As the music and performing arts were hit the hardest among cultural sectors during the Covid-times and organisations were forced to be closed (or only allowed to open with very limited audience capacity) and as they hoped to now recover from this situation, the impact of the energy crisis and of the high levels of inflation on the sector is yet unforeseeable.
Pearle* welcomes the initiatives of the European Commission to mitigate the possible impact of shortages in the supply chain and address the rising costs on energy. It welcomes coordinated action of Member States in this regard and the efforts of introducing temporary price caps where appropriate.
Based on a members survey conducted in the first half of September, it was learned that:
- the energy bill for live performance organisations is increasing up to 600%, which corresponds to the average increase measured since last year in the European Union
- live performance organisations are highly committed to take all possible measures to reduce costs and lower their energy bills
- the sector wants to ensure that cultural organisations can remain open for the public as culture is essential for the well-being of people in times of crisis
- the sector is much engaged to push for green transition where and whenever it can, but that public authorities should step up to support this transition without further delay
To be able to address those commitments, the sector needs general and targeted support from local, regional, national and European level :
- access to state aid support released to enterprises to compensate on increased energy bills
- priority access to funds for renovation of buildings and for initiatives on installation of renewable energy sources
- dedicated support, as foreseen in Regulation 2017/1938 and triggered by the status of 'protected customers' that can be given to small and medium-sized enterprises as this possibility is foreseen for Member States in Article 2(5)(a), thereby focusing on cultural organisations (besides the 'essential social services mentioned in the Regulation)
- specific schemes on public-private (green) investments in the cultural sector, with regards to loans from banks, and sustainable investment, for instance in the context of new EU taxonomy rules that includes the cultural ecosystem (and specifically “Creative, arts and entertainment activities”).
- increase of subsidies and funding in relation with the increased costs at every level (from local to European funds, such as Creative Europe)
- dedicated actions to support audiences on buying tickets to cultural events