Total expenses in 2020

Table: Total expenses in 2020
The total expenses of publicly financed theatres in Germany amounted to approximately 3.2 billion euros in 2020. 68.5 % of the expenditure was for staff.

The share of staff costs in the total expenses of the theatres was relatively constant at around 73 % before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In the fiscal years 2000 to 2005, staff expenses even accounted for 75 % and more of the budget.

Most of the expenditure is for permanent artistic staff: In 2020, more than 1 billion euros were spent on permanent artistic staff at the theatres – around 130 million euros less than in the previous, pre-pandemic year. Recent costs for technical and artistic-technical staff were 727 million euros. Administrative and maintenance staff accounted for 202 million euros, other staff (like part-time staff or temporary employees) for 243 million euros.

Material expenses amounted to 683 million euros in the 2020 fiscal year, 118 million euros less than in 2019.

Staff and material expenses of publicly financed theatres
Table: Staff and material expenses of publicly financed theatres


The theatre statistics are drawn from a complete survey based on written questionnaires submitted to publicly financed theatres and orchestras regarding their business operations (venues, range of events, attendance figures, staff, financing). The figures in the time line are not always comparable, for some venues could not be used owing to construction work and/or the collected data is incomplete owing to lack of responses, especially in the earlier years and during the pandemic. Because of rounding, the totals of individual items may differ from the grand totals. Moreover, not all figures included in the grand totals are necessarily itemised in the subordinate positions.



  1. Excluding other events and theatre related accompanying programmes.
  2. Including part-time staff, temporary employees etc.
  3. Interest and repayment services, special funding expenses, construction costs.
  4. Due to changes in the classification scheme effective since the fiscal year 2004, the data from 2004 onwards can only be compared to a limited extent with data from previous years.
  5. Since March 2020, corona protection measures have repeatedly led to restrictions on theatre operations or the closure of venues.

Source information

Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from the various issues of Theaterstatistik, published annually by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein).

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