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Another €4.2m for music, including grassroots venues, in Germany

Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, has approved a €4.15 million increase in spending on music in 2018–19, of which €2m has been earmarked for the promotion of ‘small concerts’ in grassroots venues.

Of the new funding, €2m will be put towards the Applaus prize, awarded to club-size music venues annually, and €2m towards small concerts (Kleinstkonzerte) in independent venues, which are recognised for “shaping and enriching our cultural life, both in the cities and in rural areas”, according to a statement from Initiative Musik, the recipient of the funding.

Initiative Musik – the export office for popular music, backed by the federal commissioner for culture and media – will additionally devote 150,000 towards a ‘club study’ examining the challenges faced by grassroots venues.

The new funding follows a €8.2m increase in 2016–17, part of which was put towards modernising clubs’ audio, lighting and production equipment.

“The decision of the Bundestag shows us that our issues are taken seriously at the federal level, and that the work of the association is paying off,” says Karsten Schölermann, chairman of the Live Music Commission (LiveKomm), which will be a partner on the project.

“We want to strengthen the many smaller clubs throughout the country”

“Providing the funds for micro-concerts, which we hope will provide sustainable and lasting access for young artists to club stages, is a milestone for which we have long struggled.

“The fact that we are also allowed to launch our own, scientifically sound, club study rounds off the support package, because we still know too little about the cultural and economic conditions in our diverse club landscape.”

The minister of state for culture, Monika Grütters, adds: “With the additional funds for Initiative Musik, we want to strengthen the many smaller clubs throughout the country. They inspire with their programmes by going beyond the economically successful mainstream, bringing artistically outstanding young musicians to the stage.

“By strengthening Applaus and launching a new programme for small concerts, we want to promote this important cultural commitment and reward artists with their first professional performances.”


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