Berlin's Embassy of Ireland will host a special panel event focused on the importance of club culture this week.
The event will take place on 1st September, from 6pm-8pm at the Embassy of Ireland on Jaegerstrasse 51, Berlin. A number of Irish DJs and electronic music artists — Sunil Sharpe, Cormac and ELLLL — will take part in the discussion, which will be led by musicologist and journalist Dr. Liam Cagney. Lewamm 'Lu' Ghebremariam, a representative of Berlin's Clubcommission, will also take part in the discussion.
According to press materials, "the panelists will talk about their work in the electronic dance music industry, exploring the importance of clubbing as culture, the night time economy, links between Berlin and Ireland, spaces for marginalised people, and other related topics".
Speaking about the importance of the event, Irish DJ and campaigner for Give Us The Night Sunil Sharpe said: "Governments are generally very selective about what passes as being culturally relevant. The pandemic, though, forced many to have to listen to communities like ours more, and in many cases to accept that club culture and electronic music are as valid career pursuits as any other art form.
"Changing mindsets in Ireland around modern dance culture is not an easy thing to do, but we’re at a crossroads now where the conversation is more alive than it’s ever been, particularly within the political realm."
Comparing Berlin's clubbing landscape to Ireland’s, ELLLL said: "Certainly if you could transport any kind of larger scale club with a late license from Berlin into Ireland, it would go down very well at this stage given how grim the venue landscape is in Ireland at the moment."
Speaking about the main lesson Berlin's club scene can give to Ireland, ELLLL added: "Late licensing is obvious here, but recognising and protecting clubs, theatres, museums, and concert halls as cultural institutions is just as important."
Speaking about the importance of club culture, Berlin-based Irish artist Cormac said: "I think club culture for me at its best is church, if you want to call it that. I’m not religious. But when I see people, you know, being touched by the Spirit, in whatever religion they’re into, that for me was something that I continue to access in club culture."
Clubbing and electronic music culture has long been held back in Ireland due to particularly stringent licensing conditions. Revisit DJ Mag's 2021 feature on the fight for the future of Irish clubbing here.