Berlin Clubs Are Donating To Refugees, Proving There Is A Soul In Nightlife
In an era in which “going out” often means paying $30 entrance fees just to be charged $2o for a single drink, Berlin is paving the way for a new humane way to party ‘til you pass out. A new campaign at Berlin’s hottest clubs, called PLUS 1, is letting you party for a good cause, continuing the city’s ongoing work to aid refugees. The initiative adds a required donation of at least €1 (or $1.14) to anyone on the guest list, which goes directly to helping Germany take care of the overwhelming number of refugees who have fled war in the Middle East—a sharp contrast to the cries of “where’s my bottle service” that tend to erupt in line at 1OAK on any given night.
The PLUS 1 campaign began in October 2015 and since then, over 80 of Berlin’s top nighttime venues, artists, and promoters have signed up. They have now raised over $45,000. It’s a brilliant move, not only because of Berlin’s international nightlife reputation, but also because of Germany’s ongoing struggle to take care of the refugees it has allowed into its borders. According to the BBC, in 2015 Germany had the highest number of new asylum applications of all European countries, with more than 476,000 people flowing in—that’s an average of a little more than 1,304 per day. And we can barely handle getting 12 emails in an hour. That number only accounts for asylum applications too; the actual number of refugees who have migrated to Germany last year totaled over a million people.
October was a pressing time for the refugee crisis in Germany, as the country faced the stark reality of caring for the hundreds of thousands of refugees that chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed with the declaration: “Wir schaffen es – We can do it.” Fights were breaking out at refugee camps, there was a backlog of registration claims, and winter was coming (albeit with less White Walkers and Jon Snow). The PLUS 1 campaign was a natural way to combine something people already do with a good cause that anyone can get behind—as long as they aren’t a Republican running for president.
The proceeds from PLUS 1 go toward Sea-Watch, Moabit helps!, and Berlin Refugees. The three organizations try to help distressed people in the Mediterranean Sea, influence the State Office of Health and Welfare, and defend the rights of refugees in the face of authorities and politicians, respectively. It’s a small step given that it costs around €12,500 to pay for housing, food, and German classes for each refugee, but as countries face the challenge of making sure that refugees are treated humanely, a little bit of charity goes a long way.
Images via Fact Magazine and Still in Berlin.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on the refugee crisis.