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Berlin is giving young people €50 to go to museums, theatres, and nightclubs

Berlin's Jugendkulturkarte, or Youth Culture Card, is a prepaid card offering young people €50 to spend on the cultural experience of their choice, valid from February 1. They can choose to use this allowance to visit 200 cultural venues in the city for free

Published: Feb 8, 2023 01:08:10 PM IST
Updated: Feb 8, 2023 01:18:21 PM IST

Berlin is giving young people €50 to go to museums, theatres, and nightclubsBerlin's Jugendkulturkarte, or Youth Culture Card, is a prepaid card offering young people €50 to spend on the cultural experience of their choice, valid from February 1. They can choose to use this allowance to visit 200 cultural venues in the city for free Image: Shutterstock

Like several other European countries, Germany allocates a certain amount of money to young people so that they can access all kinds of cultural experiences. Thanks to a new initiative, young people in Berlin can use prepaid credit to pay for cinema tickets, buy books, visit museums... or even go to some of the capital's nightclubs.

Berlin's Jugendkulturkarte, or Youth Culture Card, is a prepaid card offering young people €50 to spend on the cultural experience of their choice, valid from February 1. They can choose to use this allowance to visit 200 cultural venues in the city for free. Among them are museums, theaters and movie theaters, but also the AVA Club and Cassiopeia Berlin, two of the German capital's most famous nightclubs.

Indeed, the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe has chosen to include a dozen nightclubs in the cultural offer of the Jugendkulturkarte. Klunkerkranich, a vast rooftop terrace that looks like an open-air disco, is one of them, as is the Busche Club, designed by and for LGBT clubbers, not to mention Gretchen, located in former Prussian stables. Prachtwerk, Ritter Butzke Schwuz and the SO36 complete the list.

While this initiative may sound surprising, Senator Klaus Lederer sees it as a way to help young Berliners discover the diversity of the city's cultural and artistic scene. "The Jugendkulturkarte for 18- to 23-year-olds is aimed at a young audience that is just getting to know Berlin's diverse cultural landscape after the restrictions of recent years. We have been able to enlist many of our Berlin cultural institutions as partners and are delighted to be able to make a selection of cultural experiences possible with the Jugendkulturkarte that might not otherwise have been possible," he said in a statement.

Preserving techno culture

Young people wanting to sign up for their Jugendkulturkarte have until February 28 to do so via a dedicated website. However, they must be between 18 and 23 years old and live in Berlin to be eligible. All they have to do is go to one of the 40 libraries in the German capital to collect their Culture Pass and use the €50 in pre-paid credit before April 30.

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The inclusion of several nightclubs in the Jugendkulturkarte offer has been welcomed by many German nightlife professionals. And for good reason, Berlin's nightclubs are struggling to get back on track after the Covid-19 pandemic and the financial losses it entailed. The gentrification of the German capital—a phenomenon that began long before the pandemic—also casts a shadow over the future of an industry that drew three million foreign tourists to Berlin in 2018, according to figures from the Berlin Club Commission.

These threats have prompted some defenders of Berlin's club scene to campaign for techno to be included in the list of UNESCO's intangible heritage. An initiative that would, they say, encourage the German government to preserve techno culture. Efforts in this sense have already been made in recent years. For example, the Berghain was officially recognized as a cultural site in 2016—a status also enjoyed by museums, opera houses and other German institutions. In fact, most of Berlin's nightclubs received this distinction in May 2021, after a major lobbying campaign, according to the New York Times.