Germany’s federal government has pledged to provide €150 million ($169 million) to its citizens who work within a capacity of the live events industry, including music venues, festivals, concert organizers, and agents, who have all taken major economic hits from COVID-19 shutdowns and cancellations which began back in March.
According to reports, an announcement shared by the German government earlier this month is part of the European country’s 12-month “Restart Culture” funding initiative which will also provide the coronavirus-affected creative sector as a whole with €1 billion in assistance. $56m of that total will go towards grassroots venues, while €150m ($168.5m) will go towards funding for theatre and dance, €120m ($135m) will go to cinemas and the film industry, €20m ($22.5m) to radio broadcasters, and €30m ($34m) to galleries, book publishers, and other socio-culture-based centers.
“A total of €450m is also available to make ‘cultural institutions fit for reopening’,” the report also states. “Intended for organizations which don’t already receive public funding, the grant will finance ‘new hygiene concepts’, such as paper-free ticketing or improved ventilation systems in venues.”
The announcement in Europe comes at a time when major companies and freelance gig workers across the live events industry in North America are desperately struggling to survive economically, with no real timetable on when major events and concert tours with fans in full attendance will return. Promoters and venues in certain states like Arkansas and Florida (sans Miami) have been given the green light by their respective Governors to begin throwing concerts and live events with fans at limited capacity, although it’s worth noting the southeast U.S. is now seeing a notable uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Earlier this year, 800+ independent venues across the U.S. banded together to form the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which has attempted to secure financial aid with approval from Congress to preserve the dying ecosystem of independent venues and promoters.
“We will support cinemas and music clubs, memorials and museums, theatres and festivals, and many other cultural institutions to reopen their doors as soon as possible,” Monika Grütters, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, said with the announcement. “For us, maintaining and securing Germany’s cultural infrastructure is the key to creating job opportunities for artists across the country once more.”
Click here to read the report in full.