After a year and a half of social distansing, everyone is eager to party.

All masks are off: First German nightclub reopens in Leipzig

All masks are off: First German nightclub reopens in Leipzig

The Distillery Club in Leipzig is working with the Max Plank Institute on a pilot post-Covid rave project

The Distillery is the first post-pandemic German nightclub. The venue hosted a rave for 200 people on 12 June 2021, as Covid cases plummeted in Germany. Now that social distancing guidelines are slowly being rolled back, the eager crowd got to move their bodies under the low lights and thumping beets they had been missing for the past year and a half.

A Covid-conscious club

The Distillery, claiming the title of the ‘Oldest Techno Club in East Germany’, has teamed up with the Max Planck Institute and the local university hospital in a pilot project to make clubbing safe. Under the new rules, the venue will welcome 200 people instead of the usual 600.

Also, the chosen 200 will have to take two different kinds of Covid-tests earlier in the day. They can go in The Distillery only if they test negative both times.

Participants will also have to take another Covid test a week later, to uncover potential infections during the night.

Once inside, all masks are off

The Distillery is thus expected to become a safe bubble, where everyone has been tested multiple times. The benefit is that masks can come off and one does not have to socially distance.

It is important to note that after the dust has settled, not all of Germany’s clubs will reopen. Lengthy lockdowns have undoubtedly taken their toll on the sector.

The hope is that this previously unthinkable policy could be the blueprint for further club reopening across the country. Although several venues have experimented with open-air parties, every club-goer knows – it is not quite the same experience as indoor partying.  

A big step has been taken in recognising the importance of Germany’s vibrant club scene. Last month, lawmakers agreed to classify nightclubs as cultural institutions on par with theatres, rather than viewing them simply as entertainment venues. This landmark legal classification will provide clubs with more protection and tax benefits.

This is evidence for reconciliation between the underground club culture and the political establishment, which could have a positive effect in the future.

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