German live trade body BDKV has hit out after MPs rejected its request to extend the special fund for cultural events.
The organisation had called for the existing Neustart Kultur II (Restart Culture 2) fund to be continued at least until the end of 2023, which it says would minimise the risk of insolvency for companies and ensure consumer protection.
Outgoing BDKV executive president Jens Michow expressed the group’s frustration with the government’s decision, saying the industry is dependent on state aid given the insurance industry no longer insures pandemic-related event cancellations.
“Should a concert or tour have to be cancelled because an artist is suffering from corona, not only is the existence of the event company at stake, but there is also the risk that consumers will not be reimbursed for their tickets due to corporate insolvency received,” says BDKV Michow.
“The lack of awareness of this problem… and the arguments with which this application was rejected by the governing parties are shocking. I find it irresponsible that the explosive nature of the problem is being ignored in this way.”
The government rubber-stamped the appointment of parliamentary state secretary Michael Kellner as official contact for the cultural and creative industries, with Dr Andreas Görgen, head of office for the culture and media commissioner, named as deputy.
“The economic consequences of the pandemic, which are still affecting us, cannot be cured by treating new wounds alone”
However, the BDKV is indignant about federal parliament member Dr Joe Weingarten’s claim that the previous government’s special fund for cultural events had “proved largely ineffective”.
“Anyone who describes the most important state funding, which made the economic survival of the cultural events industry possible in the first place, as ‘ineffective’ shows that they obviously lack any knowledge of the reality of the industry,” says Michow.
“Without the profitability aid and the failure protection, numerous companies would not have survived the crisis, despite all the considerable aid.”
Michow says the sector is grateful for the government’s intervention on the energy crisis, with event companies set to benefit as part of a €1 billion funding plan for cultural institutions. But he adds that the economic consequences of the pandemic “cannot be cured by treating new wounds alone”.
“It is not enough to just focus on dealing with the consequences of the energy crisis, while the industry has not even absorbed the effects of the corona pandemic,” he says. “Anyone who really wants the variety of cultural events to be maintained must finally analyse the current overall situation in the industry with us and work out an overall concept in dialogue with us, which will actually finally enable us to make a real new start.”
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