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German live biz calls for five-year recovery plan

Germany’s Event Management Forum (EMF) has presented a series of demands to government, amid concerns no major tours will be able to take place in the first half of next year.

The EMF alliance, which consists of five major organisations including live music associations BDKV and LiveKomm, is calling for a tailored support scheme for the sector to run until the end of 2022, as well as a five-year recovery plan for 2023 to 2028, and a special representative for the industry in politics.

It is 12 months since the German federal government set a precedent for the European live music industry with the announcement of a £2.5 billion insurance pot. Speaking at a digital press conference, BDKV president Jens Michow acknowledged the “considerable” funding provided up to this point, but said the current assistance does not go far enough.

“If, however, an economic sector is so badly affected by an economic crisis, a comprehensive special programme tailored to specific needs is required in order to save its economic survival,” he said. “Such a programme must then run until the end of 2022.”

A time like the one we experienced live in 2018 and 2019 has moved very, very far away

Estimating that sales were down by 80 to 100%, LiveKomm chair Axel Ballreich said the existing live music business model was increasingly being called into question. He also shared his fears that no major tours will be able to take place in the first half of 2022.

“A time like the one we experienced live in 2018 and 2019 has moved very, very far away,” he said. “It will take a few years of development work.”

Michow put the loss of income for the industry during the coronavirus crisis at €10 billion, and noted that while aid programmes had been useful, some were not geared towards the needs of the business and, more pertinently, were not designed to last for such a long time.

Warning the live business was fighting for its very existence and had “run out of time”, Michow said the situation had become one of “desperation and hopelessness”.

“There is still no opening strategy,” he lamented. “In the current situation, we cannot plan tours. The countries have to agree on uniform regulations.

“Since the coronavirus will not simply vanish into thin air in the coming year, we finally need comprehensible, standardised criteria for a nationwide opening perspective. ”

The one-hour press conference on 16 December began with a lecture by Klaus Wohlrabe, the deputy head of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, who stated the event industry was the sector hardest hit by Covid-19 infection protection measures.

Wohlrabe asserted that the industry’s business climate index fell from minus 2.2 points in October, to minus 26 points in November.

“Until October there was still hope for improvement,” he said. “This disappeared in November.”

 


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