German government offers $ 3 billion to struggling arts event organizers as country plans to reopen

The German government will create a special fund of 2.5 billion euros ($ 3 billion) to support cultural events as the country begins planning to reopen after more than a full calendar year of closures.

The money is made available to concert halls, theaters, cinemas and other cultural venues across the country. It is intended to help event planners continue with their plans despite reduced profits due to visitor restrictions. Currently, only outdoor cinema and theater events are permitted.

“The federal government is helping the cultural industry get back on its feet,” said Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. “In this pandemic, artists have had a particular burden to bear. “

The money, which is capped at € 100,000 per event, will initially be made available to smaller venues before being increased. Events planned for 500 people, for example, will be remunerated from July 1; organizers of events for 2,000 people will receive funding starting August 1; and larger events will receive money from September 1. The government will organize a centralized platform for applicants to submit proposals.

Due to restrictions on group gatherings, many events this summer would be financially impossible otherwise.

This is a major sign of hope for the culture sector, which has been in limbo in recent months as the easing of restrictions is slow in coming. At present, 42% of Germans have received a dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 16% are fully vaccinated.

Another part of the funding will be allocated to insure event organizers should they have to cancel large-scale events. In this case, the government will fund up to 50 percent of their proven costs.

German Culture Minister Monika Grütters called the plan a “third shield of protection” after the government’s € 2 billion ($ 2.4 billion) federal program, New Start Culture, which has helped artists to make ends meet during the lockdown.

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James R. Rhodes