The music industry's umbrella organization has sent an appeal to the Riigikogu and the government proposing to lower the VAT rate from 20 percent to 9 percent on concert tickets to help the struggling industry.
Ten organizations wrote a joint appeal saying that due to the current crisis, the music industry is under a lot of pressure because their survival depends primarily on concerts.
"Even though in summer, the restrictions were relaxed and the music industry was gradually recovering, ticket sales for cultural events have started to fall again with the arrival of the indoor season, and revenues from cultural event tickets in the first two weeks of September 2020 have fallen by more than 60 percent compared to last year," the statement says.
They highlighted that Estonia is competing against European countries in the international event organizing and especially with close markets where the VAT rate is lower, such as zero in Latvia and 10 in Finland.
"A good example is the Ed Sheeran concert that took place in Latvia due to the cheaper VAT rate which could have happened in Estonia because the same amount of tickets were bought from Latvia and Estonia. Thus, due to the more favorable tax environment, more than €10 million went into circulation in Latvia related to ticket purchasing and other expenses."
The appeal was signed by Kalev Rattus, CEO of the Authors' Association, Urmas Ambur, CEO of the Performers' Association, Rauno Haabmets, CEO of the Phonogram Producers' Association, Märt-Matis Lill, Chairman of the Composers' Association, Henry-David Varema, Chairman of the Performers' Association, Villu Veski, Chairman of the Board of Music Festivals, Ivari Ilja, President of the Music Council, Ave Tölpt, CEO of Music Estonia.
Editor: Roberta Vaino