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Assomusica: ‘It is urgent to resume live concerts’

Italian trade body warns the country's touring circuit "risks collapse" if a reopening roadmap is not confirmed as a matter of urgency

By James Hanley on 23 Feb 2022

Vincenzo Spera, president of Assomusica, has lambasted the measures

Italian live music trade body Assomusica is urging the country’s prime minister to provide a roadmap for the sector’s reopening to ensure the summer season can go ahead.

Earlier this month, PM Mario Draghi set out his intention to announce a timeline for the easing of Covid measures, with government ministers declaring Italy was about to enter a “new phase” of the pandemic.

“In the coming weeks we will continue on this path of reopening,” said Draghi. “Based on the scientific evidence, and continuing to follow the trend of the epidemiological curve, we will announce a calendar for overcoming the current restrictions.”

A growing number of European countries have already signalled the end of Covid-19 restrictions. However, apart from the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate, few changes have been confirmed in Italy up to this point. And while welcoming Draghi’s stated ambition, Assomusica president Vincenzo Spera has reiterated the urgency of the situation.

“In numerous hearings in parliament… we have asked [on behalf of] the entire supply chain for a clear roadmap to ensure the full operation of the summer season of contemporary popular music concerts,” says Assomusica president Vincenzo Spera. “We also asked for a meeting with [health minister Roberto] Speranza to touch on this issue and reiterate that in light of the reopening of almost all the activities, we cannot continue to remain closed as we have done up to now in compliance with the restrictions and the public.

“Indeed, we have developed safety protocols for the public and have been able to demonstrate that there have been no cases or outbreaks of Covid 19 in the few shows that have become possible in these two year. Now, it is urgent to resume live concerts.”

“If we do not have certain dates and clear rules very soon to face the spring and summer season, the live sector risks collapse”

Italy’s state of emergency is currently set to expire on 31 March. It is not yet known whether the government plans to extend it, but the Italian green pass system is not expected to be scaled back anytime soon, with some experts maintaining that it must stay in place over summer “at least”.

The consumption of food and drink at concert halls and other indoor locations is banned until the end of March, which currently renders concerts “economically unstable”, according to trade associations. A raft of Italian trade bodies launched a campaign last month to draw attention to the ongoing shutdown. Arci, Assomusica, Bauli in Piazza, KeepON LIVE and MMF Italy have united to launch the campaign under the banner #Nessunconcerto (no concert).

“The operators in the sector are really tired and we would all like to go back to doing our job – in the squares, in the stadiums, in the sports halls – and bring the audience back to relive the emotions that only live music can offer to restart our sector,” adds Spera. “The situation of discrimination in the live sector is becoming unsustainable. If we do not have certain dates and clear rules very soon to face the spring and summer season, the live sector risks collapse.”

Meanwhile, Justin Bieber is the latest superstar act to be announced for Italy’s month-long Lucca Summer Festival, staged next to the historic Lucca City Walls. Bieber’s appearance is scheduled for 31 July. The 2022 line-up already features Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, Liam Gallagher + Kasabian, Robert Plant + Alison Krauss and John Legend with Celine Dion confirmed for 2023.

 


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