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Photo: Pexels, Francesco Paggiaro


Finally Dancing Again!

Nadine Cobbina is an expert for club culture and a radio journalist (FM4). She takes her followers on social media journeys to various Viennese club worlds, also in order to show them the utopias that can be experienced on a night out.

Nadine has curated the Bank Austria Kultursommer Club, which will take place next to the Donaustadtbrücke between 9th July and 14th August. Here she explains to you her concept for the twelve themed evenings. And also how the domestic scene is doing after corona, whether Vienna is a good party city, and why she is fighting to have clubs recognised as a cultural asset.

Nadine Cobbina, Curator of the Bank Austria Kultursommer Club

Photo: Pexels, Everson Mayer

Corona has hit clubs very hard. They had to remain closed longer than other cultural establishments. But, despite this, were there also positive aspects?

Thanks to corona there has been more of a discussion about what clubs actually are, why we miss them, and what they contribute to society. Clubs stood in the shadow of high culture for many years but now we understand more about how they can also be utopian spaces. The fact that parties can make you ecstatic doesn’t mean that we can simply reduce them to ecstasy. It’s more about a feeling of belonging. Clubs also help the integration process. Clubs are where people meet, before perhaps going on to launch a startup together. One gets talking, and this leads to things. But the music and the texts can also help people. That’s why we emphasise the term club culture

IG Club Kultur: Clubs are where new worlds emerge

Is that why you helped to found IG Club Kultur?

Yes, for us this also has a lot to do with the question of what club culture really is. There are a number of ways of looking at this. For me, they are about the creation of a world. Or of a utopia, a notion of how a society can live and celebrate together, in a setting which has to do with music and art. In Berlin, clubs are already regarded as cultural settings, but this is only beginning to happen here.

Photo: Pexels, Francesco Paggiaro

Is Vienna a city with a good club culture?

In any event, this is a good moment. In the past few years many communities have become established and these are working to create a diverse urban landscape. There have been various temporary use projects and new collectives and record labels and free radios have developed out of this club culture. Many things that are perhaps already over in Berlin are only just getting started here. New clubs are opening, many of which are run as collectives.

The Kultursommer Club brings urban vibes

You have curated the Bank Austria Kultursommer Club. What was your concept?

On the twelve themed evenings I have tried to offer a platform to the party vibes that you can find in Vienna. My aim was to involve as many communities as possible. From dub and reggae via trap and house to Latin and drum and bass. There’s really a lot to be experienced.

How do you think things will look in autumn?

My opinion changes every week. One has to be able to read the coffee grains because everything’s so open. The government still can’t offer any planning security because it naturally has to react to the numbers of infections. We don’t know how the mutants are going to spread. I tend to be pessimistic about the chances of a normal situation returning. I reckon that we won’t experience that until summer 2022. That’s why it’s important to work on safety concepts. Back at the end of March there was a test concert in Barcelona with 5,000 participants, high-performance ventilation equipment, covid tests and protective masks that worked very well. And that’s a sign of hope.

Nadine Cobbina