Denmark launches €12m aid scheme to compensate organisers

Denmark is to launch a €12 million aid scheme to compensate organisers for damage suffered due to the cancellation of large events because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The European Commission has approved the €12 million package to compensate organisers over the cancellation of events with more than 1,000 participants.

It comes as UK organisers are piling pressure on the government to provide assistance to the industry. A petition calling on the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak has received more than 30,000 signatures in 24 hours.

The petition was launched by event photographer Matt Rakowski. He said: “The events industry is facing its biggest ever challenge as the effects of Covid-19 are hitting us all in an unprecedented manner. I’m calling on the UK government to provide economic support to businesses and individuals in our time of need.”

The Danish aid scheme is intended to compensate organisers of events with more than 1,000 participants or targeted at designated risk groups, such as the elderly or vulnerable people, irrespective of the number of participants, which had to be cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the scheme, operators will be entitled to be compensated for the losses suffered as a consequence of the cancellations or postponement the events, for which, for example, tickets were already sold.

European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “With the scheme, Denmark will compensate the organisers of events cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak for the losses suffered. This is the first state aid measure notified to us by a member state in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. We stand ready to work with all member states to ensure that possible national support measures to tackle the outbreak of the virus can be put in place as quickly and effectively as possible, in line with EU rules.”

The commission approved the scheme under EU state aid rules within 24 hours of receiving the notification from Denmark.