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Berlin Booking Agencies Unite In Call For Federal Support
Christian Eede , May 21st, 2020 11:09

Booking United is comprised of around 70 agencies based in the city

A new collective of around 70 booking agencies based in Berlin, called Booking United, has shared a request for further support from Germany's authorities for those in the arts affected by COVID-19.

As Resident Advisor reports, Booking United says it represents around 1000 live acts and DJs who represent the "Berlin brand" around the world. "Over the years, the subculture of the capital city has developed along with the well-known club scene," a letter shared by the group says. "As agents and artists, we play a significant role in this development."

The letter, which you can read in full here, calls on Germany's government to announce further industry-specific aid measures, with the collective sharing a number of its own proposals for how that can be done.

Booking United says that having agreed to pay cancellation fees to freelance artists who signed contracts with cultural organisations funded by the government, this policy should be extended to cover all artists, regardless of whether there is federal involvement in the event.

The group also calls on the German government to give a clear, step-by-step guide on how and when it plans to allow clubs to reopen and events to restart.

Finally, there is a request for urgent support packages for agencies and agents themselves. The letter points out that while emergency aid has been partially supplied to a number of small businesses and self-employed people, they are only designed to last for three months and it has not been explained what the funds should be used for.

"It is unclear whether these grants may be used to cover the cost of living for entrepreneurs and managing directors," the letter says. "In most cases, this is necessary since our means of acquiring income has completely collapsed. That must be clarified urgently, among other things, to avoid tax disadvantages, e.g. by paying income tax.

"We are calling for the emergency aid package IV to be adapted or for a corresponding new package to be set up for companies with fewer than ten employees. The funds made available must be able to be used freely for business purposes, salaries of employees, but also to cover the absolutely necessary living costs of owners and managers."

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