Berlin Techno DJs want Unesco world heritage status

Techno pioneers want the genre to be recognised for its historical impact

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DJs who pioneered techno music in Germany want the genre to be granted Unesco world heritage status to protect their music.

Berlin DJs want to have famous nightclubs recognised as having historical and cultural value, and say having the support of the UN body would secure the future of the techno genre.

Tecno pioneer Dr Motte, said the campaign would grant Berlin “intangible cultural heritage” status (ICH) for being a part of the unification of the city following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dr Motte told DJ Mag ICH status “would mean that the government and authorities have to help the culture continue.”

Founder of the Tresor club Dimitri Hegemann said the techno genre “transformed the city.”

“East kids liked it, west kids liked it and they were bound together by it. It was a chance to try to something new, like after the second world war in Paris when Miles Davis came with cool jazz.

“There were no stupid messages. It was just music we could dance to.”

Speaking to The Observer, DJ Alan Oldham, part of the Underground Resistance collective, said the Covid pandemic and gentrification threaten the “free, wild, creative Berlin.

“Unesco protection would go a long way towards maintaining that old spirit.

“So many venues have closed in just the seven years I’ve lived here full time. In other cities, it would be the natural club cycle at work, but Berlin is a different kind of place, where the club and creative scenes are the currency of the city.”

The United Nations body “seems supportive” of the initial application. Dr Motte said Unesco "want to have something urban, young," but added that it could take up to a decade to get an outcome.