Supreme Courts officially recognize techno club events in Germany as concerts
Techno club events in Germany have been officially recognized as concerts by The Federal Fiscal Court. This new ruling means that the tax paid by venues on ticket sales will be significantly reduced.
Considering the current situation with the pandemic and its effect on Germany's entertainment industry, this comes as an incredible positive news.
Earlier this year, Germany announced the closure of all state-run concert halls and theatres until April 19th as part of the measures to control the spread of the virus. With the music industry being hit the hardest, and the rave scene feeling the direct consequences of the music events being canceled, with clubs and venues being closed down, it was clear that something needed to be done. One step towards easing the harsh circumstances was reevaluating the importance and purpose of the electronic music events.
Brought up on 23rd July of this year, the news of techno club events in Germany being officially recognized as concerts by the Supreme Court was only published recently.
The Supreme Courts have concluded that “the nightclubs in Berlin contribute to a production of work that can be considered to be high culture”, recognizing their purpose and cultural significance of their work, considering them more than just places for mere entertainment.
Before this ruling, techno clubs had to pay a VAT rate of 19% on entrance fees. It was a decision made by Berlin's finance ministry in 2008, and the reasoning behind it was the fact that some "techno clubs and venues have no stage or musical performances and thus could not be classified as a concert". This meant that clubs and electronic music venues had to pay the same fee as other "entertainment events."
But today, things are different!
Techno clubs are now allowed to pay a reduced tax rate, which is a 7% levy on entrance fees instead of 19%.
The ruling states that "this is due to the fact that ticket holders at club events are primarily there for the music and the DJs performance," which is why they are now being recognized as a "concert-like" event.
The judgment of this new decree states that:
"The performance of techno and house music by various DJs can give an event the character of a concert or a concert-like event even if the music performances take place regularly (weekly). The tendency of the audience to focus on the DJ and the emptying of the dance floor after a DJ set, as determined by the FG, clearly shows that the DJ – as usual at concerts – is in the foreground of the performance."
While it is still unclear what the future holds and how the situation with COVID-19 will keep developing, this news feels like a breath of fresh air amid these incredibly challenging times.