To Be Announced

How Long Can German Live Music Venues Survive the Lockdown?


  • Johannes Krause Heinrich-Heine-Universität
  • Jan Üblacker University of Applied Science
  • Katharina Huseljić Heinrich-Heine-Universität
  • Niklas Blömeke Universität Paderborn
  • Heiko Rühl University of Cologne



live music venues, live music ecology, insolvency, COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated closures of live music venues have confronted operators in Germany with fundamental uncertainty about the prospects of their venues. In the summer of 2020, both public and political debates revolved around the question of whether operators might have to close or could remain open during the crisis, with the overarching viewpoint being that closures were the most sensible option. Using data from the German live music survey (n = 686) and linear regression modelling, this article analyses the factors influencing the expected duration until insolvency. We show that the continuous financial support provided by the state extended the expected time to insolvency, as did the number of actors and initiatives using venues on a regular basis. On the other hand, operators with market venues, venues for lease and venues in big cities had more pessimistic expectations. The results demonstrate the safeguarding function of state support and diverse live music networks in times of crisis and bear important implications for the promotion of resilient live music ecologies.

Author Biographies

Johannes Krause, Heinrich-Heine-Universität

Dr Johannes Krause researches social structural influences on beauty and education. He holds a PhD in sociology, a diploma in social sciences and a master’s in business administration. Since 2010 he has worked at the Department of Sociology of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf.

Jan Üblacker, University of Applied Science

Dr Jan Üblacker is Professor for Housing and Neighbourhood Development at the EBZ Business School, University of Applied Science in Bochum. His research focuses on causes and consequences of neighbourhood change, urban development, gentrification, housing and housing markets.

Katharina Huseljić, Heinrich-Heine-Universität

Katharina Huseljić is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, where she lectures in quantitative methods. In the project CIMT she works on social (in-)equalities in the urban built environment and citizens’ participation in shaping cities.

Niklas Blömeke, Universität Paderborn

Niklas Blömeke is a PhD student in the Department of Music (Popular Music & Media) at Paderborn University. He lectures for the BA programme, is a member of IASPM D-A-CH and works as a local promoter.

Heiko Rühl, University of Cologne

Heiko Rühl is the project manager of the first official German Live Music Survey “Clubstudie”. Besides live music and festival research, he has conducted various projects in cultural sociology and urban and regional research at the University of Cologne.


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How to Cite

Krause, J., Üblacker, J., Huseljić, K., Blömeke, N., & Rühl, H. (2022). To Be Announced: How Long Can German Live Music Venues Survive the Lockdown?. Journal of World Popular Music, 9(1-2), 117–143.