Flemish government supports festival organisers with €60 million
The Flemish government will help the region’s festivals organisers to prepare for the summer season with €60 million. The events sector has been one of the most affected worldwide and is no exception in this region. Now, due to these additional measures, organisers in the Flanders region can apply for a repayable advance and a Covid-proofing subsidy.
The Flemish government is the regional government for Flanders in Belgium. Flanders is one of three Belgian regions that include Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges and is the home of major festivals like Tomorrowland, Pukkelpop and Rock Werchter.
Hilde Crevits, Flemish minister of economy has already released €43 million worth of repayable loans before and at that stage 150 organisers received support, including festivals like Sfinks, Laundry Day and Gent Jazz. Now, this €60 million injection is coming for two different purposes. Crevits is allocating €50 million in refundable advancers so that organisers can start preparing summer events with (more) reduced risk. This has a limit for each subsidiary of €1.8 million and larger events organisations like Tomorrowland are eligible to apply this time. According to the Flemish minister of economy:
‘With the repayable advance for the event industry, we provide the resources needed to keep the engine running and offer insurance against the risk of organizing an event in times of uncertainty.’
The remaining €10 million will be allocated by Zuhal Demir, Flemish minister of tourism. This funding is meant to establishing security protocols related to Covid-19, such as rapid test villages, additional entrances and exits and other logistic adjustments. Demir explains that:
‘Smaller events with a total cost of at least €250,000 can count on the support of up to €75.000 while larger players with budgets of at least €7.5 m can count on support of up to €50.000’
The Flemish minister of tourism is working closely with Event Flanders, the name behind the event policy that, along with virologist and festivals organisers, are studying and drawing the conditions under which events can take place safely. Organisers can apply for corona-proofing grants on Event Flanders.
As Demir states, these issues are not purely regional, as events, particularly those of a larger scale, are international:
‘Flanders has the best festivals in all of Europe. From large mass manifestations to the more intimate niche events, it is in everyone’s interest that the festival summer of 2021 can take place in the best possible way, for organisers, for visitors and for the rest of Flanders.’
Answers about summer festivals are needed as soon as possible, as there is a whole workflow of procedures and suppliers that need to be actioned in time. Some clarification is expected from the Flemish prime minister in March.
Image Credit: Tomorrowland