Despite Berlin’s revered club scene raking in more than $1.5 billion a year in one of the country’s largest sectors pre-pandemic, the number of attendees is now rapidly declining, per NPR, thought to be a factor of COVID and the ongoing cost of living crisis.
The Berlin Spectator reported in September that the number of tourists visiting Berlin is back on the rise for the first time since 2020, but still hasn’t met pre-pandemic numbers.
According to the Senate Department of Commerce, 5.5 million visitors were counted in the first seven months of 2022 in Berlin, down 30% since 2019.
Berlin Clubcommission’s Lutz Leichsenring told NPR that a third of Berlin’s tourists visited the capital for its renowned club community before 2020, which is now on the decline. The global financial crisis also threatens the industry, too.
"You have inflation, you have an energy crisis and you also have the rise of the minimum wage," Leichsenring tells NPR. "There's also less demand because fewer people are in the city. People don't spend so much money because of inflation. It's a very critical time."
In July, Berlin’s Senator for Culture announced an enormous culture fund for 2024, which will go toward adding 500 new cultural spaces across the city. The project increased by €13 million in the space of a year, up to a whopping €947 million (£813 million) - more than double that of the culture fund for the entirety of England in 2024.
The fund, which looks to reach €1 billion by 2025, could alleviate stress on club owners and promoters across the city as the financial crisis continues.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter