German Court Rules That Techno Is Music

The ruling allows dance clubs to receive the same reduced tax rate as concert venues

Techno music
Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

A German federal court has ruled that techno is music, putting an end to parental debates everywhere.

On October 29th, a top German court validated techno in a case regarding tax rates. The legal designation will allow clubs with DJs to benefit from the same reduced sales tax rate as concert venues, reports German news website The Local. As such, the value added tax (VAT) will drop from the standard rate of 19% to the reduced rate of 7%, often granted to companies with cultural services such as food, books, hotels, and other goods.

The court found that “the average visitor” at a techno or house club was primarily there to see the music and DJs. As such, that meant nightclubs were “similar to concerts,” even if there weren’t any musicians playing instruments onstage.

The judges rationalized that DJs do more than just hit play on a laptop by saying, “They perform their own new pieces of music using instruments in the broader sense, to create new sound sequences that have their own character.” Take that, naysayers.

Ultimately, the court agreed with plaintiffs in the case, including Berlin’s legendary Berghain club. Like many concert locations around the world, those in Germany are struggling to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic. Music fans in the US can help out in the fight to keep local music venues alive by getting involved with the Save Our Stages Act.

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