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Netherlands announces €482m aid for culture sector

The Netherlands’ second rescue package for cultural businesses includes €150m to be allocated towards music venues and theatres

By IQ on 28 Aug 2020

The AFAS Live arena in Amsterdam illuminated for the recent Night of Live

The AFAS Live arena in Amsterdam illuminated for the recent Night of Live

image © AFAS Live

Following weeks of protests by beleaguered live entertainment businesses, the Netherlands’ government has announced a further €482 million in emergency funding for the Dutch cultural sector.

The new funding, announced today (28 August), follows an initial package of €300m made available to cultural businesses in April.

Speaking to de Volkskrant, Dutch culture minister Ingrid Van Engelshoven – who has been criticised for her perceived slowness to act on behalf of creative businesses, especially in comparison to neighbouring Germany –  says she believes that “the Dutch cultural sector cannot [now] say that their needs are not being met.”

The announcement of the support package follows the Night of Live and #SoundofSilence campaigns, both of which aimed to secure further government support for the Dutch live industry. While live music has to an extent restarted in the Netherlands, stringent social-distancing regulations mean the vast majority of business have been unable to return to any kind of normality.

€150m will be allocated to local authorities to support their local music venues and theatres

Businesses including Friendly Fire, Mojo Concerts and arenas Ziggo Dome and AFAS Live have made redundancies to cut costs in recent months.

Of the new money, €200m will be allocated to “large cultural institutions” and the ecosystem of artists and self-employed workers around them, according to de Volkskrant. The AFAS Live arena in Amsterdam illuminated for the recent Night of Live “as they see fit”, with the rest divided between, among other things, filmmakers, museums and the Brown Fleet of historic ships.

€14m is also reserved for events and companies who lost their subsidies in the latest round of Performing Arts Fund decisions.

“Just like other sectors, the cultural and creative sector will have to adapt,” says Van Engelshoven, “[but] the cabinet wants there to be a strong cultural and creative sector even after the corona crisis. It also makes a significant contribution to a healthy business climate in the Netherlands.”


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