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Re:mise's Closing and the Culling of Berlin Nightlife

Re:mise remise nightclub Berlin

This week is the Re:mise Closing Weekend and you can't say it's not going out with a bang. Running from Thursday to Monday (Nov 16-20), they've got a back-to-back program of booming club nights, including Body Language, a queer party you can find high on my picks for the weekend.

While it's sure to be a hell of a farewell, and an opportunity to salute the nights of joy that Re:mise has brought over the past two years, it can only be bitter-sweet at best. At worst, it is an alarm bell ringing out a warning for the fate of Berlin's smaller clubs. Re:mise announced its closure two months ago, citing accelerated gentrification as the reason their lease could not be extended. This is not the first time Re:mise (previously Fiese Remise) has been forced to shutter up shop.

While we can hope that they will be able to come through on their hopes to open new doors in the not-too-distant future, and we'll be waiting keenly for their return, it bodes poorly for the future of venues like Re:mise that host creative and innovative nightlife ventures including queer parties like Body Language, SWEAT or Fluidity.

After Berlin’s nightlife has been thoroughly ravaged by COVID-19, it has become ever-harder for party collectives and nightlife entrepreneurs to find accommodating venues below the level of the big-name commercial clubs. Some relief was provided in the redesignation of nightclubs as cultural institutions, which allowed clubs certain benefits, including lower taxes to give venues some fighting chance against the overwhelming force of gentrification. It is now evident that stronger initiatives to protect Berlin's Clubkultur are needed. We need not even mention the looming specter of the A100 expansion to recognize this.

There is a need for city politics to reflect the plain and palpable reality that nightlife is not only an important cornerstone of Berlin's economy; providing jobs, drawing in tourists (for better or worse), and boosting local business, but also fundamentally at the heart of this city's identity. A part of its identity closely tied to its status as a queer haven.

Club culture is meaningful culture. Nightlife spaces are political spaces. And for queer folks, history shows us, this is all the more true.

Losing a few small clubs each year is part of the ephemeral nature of nightlife; the rise and fall of venues are a natural part of the scene's evolution. But we have to be weary, in light of a veritable culling of clubs, whether this is not an extinction event.


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