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Norway’s festival sector compensated NOK 120m+

Live Nation Norway, All Things Live and Tons of Rock will benefit from the latest round of compensation from the Norwegian government’s scheme for organisers and subcontractors in the cultural sector.

The scheme, funded by the ministry of culture and distributed by Norway’s cultural council (Kulturradet), has so far paid out approximately NOK 1.4bn to more than 2,000 applicants across various compensation schemes for 2020.

For the latest tranche, which covers the period of May to August 2020, the cultural council is distributing more than NOK 120m (€11.7m) to some of the biggest players in Norway’s festival sector.

Live Nation Norway has been granted NOK 24.7m as an organiser – just under the NOK 25m it applied for.

Nordic live entertainment powerhouse All Things Live will receive NOK 36.4m – two million less than they applied for – for around 20 concerts that had to be cancelled in 2020.

While, Live Nation-owned Oslo festival Tons of Rock will benefit from NOK 36.1m, the full amount applied for by the organisers.

Other successful applicants include Kristiansand beach festival, Palmesus (NOK 27.1m); organiser of Ålesund Live, Summer party at Giske and Jugendfest, Momentium Live (NOK 8.4m); and Fredrikstad-based all-ages festival, Idyll (NOK 8.7m).

“The largest players in the sector are also large employers and an important part of the cultural sector’s business chain”

“The applications for the compensation schemes show us both how hard the cultural sector has been affected, and how diverse the Norwegian cultural economy is,” says Kristin Danielsen, director of the cultural council.

“The largest players in the sector are also large employers and an important part of the cultural sector’s business chain. Therefore, I would have liked to have had the application process completed earlier.

“At the same time, it has been important for us to process the applications thoroughly. These are community funds, and it is our responsibility to manage them in the best possible way.”

More than 1,500 applications were received for the compensation scheme for the period May-August and more than 1,200 applicants received their decisions in the early autumn of 2020, with a few more applicants yet to be notified.

The Cultural Council is now processing applications for the scheme that applies to September, and the period of October–December has an application deadline of 1 March.

The scheme is designed to compensate organisers and subcontractors that were financially impacted by the Norwegian government’s ban on live events which was extended into late 2020, causing the cancellation of the country’s biggest festivals.

Norway’s ministry of culture last week announced a NOK 350 million financial safety net will allow festival organisers plan for July and August 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

 


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Finnish event industry demands gov compensation

Finland’s newly formed live music association is demanding immediate action from the government to compensate for losses resulting from official restrictions on events and ‘violations of the constitutional freedom of business’.

The Event Industry Association (Tapahtumateollisuus) – which incorporates all major Finnish concert businesses, including Fullsteam Agency, Live Nation Finland, Warner Music Live and CTS Eventim’s Lippupiste – has emphasised that professional event operators have acted responsibly throughout the corona pandemic and now calls for the same responsibility to be taken by the rest of society.

“The corona situation in some parts of our country has become very serious and that is why the decision-makers and the authorities have wanted to send a strong message that we should all now act with special responsibility,” says Pekka Timonen, president of the Event Industry Association.

“Strong restrictions and bans on events are one way of conveying the message, but at the same time they cause more damage to the industry that has already suffered the most from the corona.

“After the pandemic, we will also bear responsibility for Finland’s economic growth and recovery”

“Professionally organised public events have been carried out in accordance with official instructions, and no corona infections have occurred among the public. Measures are taken to ensure safety and cancelled events have weakened the profitability of the sector and the operating conditions of companies since March.

“We have been bearers of shared responsibility during the corona pandemic, and after the pandemic, we will also bear responsibility for Finland’s economic growth and recovery. Before that, we expect responsibility from our country’s top decision-makers.”

According to the association, there are around 3,200 companies involved in organising live events in Finland, with the total value of the industry estimated at €2.35 billion. The sector employs 20,000 full-time, and 175,000 temporary, workers.

However, the association says that nearly two thirds of Finnish live businesses will not survive another six months without government intervention.

The Event Industry Association has prepared a proposal to ensure the recovery and growth of the sector, which was presented and submitted to key government ministers and ministries last week.

 


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