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Denmark’s restart team submits recommendations

A gov-backed insurance pot, an 'innovation lab' for new technologies, and an advisory expert group are among the team's recommendations

By IQ on 09 Mar 2021

Execs from Roskilde Festival will speak at the European Festival Conference

Roskilde Festival Group's Signe Lopdrup is part of the team

image © Bill Ebbesen

Denmark’s ‘restart team’ has submitted a catalogue of recommendations on the reopening of the cultural and sports sectors to the ministry of culture for government approval.

The ten-person team, which was assembled by the government in autumn 2020, has met with more than 80 key stakeholders across the two sectors to determine how the government should allocate the 50 million DKK it previously earmarked for the restart.

The restart team has made the following recommendations for the government:

  • Form an advisory expert group composed of members of the culture and sports, which will maintain dialogue between the sector, authorities and the government, and assist in the preparation of a fact-based long-term and differentiated opening plan.
  • Launch a nationwide campaign effort, immediately after reopening of the entire cultural and sports life, to celebrate the restart of the sectors. The team has recommended that the government arranges a nationwide festival, and sets aside 2m DKK, for this purpose.
  • Back the implementation of SAFE (SARSCoV-2 Antigen testing of Fans before Events in Denmark), which is a large-scale study of Covid-19 antigen testing of the public prior to matches in the 3F Superliga. This is costed at 5m DKK.
  • Create an ‘innovation laboratory’, bolstered by 6m DKK, which will develop new digital formats, technologies and initiatives for parts of each sector that have difficulty reopening ie crowd management solutions for live music events.
  • Collect data to understand citizens’ concerns, considerations and motivations in relation to cultural and sports life in the wake of Covid-19 and make the information publicly available so the sectors can make informed choices of how to restart. Half a million has been suggested for this recommendation.
  • Set aside 36.5m DKK for the development and testing of new formats for culture and sports, which will enable a safe return.

“It is crucial that we get as much momentum as possible in culture and sports under the conditions we live in right now”

The team has also made a number of recommendations that require a longer-term effort and/or funding that is outside the allocated 50m DKK.

The team – which includes Esben Marcher (Dansk Live), Signe Lopdrup (Roskilde Festival Group) and Sara Indrio (Danish Artist Association) from the music sector – has outlined the financial loss event organisers have experienced due to the pandemic, and the risks that lie ahead with the reopening.

The team has recommended the following solutions:

• Compensation schemes and other support that must ensure that organisers in culture and sports can receive financial coverage for losses during a reopening.
• Risk capital, possibly in the form of a loss guarantee or government-backed insurance for organisers in case they are forced to cancel their events.
• Ongoing compensation for those who have to wait longer to open.

Joy Mogensen, Denmark’s minister for culture, says: “It is crucial that we get as much momentum as possible in culture and sports under the conditions we live in right now.”

Dansk Live’s Marcher says: “We have gone for broad, embracing proposals that can benefit all actors, which of course means that recommendations are not necessarily directly aimed at live organisers. However, I think it is positive that the SAFE project on testing quick tests is included in recommendations, just as it is positive that there is a focus on pushing for innovation in culture and sports.”

Roskilde Festival Group’s Lopdrup, who is deputy chairman of the restart team, says: “Cultural and sports life has been hit hard by closure and restrictions. In our work, we have encountered a sector that, on the one hand, fights hard for survival and, on the other hand, does everything possible to come up with proposals for solutions and the development of formats that can pave the way for those cultures and sports experiences we all lack so much.

“Our recommendations certainly do not solve all the challenges, but I hope they can help inspire and open up new opportunities for the players and thus pave the way for the reopening of cultural and sports life, so we can meet about the community-creating experiences again.”


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