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Schulenberg urges gov to protect live industry

A governmental announcement regarding the fate of 2020 festivals and an extension to ticket refund deadlines are needed to safeguard the industry, says the Eventim CEO

By Anna Grace on 27 Mar 2020

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London

image © Muir Vidler

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg has urged the German authorities to put in place targeted measures to support the live music industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep the country” if action is not taken.

As reported in German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Musikwoche), Schulenberg believes that “a long-term announcement” from authorities regarding the fate music festivals, as well as extensions to the amount of time organisers have to issue refunds for cancelled or postponed events, are vital to maintain the health of the industry.

Although Eventim’s biggest festivals, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, promoted in conjunction with Live Nation, and FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, are insured against communicable disease, the CTS boss states that intervention from the authorities is needed to ensure cover for cancellations.

The German powerhouse has enjoyed a successful few years, reporting record revenue of €1.44 billion in the 2019 financial year and increasing earnings by 25%. Due to this success, Schulenberg says his company “could hold out for two years”.

However, many smaller industry players do not have the same safety net. “We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway,” says the Eventim boss.

“We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway”

In order to mitigate the financial losses incurred by promoters, Schulenberg is appealing to the German government to extend the period of time that organisers have to refund tickets to 30 September 2020. Promoters currently have until 30 June to return money to ticketholders and, even then, only companies with annual sales of less than €2 million.

“High sales at events are offset by a margin of only 5 to 7%,” says Schulenberg. The regulation must apply to the entire industry, otherwise “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep through the country”.

Alternative forms of compensating fans, such as by issuing vouchers for future events, rather than cash refunds, should also considered.

“That costs nothing to the state and is reasonable for the buyer,” says Schulenberg.

Eventim is currently among companies asking fans not to request refunds, following similar calls from German promoters’ association BDKV, Spanish music federation Esmúsica, UK ticketing industry body Star, the Dutch culture minister, DEAG-owned ticketer Myticket, and more.

In the Netherlands, the #idontwantmymoneyback initiative allows fans to indicate that they do not need a refund in a show of solidarity with event organisers.


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