The Null Device

What's The Matter With Sweden?

Pitchfork has a piece looking at government support for musicians around the world, in particular the Nordic countries (where governments plough a lot of money into supporting up-and-coming acts as a matter of principle; consequently, Sweden is the third biggest exporter of popular music and Norway, Denmark and Iceland punch well above their weight), Canada and the UK (Canada follows a vaguely Scandinavian line, more out of fear of becoming an American cultural colony than deep social-democratic principles; the UK still has some vestiges of the pre-Thatcherite arcadia—White Town's government grant-funded first single was mentioned—though apparently the golden age has been sacrificed to Blatcherite mercantilism, with art schools being more efficient assembly lines for producing employable human resources than the legendary hothouses of freeform creativity they were when Jarvis was flirting with Greek heiresses), and the US (where musicians struggle to get health care—something Obama's bill won't help much with—though, at least, they can console themselves that they're not in Iran or somewhere).

There are 1 comments on "What's The Matter With Sweden?":

Posted by: Greg Wed Mar 31 05:34:15 2010

It's a pity they don't seem to have included Australia in their survey. We've had Arts funding forever, which comparatively recently started to include money for rock bands to tour or release an album. I've never applied for a rock grant but I've spoken with several people who have. Also I heard that some of these funds were drying up, perhaps due to the GFC. I wonder how we compare to other countries?