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Danish gov won’t guarantee festival cancellation fund

Denmark's minister for culture says she cannot give a concrete answer about whether the gov will follow in the footsteps of Germany and Austria

By IQ on 13 Jan 2021

Danish minister for culture Joy Mogensen

Danish minister for culture, Joy Mogensen

image © Flickr/Anders Bruun Nørring

Denmark’s minister for culture says she cannot guarantee the government will set up a German-style insurance fund that would reimburse organisers whose events are cancelled by coronavirus restrictions, as there are too many unknowns.

Minister Joy Mogensen said that the government is in an ongoing dialogue with festival organisers ahead of the European summer season and “really wants” to help but cannot give a concrete answer about whether Denmark will follow in the footsteps of their European neighbour.

In December, Germany became the latest European country to set up a cancellation fund, worth €2.5 billion, to eliminate the risk of organising of live events while Covid-19 (and associated restrictions on freedom of assembly and movement) is still a threat. Austria, meanwhile, set up a €300 million fund of its own in October.

“I have a great understanding of the difficult situation festivals are facing,” Mogensen told Altinget. “And I think we all understand that in the current situation it is difficult to plan and make decisions about this year’s events.

“I also understand that the festivals would also like us to be able to meet this wish here and now but unfortunately we do not know what the world will look like this summer, and we do not know what restrictions will apply.

“We also do not know what compensation may be given to the organisers of these events and under what conditions”

“And therefore we do not know what events will be affected by this. We also do not know what compensation may be given to the organisers of these events and under what conditions.”

Last year, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, Live Nation Denmark, Smukfest, Tinderbox and NorthSide penned an open letter appealing for political support for the restart of festivals this summer and outlining the consequences if the events of 2021 are cancelled.

“The support, prioritisation and cooperation of the population, the health authorities and the government are crucial. Only with your help is it possible to have an active and vibrant festival and concert life in 2021,” the letter reads.

While the Danish government may be uncertain about a Coronavirus cancellation fund, yesterday the ministry announced the formation of a restart team and a brief which includes festivals as a top priority.

Bolstered by DKK 50 million, the ten-person team – which includes Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher – has also been tasked with pilot schemes, methods for compliance with Covid guidelines, new event formats.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Dutch government will decide whether to back a ‘guarantee fund’ by early February at the latest, while pressure is mounting on the UK government to set-up an insurance fund.


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