German Law Classifies Berghain Techno as 'High Art:' Report

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A projection of Sanssouci Palace on the facade of Berghain nightclub on Jan. 23, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. 

A party that never ends, that elevates and invigorates, that sometimes degenerates into nudity and total abandon of inhibitions is absolutely and legally a form of “high art.” So says German law after a court battle that saw the German tax agency try Berghain for higher taxes, but mysterious hedonism and techno prevail.

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According to a report by Fact Mag, it all started when the tax authorities thought, hey, there's something fishy about Berghain's tax designation. Shouldn't a place dedicated to weekend-long parties that revolve around DJ sets be classified as “entertainment” over “culture,” and therefor held to a tax bracket of 19 percent versus its current 7 percent?

Berghain owners and employees argued that indeed, the hidden happenings of the iconic club were entirely cultural. They argued in court that if Berghain was simple “entertainment,” so too was classical music, or at least, that techno and classical should be seen as equals. A court found in favor of camp Berghain, and there you have it. That stuff you aren't allowed in to see if now even more important that you thought it was.

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It's a win for dance music culture after a series of worldwide struggle. Chicago's small venues currently find themselves in similar circumstances, and London's legendary Fabric nightclub is forced to appeal a court ruling that had it permanently closed following two drug overdoses.  


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