Berlin closes major venues, reportedly bans gatherings over 1,000

Berlin has closed state-run music venues in the city, effective from March 11 until April 19 at the earliest. The move is in response to the recent increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Germany, which have grown from 240 to 1296 in a week.

The city has also reportedly banned gatherings of over 1,000 people, according to The Guardian. There is no official word on how long this part of the ban will last, but German Health Minister Jens Spahn has recommended large events should be cancelled “until further notice”.

The order to close Berlin venues applies to state-run theatres, opera houses and concert halls. Large private theatres have been advised to follow suit. Organisers of events with under 500 attendees due to happen before April 19 can individually decide whether to go ahead with them. They will, however, have to take guidance from the federal centre for disease control.

Music events big and small have been cancelled or postponed in a bid to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Among them are SXSW, Coachella, Ultra, Musikmesse/ProLight + Sound and Synthplex.

What does this mean for Superbooth and Loop Berlin?

Two major events in the music technology calendar, Superbooth and Loop Berlin, are currently scheduled to go ahead only days after the newly announced shutdown is set to end.

At the time of writing, Superbooth is set to begin on Thursday 23 April, with Loop opening its doors on April 24. Both events attract high-profile exhibitors, performers and speakers from across Europe and beyond. Last year’s Superbooth was a runaway success, attracting 7,500 visitors.

Organisers for both Loop and Superbooth have issued level-headed statements addressing Covid-19 fears. The Superbooth press release put out on February 28 urged calm. “As long as there is no official ban by the authorities, we have decided to keep on working on the finalization of this year’s Superbooth,” the statement reads. On that date, there had been only 53 confirmed cases of the virus in Germany.

No further updates had been shared at the time of writing.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

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