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Capacity reductions unviable, say Spanish venues

Representatives from the Spanish live industry have said that enforcing a capacity reduction for venues following their reopening would be “unsustainable”.

A collective of associations including Spanish promoters’ association (Asociación de Promotores Musicales – APM), the national association of live music venues (Asociación Estatal de Salas de Música en Directo – Acces) and the federation of associations of performing arts companies (Federación Estatal de Asociaciones de Empresas de Teatro y Danza – Faeteda) have signed a manifesto asking for an “urgent dialogue” with the state to plan necessary measures for the reopening of cultural activities.

The organisations refer to measures put in place before the Spanish government declared a state of emergency on 14 March, that limited events to 1,000 people and under and reduced venues to a third of their full capacity.

Any reduction in capacity would “automatically make shows unsustainable and stigmatise them” say the venue representatives.

“The average capacity of Spanish venues is from 150 to 200 people,” Carmen Zapata, manager of the association of Catalan venues (Asociación de Salas de Conciertos de Cataluña – Assac) tells InfoLibre. “With those ticket sales, how are they going to pay for the work of musicians, technicians and venue staff?”

“With those ticket sales, how are they going to pay for the work of musicians, technicians and venue staff?”

The collective proposes the exploration of possible sanitary and hygiene measures that “would guarantee the safety of staff and the public, counting on the cooperation of the health authorities and the state”.

Such temporary measures include the use of face masks and gloves, deep cleaning technical equipment, taking temperatures on entry and making card payments obligatory.

The live events sector also asks for the launch of a communications campaign to “regain consumer confidence in attending cultural events, dissipate fear and allow the economic activity of this important sector to resume again”.

Earlier this week, the Madrid’s councillor for culture, tourism and sport, Andrea Levy, asked Spanish culture minister José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) for tickets to live events from 10% to 4%.

“This seems to be a very reasonable measure that would undoubtedly be a great boost for the sector […] that is helping us all get through this terrible pandemic,” says Levy.

Photo: Fermín Rodríguez Fajardo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


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