The “First Ones to Close and Last Ones to Re-Open”

Music Venues, COVID-19 and the Handling of the Crisis

Authors

  • Robin Kuchar Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Maxine Frey Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Julia Gooß Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Tim Mertens Leuphana University of Lüneburg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.23354

Keywords:

music clubs, club culture, cultural policy, COVID-19, cultural loss, venues as social space, pandemic measures

Abstract

During the initial phase of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, music venues and clubs were the first to close—and often the last to re-open. Based on knowledge about music venues and club culture from the pre-COVID-19 era and data collected among club owners, clubbers, venue associations and cultural policy in Germany, this article encompasses a variety of perspectives regarding the situation of live music venues and clubs during the pandemic. Firstly, it analyses, from a German perspective, the club-related developments of the COVID-19 crisis from the first lockdown in March 2020 to the spring of 2021. Secondly, it considers the effect of “loss” among audiences and, thirdly, the discourse about cultural policy and emergency funds for music clubs and live music culture in Germany.

Author Biographies

Robin Kuchar, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Dr Robin Kuchar holds a PhD from Leuphana University, Germany. His main fields of interest are popular music, underground music scenes, music industries and the relationship of culture and urban space. He is co-editor of Music City: Musical Approaches to the Creative City (2014) and co-initiator of the Urban Music Studies Scholars’ Network (www.urbanmusicstudies.org).

Maxine Frey, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Maxine Frey, Julia Gooß and Tim Mertens are doing their BA studies in cultural sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg, focusing on cultural organization, popular music and media studies. All three of them work in live music and club cultures: Maxine is member of the organizing committee of Lunatic Festival (www.lunatic-festival.de) and engages in a non-profit association organizing concerts and club-events. Julia is promoting concerts and events as an active member of Originalton Lüneburg e.V., a local live music initiative. Tim is a DJ and member of Mamagei Collective (https://mamagei.xyz), an arts and club culture initiative organizing exhibitions, workshops and events around visual arts and electronic dance music culture.

Julia Gooß, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Maxine Frey, Julia Gooß and Tim Mertens are doing their BA studies in cultural sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg, focusing on cultural organization, popular music and media studies. All three of them work in live music and club cultures: Maxine is member of the organizing committee of Lunatic Festival (www.lunatic-festival.de) and engages in a non-profit association organizing concerts and club-events. Julia is promoting concerts and events as an active member of Originalton Lüneburg e.V., a local live music initiative. Tim is a DJ and member of Mamagei Collective (https://mamagei.xyz), an arts and club culture initiative organizing exhibitions, workshops and events around visual arts and electronic dance music culture.

Tim Mertens, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Maxine Frey, Julia Gooß and Tim Mertens are doing their BA studies in cultural sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg, focusing on cultural organization, popular music and media studies. All three of them work in live music and club cultures: Maxine is member of the organizing committee of Lunatic Festival (www.lunatic-festival.de) and engages in a non-profit association organizing concerts and club-events. Julia is promoting concerts and events as an active member of Originalton Lüneburg e.V., a local live music initiative. Tim is a DJ and member of Mamagei Collective (https://mamagei.xyz), an arts and club culture initiative organizing exhibitions, workshops and events around visual arts and electronic dance music culture.

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Published

2022-06-22

How to Cite

Kuchar, R., Frey, M., Gooß, J., & Mertens, T. (2022). The “First Ones to Close and Last Ones to Re-Open”: Music Venues, COVID-19 and the Handling of the Crisis. Journal of World Popular Music, 9(1-2), 170–196. https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.23354