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Swiss promoters’ association, SMPA, recommends events due to take place before mid-July are moved to next year, as government guidance is set to come “too late”
By IQ on 27 Apr 2020
The Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) has advised its members to postpone any large events due to take place before mid-July until next year.
The advice from SMPA comes in the absence of an official government declaration on the reopening of large-scale events, despite the introduction of its exit plan last week.
Some Swiss festivals, including Paléo Festival Nyon or Montreux Jazz Festival, have taken the decision to cancel into their own hands, while others such as OpenAir St Gallen, SummerDays and Seaside Festivals, Openair Frauenfeld and Zürich Openair are waiting for further clarification.
According to the promoters’ association, such clarification will not come until, at earliest, later this week. “For many cultural, sporting and entertainment events planned for the weeks following the end of the event ban on 10 May, this is simply too late,” reads an SMPA statement.
Having weighed up the risks, the SMPA is recommending that festival organisers cancel, of their own accord, any events due to take place before the middle of July and reschedule for next year.
“The economic risks, probable or already confirmed cancellations of international artists and growing public pressure outweigh any legal uncertainties [of postponing events until 2021]”
“The economic risks, probable or already confirmed cancellations of international artists, as well as growing public pressure outweigh any legal uncertainties [of postponing events until 2021],” reads the statement.
For those events due to take place from the end of July, it is recommended that organisers continue planning “for as long as possible” to avoid “premature cancellation”.
The SMPA is developing a feasible exit strategy for events, which it will propose to the government. The promoters’ association has already asked authorities to extend the state of force majeure to festivals and events until 90 days after the end of official measures against the spread of the virus.
By not formally extending its ban on mass gatherings when announcing the lifting of lockdown measures, the Swiss government bucked a trend seen in European countries including Finland (31 July), the Netherlands (1 September), Luxembourg (31 July), Germany (31 August), Belgium (31 August), France (mid-July), Austria (30 June) and Denmark (31 August).
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