German Court Ruling: Techno IS Music

Words by Thomas Bradey Risely

Live music venues have been one of the most impacted businesses due to the global pandemic but good news for clubs in Germany. But now a German court has ruled techno to be music – allowing the legendary Berlin club scene to receive the same tax breaks as concert venues.

Here: The famed Berghain club in Berlin. Main pic above: DJ Prosumer at Berghain.

The case, which took place in the Munich financial high court on October 29, had numerous plaintiffs (including feted Berlin club Berghain) argue that techno IS music. The new ruling now allows for nightclubs in Germany to benefit from a reduced rate of VAT, 7 per cent, over their original rate which was 19 per cent – a significant win for the nightclubs as all venues of sizes look to rebuild. It also declared that even if the revenue from drinks was higher than income of entry, the primary function is to provide live music and atmosphere where DJs “perform their own pieces of music using instruments in the broadest sense” – delegitimising the ‘DJs aren’t real musicians argument’.

Germany is taking the right steps to provide some sense of security and safety for music-based businesses most vulnerable at the moment, hopefully this will influence other world leaders to do the same.

Listen to this set by André Galluzzi at Panorama Bar in celebration of the verdict.

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