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Germany’s culture energy fund prematurely axed

The German federal government has put an end to its cultural energy fund, set up to help institutions and organisers with increased energy bills caused by the war in Ukraine.

The Culture Energy Fund (Kulturfonds Energie) was said to proportionately subsidise “additional energy costs” for eligible recipients between January 1 2023 to April 30 2024. The government initially earmarked €1 billion for the fund, when it was announced in January 2023.

However, the fourth and fifth funding tranches of the fund have been cancelled after the German government imposed a budget freeze on 21 November 2023, though applications filed before that date will be honoured.

“The Energy Cultural Fund was actually messed up from the start”

According to reports from the German industry, many venues did not apply for funding from the Culture Energy Fund because the application process wasn’t worth the payout. Event companies, meanwhile, were not allowed to apply themselves.

The fund also drew criticism for the fact that festivals and open-air events were not eligible because they do not take place in “closed rooms”.

“The Energy Cultural Fund was actually messed up from the start because it ignored the economic realities of our industry and couldn’t help us much,” Johannes Everke, managing director of BDKV, told Musik Woche. “Nevertheless, we were surprised at how quietly it has now been discontinued.”

Everke went on to say the association was “happy that the funding programmes of the BKM, the KulturPass and the festival funding fund do not appear to be negatively affected by the budget freeze”.


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