Would Karl Heine be Karl Heine without Noch Besser Leben?


This Friday I opened Facebook to see an urgent request from Noch Besser Leben. They need our help, or they might close immediately. Plagwitz would lose one of its landmarks, and many people a favourite alternative culture hub and hangout spot.

I remember my first Noch Besser Leben experience. I can’t remember when it was exactly, but it was long before Leipzig West was a hot spot. My friend, Ray’s, brother was doing a tour with his band, the Louis Romanos Quartet, and we had gone to NBL after they played.

We sat outside and did what you normally do: drink, laugh, chat. The weather was nice. The stars were bright. The drinks were cheap. It was a good night.

Noch Besser Leben (“even better life”) has been a staple on Karl Heine Straße for years.

They have been supporting the culture program and paying staff with proceeds from the bar. Concerts are free and the bands get a place to stay and breakfast. They get to keep whatever is collected in the hat after the performance.

Unfortunately those days are coming to a close.

In January 2016, the rent rose dramatically and there are often unexpected costs. Just last summer, they needed €20,000 to replace the ventilation system. They paid for it by doing a crowdfunder.

They haven’t mentioned it, but I know from other venues that GEMA can really add to costs. Other beloved venues in Leipzig, like Poniatowski in Reudnitz, have closed or are closing due to skyrocketing rents.

NBL has a new plan to create a body that deals with the venue’s cultural program independent of the bar. More details will be made known, on the website and Facebook page in the future… if there is a future.

NBL is in danger of closing now if it doesn’t raise €12,000 by the beginning of next week.

This will go to pay health insurance contributions. The collectors are breathing down their neck as invoices have mounted over the months. They posted an urgent plea for donations on Friday, and the clock is ticking fast. If you think they are worth saving, now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is. Even €2-3 would be greatly appreciated, and if all their social media friends donate that much, it could do the trick.

I don’t have much. I too am an idealist just tackling one financial woe at a time in order to keep culture going. I donated a fiver. If we all do that, we can help NBL get to the next level.

I think about all the times I stopped there on my way back to Leipzig East from my studio at Spinnerei. I remember the nights we ended up there after an opening. I’ve been there for readings. I’ve been there for comedy nights. I think it deserves a chance.

Today was the first time I’d looked at their website. They have a super cool, super cheap Music Hostel. Guests coming to town anytime soon?

Noch Besser Leben’s Music Hostel


Donations go to:

Postbank Leipzig
Kontoinhaber: Georg Reißig, Noch Besser Leben
BLZ: 86010090, Kto Nr.: 959172907
IBAN: DE82 8601 0090 0959 1729 07, BIC: PBNKDEFF

or per paypal:


Artist, curator and writer: maeshelle west-davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums.

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