Planned GEMA tariff reforms incite ongoing protest

The widely-reported proposed increases for 2013 in GEMA’s taxes on music clubs and nightlife venues continue to provoke outrage, counter-demonstrations and artistic protest initiatives across Deutschland. Berlin is a natural hub for the resistance to the planned reforms, as the Hauptstadt has long been considered a Mecca for electronic music lovers and devotees of the party lifestyle, who would bear the brunt of rising cover charges at clubs affected by the planned reforms.

In addition to a petition being circulated, with support from many of Berlin’s preeminent nightlife establishments and figures, and numerous visual media campaigns denouncing the potential consequences of the tariff reform, opponents of the planned tax restructuring continue to hold protests, such as the one today at Berlin’s Wittenbergplatz in front of the GEMA Bezirksdirektion. Protestors continue to hope that an eleventh-hour compromise in negotiations could prevent the extortionist measures from coming into full effect. Some legendary venues such as the Berghain have already alluded to threats of closing their doors, should the new tariffs in fact be implemented in 2013.

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