Feb 25, 2021

“Condemned to Inactivity for A Year” – Save the Clubs!


gigmit is a media partner of the ‘Rettet die Clubs’ (Save the Clubs) campaign, which highlights the special sense of solidarity between clubs, bands and fans. ‘Rettet die Clubs’ is a solidarity initiative that draws attention to the precarious situation in which live music venues are trapped during the pandemic.

“Everything will pass”, says Berlin rock band ENGST, with whom we spoke about the value of small venues and – quite unpunkily – how well we’re actually still doing! 

Save the Clubs

Film composer Beckmann has made a decision: “I no longer like to passively accept that the live music scene is floundering along due to eternal lockdowns!” The well-connected musician wants to support the great women and men in the clubs, the living rooms of live music. “… And have been condemned to inactivity for more than a year now!” Beckmann joined forces with Alex Molter and started the ‘Rettet die Clubs‘ (Save the Clubs) campaign.


Autographed guitars for a good cause

“If it’s supposed to look like rock’n’roll and be cool, then I’ll do it!” says Berlin rock-art-artist Alexander Molter. That’s why he has been building red and black guitar artworks out of wood – with band logos – since autumn 2020. The bands, including well-known names like Rammstein, Seeed or Die Ärzte, sign them and present them to venues that want to support them. These are mostly clubs that were important for the big bands when they were not yet filling the very big halls. Those smaller grassroots venues have a particularly hard time in the pandemic.

Solidarity of the industry

What the clubs do with the autographed guitars, already coveted objects of art among fans, is up to them. The main thing is to raise money for the venues suffering from the pandemic. 100% of the proceeds from raffles, auctions or fundraisers go to the club the band has chosen. This complex feeling of togetherness between clubs, bands and fans is something special and characterises the live music industry at its core! And it also shows that it’s actually about more than money – namely solidarity in the scene! That’s why gigmit is a media partner of ‘Save the Clubs’.

The feeling of togetherness between clubs, bands and fans is what characterises the live music industry at its core!

Here, people also look left and right and share when someone needs help. For example, the club die Wabe, chosen by the band Karat, said: “We are communally supported. Speiches Rock & Blues pub needs the money more urgently!” Without further ado, the recipient was rededicated in solidarity.

The youth club die Klinke is also donating half of the proceeds of 3,030 euros to the Berlin cold bus. We spoke to singer Matze from the band ENGST, who is part of ‘Rettet die Clubs’ and gifted their guitar to die Klinke.

gigmit: Hi Matze, nice initiative! How did you get to this?

Matze Engst: Suddenly we were asked if we would like to take part in the “Rettet die Clubs” campaign. At first, we were actually rather sceptical, because unfortunately you hear more and more about such campaigns, which often only serve the self-promotion and marketing of bands or artists. But when we held the guitar in our hands, we were super stoked. After we signed the guitar, Alexander Molter and I met. It was really good chemistry right away! We noticed right away that this guy really wants to do something and not just talk.

Why is it important to support clubs? What did your action look like in concrete terms?

Clubs are not only places to consume music. They are also meeting places for people from the most diverse backgrounds and social classes. They are places of encounter where people share their love of music. That’s what connects people with each other. I think I met the majority of my close friends at some point at concerts. In general, I associate the best moments of my youth with boozy evenings at some concert or other. If such opportunities to meet people disappear, many chances are lost. Besides, we all hope that the world will gradually return to normal and that we as artists will be able to go full speed again at some point. Of course, clubs are needed for that.

Every individual can do their part to keep the scene alive.

We have probably contributed the smallest part to the ‘Rettet die Clubs’ campaign and do not want to adorn ourselves with other people’s feathers. The only thing we could do actively was to use our social media channels to promote the campaign. We also made several small high-quality videos about the action, as I am a videographer myself and wanted to make these resources available. However, the lion’s share of this campaign was taken on by our fans, who organised themselves completely on their own initiative and thus achieved an incredible result. Our fans have made a very clear statement that every single person can do their bit to keep the scene alive in these difficult times.

What connects you with Die Klinke?

Die Klinke and its staff are friends who have been with me since my youth, for example. This place is not only a youth cultural centre, but a second home for many. We played incredibly good concerts in this location in our early days. It’s an unwritten law that – no matter how big the band gets – we play there once a year. I myself am a social worker in a neighbouring youth club and can only take my hat off to the incredible work of my colleagues in Die Klinke. In a hotspot district like Marzahn, Die Klinke is an oasis for musicians and artists.

What will happen next?

Our optimism has remained unbroken until now and we like to quote Die Toten Hosen: “Everything will pass”. There will be concerts again and “normal life” will also return to us – even if it may not happen as quickly as we would like. At the end of the day, you just have to remember that there are a lot of people in the world right now who are in a much shittier situation than we are. Even if it sounds very unpunky, but in Germany there is still a safety net that catches the majority of people. We should ALL get into the habit of not always looking up and asking who is doing better. We should be so reflective as to realise how well off we actually still are!

Thank you, Matze!

Rettet die Clubs – Band ENGST
Fotocredit: Melanie Werner – Film & Photography

ENGST, the band that doesn’t fit into any drawer but is the whole closet, released their new album ‘Brave New World’ in November 2020 and plans to tour again in May 2021.

More information on the “Rettet die Clubs” campaign here und here.
See which clubs are currently active and offer streaming gigs, for example: HERE.