Concert promoters are the mainstays of cultural life in Germany, particularly regarding new talent in club venues, according to Germany's minister of state for culture Bernd Neumann.

He was speaking at event today (Sept. 23) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bundesverband der Veranstaltungswirtschaft (bdv), or German Association of the Promotions Industry, in Hamburg during the Reeperbahn Festival. He said that the German government attached a great deal of importance to supporting clubs as the small venues offer a chance to young talent in the rock, pop and jazz sector. "

Neumann said the live business is "becoming increasingly important as the situation on the recording market gets ever more difficult."

He added that the German government supported private initiatives on the music market with subsidies for concert promoters who organize cultural events. The government wanted to support them with advice and action, he said, especially for culture that was not easy to market.

"Many venues actually take a high commercial risk when they encourage more newcomers than established artists," said Neumann.

Neumann reported that the German government had set up a special office together with the city "Initiative Kultur und Kreativwirtschaft" [German Government Culture and Creative Industry initiative] in Hamburg in order to advise artists on all questions related to turning professional and securing financing. "Artists must also be in a position to live from their creative work," he said.

He went on to say that the Reeperbahn Festival was a good example of promoting a new generation of artists. Over the coming three days 170 international bands and individual performers, 49 of them from Germany, will be appearing in 20 different music clubs on the Reeperbahn.

Seymour Stein, founder and Chairman of Sire Records, reported in the keynote speech on his experience with German business.

"In particular Hamburg is the heart and soul of the German music business," said Stein. Although he acknowledged the importance of Berlin, Stein said that Hamburg's music tradition, including the city's part in the Beatles early development, continues today when it comes to new musical trends in Europe.

Stein said Hamburg remains an exciting city for music, offering major opportunities in international business because the club scene is particularly rich and varied.