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Berlin’s techno music scene added to UNESCO cultural heritage list in ‘milestone’ for genre | Ents & Arts News

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Berlin’s techno music culture has been added to UNESCO’s cultural heritage list in what has been described as “another milestone” for the genre.

The subculture was one of six new additions to the list, announced by the German UNESCO Commission on Wednesday, which said it had been an “important sound” for the capital for more than 30 years.

Charity, Rave The Planet, which led the campaign to get the culture recognised, said: “Thanks to all cultural creators who shaped this #culture. This is a major milestone & our joy is beyond words!”

Being on the list will make it easier for clubs to be maintained and artists to overcome “hurdles imposed by legislature”.

Access to government subsidies and charitable funding also becomes easier with UNESCO status, the charity said.

Berlin‘s Clubcommission, a network of techno club and event promoters, added: “This another milestone for Berlin techno producers, artists, club operators and event organisers.

“The decision will help us ensure that club culture is recognised as a valuable sector worthy of protection and support.”

The organisation thanked specific techno producers from Detroit in the US who made a “significant contribution” to the creation and the spread of the culture.

Techno’s popularity grew in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall with abandoned sites such as power plants and factories providing the setting for clubbers to musically express their freedom.

Differing from DJ culture that emerged before the German UNESCO Commission said the culture “became the soundtrack of the spirit of optimism after reunification”.

Berlin’s famous KitKat Club. Pic: Filip Singer/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Today many people across Europe travel to the city to go to world-famous Berlin techno clubs such as Tresor, Kater Blau, KitKat Club and Berghain – the notoriously difficult nightclub where a security guard looks you up and down and decides if you are allowed in or not.

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Other additions to the cultural list included mountaineering in Saxony – specifically mountain huts and “boofen”, a type of free camping used by climbers – and the Finsterwald singing tradition, which developed from 1800s a cappella singing.

08 July 2023, Berlin: People celebrate at the techno parade "Rave the Planet" on the Stra'e des 17. The parade, which is organized by techno pioneer Dr. Motte among others and is considered the successor to Berlin's Love Parade, moves through Berlin for the second time. This year's motto is "Music is the answer. Photo by: Christoph Soeder/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Techno parade organised by charity Rave the Planet in 2023. Pic: AP

“The new recordings show the entire spectrum of cultural life in Germany,” Christoph Wulf, vice president of the German UNESCO Commission, said.

“Young culture is just as much a part of it as centuries-old crafts, urban heritage as well as rural heritage.

“Tradition and change go hand in hand here. This diversity is what defines our society. Our lived heritage creates community and brings people together every day.”

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