Hamburg announces six-month extension of cultural aid

City to provide EUR 9 million for sector after expiry of German government aid
26 January 2023

The City of Hamburg has announced EUR 9 million in funds for the cultural scene over the next six months. The extension comes after German government aid for the scene expired in late 2022, a press release said Tuesday (January 17, 2023). Theatres, cinemas, musicals and concert organisers can now apply online for EUR 100,000 maximum. The city will also compensate for losses incurred by unsold tickets. Certain events can be funded retroactively from January 1, 2023.

Ticket sales reflect general hesitancy 

Organisers of musicals, festivals, private theatres, concerts, cinema screenings and events involving up to 2,200 participants can apply for a grant, if the costs cannot be covered due to lower demand. The subsidy is granted, if less than 90 per cent of the tickets are sold. Then a maximum of EUR 100,000 per application is available. Organisers of events, e.g., cinema screenings, which are held more than five times a month in the same venue, can apply for a maximum of EUR 500,000. The ministry has also launched a survey through late 2023 of Hamburg's cultural facilities to determine the actual visitor numbers, how people learn about cultural offers and the perception of the scene.

Dr Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, remarked: "Hamburg has put various schemes in place to assist cultural organisers since the beginning of the pandemic. We have been able to help cultural institutions, artists and performers to weather this crisis as well as possible. Yet, the public remains reluctant to buy tickets and visit a cultural institution. We want to give organisers more planning security by closing any gap in funding that may arise. We want to preserve the diverse cultural offers in our city and give organisers time to develop new strategies for addressing audiences."

Upholding cultural offers 

"During this energy crisis, we are constantly supplementing aid and adapting it to the respective situation," said Dr Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance. Hamburg gained experience with the Corona Protection Shield and will apply this to the badly-hit cultural sector. "The pandemic, war and energy crisis have changed our behaviour. Cultural institutions in particular are noticing these changes, which make it difficult to maintain diverse cultural offers," he added.