Berlin venue Loophole shuts down

Berlin venue Loophole has been forced to close.

The Neukölln art and music space was shut down and banned from hosting events at its Boddinstraße 60 home of 15 years on 4th July, following a police and Ordnungsamt Berlin raid the previous evening, the Loophole collective said in a press statement. "After lengthy and intimidating interrogations of our volunteer staff and the performing artists, the venue was ordered closed and we are not allowed to enter the building, effective immediately", they said. "We were given no time to react, plan, or plead our case." 

In a statement on Instagram, the Loophole crew said, "Officially, we are being closed down for lacking the sufficient permits to continue to host concerts", though they "did not consider giving open access to culture and local band an opportunity to perform illegal." They shared additional factors leading to the closure: "The exponential rent increases and repeated attempts from our neighbours to get us out of our space have put huge pressure on us. These include but are not limited to: threatening messages, police raids, and vandalism."

Loophole expanded on the ongoing issues with neighbours' noise complaints and attacks: "These actions come after many years of conflict with some of our neighbors, who have become increasingly intolerant of our presence in the neighborhood, and sought to have us shut down by filing nearly daily reports to the police and vandalizing our space. This continued to happen despite our investments in acoustic treatment for sound isolation and best efforts to manage the presence and noise of guests in front of our building. Police became an increasing presence in our space, but they often reported to us that they could not hear a disturbing level of sound from the living spaces of the neighbors who had reported us."

Loophole has since launched a petition to protect their space, future and role as a home and supporters of DIY art and music in Berlin. So far, they have more than 1,700 signatures.

The collective has also created a GoFundMe to cover their rent payments, which they are still obligated to continue paying €4,000 per month for the remainder of their five-year lease (all gigs booked through December 2024 have been cancelled), legal fees and costs related to finding and moving to a new venue. They've surpassed their goal of raising €8,000 with more than €10,000 in pledged donations. 

Find more information on Loophole's website