A report on the Vienna Theatre Reform analyses the scene since 2004.
5.3.2 Performing arts and music
There are special regulations concerning theatre funding, stating that the government is obliged to pay an annual supplement currently EUR 21.5 million to the regional and city theatres under the regularly agreed Financial Equalisation Act.
The Federal Law on the Establishment of the Salzburg Festival Fund (1950) provides for the Salzburg Festival's losses to be covered by the federal government (40%), the province of Salzburg (20%), the city of Salzburg (20%) and the fund for the promotion of tourism (20%).
In August 1998, federal theatres (Burg- and Akademietheater, Staats- und Volksoper) were reorganised as limited companies under private law (see also chapter 7.3) under the management of a holding. The owner of the Bundestheater-Holding is the Republic of Austria. Their cultural tasks are defined in the Federal Theatre Organisation Act, 1998. This states that the government is to provide an annual basic payment. In 2008/2009 this amounted to EUR 142.1 million. From January 2009 the statutory annual basic funding for the federal theatres was raised to EUR 142.145 million (in 2007 it was EUR 133.6 million, in 2008 it was increased by EUR 5 million to EUR 138.6 million and in 2009 raised by a further EUR 3.9 million). As the increase of EUR 3.5 million for the 2009 and 2010 financial year had been used for the 2009/2010 season, the basic funding for the Austrian Federal Theatre for the 2009/2010 business year was in this one-off case EUR 145.6 million.
The private Vienna theatres (Theater in der Josefstadt, Volkstheater, Theater der Jugend) and the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien (Vienna's theatre association: Theater an der Wien, Ronacher, Raimundtheater) are likewise co-funded by the Federal government on the basis of a special contract with the City of Vienna.
In order to do justice to the changing theatre landscape, in 2003 the "Concept for the Vienna Theatre Reform" was presented by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna. It formulates the basic principles of the support practice of the City of Vienna and aims at the production of a balanced relationship between the modern debate with traditional forms of performing art and the work on contemporary forms of theatre and dance as well as between established and young artists. In 2012 an evaluation report on the Vienna Theatre Reform was completed, which documents developments in Viennese theatre since 2004. It recognised a better, above all international networking on the domestic scene, but a limited number of performances per production. The number of co-productions had tripled, in-house productions had risen, but the works have shorter runs. A further weakness was the funding of project subsidies: the payments have continuously risen, but the budget has fallen. Larger theatres receive growing payments from the city (up to EUR 57 per head); the subsidy of the medium-sized theatres has remained the same, at EUR 25. The IG Freie Theaterarbeit criticised the lack of transparency in the evaluation: the objectives of the "Concept for the Vienna Theatre Reform" had not been achieved.