Great news for Austrian music: the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sports announced that it will be making an additional €1.5 million available to the Austrian Music Fund (Österreichischer Musikfonds / ÖMF) for the support of Austrian musicians in key areas. State Secretary for Arts and Culture Andrea Mayer, together with Austrian Music Fund chair Georg Tomandl and director Harry Fuchs, shared details of the planned budget hike at a press conference.
The funds will be used for pilot projects in the next three years aimed at strengthening Austrian as a music industry hub: €220,000 per year are earmarked for tour support, allowing the ÖMF to offer comprehensive support for international concerts and tours for the first time. In addition, a new subvention format known as ‘ÖMF+’ will devote €280,000 annually to optimize and professionalize the promotion of Austrian music to a wide audience.
Strengthening Austrian music
According to Secretary Mayer: “Austria is both culturally and economically an important location for music – and not just for classical music. We have to ensure that it remains so and encourage further development. We all know that people listen to Austrian music – but the space provided for it could be greater; we could be louder, more present. In order to make that happen, we – together with the Austrian Music Fund – are taking the next step here today.”
ÖMF chair Georg Tomandl provided insight on why the additional funding is of such importance: “Particularly in the last ten years, there has been significant positive development in the domestic music branch – but at the same time, the global music industry has undergone a radical change. The current state of affairs requires new approaches, particularly in terms of modern marketing activities. A music industry with the dimensions of Austria’s is at a structural disadvantage, which increasingly means that we have to think and work internationally from the beginning. The capital required – as well as the risk involved – is substantially higher than it used to be.”
ÖMF director Harry Fuchs added: “The basic requirements for a successful, sustainable Austrian music industry are production values that can compete on the international level and strong local structures, outfitted with the financial support allowing them to realize innovative marketing concepts domestically and abroad. This is where up-to-date subvention concepts come into play: the established production subsidies need to be combined with sufficient backing for domestic and international touring and corresponding support for marketing, information and capacity building, continuing market observation, and international networking.
The Austrian Music Fund and Austrian Music Export
The Austrian Music Fund was founded in 2005 as a public/private partnership with Austrian music institutions in order to support Austrian music of all genres and in all its aspects – composition, performance, production, publishing, and labels. The ÖMF’s annual budget in 2023 was €1.57 million; with the additional funding announced by the cultural ministry and an increase in contributions from private partners, the budget will be expanded to roughly €2.2 million beginning in 2024. Austrian Music Export – a joint initiative of the ÖMF and mica – music austria providing a service and resource center for contemporary Austrian music in all its forms – will be closely involved in the administration of the new funding programs.
Guidelines and further information on the new programs will be announced in the coming weeks – stay tuned!