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Estonian gov confirms €42m aid package, €6m risk fund

The Estonian government has announced a €42 million aid package for the cultural sector, which includes a €6m ‘risk fund’ for large-scale events.

The government’s decision comes after 355 organisations from across the sector submitted a joint proposal to the government, emphasising the impact culture has on the economy and the population’s mental health, and underscoring its need for financial support.

The supplementary budget includes €21m to help cultural events organisers (such as promoters) cover the costs of labour hired with contracts under the law of obligations, as well as other unavoidable costs.

The organisers of international cultural and sports events will also benefit from the separate €6m risk fund, designed to support large-scale events with a ‘significant economic impact’ in the event that they are affected by cancellations, postponements or restrictions.

“The purpose of the risk fund is to encourage organisers to plan events in the second half of 2021 in order to restart the economy”

The supplementary budget also comprises €5.3m for cinemas, film production and film distributors, €6.7m to support freelance creative persons and €2.7m for sports.

“Today is a special day. The cultural sector proved that there is great strength in cooperation and the whole sector can continue work with more confidence. It is also significant that the members of government understand that culture supports both the economy as well as our citizens’ mental health,” says Helen Sildna of Tallinn Music Week festival.

“The purpose of the risk fund is to encourage organisers to plan events in the second half of the year in order to restart the economy, yet provide confidence that their expenses will be covered in changing circumstances. The sector’s next objective is to continue working together in order for culture to have a clear part in the EU relief packages as well.”

Ave Tölpt, from the country’s music export office, Music Estonia, says: “I am very glad that the cultural sector has been highlighted in the crisis packages as a sector with a much wider impact. I believe that thanks to the representatives of the sector coming together to formulate their message, the mechanisms of the cultural sector as a whole have become much more comprehensible in general as well. The necessary aid for survival in the crisis will help retain the diversity of the music sector and the related businesses in the future with a greater sense of hope.”

“The creation of a risk fund is forward-looking…this is a significant signal for those outside of Estonia as well”

Eva Saar, from Jazzkaar jazz festival, says: “Cultural organisations have an important role in restarting the economy after the virus situation improves and also as the providers of nourishment for the spirit. The decision that the government made today gives the sector a chance to survive and carry that weighty role in the future as well.

“The creation of a risk fund for large-scale events is forward-looking and encourages organisers to bring economically and imagologically important international events to Estonia – this is a significant signal for those outside of Estonia as well. Thank you to everyone who contributed and to the policymakers.”

Estonia is the latest market to announce an event cancellation fund for events, following closely behind Denmark which announced a DKK 500m safety net earlier this week.

In the northern hemisphere, other insurance pots include Germany’s €2.5bn potAustria’s €300m ‘protective umbrella’, the Netherlands’ €300m fundBelgium’s €60m festival cancellation pot and Norway’s €34m festival safety net.


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