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German music bodies request culture pass extension

More than half a million young people have downloaded the app, but it is unclear whether the scheme will continue into 2024

By James Hanley on 30 Oct 2023

Rock am See, Constance, Germany, Koko & DTK Entertainment, CTS Eventim, Chris Danneffel

Germany’s Music Industry Forum is calling for the nationwide culture pass to be expanded after more than half a million young people downloaded the app in its first few months.

Since June, 18-year-olds living in the country have been able to access the federal government scheme, which provides them with €200 to spend on 2.2 million products, including concert and theatre tickets, in an effort to strengthen cultural participation.

However, politicians are yet to confirm whether the pilot project will continue next year, leading to the joint appeal by members of the forum – which comprises the BDKV, venue body LiveKomm, music publishers’ organisation DMV, Association of Independent Music Companies (VUT), Society of Music Merchants (SOMM) and recording industry body BVMI.

“The culture pass is a valuable instrument for strengthening the cultural participation of young people, especially if they have not previously been given access to culture,” says a statement from the group. “The culture pass not only provides a low-threshold entry and a wide range of offerings, but also supports social interaction and thus social cohesion. Cultural participation plays an important role in actively committing to our pluralistic society and its democratic values.

“Bookstores, cinemas, concert organisers, theatres, orchestras, museums, record stores and music retailers have been extremely committed to supporting the project right from the start and have already put together an impressive offering for culture pass users in a short space of time.”

“We are firmly convinced of the potential of the culture pass and would find it a devastating signal… to not give the pilot project any opportunity for further development”

It continues: “We are firmly convinced of the potential of the culture pass and would find it a devastating signal – both for young people as well as for the cultural workers and cultural places in our country – to not give the pilot project any opportunity for further development after its promising start.”

Similar initiatives have been rolled out in Spain, France and Italy with the aim of generating new consumption habits, post-pandemic.

“There is always a lot of work behind innovative projects like this – in society, business, sport and culture alike – to make them noticeable in the long term,” adds the German coalition. “This is all the more true if they are intended to be effective across society and across the board. This is exactly what the culture pass is pursuing, which is already part of the political agenda in other European countries.

“In order for this impressive pilot project to become a long-term success, it is now time to give it a real perspective on a political basis and to continue the culture pass in the 2024 federal budget at an undiminished level. This is the only way to ensure that the resources that have been raised so far are used sustainably, that the infrastructure that has been built is continuously developed and that the offer will have its full effect over the long term.”


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