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German industry warning over Covid winter plan

Event Management Forum says it is "imperative" any future measures for concerts exclude social distancing and capacity limits

By James Hanley on 13 Jul 2022

ASM Global (formerly SMG)’s König-Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany

Live event organisers in Germany have issued a preemptive warning to the government over potential Covid restrictions in the autumn and winter.

Should containment measures be deemed necessary again due to a future surge in infections, the Event Management Forum says it is “imperative” they do not include capacity limits or social distancing requirements for concerts.

“Music clubs can only survive without capacity restrictions, distance rules and the obligation to wear masks,” says LiveKomm chair Axel Ballreich. “We can come to terms with the need for PCR tests at the highest risk level – if the hospital and KRITIS burden make it absolutely necessary. However, the cost of the tests must be borne by the state. The social and societal aspects of the pandemic must not be neglected.”

“Ticket sales are extremely poor for many events”

Marcus Pohl, chair of event industry trade body ISDV, underlines the need for “concrete talks” between the sector and the German authorities to formulate a plan for the autumn.

“The course must now be set so that the sixth-largest branch of the economy with 248,000 companies does not hit the wall for the hopefully last few metres and the previous aid thus misses the goal of preserving companies and jobs,” he adds.

Despite a number of successful music events going ahead this summer, BDKV president Jens Michow warns the overall economic situation remains precarious for the business.

“Ticket sales for cultural events are extremely poor for many events,” he says. “There are numerous reasons for this, such as the continuing uncertainty of the audience and now also growing fears due to rising inflation and the effects of the war in Ukraine.

“The industry is therefore still in a very desolate situation, in which it only takes a small gust of wind to finally tip it over.”

 


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