Berlin’s techno music scene added to cultural heritage list

March 17, 2024

Berlin’s techno music scene has been added to the UNESCO cultural heritage list, marking a significant milestone for the genre. The popularity of techno music in Germany surged following the fall of the Berlin Wall, with abandoned sites like power plants and factories serving as venues where clubbers could express their freedom through music.

The subculture of techno in Berlin was recognized as one of six new additions to the UNESCO list by the German UNESCO Commission. This acknowledgment highlighted techno’s importance as a defining sound for the German capital over the past three decades. The charity organization Rave The Planet, which spearheaded the campaign for this recognition, expressed immense joy and gratitude to all cultural creators who have contributed to this vibrant culture.


Inclusion on the UNESCO list will facilitate the preservation of clubs and help artists navigate regulatory challenges more effectively. Additionally, access to government subsidies and charitable funding will be more readily available with this prestigious status.

The evolution of Berlin’s music scene, particularly in the realm of electronic music like techno, has been closely tied to the city’s historical transformations. Following the reunification of Berlin in 1990 after the fall of the Wall, the city became a hub for electronic music culture, attracting a diverse community of music enthusiasts. Berlin’s emergence as a global techno capital in the ensuing years has been a testament to its vibrant and innovative music scene.

Pioneers like Edgar Willmar Froese of Tangerine Dream, who witnessed the city’s evolution from post-war reconstruction to a thriving cultural center, have played a pivotal role in shaping Berlin’s electronic music landscape. Artists and groups such as Kraftwerk, founded in 1970, laid the foundation for Berlin’s electronic music scene long before the fall of the Wall.

In the 1990s, Berlin saw the rise of iconic clubs known for their meticulously planned events and innovative music programming. Bargains founders Norbert Thormann and Michael Teufele turned an air raid shelter ‘Bunker’ into a hardcore techno and fetish club in the summer of 1992. 


Berghain opened its doors in 2004,  a former power station in East Berlin, which has become renowned worldwide for its 72 hour parties, unique atmosphere and cutting-edge music offerings exemplifying Berlin’s creative and adaptive spirit.

Despite the challenges of East Germany’s communist rule and censorship, Berlin’s music culture persevered and thrived, reflecting the city’s resilience and creative energy. The rich cultural and musical history of Berlin serves as a testament to the enduring influence of techno music and electronic artistry in the city’s vibrant landscape.


We hope that this recognition serves as a reminder to other cities, like London, about the significance of nightlife and musical culture in fostering creativity and innovation. In recent years, numerous venues in London have faced closures, underlining the urgent need for support and preservation of these cultural spaces.

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