We are all experiencing how our public life is increasingly restricted with music events being cancelled across the board and cultural institutions being closed. As important and meaningful as these measures are for society – for music creators these developments are threatening their existence. Nobody can currently estimate how long this situation is going to last. With its global but also personal consequences, the corona pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for all of us.
GEMA's Supervisory Board and Executive Board have been dealing with this critical situation extensively and have set themselves the goal of providing help quickly and unbureaucratically now. In this way, we want to cushion the devastating economic effects for you as best we can.
Yesterday the GEMA Managing Committee and Supervisory Board decided on an emergency aid programme for GEMA members with up to 40 million Euros . Composers, lyricists and music publishers who find themselves in an economic emergency threatening their existence because of the corona crisis, can apply for financial support from GEMA. Further information on the application procedure will follow in the course of next week.
The emergency aid programme consists of two stages: The "Schutzschirm LIVE" (1) [protective shield] is a flat-rate emergency aid for music authors provided by GEMA. This financial aid, in the form of an advance payment, is primarily aimed at composers and lyricists who are also performers and who get into financial difficulties due to cancellations of events throughout the country. Members whose economic losses are not adequately absorbed by the 'Schutzschirm LIVE' can apply for support under the 'Corona Relief Fund' (2). GEMA provides financial transitional aid for individual cases of hardship within the framework of social and cultural benefits.
We kindly ask for your understanding that we will not be able to provide you with detailed information on the emergency aid programme before next week, which will then be accessible at www.gema.de. Until then, we are working flat out to make it easy to apply for and pay out the money as quickly as possible.
In addition, GEMA will strongly advocate financial support for musicians from public funds. We are at the disposal of the relevant government agencies as cooperation partners for the initiation and implementation of aid programmes in the cultural sector.
The current situation is not easy for any of us. Individual initiatives by music and creative people give us hope. In this drastic situation, they show once again that music connects people and creates community in a special and inimitable way. We will do our very best to preserve this value of music for our society. Here and now by supporting you as its creators to the best of our ability. In this difficult and disturbing time for all of us, your music can create and maintain community and bonding – across any necessary and life-saving distance.
We wish you all the best for the coming weeks, health and strength to get through this difficult phase in the best possible way.
Dr. Ralf Weigand Dr. Harald Heker