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ARA launches manifesto for safe return of live

Rationale for a Resilient Return, launched at the second A Game of Two Halves conference, presents a four-point plan for live events' return in Europe

By IQ on 19 Feb 2021

The manifesto is launched at A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg

The EAA’s Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA) has launched its manifesto outlining the next steps required for the safe return of live events across Europe.

The ARA, a special-purpose initiative created by members of the European Arenas Association, unveiled the four-point action plan at its second virtual conference, A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg, which took place yesterday afternoon (18 February).

The manifesto, entitled Rationale for a Resilient Return, centres on four core concepts:

  • Creation of an advisory body
    The ARA is proposing the creation of an advisory body that will work in tandem with European political interest groups to guide and instruct on the workings of the live events ecosystem and maximise resource for an effective return
  • A hub for return and for change
    The ARA, through its extensive network of large-capacity arenas across Europe, can offer its venues as a hub for the renewal of the music and sporting industries. The ARA believes its members’ venues can provide the physical space the live events ecosystem needs to build towards a safe return: a space for practice, for collaboration, for communities and for medically conditioned tests that will measure the feasibility, and act as a catalyst for the return, of fan-attended events
  • Adapting for the future of live events
    The ARA is ready to lead the discussion on the need for arenas to provide the physical space for the development of new environmentally sustainable and digital practices, within the context of the provision of community-based and fan-based group gatherings
  • A safe and sustainable post-Covid-19 ecosystem
    The Rationale for a Resilient Return manifesto has been prepared to face a critical moment for the events industry. The ARA believes we must embrace the opportunity to get arenas back to working for our communities; preserve the key elements of Europe’s cultural identity by bringing back live music and sporting events; and bring the different parts of the ecosystem together to create safer, greener and more efficient environments where European citizens can meet to relax, socialise and enjoy themselves

“As the advocacy platform for European arenas, the ARA’s manifesto will be an important tool as we prepare for a return to live events while working to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities and the sustainability of our industry,” says Robert Fitzpatrick, ARA co-founder and CEO of the Odyssey Trust, which owns the SSE Arena Belfast (an EAA member).

“The ARA’s manifesto will be an important tool as we prepare for a return to live events”

The second A Game of Two Halves conference followed the live music experiment organised by the Rockhal arena in Luxembourg last week, which saw a series of five live shows take place between 10 and 14 February as part of the Because Music Matters showcase.

Audiences were limited in capacity to 100 people each night, with allocated seats set up around a central stage to ensure a certain level of proximity to the stage while ensuring social distancing controls were in place throughout the venue. Attendees had to wear masks at all times inside the venue, and every participant and audience member was tested before and after each show.

Other safety precautions included contactless audience security screening and access control and guidance inside the venue. Full results from the experiment are expected in around two weeks.

A short behind-the-scenes video from the Rockhal test concerts were screened as part of the conference, following an introductory keynote from Sam Tanson, Luxembourg’s minister of culture.

Speaking at the conference, Tanson praised the efforts of Rockhal and Luxembourg’s health authority, saying she felt these tests were “very important” and showed the potential for live events to return with the “appropriate measures” in place.

Olivier Toth, EAA board member, ARA co-founder and CEO of Rockhal, says: “After almost a year without live events, experiments like our Because Music Matters showcase and other test events that have been taking place across Europe are an important and positive step forward in testing the safety measures we can employ to support our back-to-business strategies, building confidence among all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important.

“We were pleased to share initial feedback from the experiment at the ARA conference and we look forward to reviewing the findings fully, with a view to building towards a model that can be scaled as the industry continues to work towards the safe and sustainable return of live events.”

A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg is available to watch again via the EAA YouTube Channel and Facebook page.


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