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Germany’s promoters’ association calls for additional €3.75bn for events sector

Germany’s promoters’ association BDKV has called on the government to implement a €3.75bn (£3.45bn/$4.24bn) bridging programme for the events industry from September.

While the association welcomed the government’s €1bn ‘culture restart’ aid package for the sector, which was unveiled yesterday (Thursday), BDKV said it is “not satisfactory” and event companies will not “survive economically this year” with the current offering.

It also noted that as the German concert, tour and event industries begin to reopen, the required minimum distance of 1.5 metres between visitors would mean “no event can be carried out economically.”

Jens Michow, president of BDKV, said: “The aid programme is designed to compensate for the damage that the music industry has suffered in the months from March to August.

“The programme expected here for the event industry should create the prerequisites for concerts and other events to be able to be carried out again in an economically viable manner if the required distance rules are observed.”

In Germany, the live events industry amounts to more than €11bn and is made up of around 113,000 people, including around 53,000 artists, who have been directly affected by the industry’s lockdown.

As lockdown measures begin to ease, events are required to operate at limited capacities and with social distancing measures still in place.

BDKV underscores the impact that running at limited capacities would create for venues and events, stating that as venues are reduced to 20% capacity, and additional hygiene measures and the establishment of flexible ticketing systems are put in place, it would likely lead to an increase in material and personnel costs of 20%.

The association has predicted that this would result in a loss of 90% of the possible total income, taking into account an income of 20% and a gross profit of 10%.

Michow said: “It is a matter of course for our industry that infection protection must also be the top priority at events. If this were only possible by guaranteeing a minimum distance, this would mean for the industry that the current ban on events would continue.

“Politicians will then have to decide whether it is important to them that the current structures of the cultural sector are preserved or whether they accept that numerous companies in the event industry and thus the main motor for tens of thousands of artists are sacrificed to the crisis. If the former is the case, this will not work without government grants.”

The BDKV argues that the programme should not supplement or even replace the €582.27m aid programme already requested by the various sectors of the music industry.

The association also said that, in addition to this programme, companies need further support for the restart in the form of personnel and fixed cost grants as well as investment grants for the technical retrofitting of venues in connection with the hygiene measures.