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Barcelona to provide grants for summer 2021 shows

As part of ‘Barcelona Never Stops’, the Spanish city’s post-pandemic recovery plan, Barcelona city council has announced half a million euros’ worth of subsidies for ‘large-format’ concerts in the city this summer.

The €500,000 in grants will go towards the cost of promoting shows at two of Barcelona’s most celebrated open-air venues, the Parc del Fòrum (home to festivals including Primavera Sound and Cruïlla) and the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring), the complex built for 1992 Olympic games.

Jaume Collboni, first deputy mayor of Barcelona, says the grants aim to help the city “regain [its] leadership as the capital of live music in southern Europe”.

The concerts organised as part of the initiative, which must place at one of the two venues between 20 May and 30 September, will follow a Covid-secure format, taking place outdoors with social distancing and mask wearing, and are expected to have a capacity of between 1,000 and 3,000, says the council.

“Barcelona wants to regain leadership as the capital of live music in southern Europe”

To be eligible for a grant, promoters must have a confirmed date at one of the venues, after which they will be reimbursed 40% of the costs of the show. Grants will be given on a first-come, first-served basis until the €0.5m fund is exhausted.

Application forms may be downloaded from the Barcelona City Council website.

The Association of Music Promoters (APM) welcomes the announcement, with spokesperson Tito Ramoneda saying the subsidies show that Barcelona is serious about retaining its crown as a music capital.

“This is very good news,” says Ramoneda. “Barcelona has historically been a city that has welcomed music in all senses; undoubtedly music is part of its identity. It it is a very powerful sector economically speaking – therefore, it must be protected and a path to normality sought.”

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Germany announces €2.5bn event cancellation fund

The German federal government has announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

The cancellation fund was first announced by state secretary Bettina Hagedorn during a Reeperbahn Festival Focus Session on 3 December and was later reinforced by finance minister Olaf Scholz during an interview with the Tagesspiegel.

Scholz said that the federal government would like to reimburse all costs “which were made in optimistic expectation and cannot be realised due to corona restrictions” for events in the second half of 2021. “Otherwise the pandemic will be over at some point, but there will be no concerts. And so the whole machinery with the many self-employed soloists and musicians gets back on its feet,” he added.

Scholz says he is also working on a funding program to support cultural events that are financially impacted by capacity restrictions enforced due to coronavirus, as well as hybrid shows.

In October, the Austrian federal government announced a similar scheme to remove the risk for event organisers and allow them to carry on business as usual.

Under the country’s €300m ‘protective umbrella’, the government pledged to bear the costs of shows that were organised during the restrictions (at the time, a limit of 1,000 people seated indoors or 1,500 outdoors) but were cancelled due to new rules.

The gov will reimburse costs “which were made in optimistic expectation and cannot be realised due to corona restrictions”

The same went for any reduction in capacity limits, as well as costs such as hotel rooms, crew wages and event technology. Companies based in other countries but which organise events in Austria were also able to benefit from the funding.

The protective umbrella was put to use sooner rather than later when Austria went into lockdown on 3 November. The lockdown was lifted today, however leisure facilities and cultural institutions will not be permitted to reopen.

The Danish government also launched a scheme in the autumn to encourage the restart of events, which was centred on compensation rather than insurance.

Cultural institutions, such as music venues, could apply for substantial subsidies to fund socially-distanced events taking place during September and October.

The government offered compensation of up to 65% of an event’s cost for organisers of audience-oriented cultural activities such as concerts to a limit of DKK 1.5 million per event.

Organisations could apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application and request funding for both direct and indirect costs.

Read more about the complexities of insuring concerts while Covid-19 is still at large in IQ’s feature, here.

 


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Danish gov offers subsidies for autumn events

Danish cultural institutions, such as music venues, can apply for substantial subsidies to fund socially-distanced events taking place during September and October.

The Danish government is offering compensation of up to 65% of an event’s cost for organisers of audience-oriented cultural activities such as concerts.

The event(s) must take into account Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines, such as capacity restrictions, and must be completed in the period from and including 1 September to and including 31 October this year.

Applications are open until 31 October and organisations can apply for compensation retroactively.

Organisations can apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application

Organisations can apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application and can request funding for both direct and indirect costs. Grants are capped at DKK 1.5 million per activity.

Applicants must be CVR registered before 1 June 2020 and have an annual turnover of at least DKK 1m.

Institutions that have received grants to present live music in 2020 from at least one of the two Danish Arts Foundation (Statens Kunstfonds) pools, can apply for these grants regardless of their annual turnover.

The Palaces and Culture Agency will be responsible for awarding grants. See full terms and conditions here.

 


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Putin to foot bill for touring artists?

Vladimir Putin is known for many things, but his love of music isn’t generally one of them. For this reason, reports that the Russian president has supported the idea of subsidising flights for touring musicians may come as a surprise.

Putin is believed to have agreed to offer cheap flights to Russian artists flying with national airline Aeroflot. The decision comes following a meeting in which Valery Gergiev, artistic director of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, drew attention to the high cost of flights for artists.

The subsidies would significantly reduce the cost for touring musicians in the country. Air travel has become an “unbearable financial burden” for artists and the music industry, said Gergiev, according to local media.

Air travel has become an “unbearable financial burden” for artists and the music industry

The Russian president has taken a heightened interest in his country’s music industry of late. In December – amid a nationwide crackdown that saw forced cancellations and arrests of artists, in an evocation of Soviet-era censorship – Putin called for authorities to guide the direction of Russia’s burgeoning rap scene, which he said is “based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest”.

“If it [rap music] is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it,” the president told advisors in December.

It remains unclear whether the flight subsidies extend to rap artists and other popular musicians, or if they are solely reserved for classical tours. IQ has contacted the Kremlin for more information.

 


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Extra €3.4m for Dutch live entertainment fund

The Netherlands’ government has pledged a further €3.4 million for the Performing Arts Fund NL, which provides subsidies to a number of Dutch music festivals.

The Performing Arts Fund (Fonds Podiumkunsten, FPK) grant, announced by culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven, will be put towards, among other things, a follow-up to the the Fast Forward initiative, which promoted Dutch talent internationally in partnership with international producers/promoters, FPK announced today.

There are also more funds for the Grant for Dutch scheme, which provides grants to foreign festivals or venues providing a platform for Dutch artists and performers.

The grant will be put towards a follow-up to the Fast Forward intiative

FPK also funds the €500k Slecht Weer Fonds (Bad Weather Fund), which aids festivals suffering financially as a result of severe weather.

The new money forms part of the Performing Arts Fund’s commitments for 2018–2020. Several festivals, including Noorderslag, Amsterdam Dance Event, Welcome to the Village and Into the Great Wide Open, lost their subsidies in the latest round of funding, announced in August 2016, although a partial U-turn that October saw some of the money reinstated.

Van Engelshoven announced an extra €10m for arts and culture last November, with the Performing Arts Fund budget also increased by €9m per year for 2018–20.

The FPK website has a full list of funding commitments for 2017–2020.

 


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