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Germany announces €2.5bn event cancellation fund

The government pot will allow organisers to plan events for Q3 and Q4 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak

By IQ on 07 Dec 2020

Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany

Germany's finance minister Olaf Scholz

image © Federal Ministry of Finance/Thomas Koehler

The German federal government has announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

The cancellation fund was first announced by state secretary Bettina Hagedorn during a Reeperbahn Festival Focus Session on 3 December and was later reinforced by finance minister Olaf Scholz during an interview with the Tagesspiegel.

Scholz said that the federal government would like to reimburse all costs “which were made in optimistic expectation and cannot be realised due to corona restrictions” for events in the second half of 2021. “Otherwise the pandemic will be over at some point, but there will be no concerts. And so the whole machinery with the many self-employed soloists and musicians gets back on its feet,” he added.

Scholz says he is also working on a funding program to support cultural events that are financially impacted by capacity restrictions enforced due to coronavirus, as well as hybrid shows.

In October, the Austrian federal government announced a similar scheme to remove the risk for event organisers and allow them to carry on business as usual.

Under the country’s €300m ‘protective umbrella’, the government pledged to bear the costs of shows that were organised during the restrictions (at the time, a limit of 1,000 people seated indoors or 1,500 outdoors) but were cancelled due to new rules.

The gov will reimburse costs “which were made in optimistic expectation and cannot be realised due to corona restrictions”

The same went for any reduction in capacity limits, as well as costs such as hotel rooms, crew wages and event technology. Companies based in other countries but which organise events in Austria were also able to benefit from the funding.

The protective umbrella was put to use sooner rather than later when Austria went into lockdown on 3 November. The lockdown was lifted today, however leisure facilities and cultural institutions will not be permitted to reopen.

The Danish government also launched a scheme in the autumn to encourage the restart of events, which was centred on compensation rather than insurance.

Cultural institutions, such as music venues, could apply for substantial subsidies to fund socially-distanced events taking place during September and October.

The government offered compensation of up to 65% of an event’s cost for organisers of audience-oriented cultural activities such as concerts to a limit of DKK 1.5 million per event.

Organisations could apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application and request funding for both direct and indirect costs.

Read more about the complexities of insuring concerts while Covid-19 is still at large in IQ’s feature, here.


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