out in rapid fashion since the announcement.

However, the lack of cancellation insurance offered by the government has been a cause for concern for festival organisers, with Paul Reed of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) saying it is an “enormous risk” for independent festivals to press on with planning without cover.

Schemes of this kind in Europe have seen Germany set up a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to cover the cost of events planned for the second half of 2021, and the Dutch government create a cancellation fund of at least €300 million to cover festivals aiming to place from July onwards.

Sacha Lord also expressed the need for insurance and indicated it may be forthcoming in future, saying: “Concerned we still don’t have a Government-backed COVID indemnity insurance policy for events. It’s critical and hundreds of events, including weddings are relying on this. I know Westminster and the Treasury are considering it, so I will continue to drive this through.”

Read full article here

Dutch clubbers hit dance-floor for study into easing lockdown

The Guardian reports on how 1,300 people take part in music event designed to aid decisions on how to reopen country despite coronavirus

Clubbers in Amsterdam were given a short reprieve from lockdown at the weekend as part of an examination of the risks attached to getting people back on the dancefloor.

The Ziggo Dome, the largest music arena in the Dutch capital, was opened to 1,300 people for four hours on Saturday. They were encouraged to dance to sets by Dutch DJs Sam Feldt, Lady Bee and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.

Those participating were traced in all their movements and contacts through a tag, as part of an effort to examine how events may safely be opened up for the public again. They had been divided into five “bubbles” of 250 people, plus one of 50, each of which had to comply with different rules.

Read the full article in The Guardian

👋 Join us this Thursday on Clubhouse with Don Diablo for the 🄽🄸🄶🄷🅃🄲🄻🅄🄱 discussion

Don Diablo talks to VibeLab & friends about the positive outcomes that can emerge from the crisis? Destruction as the beginning!?

Don Diablo talks to VibeLab & friends about the positive outcomes that can emerge from the crisis? Destruction as the beginning!?

Joined by:

Lindi Delight, founder at De Light Management, Co-Founder at Masks For Music, Berlin Chapter Founder at, Berlin, Germany

Wambui Kinyua project manager in the creative industry and worked with some of the best festivals in East Africa (Blankets and Wine, Bayimba, Kilifi new years and Nyege Nyege) based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mark Adam Harold British-born music industry and night time economy expert based in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Anna Harnes, communication strategist & cultural manager, Chairwoman of the executive board @ United We Stream e.V., Board member @ Clubcommission e.V, Berlin, Germany

About Nightclub by VibeLab:

Moderated by Frank Sonder, “NightClub” focuses on Post-Covid scenarios of the music and club scene. The weekly talk series features an international artist in conversation with guest speakers of VibeLab involved in the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan.

The Global Nighttime Recovery Plan ( is a collaborative, practical guide initiated by VibeLab for cities that are trying to determine the best way to design and execute a safe and feasible strategy to reopen and reactivate their creative and night-time economies.
The talk series will feature an international artist in conversation with guest speakers bridging the world of nighttime governance, event operators and sciences to talk about relatable issues that the night time industry is facing.

Bridging the world of nighttime governance, event operators and sciences to talk about relatable issues that the night time industry is facing.

Join us this Thursday 20:00 CET on Clubhouse

Facebook event
LinkedIn Event

Fantastic new podcast about the role of night management on Spotify

New 24hr lifestyles have expanded the role of the night in society, requiring new forms of governance and representation for those who live, work, and socialise at night. Enter – the night mayor! In the second episode of the six-part series, co-hosts Shelby Bassett and Andreina Seijas talk with Robert Shaw, Mirik Milan, and Diana Raiselis about how the cities after dark are being managed and how we can find new ways to understand and foster flourishing nighttime cultures.

Urban experts from around the globe offer prompts, provocations, and casual conversations around city life and governance

Listen to the podcast on Spotify here

Follow @networkedcities on twitter and join the conversation using #CitiesAfterDark. Created by Connect Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne.