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Germany’s €2.5bn culture fund ‘hardly used’ so far

Germany’s €2.5 billion event cancellation fund has ‘hardly been used’ so far, according to a new report.

The government-backed insurance pot, announced in December 2020, was introduced to enable event organisers to plan for Q3 and Q4 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

Only €44m was requested from the fund by mid-December 2021, according to German news magazine Spiegel, which obtained a report by the minister of state for culture to the government’s budget committee.

Of that amount, €40m has been requested from the €1.9bn ‘profitability aid’, dedicated to compensating financial losses for live events held under capacity in order to meet Covid-19 restriction.

The remaining €4m has been requested from the €600m ‘failure protection’ pool, which is used to cover up to 90% of losses incurred by the cancellation of events and shows which are called off due to the pandemic.

Despite the modest amount of applications, the report states that the fund has been met with “great response” from organisers.

“The funding programmes [may be] so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help”

The minister of state for culture points out that applications for both funding pots can only be made retrospectively, when the respective event has already taken place.

However, according to Spiegel, the number of events registered for aid is significantly higher than the number of actual applications: around 23,400 events have so far been registered for economic aid, which corresponds to a funding volume of up to €795m.

Around half of the registrations are from concerts and festivals, and another 40% to performances of the performing arts.

To date, around 2,000 events have been registered for failure protection, which would mean a maximum funding volume of around €859m. Almost three-quarters of these registrations are concerts and festivals.

According to the report, it is to be expected “that the number and volume of applications will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months because events are being avoided or increasingly cancelled in the current pandemic situation.”

It’s yet to be seen how many funds will be approved.

Gesine Lötzsch, the budgetary spokeswoman for the Left, said: “I have the impression that the funding programmes are so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help.”


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