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Major European markets fear for festival season

Major European live music markets such as Germany and England have shared fears over the impending festival season.

German live music association LiveKomm has today warned of “the end of club and festival culture as we know it”.

The association has penned an urgent appeal to policymakers, calling for clarity around the reopening of the cultural sector.

“The political mode must be more transparent, otherwise the industry cannot prepare for opening scenarios,” reads the letter.

“Optimistic voices assume that the rules will be relaxed soon, this must not happen without the clubs being taken into account and must also be communicated as such. Everything is currently up in the air, staff, planning and operation, festivals and clubs are completely blank.”

LiveKomm is also urging that the federal government take preventive measures before the autumn in case of another wave of Covid-19.

“Renewed lockdowns and closures must be prevented. After two years politicians can be asked to take preventive measures and plans that start before the wave to protect the cultural industry,” it reads.

“Anything else would be a total failure. This includes, among other things, test capacities, and the lack of PCR test capacities cannot be justified for this winter. Any planning omissions in the coming period will destroy livelihoods in autumn.”

“We may be emerging from the shadow of the pandemic, but this year will not be a case of ‘back to business as usual’”

LiveKomm’s plea follows a similar appeal from Germany’s Event Management Forum (EMF) to the government to follow the lead of other European nations and drop all Covid restrictions.

England, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are among the markets that have fully reopened – though many have warned that the lifting of restrictions isn’t a silver bullet for the live industry.

In England, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is warning of a ‘perfect storm’ heading for the UK’s festival season.

A live entertainment supply chain crisis, workforce shortages, and the effects of Brexit are chief among AIF’s concerns.

“We may be emerging from the shadow of the pandemic in the UK, but this year will not be a case of ‘back to business as usual’ without critical support for festival organisers,” AIF CEO Paul Reed said today during his opening speech at the 2022 Festival Congress.

“That’s why we’re calling on the government to aid our recovery and maintain the current reduced 12.5% rate on tickets beyond the end of March, as well as looking at some form of government-backed loan scheme for suppliers to alleviate some of these pressures and encourage investment in the festival supply chain,” he continues.

“We also urge government to reconsider removing the tax relief for certain biofuels, which further increases cost and is completely counter-productive to promoting better environmental practice across the sector.”

 


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