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Podbořanská oktáva is a smaller collective, where only eleven students contribute to the prom fund. “We’re just getting along with the fund. There are eleven of us paying in the class. Our budget was not big from the beginning and we had to save as much as we could. Sponsorships help us a lot with that,” admits Šindelář. But there were fewer of them. The whole society, including entrepreneurs, is struggling with inflation and high prices. “Compared to previous years, we think that it is definitely harder to find sponsors at this time. It happens to us that the companies that sponsored our school’s past proms turned us down this year,” confirms the high school graduate.
Rental prices for social halls and lounges have risen throughout the Czech Republic. The newspaper investigated the situation in two dozen cities across the country. Cultural centers agree that increased utility bills are not the only factor that increases the price of rent for high school graduates. “Since last year, personnel costs have also been increasing, which has only been exacerbated by inflation. Employers must value their employees and respond to increases in salaries and living costs, so we expect costs to rise next year as well,” says Petr Holba, director of Metropol in České Budějovice.
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According to Michal Muláček, the manager and head of production of the cultural house in Kladno, rents for high school graduates have increased year-on-year by tens of percent. “Unfortunately, it climbs to twenty percent,” he calculates. Some facilities have kept the rental prices the same because they are set for the year by city resolution, so they have to fight differently to cover higher operating costs.
The cultural center in Písek has not changed the price list for the rental of the main spaces, but it is trying to compensate for the increased operating costs by increasing the fee for the use of dressing rooms and other spaces for the preparation of the ball. “Compared to last year, the bill for the graduation dog is thousands of crowns higher,” explains Barbora Fuková, who is in charge of rentals.
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Graduation classes usually finance proms from sponsorships and a fund, to which they usually contribute from the first year of high school. Various agencies also help them with practical preparation. Among the biggest is PROmaturak.cz, which also organizes a competition Class of the yearin which graduates can win valuable prizes and thus reduce the graduation budget
However, he cannot confirm that this year’s high school students would only rely on miracles from above. “It’s a life event and the graduates usually want to have it, no matter what it costs,” explains a team member PROmaturak.cz Dan Beránek. “Graduates are happy for every gift and discount, but they can also help themselves. They will reduce costs by increasing the price of tickets, by increasing the volume of the raffle,” he lists the possibilities. He does not expect that this year’s graduates will be more modest than in previous years. “The cost of a prom is in the order of hundreds of thousands of crowns. Although it is unpleasant, the prices for increased rentals will not be such a large item compared to the rest of the budget that classes would have to cancel proms because of it,” adds Beránek.
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According to the communication of the cultural centers, the fact that classes cancel proms or combine several classes for one event only happens in rare cases. “It’s only a matter of those really small classes, where the fund is not enough,” notes the director of the České Budějovice Metropol Holba.
Some classes are also helped by the post-Covid hunger for culture. “Everyone is happy that after two years they can celebrate it with full pomp. The parents also help the graduates with the higher costs, who come together and support the children financially,” adds Michal Muláček.