Why do the French have a Pass Culture at 300 €? And who is entitled to it?


Young people in France are being granted a golden opportunity to access more music, theater and the arts across generations – and all for free.

The Government’s Culture Pass – designed to promote “knowledge of and access to cultural offerings” – is a bold new initiative introduced earlier this year to all 18-year-olds across the country, giving them €300 to spend on art, music, theater, and more.

Teenagers who might have been deprived of their first concert, art exhibition or forced to take a break from dance lessons during the pandemic now have the opportunity to resume their hobbies or develop new ones.

Now the benefits are being extended to teenagers aged 15-17 from next year due to its popularity.

In fact, more than 59 million euros have been spent on museums, theatres, books, etc. in 2021.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Culture Pass:

Who can benefit from the Culture Pass?

The pass offers €300 to 18-year-olds across the country which they are free to spend on a number of items and activities over a two-year period.

It is not means-tested (meaning it benefits anyone who meets the age criteria, regardless of income) and 800,000 young people have already benefited from it this year.

Fortunately, 18-year-olds who do not have French nationality but who have been living in France for more than a year are also eligible for the Culture pass.

Currently, teenagers who are not yet 18 can register their date of birth and be notified of their access to the pass when their 18th birthday arrives.

This will change in January 2022, when young teenagers will be included in the deal. 15-17 year olds will receive funds to spend on cultural interests in smaller chunks – €20 the year they turn 15, €30 the year they turn 16 and 17, then the full €300 for enter adulthood.

In theory, 15-year-olds currently living in France will eventually have access to €380 of government funding to spend on their hobbies.

The pass should also benefit schools in due course – €45m will be set aside next year so classes of children can be funded to take trips that embrace arts and culture.

Is it because of COVID?

contrary to Spanish cultural checkthe pass has very little to do with COVID-19.

President Macron first pledged to give young people wider access to French culture during his campaign in 2017.

Although it seems to have come at the right time for the thousands of museums, libraries, concert halls and sports halls that have suffered from the pandemic.

“Whether you are cinema, museum, novels, manga, video games, theater, rap, metal, all of this at the same time, we have created the Culture Pass for you”, he explained in a video shared on his account. TikTok, where he has amassed 2.8 million followers since joining in July 2020.

What can you buy with it?

The Culture Pass offers are quite impressive.

The offer is divided into three categories: physical goods, digital goods and artistic/cultural outings and activities.

Physical assets include: musical instruments, art materialsvinyl records, books, CDs and DVDs.

Digital goods include: streaming services (video and music), online news subscriptions, video games.

Artistic/cultural outings and activities include: Visits to sporting events, theatres, cinemas, festivals, museums, concerts etc), creative workshops and classes (dance, drawing, photography) and conventions that allow you to meet other creative people.

There is however a €100 cap placed on digital goods, such as streaming subscriptionsvideo games, e-books, to ensure that young people invest the money in real-world experiences.

Another important stipulation – a central aspect of Pass Culture is to encourage young people in France to bind themselves to their common interests, so the delivery of physical goods is not permitted.

If you cannot find the instrument, collectible, artwork, etc. nearby, you can write to the Culture Pass organizers, who will help you find what you need.

The biggest sectors that benefited during testing in 2019-20 were books and music.

More than 40% of 18-year-olds opted to spend their voucher on instruments, streaming music and literature as venue closures meant there were few offers when it came to experiences in person.

How to use the Culture Pass?

The Culture Pass is available through a website or app, which then oversees what you’ve spent and what you could spend next with the voucher.

Its interface is quite simple to use and includes bonus elements like a “favorites” section to save experiences and items you’re interested in buying, and multi-deals accessible between you and a friend who also owns the app.

To do this, you will need to complete a registration form – it’s quite simple, requiring only a few details and proof of identity before you receive your login.

To register and download the Culture Pass, head here.


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