General national economic measures


*small business relief or other financial support

*income support for employees

*income support for freelance workers

*unemployment relief

*unemployment relief for freelance workers

*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delayed


More info:


National level

-Germany has put in place a €1.1 trillion coronavirus aid package.


- On 3rd June, the government coalition approved another set of measures to support the most impacted by the crisis: see here.

-The government created an "economic stabilisation fund"" offering €400 billion in guarantees for companies' debts, €100 billion for lending to or taking stakes in firms, and €100 billion in support for state-owned investment bank KfW. With its firepower boosted by €357 billion, KfW will be able to guarantee some €822 billion in lending.


The federal government also offered smaller firms up to €50bn in grants. The self-employed and firms with up to five employees can apply for a one-off grant of up to €9,000. Companies with up to ten employees can apply for a one-time grant of up to €15,000.


The new borrowing marks a sea change in German economic policy, upending a financial-crisis-era constitutional rule drastically limiting budget deficits.


-€500 billion (Bruegel estimate) tax deferrals for businesses.

-€50 billion for bridging loans to small businesses and the self-employed.


-On 7 April, the Government announced it was expanding credit assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The new programme "KfW Quick Loan 2020" is 100% exempt from liability. 


-Freelancers can request deferments in tax payments. Companies and freelancers can also request deferments in payments to the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ social security fund).


-In addition, freelancers and companies who suffer a loss of income because their work is currently banned under social distancing restrictions may apply for compensation from their local Health Office (Gesundheitsamt).


The government keeps this page updated with all information on any measures taken in response to the Coronavirus crisis. 


Regional level


  • €20 billion fund to buy stakes in struggling companies

  • Emergency assistance to freelancers and companies in need of urgent liquidity as a result of the coronavirus. Companies with up to five employees can apply for €5,000. The application form is available on the state Economy Ministry’s website.



  • €8.5 billion fund.


Baden Wurtemberg

  • €5 billion fund by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to help small firms and the self-employed



  • €500m emergency coronavirus package for the self-employed and small companies with a maximum of five employees. Among those it aims to support are people working in the creative industries, the arts, education, tourism and retail. The maximum amount available per application is €5,000. 


Other states including North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein have announced similar emergency programmes for the self-employed and small companies.

National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general


The music sector can benefit from the above-mentioned general measures.


On top of this, specific measures are being introduced for the cultural sector:


More info:


National level

-The €50bn package mentioned above for small business, small businesses, self-employed individuals, and members of the liberal professions, includes companies and individuals in the cultural sector. It includes one-time payments of up to €9,000 for three months, for businesses with up to five employees; and one-time payments of up to €15,000 for three months, for businesses with up to 10 employees.


-The cultural sectors can also benefit from the new set of measures approved on 3rd June:

  • The new measures include the development of a program ("Neustart Kultur") to mitigate the effects of the Corona pandemic in the cultural field, with an emphasis on the conservation and strengthening of the cultural infrastructure. 1bn euros have been allocated to this programme, with €150m to music, including 80m specifically dedicated to events. See here. This stimulus package includes a 10m increase for Initiative Musik, a programme which supports artists and can now co-fund Creation, rehearsal & pre-production (co-funding going from 40% to 90%).

  • Reduction of the general VAT rates for six months from 19% to 16% (and from 7% to 5% for the cultural sectors).

  • Enabling the tax loss carry forward for 2020 and 2021, which should be made available for financial purposes immediately when the tax return is made in 2019/2020. This is especially important for companies in the cultural and creative industries.

  • A program for bridging aids (25 billion euros) is being set up with clubs, sponsors of youth facilities, event logistics companies being eligible.

  • Cultural sectors can also benefit from the extension of simplified access to basic security until 09/30/2020.

  • A program for the stabilisation of charitable institutions.

  • Expansion of digitisation, including broadband expansion, which is important for companies in the cultural and creative industries, cultural institutions and non-profit cultural institutions in rural areas.

-On 9 June, the music sector reacted to the new set of measures, welcoming the stimulus package and the set of specific measures for the cultural sector, but deploring that parts of the music industry are explicitly mentioned while others - such as labels and publishers - are not, as this fails to address the industry's complex value chain.  (see here)

- Tickets for club nights were formerly levied at 19%, but are now eligible for the lower rate of sales tax after being redefined as “concert-like” events by the  Bundesfinanzhof (BFH).
Live performances by house and techno DJs have been officially recognised as ‘concerts’ by Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court, slashing the tax paid on live electronic music events to 7%.

- November: German government announcing more support for self-employed and the culture and event industry in Germany by extending bridging aid. Self-employed are to receive one-off grant of up to €5,000 which is to be paid out quickly and in an "unbureaucratic" way. More here.

-In December 2020, the government announced a €2.5bn event cancellation fund to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 without taking a financial risk posed by a potential covid outbreak (see here).

-Also in December, federal funding of €4m was announced for the stationary music trade as well as manufacturers and distributors of musical instruments and equipment (see here).

Regional level

-Self-employed and companies with a maximum of 5 employees are eligible for Berlin’s coronavirus emergency package mentioned above up to a maximum amount of €5,000 per application. Artists and small cultural businesses have applied. 


-The Hamburg senate approved a range of measures to offer relief for artists and companies in creative industries. These include grants of €2,500 for freelancers and €5,000 for companies with fewer than 10 employees. 

-On 6 May, the German music sector issued a joint call for an emergency package of €582 million of non-repayable state aid - This figure corresponds to around 10% of expected losses across music sector as estimated via a damage report published in March.


De-confinement process

-On 17 May, The culture ministers of the federal and state governments have agreed on common measures for more cultural life in the Corona crisis, and to involve the cultural scene in the economic stimulus program. In a proposal sent to the Chancellor and to the heads of the governments of the federal states, they call for a "planned opening of further cultural institutions and activities" with different regulations according to the sector (e.g. different regulations for actors on stage, orchestral musicians, choir singers, dancers, etc). Minister of Culture Monika Grütters proposes to rely on a "rescue and future package" from the federal government to provide financial support for the scene. (more info here)

The criteria for opening art and cultural institutions across all sectors and industries are available here.

Measures taken by local collecting society organisations


Crisis fund for members, advances


More info


-Performance rights society GEMA set up a €40m crisis fund. The aid fund will be provided in a two-stage plan: in a first stage, funds will be made available to composers and lyricists who also act as performers; and in a second stage to support songwriters and composers facing “individual hardship” cases. (see here)


-Performers/producers society GVL has made advance payments to producers based on their last year pay-outs and has offered to artists a one-time payment of €250.


Other music funds available

1: Initiative Musik
Initiative Musik is Germany’s music export office, supporting rock, pop and jazz music. Its main goals include the promotion of young musical talent, the integration of musicians with immigrant backgrounds, and the dissemination of German music to foreign markets. It also bolsters music venues that significantly contribute to maintaining cultural diversity in Germany.
The German government has increased the annual federal funding for Initiative Musik. From 2019, 13 million euros per year will be available from the BKM budget.

2: Music Fund e.V.
At the suggestion of the State Ministry of Culture and Media, Prof. Monika Grütter, the Musikfonds e.V. was founded in September 2016 by seven associations and institutions of musical life in Germany. The aim of the Music Fund is to promote contemporary Swiss music in all its diversity and complexity.

The Music Fund aims to support outstanding projects in all fields of contemporary music with an application sum of up to 50,000 euros. A total of 1.1 million euros will be made available annually for the fund from the resources of the Minister of State for Culture and Media.


Information hub: German independent music companies association VUT keeps its Covid information page for members updated (see here).  


Support from online services


Nothing specific for Germany as a whole but many local initiatives. For more initiatives from online services click here.


German independent music companies association VUT is collecting great support and actions under the hashtag: #BeCreativeForCreatives (more info here).


Support from national radio and other media


None so far.


Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis

Just individual campaigns from musicians - no coordinated campaigns yet. 

Sector calls

- Together, German independent music association VUT and local recorded music industry body BVMI have issued a call for additional support to the music sector, especially SME music companies: 

*Fast, unbureaucratic emergency aid across the music sector

*Call on streaming services and platforms to contribute

*Timely and verbatim implementation of the EU copyright directive


More information here

Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music


None so far.


Business and other expected losses


-A damage report has been published by the German music industry (see here). According to current forecasts, the rounded total amount of the loss of revenue expected if the crisis measures last for 6 months is:


-Clubs and small music stages

EUR 206 million

-Concert and tour organisers* and artist agents

3,653 million euros

-Small and medium-sized festivals

EUR 233 million

-Major festivals

451 million euros

-Music publishers /Creator /GEMA

EUR 390 million

-Record producer / Artist /GVL

EUR 250 million

-Musical Instruments

EUR 300 million


5,483 million euros

The full report can be downloaded here.

-A report published in April by the German government predicted turnover losses between €3.6bn and €6.2bn for the music sector alone, and between €21.7bn and €39.8bn for Germany's cultural and creative industries as a whole. (see here)

For more info
VUT – Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmer*innen e.V - info(at)vut(dot)de


IMPALA represents independent music companies and national associations in Europe. Our main site is where you can find out more about what IMPALA does. 

Address: 70 Coudenberg - 1000 Bruxelles

Tel: +32 2 503 31 38

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