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Stage lighting: “Strong indications” of no European ban

The latest noises out of Brussels suggest the EU is reconsidering plans to axe the exemption for entertainment lighting in its new Ecodesign regulations

By Jon Chapple on 29 Jun 2018

Stage lighting

image © David Clark

Sources close to the European Commission (EC) have indicated #SaveStageLighting campaigners will be successful in their goal of securing an exemption for stage lighting from new environmental regulations.

Venues and industry associations in May warned that some of the continent’s best-loved music venues and theatres face a blackout post-2020, under European Union plans to regulate stage lighting under the same environmental rules that govern those sold for domestic and office use.

Members of the European Parliament voted 330–246 earlier this month in favour of an amendment, introduced by British MEP Ashley Fox, that would maintain the current exemption for the entertainment sector in the new ‘Ecodesign’ directive. Fox said keeping the exemption is “vital for small theatres across Europe”.

Now, according to Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), industry stakeholders in negotiations with the EC have given the European live entertainment body “strong indications that the main arguments of the case have been accepted”, paving the way for a continued exemption for stage, studio, film and live events applications.

“The situation now is far more positive than many had feared”

“There will be a list of exempted lamp base types that will include many of the specialised tungsten and discharge lamps that are used in the sector,” reads a Pearle* statement. While the organisation expects the list of exempted lamps to be “comprehensive”, it cautions it will not include lighting also in use for other, non-entertainment purposes.

There will also be an exemption for colour-tunable light sources, although details have not yet been disclosed.

“Although much still remains to be known, the situation now is far more positive than many had feared and greatly improved since a meeting between representatives of the live performance sector and the [European] Commission took place earlier this year,” says a Pearle* spokesperson.

The full text of the final regulations will be published this November, and is expected to be written into law in September 2020.

Pearle* represents more than 7,000 live music and performing arts organisations across Europe.


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