As the impact of the coronavirus continues to cause stress on national economies, the Swedish government is among those offering grants to professional artists suffering the economic impact of Covid lockdown restrictions, including cancelled shows. Eurovision stars Benjamin Ingrosso and Victor Crone are among the artists who have been awarded a grant.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that grants have gone to Eurovision stars Benjamin Ingrosso, Victor Crone and Jill Johnson. Melodifestivalen stars Oscar Zia, Mendez and Frida Öhrn have also received a grant, as have veteran performers Marika Lagercrantz and Pugh Rogefeldt, rock star Dregen and pop performer Sabina Ddumba, among others.

The so-called Krisstipendium (crisis stipend) is given to creative professionals who can prove they have lost income due to cancelled artistic performances that had been scheduled for some time between 12 March to 31 August 2020.

While Sweden is known for having less strict lockdown measures than many other countries, the Swedish government still has some restrictions in place. From 29 March, events of over 50 have been banned. This includes theatre performances and music concerts — which ordinarily are a major source of income for performing artists.

If a Swedish artist can prove they have missed out on earning at least 15,000 kronor (€1400) in that period, they were able to apply for a grant of 15,000, 30,000 (€2800) or 50,000 kronor (€4700).

Criticism of grants going to well-off artists

Aftonbladet notes some of the artists receiving the grants are well established and have built up substantial assets.

Anna Söderbäck, a representative of the Swedish Konstnärsnämnden (Artists’ Committee), explained that — as per the government’s rules — the grants were not means-tested. She also explained that most people applying for the grants had not previously received assistance from the Artists’ Committee.

She also pointed out that professional artists may find it easier to prove lost income from cancelled gigs as they are more likely to have had contracts in place.

A representative from Benjamin Ingrosso’s record label Ten Music confirmed that they had made the application on behalf of Ingrosso, after receiving advice from booking companies. They also say that the payment is only a small portion of the total lost income from planned summer tours.

What do you think? Should Eurovision stars without work receive assistance from their government? How can the performing arts industry survive coronavirus restrictions? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Sweden Eurovision news here

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Joe
Joe
12 days ago

Maybe Ben can use the grant to buy some charisma?

BTW for those wondering: the results reveal for Second Opinion has been delayed to Monday cuz of assorted complications, so if you’re confused as to why nothing’s happened when you’re tuned in, well, now ya know.

Pineaple
Pineaple
11 days ago
Reply to  Joe

This is a really serious situation these artists find themselves in and all you can do is be rude about Benjamin Ingrosso? Come on dude, grow up.

Joe
Joe
9 days ago
Reply to  Pineaple

You’re right. I was too harsh. I apologize.

John
John
12 days ago

People who don’t need the money can always donate the money to charity. In fact it’s very noticeable recently that celebrities that have never said anything political are all of a sudden activists.

Denis
Denis
12 days ago
Reply to  John

Isn’t the point with charity that you don’t mention it? I am sure these celebrities are activists for good causes in more than one way..

Adryan
Adryan
12 days ago

I don’t get the scandal. People should always be compensated for a loss of income and these artists have lost their chances of a reasonable income.

Denis
Denis
12 days ago

Well yes but these people also pay very large taxes to Sweden and provides it with incomes so I don’t find it unfair at all..

Jonas
Jonas
12 days ago
Reply to  Denis

I don’t find it unfair either. It’s a tough business – we assume because of their profile that they are very well off, but that’s not necessarily true. Nobody pays for recorded music anymore, the public are getting a good deal.

Roo
Roo
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes it is only in the US that celebrities have these huge houses and lifestyle because their world wide fame brings a high income.

If you are famous in Sweden or Australia or wherever you are just that. I know many in the music industry in Australia live quite modest lives, it’s just that they have a public profile.

We have been conditioned to believe that fame equals fabulous wealth.

I also find it funny how sporting codes can carry political clout and dominate the news media. Yet when the government funds arts people netball up in arms about it.