Techno in Berlin officially joins the UNESCO cultural heritage list

“This is a major milestone for the entire culture, and our joy is beyond words,” said Rave the Planet, the non-profit that spearheaded the campaign.

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Rave the Planet techno parade in Berlin, Germany

Image: Christian Ender / Getty Images

Techno in Berlin has officially been added to the UNESCO cultural heritage list.

For years, DJs, festival organisers and fans have campaigned to secure the status of the city’s techno scene amidst fears that the culture wouldn’t survive without it.

Clubcommission – a network of Berlin’s techno clubs and musicians – praised the move as “another milestone for Berlin techno producers, artists, club operators and event organisers”.

Non-profit organisation Rave The Planet, who spent the past few years campaigning for the addition of Techno into the UNESCO list, also celebrated the news on their social media accounts: “Congratulations to all the cultural creators who have shaped and contributed to Berlin’s techno culture,” they said.

“A big thank you to everyone involved who has been with us on this journey since Hans Cousto’s initial idea in 2011. Special thanks to the Expert Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage at the German UNESCO Commission!”

“This is a major milestone for the entire culture, and our joy is beyond words.”

🥳 We did it! 🎉#TechnoCulture in Berlin is officially recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage!Congratulations to…

Posted by Rave The Planet on Wednesday, March 13, 2024

According to The Spiegel, Berlin techno is probably the “youngest tradition” to be added to the list of cultural German traditions. The move is likely to bring about increased funding and easier access to government subsidies to clubs. Hurdles and requirements for opening and maintaining clubs could also be reduced.

Per Mixmag, Rave The Planet began lobbying German authorities to apply for intangible cultural heritage status of Berlin techno in 2021. The move came after reports that an estimated 100 clubs in Berlin have shut down in the last decade.

Created in 2003, the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list seeks to protect cultural traditions worldwide as well as raise awareness of their significance. Berlin’s techno scene is one of six new entries to the list in Germany, which features mountaineering and fruit wine among others.

Of the inclusion, Claudia Roth, the Minister of State for Culture, says that Berlin techno culture stands for “values such as diversity, respect and cosmopolitanism.”


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