Scroo­ging our­sel­ves over

Ever­yo­ne lo­ves a bar­gain, and that’s es­pe­cial­ly true at queer par­ties and cul­tu­ral events. But stin­gi­ness is end­an­ge­ring Ber­lin’s co­lor­ful sub­cul­tu­re in the long-run, as SIE­GES­SÄU­LE edi­tor Ka­ey ex­plains

Siegessaeule - - Tach Auch -

> Ma­ny of you who work in Ber­li­ner night­light know what I’m tal­king about: I was re­cent­ly wor­king the door of a les­bi­an par­ty. Th­ree wo­men with Dö­ner in hand as­ked how much it cost to get in (ten eu­ros) and, pul­ling long faces, ho­ve­r­ed at the cash desk for a drawn-out twen­ty mi­nu­tes, con­tem­pla­ting whe­ther they wan­ted to pay. For the re­cord, the lin­eup in­clu­ded mul­ti­ple DJs and li­ve acts. The Dö­ner la­dies ul­ti­mate­ly op­ted to lea­ve. Queer sta­ge­craft wasn’t worth ten bucks. It’s be­en an is­sue wi­t­hin the sce­ne for ye­ars – how we va­lue the en­ter­tain­ment we en­joy. Whi­le he­te­ros shell out fif­teen eu­ros to get in­to Wa­ter­ga­te, we in the queer com­mu­ni­ty hag­g­le over every last pen­ny. This de­ve­lop­ment is un­sett­ling – how can a sub­cul­tu­re exist wi­thout cul­tu­re?! It’s a vi­cious cir­cle: out of fe­ar of ha­ving an em­pty hou­se, most event pro­mo­ters feel they need to keep of­fe­ring mo­re. Ins­tead of a drag show with th­ree good per­for­mers, they book eight. Ins­tead of six DJs, they book twel­ve. Ins­tead of fi­ve bands at a mu­sic fes­ti­val, the­re are fif­teen. All whi­le try­ing to keep en­try pri­ces low, sin­ce queers are re­luc­tant to pay mo­re than ten eu­ros for any­thing. Au­di­en­ces ha­ve co­me to ta­ke it for gran­ted that they can pay litt­le and get a lot. So the acts get paid less and less and then must find mo­re boo­kings in or­der to sur­vi­ve, or at least co­ver the cost of in­stru­ments, rehear­sal spaces, cos­tu­mes, ma­keup or ta­xi mo­ney. Even­tual­ly they are play­ing so of­ten that the pu­b­lic starts to think it’s the sa­me old sa­me old. They be­co­me even less wil­ling to pay for en­tran­ce, con­ti­nuing the down­ward spi­ral of the bar­gain bin. “Sup­port your lo­cal queer sce­ne!“be­co­mes the sub­se­quent ral­ly­ing cry for people try­ing to crea­te events for the sce­ne and op­por­tu­nities for its ta­lent. But oddly enough, the sup­port is ma­ni­fes­ted in the form of a crowd­fun­ding cam­pai­gn whe­r­e­by people sud­den­ly do­na­te thousands of eu­ros toward the sur­vi­val of a queer mu­sic fes­ti­val when they pre­vious­ly scof­fed at the high but ju­s­ti­fia­ble ti­cket pri­ces. Ab­surd. May­be it be­ars re­pea­ting: art is the most im­portant voice of a sub­cul­tu­re, and it would be a fa­tal flaw to si­lence it with our stin­gi­ness.< Trans­la­ti­on: Jo­ey Han­som

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