Following the closure of Brussels' famous Fuse nightclub, the Brussels Night Council is asking the authorities to recognise the club as Intangible Cultural Heritage – which would prevent it from remaining shut due to one neighbour's complaint.
The Brussels Night Council consists of several permanent members (the Brussels by Night Federation, HoReCa Federation and delegated officials from the City of Brussels and Ixelles municipality) and visit.brussels. On Wednesday 18 January, the council sat down with experts from Environment Brussels for a first working group on Fuse, Bruzz reports.
"In a nightclub, people meet, whether they have a lot of money or only a little," Lorenzo Serra of the Brussels by Night Federation told the outlet, underlining the social function of the nightclub in addition to its electronic music culture and adding that nightlife is part of the heritage and culture of Brussels.
The Night Council is proposing a series of measures that it intends to develop together with various Brussels administrations to ensure that Fuse can reopen, and that other Brussels clubs cannot close in the future on the basis of very few complaints.
'Rave the Planet'
First, the Night Council is proposing a change in terms of the planning permission for Fuse in particular and nightclubs in general. Today, it states – as with shops or catering establishments – that it is a "commercial activity." In the future, they propose to change that to "cultural institution," for example.
Going one step further, the Night Council hopes to not only characterise Fuse as something of cultural value, but to have several Brussels nightclubs recognised as intangible cultural heritage.
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"If the club is part of the Brussels patrimony, it is possible to make an exception to the different legal frameworks," Alya Dirix of the Brussels Night Council told Bruzz. "I cannot guarantee it with 100% certainty, but that is the idea."
The Night Council also asks whether Fuse can be a pilot project for this new definition of clubs in Brussels. The idea comes from Berlin, where the 'Rave the Planet' organisation urged UNESCO to protect the city's techno scene as intangible cultural heritage – "protecting clubs and venues, as well as their workers."