Successful Launch of the CulturePass in Germany

Germany’s CulturePass, aimed at all young individuals celebrating their 18th birthday this year, has made a promising debut, allowing them to embark on cultural exploration. The government has allocated a budget of 200 euros for each individual, and the initial weeks have shown that this opportunity is being enthusiastically embraced by the youth.

Since its launch on June 14, 2023, the CulturePass app has been made available for download. Around 130,000 18-year-olds have unlocked their budgets using their electronic IDs (eID). This has resulted in over 2.8 million euros in transactions using the CulturePass. The app is accessible to all, with nearly 350,000 people registering and learning about the offerings (as of August 4, 2023).

“Approximately six weeks after the CulturePass was introduced, we can see that it is working and achieving the intended impact,” stated Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth. The initiative stems from her pilot project, designed to facilitate young people’s engagement with their local cultural scenes. Roth expressed her satisfaction with the successful launch, highlighting that local cultural providers stand to benefit from participating in the CulturePass initiative.

“Through the app, we are offering a tour guide to the fascinating and diverse cultural landscape of Germany,” explained Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth during a press event at the Chancellor’s Office on June 14, 2023.

The CulturePass aims not only to enrich the cultural experiences of young individuals but also to support cultural institutions. These institutions have been significantly impacted by the pandemic and continue to strive to reconnect with their audiences. The CulturePass intends to boost demand for these establishments and enable them to attract new audiences.

Cultural providers, such as cinemas, bookstores, and concert organizers, can continue to register on the digital platform to set up their “shops” and list their offerings. The costs for the redeemed services will be reimbursed afterward.

So, how does the CulturePass work? Every young person living in Germany who turns 18 in 2023 is granted a budget of 200 euros. This accounts for approximately 750,000 individuals according to the Federal Statistical Office. The youth can start redeeming this budget from their 18th birthday through the CulturePass app or website, using their electronic IDs (eID). The budget is expected to be available for up to two years.

Registration for cultural providers began in mid-May. They can offer various events like concerts, theater and cinema showings, as well as entry tickets to museums, exhibitions, parks, and items such as books, records, or musical instruments. Registration is limited to local cultural providers, excluding large retail platforms and online retailers.

Germany’s approach follows the lead of other European countries that have already introduced similar culture-pass programs. Should the current initiative prove successful, there are plans to extend the program to 16- and 17-year-olds in a second phase.