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German event alliance pleads for government talks

Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel brands country's coronavirus situation "dramatic", with a range of fresh restrictions expected

By James Hanley on 17 Nov 2021

Jens Michow is part of the Event Management Forum

BDKV executive president Jens Michow

Germany’s Event Management Forum (EMF) is urging the government to meet with music industry representatives before imposing new restrictions on the industry as the country battles a fourth wave of Covid.

Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel called Germany’s current coronavirus situation “dramatic”, with a range of fresh measures to combat the surge due to be proposed tomorrow (18 November).

The EMF alliance, which consists of five major organisations including live music associations BDKV and LiveKomm, is pleading for “proportionality” with regards to the new regulations, arguing that live events have been unfairly singled out in the past.

“In view of the current development of the corona pandemic, companies in the event industry are facing the same dilemma as last year,” the organisation says in a statement. “The Event Management Forum therefore calls on the managing government, those involved in the coalition negotiations and, above all, the federal states to maintain proportionality when issuing new regulations and to meet immediately with the representatives of the industry to discuss the necessary measures.”

By the end of 2021, the loss in sales will add up to at least €8.5bn

A total of 67% of German citizens are fully vaccinated – lower than the average for Western Europe, and new Covid infections have risen by a third in the last week, according to the latest data.

Prior to the latest outbreak, German event leaders had called for all remaining Covid restrictions to be lifted by a 1 December “Freedom Day” at the latest.

BDKV chief Jens Michow says the most recent market study by the Federal Association of the Event Industry showed around €5 billion was generated by the live events industry alone in 2017 from the sale of over 113 million tickets. Michow lays bare the stark financial impact of the pandemic on the business.

“In the 20 months of actual lockdown, the loss of sales for concert, tour and festival organisers alone was around €3.5 billion by the end of last year,” he says. “By the end of 2021, the loss in sales will add up to at least €8.5bn.

“In addition, there are the significant effects on cities and municipalities, for example, through music tourism and the loss of income of the large number of self-employed people who are dependent on the event business.

“The loss of sales of business events such as trade fairs, conferences and business events even amount to around €81bn.”

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