German scientists are recruiting volunteers for a “coronavirus experiment” which plans to equip 4,000 pop music fans with tracking gadgets and bottles of fluorescent disinfectant to better understand how Covid-19 could be prevented from spreading at large indoor concerts.
As reported by The Guardian, the event will feature singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko, and be held at an indoor stadium in the German city of Leipzig on 22 August. Though technically an experiment, it aims to simulate the pre-pandemic large-scale concert experience as much as possible.
“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss,” said Stefan Moritz, head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle and the experiment’s coordinator.
The scientists behind the concert hope to present their findings in early October.
Tokyo, the Japanese capital recorded 224 coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest daily tally since the pandemic began.
The Authorities had previously refused to give nightlife businesses economic support during the pandemic, but have changed tack after 80% of Thursday’s infections were among people in their 20s and 30s.
Many of them were identified after more than 3,000 tests were carried out in Tokyo entertainment districts, including Shinjuku and Ikebukuro.
The Tokyo metropolitan government will pay 500,000 yen ($4,670) to nightclubs and similar establishments that close for 10 days or more.
Hosts and hostesses, who engage customers in conversation over drinks, who are found to have coronavirus are to be paid 100,000 yen ($934) to stay off work.
“Recognise and strengthen club culture as part of Berlin”
The Berlin Senate of the German capital, has stated that Berlin clubs should be better protected against oppression. In doing so the Senate has declared that clubs should be recognised as cultural sites. This is evident by a government application from the SPD, Left and Greens.
Club culture is a cultural asset which played a major role in shaping social, cultural and economic life in Berlin. Berlin clubs generate billions of dollars in annual revenue for the city, building connections to places and drawing global tourism. Club culture also enriches the cultural landscape of Berlin far beyond the pure “entertainment culture”. They create identity, are open spaces or even shelters for marginalised groups and intervene in urban politics. They make Berlin a city worth living in, with many people from different social and cultural backgrounds with values that stand for diversity and tolerance.
On June 12th, the government factions submitted an application to honour them, but also to protect them. Clubs worthy of protection are those which “have regular game play and a recognised artistic profile, which is characterised by a curated program, music aesthetic standards and a spatial concept,” it says.
According to the application, new building projects in the country should take clubs into account and builders themselves should provide noise protection in case of doubt.
“In addition to the current corona restrictions, these clubs are increasingly threatened in their existence due to competition in use,” states the application paper.
In particular, the rising commercial rents and crowding out by approaching residential buildings are a problem. The parliamentary groups also spoke out in favour of strengthening the country’s noise protection fund and also highlight the international appeal of the program.
The club scene association and the “parliamentary forum for club culture and nightlife”, an association of members of the five parliamentary groups Bündnis 90 / DIE GRÜNEN, SPD, DIE LINKE, FDP and CDU, have been promoting clubs in terms of building law for cultural purposes for a long time to be classified as places of amusement.
Clubcommission Berlin welcomes the decision:
“We are very happy about the confirmation of club culture that made the city of Berlin so significant and colourful. We curate our programs as well as opera houses or theatres and are therefore also cultural companies. Densification, advancing housing developments and real estate speculation are a sword of Damocles that we club operators can usually not avert on their own. With its clearly defined mandate to consider clubs as cultural facilities in urban planning in the future and to apply the agent-of-change principle, the Senate is sending a clear signal in the fight against the displacement of our venues. We are particularly pleased about the planned Federal Council initiative, in which Berlin will campaign for a reform of the Building Usage Ordinance and for the recognition of clubs at the federal level. “
Chal Ravens writes for The Guardian about the virtues of Bandcamp.
After speaking to Founder Ethan Diamond, the ” CEO of Bandcamp about what it means to put artists before listeners, and how Bandcamp became the rarest of Silicon Valley stories; a slow burn success.
“They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vapourware to eco-grime.
‘Artists have to come first’ … Ethan Diamond, founder of Bandcamp.
“A lot of independent labels waived their fees as well. Some gave to food banks and other organisations. Those labels aren’t big corporations … that was amazing to see”
In some countries, clubs are cautiously reopening. In others, people are hitting up illegal raves. Gabriel Szatan explores what the dance music landscape will look like in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus.
“Everywhere you look, clubland is thawing and green shoots of recovery are sprouting.”
“The signals we get from the experts are that the club culture is not possible until there is a vaccine,” said Lutz Leichsenring.
While some parts of the country’s economy are starting to emerge from the lockdown, Berlin’s vibrant club scene is facing perhaps the biggest challenge in its history, with no clear answers on when it might resume.
“The signals we get from the experts are that the club culture is not possible until there is a vaccine,” Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman for a commission representing 300 clubs in Berlin, said.
He said the situation is “devastating” for the industry, which was already struggling with gentrification and rising real estate prices.
Many of the 9,000 people employed in the city’s clubs have been left without work. And for the owners, costs are still accumulating even as the revenue has completely dried up.
The state government has scrapped a long-standing freeze on new liquor licences for pubs, clubs and bottle shops in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross, in a push to reinvigorate the city’s night-time economy once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The changes, which take effect on December 1, mean venues will be able to apply to open without having to purchase a liquor licence from an existing venue, which had created a competitive and expensive market for licences.
In Kings Cross and some parts of the CBD, the freeze had been in place for 11 years. As part of the 2014 lockout laws it was extended across the whole CBD.
Since its launch back in March 2020, international live-streaming channel UNITED WE STREAM has turned into something of a phenomenon.
The national series of events will be powered by Electronic Music Conference and Sounds Australia, United We Stream Australia is set to highlight the diversity of electronic music culture in Australia.
EMC Director Jane Slingo said, “By initiating a collaboration within the Australian electronic music community of artists; promoters; venues; clubs and supporting partners, United We Stream Australia fosters solidarity between the various scenes that drive electronic music and club culture nationally. Australia has so many amazing scenes that each have their own flavour and it’s exciting to be a part of this global movement to highlight the wonderful diversity of electronic music culture in this country.”
For more information read the article in Purple Sneakers
Follow & attend the virtual event on United We Stream Australia on Facebook
Vivian Lee, writes for the New York Times on whether nightlight in Lebanon’s capital can withstand the pandemic.
In Beirut a night out is considered a “sacred right, due to a point of pride, the party has never stopped,” even throughout the 25 years of civil war, the summer of 2006 (where war erupted between Hezbollah and Israel), and last autumn anti government protests the bars and clubs remained open.
However. “the bar hopping neighborhood of Mar Mikhaël, which used to vibrate with the clip-clop of high heels and the car-stereo beat of Western and Arabic music every night from Tuesday to Saturday — and sometimes Sundays and Mondays, too — went mute”
“When you live in a place where nothing is stable and the ground is shaking under you all the time, you live in a state of urgency,” said Charbel Haber, 41, a musician, giving the usual explanation for why the nights here can go on for days. “You have to live in the moment.”
Although Lebanon as a whole appears to have dodged a mass outbreak, “the government is starting to announce a staggered reopening for businesses in the coming weeks, yet not all will be able to come back. Due to the fact that the Lebanese pound buys less than half of what it used to, imports and drinks will cost more”.
Concerned club owner: “Joe Mourani, the owner of Ballroom Blitz, a popular alternative electronic-music nightclub, found it harder to foresee when people would dance in a crowd again. Clubbing, it’s really all about proximity,” Mr. Mourani said. “It’s the opposite of social distancing.”
Milan club Social Music City has offered its space to be used by Italian emergency services until the end of April.
In a statement released this week, it was revealed that the club’s 20,000 square meters would be made available to emergency services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which much of the space being modified into accommodation for