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Icelandic music business calls for more support

The Icelandic music industry has urged the government for more support, stating that current measures have benefitted the business in a “very limited” way

By IQ on 30 Jul 2020

Icelandic music business calls for more support

A new report put together by the Icelandic music industry has highlighted the measures needed to be taken by the government to help the business through the current crisis.

The ‘Impact of Covid-19 on the Icelandic music industry report’ has been compiled by the Icelandic Musicians Union (FIH), Icelandic National Group for IFPI (FHF), Collecting society for performers and phonogram producers (SFH), the Performing Rights Association of Iceland (STEF), Reykjavík Music City and Iceland Music (ÚTÓN).

The report states that, although a number of measures have been taken to address the loss of income of musicians, many schemes such as the partial compensation scheme for cancelled events and closure subsidies for companies forced to halt their operations for public health reasons, “have benefitted members of the music industry in a very limited way”.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland,” reads the report.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland”

Existing measures include a ISK 244 million (€1.5m) artists’ salary fund; a ISK 86m (€540,870) fund for new music-related activities; the ISK 30m (€188,680) City of Reykjavík Culture Fund (Menningarpottur Reykjavíkurborgar); and the Summer City 2020 project, which promotes culture and creates job opportunites for musicians and venues in Reykjavík.

The music industry representatives present various counter measures, drawing from action taken in the countries of Denmark, Germany and Finland, to support the industry.

Suggestions include establishing “extensive support packages” for venues, promoters, festivals and agents; a reduction of real estate tax for venues; compensation for the operating costs and other fixed costs of businesses that have not closed down over the period; the creation of a small businesses fund; and government-led promotional campaigns for the music industry.

The report also makes some recommendations for actions to be taken by those in the industry itself, including the establishment of a “formal alliance” of Icelandic concert promoters and increased cooperation between music organisations, with the aim of creating an association to represent the industry as a whole.

The document cites measures taken in Denmark to support self-employed individuals and in Finland, where €700m has been put aside to assist small- and medium-sized businesses. The report also recommends the Icelandic government consider Germany, where €150m has been dedicated to supporting the live music industry.

An executive summary of the report can be found here.


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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