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German associations criticise gov’s exit strategy

Event Management Forum has condemned the gov for its phased reopening strategy which offers 'no perspective for the event industry'

By IQ on 04 Mar 2021

BDKV's Jens Michow is part of the Event Management Forum alliance

BDKV's Jens Michow is part of the Event Management Forum alliance

Event Management Forum, an alliance that comprises Germany’s five associations for the events industry, has slammed the federal government for a ‘lack of perspective’ for the sector in the newly announced reopening strategy.

Yesterday (3 March), the German government announced that the country’s lockdown would be extended by three weeks until 28 March but for the first time, Angela Merkel’s cabinet has revealed a reopening plan which will depend on the regional infection rate.

Live music venues, theatres and opera houses may only reopen in step four, when the seven-day incidence rate has stayed below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants for at least 14 days, no earlier than 22 March.

In the meantime, from 8 March, book shops, florists and garden centres will be allowed to reopen as long as strict hygiene measures are in place. Many primary students returned to school last week.

Olaf Zimmermann, MD of the German Cultural Council, says: “The development of the incidence value will decide in the next few weeks whether and under what conditions cultural institutions are allowed to open. This shows a first way out of the lockdown for bookshops, museums, galleries, memorials, cinemas, theatres as well as concert and opera houses.”

“Simply postponing the promised perspective for the event industry to the end of March is not acceptable for the industry”

Culture minister, Monika Grütters, says: “Art is indispensable, it is a source of inspiration and irritation, reflection and innovation. Culture finally brings people out of their domestic isolation. That is why culture must be taken into account in all opening debates from the start. Cultural institutions were the first to close, you mustn’t be the last to open again now.”

Event Management Forum – which recently presented a comprehensive roadmap for Germany’s return to live music – says: “It is incomprehensible that, contrary to the announced cross-sector opening strategy, only a few sub-segments are initially promised openings. Only by creating uniform framework conditions can the cultural and economic standstill be ended and trust rebuilt.

“Simply postponing the promised perspective for the event industry to the end of March is not acceptable for the industry. Politicians still fail to recognise that events often have lead times from a few months to a year or longer. An opening plan until Easter is therefore not a prospect.”

“The event industry has been in a lockdown for a year. Unlike in many areas of the economy, there was no real opening in the last year. Therefore, in addition to planning the restart, the extension and adaptation of the aid measures beyond summer 2021 must now also be discussed.”

The alliance groups BDKV (Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry), venue association LiveKomm (LiveMusikKommission), EVVC (European Association of Event Centres), the ISDV (community of interests of independent service providers in the event management ) and VPLT (The Association for Media and Event Technology).

The alliance hopes to take its roadmap, titled Manifest Restart, to the federal government.


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