The German music sector has released a joint statement to encourage the government to include the entire supply chain in its stimulus package, while the new UK Arts Index shows a rise in reliance on ticket sales and a fall in public investment…

German music sector

The German music industry has said in order for a restart of the sector to be “effective and sustainable” any Government stimulus package must reflect the interrelationships and the economic chaining of its sub-sectors.

Promoters’ association BDKV, musicians’ association GEMA and LiveKOMM are among the 10 organisations to release a joint statement in response to the Federal Government’s stimulus package, which offered €1.1bn to the music sector.

The group claims that the government’s failure to include certain aspects of the music industry in its support is a “missed opportunity” for recovery after COVID-19.

The statement said that the German government fails “to address the complex value chains in the industry and to anchor them in awareness with cultural and economic foresight. Over the past few months, the leading associations of the music industry have jointly pointed out the close economic interlinking of all individual sectors and their interdependency.”

It notes that in the music industry, for example, festival organisers are connected with record carriers, music publishers, manufacturers of musical instruments and equipment, music retailers and collecting societies and, the artists.

The associations said that without support for the whole supply chain, it could impact on individual trades in the long term and endanger the sector “in its entirety.”

Earlier this month, the German government announced the €1bn ‘Restart Culture’ financial aid programme to get the country’s cultural industries up and running again following the closures of venues and cancellations of cultural events due to Covid-19.

The aim “is to revive the cultural life paralysed by the Corona pandemic and thereby create job opportunities for artists and everyone working in the cultural field”.

UK arts

Arts organisations in the UK have seen a 47 per cent increase in income earned from box office ticket sales since 2008, according to the National Campaign for the Arts’s new Index.

The annual Arts Index covers the period between 2007-2018 and acts as a report of the condition of England’s arts and culture.

In the 2020 edition, which has been published in partnership with the Creative Industries Federation and King’s College London, it indicated a 35 per cent drop in public investment in arts per head of the population.

The Index compares year-on-year figures using 20 key indicators and shows that the shift from subsidy to private income has left the arts sector significantly more exposed to the threat from COVID-19.

Theatres and concert venues will be some of the last to reopen following the pandemic’s shutdown of live events.

The chair of the NCA, Samuel West, said: “Arts organisations rose to the challenge following the financial crash; we salute them for increasing earned income in response to a triple whammy of cuts to public funding, business sponsorship and philanthropic giving.

“It’s bitterly ironic that the arts sector’s resourceful response to the 2008 financial crash is now the very thing that makes it vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis, with theatres closed and income from tickets and bars dropping off a cliff.”

Salzburg Festival

Classical music event the Salzburg Festival has announced it will kick off this year at 50 per cent of its usual capacity when it begins in August.

The festival had sold 180,000 of 230,000 tickets to people in 80 nations, but has now cut that down to about 70,000.

The top European festival for the genre has announced it has decreased performances from 212 to 90, with only seven venues to be used instead of the planned 16.

In addition, the performances will not include an intermission as a measure to reduce audience interactions. Ticketholders will be seated in every other seat and will be required to wear masks.

The event, which was originally set to run from July 18 to August 30, will now start August 1.

Image: Veld Music Festival