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Last updated at 13:55 BST, Wednesday, 04 April 2012

Berlin nightclubs

Summary

6 April 2012

Public funds are to be used to protect Berlin's nightclubs. Some of the venues are being threatened with closure as property prices rise and developers move in.

Reporter

Steve Evans

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

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Report

Ever since the 20s, Berlin's been famous for its nightclubs - louche and throbbing with music. Today, there's a bigger draw in that they bring money into the city in the form of budget airline revellers who sometimes land, go clubbing until dawn and then head for the airport again.

But some have already closed and more - about 15 on one estimate - are under threat. They were set up in disused buildings like power stations and warehouses in the poorer areas of East Berlin, but now find developers knocking on the doors.

The clubs are big music venues so more closures would remove a vibrant part of Berlin's music scene. Accordingly, the city government has set up a 'Music Board' with a budget of more than a million dollars.

There is a debate within the Berlin government over whether the money should be used to support music very specifically or the club scene in general.

But there is a wider issue: should vibrant, grungy nightclubs be supported by state money - is that not the antithesis of what these alternative establishments are about?

As one club manager put it: "We're an oasis of fringe culture in Berlin, living with the faint hope that we will survive.

"But," she said, "We don't want to be an island in the middle of a gentrified town".

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Vocabulary

louche

of relaxed morals, disreputable

draw

attraction

revellers

party-goers

vibrant

lively

scene

all the things connected to a particular activity

grungy

run-down, dirty

state

government

the antithesis of

the very opposite of

fringe culture

alternative ideas and art

gentrified

turned from a poor area to a rich one, sometimes in a bad way