Room 1
17:15 - 18:15
Access to Work & New Economy
Tapping into the Night: Unlocking the Potential of a 24 Hour-Economy

Short thesis

Detroit and dance culture are synonymous. Motown songs and techno tracks bring positive energy to the mind and move the body, regardless of time and place. Yet in Detroit itself dancing is prohibited after 2 a.m. This discussion led by the Detroit-Berlin Connection aims to shed light on how local laws must be changed to allow 24 hour expression of what the city does best: innovate, create, change the world.


The Detroit-Berlin Connection is leading efforts to end a decades-long dance curfew from 2 to 7:30 a.m. in the city. The laws stretch back to a time when auto industry and political leaders in Detroit, along with the state's Liquor Control Commission, aimed to limit hours of entertainment as a way to protect business interests - as well as reduce late night options for people of color in the neighborhoods like Black Bottom-Paradise Valley, which flourished with jazz and blues clubs in the 1930s and 1940s, but was demolished to make way for interstate highways and other urban renewal projects in the 1950s.

Detroit is considered an innovator and influencer in creative industries worldwide, yet its leading artists - most of them African American - must make their living in cities with less restrictive, more open night economies in Europe and elsewhere.

This discussion includes Dimitri Hegemann, Berlin techno entrepreneur and advocate for the 24 economy; John Collins of Detroit's legendary Underground Resistance collective and a member of the Detroit Entertainment Commission and Detroit-Berlin Connection; and Adrian Tonon, night ambassador for the City of Detroit. The panel is moderated by Walter Wasacz, vice-president of the Detroit-Berlin Connection.

Sign the petition here: