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  • Maïwenn


A few months ago, following the closure of one of Brussels’ most iconic clubs, Brussels By Night Federation, together with the Brussels Night Council, started working on an action plan to safeguard our nightlife. One of the propositions of this plan was the recognition of Brussels’ clubbing as part of the regional intangible cultural heritage. From 6 July, it's official: clubbing has been officially recognised as a cultural heritage.

Clubbing is a festive and cultural activity deeply embedded in the city's nightlife.

Clubbing has been added to the list of elements of intangible cultural heritage. This recognition aims to preserve and promote this practice, which plays a significant role in Brussels' cultural identity while enhancing its urban vibrancy.

Whereas such recognition would have no impact on legal protections and noise diffusion scales, it would, without a doubt, be a strong element of cultural and social importance, able to constitute a key symbolic argument in favour of better protection for those involved in the Brussels nightlife scene.

A first step toward a brighter future for Brussels’ nightlife

Clubs, as they have traditionally been known and which have enabled club culture to develop, are now threatened by a number of factors. By recognizing the cultural dimension of clubbing and its value to society, we can work to raise awareness of their social and cultural vocation, the importance of archiving and documenting, and the need to broaden knowledge about it, and thus better meet the needs of sustainable and inclusive management.

A recognition after hard work

This recognition comes true after hard work and close consultation with Ans Persoons, Brussels Secretary of State for Urban Planning and Heritage, and her predecessor Pascal Smet. This recognition consecrates clubbing as a vital element of Brussels' cultural identity and underscores the significance of nightlife culture in the city. By adding clubbing to Brussels' intangible cultural heritage, regional authorities have demonstrated their commitment to preserving modern cultural practices that contribute to the city's effervescence and cultural richness. This recognition has generated widespread enthusiasm among nightlife stakeholders and advocates of cultural heritage. It also marks an important step in the recognition of contemporary cultural forms. We are out of words to describe how we feel about such a historic decision, and we are very happy with the outcome of these efforts.

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