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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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€8.2m for music in Germany

The German government has approved €8.2 million in new funding for pop, rock and jazz music.

The figure – part of the €660m recently earmarked for cultural projects from 2017 – will be divided among Initiative Musik, the Live Musik Kommission (LiveKomm), the German Rock Music Association (Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung), Musicboard Berlin and showcase festivals Reeperbahn, Pop-Kultur, c/o pop and jazzahead!, all of which will see an increase in funding, with export office Initiative Musik’s budget nearly doubled.

LiveKomm chairman Karsten Schölermann says his organisation’s share of the money will go partially towards its programme of modernising, or ‘digitising’, the audio, lighting and production equipment in smaller venues across Germany. He comments: “We can now continue to provide a better and more effective approach for performers of contemporary music.”

“The strengthening of culture is, above all, an investment in the future of our country”

Rüdiger Kruse (pictured), a culture spokesman for the German parliament (Bundestag)’s budget committee, says the decision demonstrates the government’s “high regard for culture in Germany”.

“In addition to the preservation of [our] cultural treasures, the strengthening of culture is above all an investment in the future of our country,” he comments. “We can see what happens when cultural education is neglected and art is given too little space in our society. We have to counter this in Germany.”

Holger Maack, of the Deutsche Rockmusik Stiftung, adds he is “delighted that [the association], with federal subsidies, will be able to create new rehearsal studios throughout Germany and counter the ever-increasing lack of practice space.”


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