FIM outlines recommendations for return to work
The International Federation of Musicians (FIM), an umbrella body comprising around 70 musicians’ unions worldwide, has issued a series of recommendations to enable artists to return to work in the safest possible way amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
The guidelines – targeted at classical musicians but relevant for all touring artists – say while “there is a common desire of musicians, employers and audiences” to reopen music venues “as soon as possible”, this must be accompanied by the “adoption, implementation and enforcement of adequate safety measures in order to protect musicians against the risks arising from possible exposure to the Sars-Cov‑2 [coronavirus] as they return to work.”
Among the FIM’s recommendations are that musicians with one or more symptoms of Covid-19 infected should be “exempted” from performing or rehearsing; that distance is kept between musicians on stage, as well as between artists and performers; widespread access to hand-washing facilities or sanitiser; and one-way paths inside venues, and separate entrances and exits to enclosed spaces such as dressing or green rooms, to avoid unnecessary social contact.
The guidance also expresses a preference for open-air events; where that is not possible, everyone attending an indoor concert should wear face coverings, it adds.
The FIM document follows the updated WHO mass-gathering guidelines, put out earlier this month, as well as other previously released guides to safe venue reopening, available from IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre.
Download the federations’s recommendations in full in PDF format here.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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LatAm associations draft gender equality declaration
Musicians’ unions across Latin America have drafted and signed a declaration pledging to work towards gender parity in their memberships.
At an event hosted by the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) in Bogota, Colombia, before Christmas, local artists’ union Ormúsica, as well as its counterparts in Uruguay (Audem and Fudem), Argentina (Sadem), Peru (SIMCCAP), Panama (Sitmas), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Sindmusi), Mexico (SUTM), Cuba (UNEAC) and Costa Rica (UTM), put their names to a document committing to achieving a 50-50 gender split among their members, with 30% women by 2025.
The declaration, entitled Declaración sobre equidad de género en el sector musical sindical (Declaration on gender equality in the musical union sector), also commits the signatories to undertaking an annual census of their memberships to assess the progress made towards gender equality.
In a statement, FIM, which represents some 70 musicians’ unions globally, thanked Ormúsica “for their warm welcome to a successful event”.
Industry welcomes CITES instrument exception
Touring musicians will find it easier to cross borders carrying instruments made from CITES-listed species following last week’s Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) in Johannesburg.
As recommended last month by a number of industry bodies, conference delegates agreed to revise CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) resolution 16.8 to exempt musical instruments manufactured with endangered flora or fauna, and also extended the exemption to loaned instruments.
In a joint statement, Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), the International Association of Violin and Bow Makers (EILA) and AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen) welcomed the decision and called on “all CITES parties to implement the recommendation […] in order to ease international cross-border movement of instruments in the context of live performances, exhibitions and competitions” and “urge[d] them to harmonise such implementation in order to provide the music sector with the necessary legal certainty when travelling internationally”.
Industry groups call for loosening of CITES rules
Pearle* and six other music industry bodies have called for a revision of CITES resolution 16.8 – the regulations covering the cross-border movement of musical instruments made with endangered flora or fauna – stating they are currently “deeply concerned about the difficulties encountered by the professionals we represent when they travel and tour with musical instruments containing CITES-listed species”.
In a joint statement, Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), the League of American Orchestras, the International Association of Violin and Bow Makers (EILA), the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) say “reasonable and practical procedures are urgently needed” to minimise travel delays and administrative burdens for musicians travelling with instruments containing species listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), including ivory, rosewood, mother of pearl and lizard skin.
“Musical instruments are built with highly sophisticated craftsmanship… using these instruments does not raise any conservation concern”
While reiterating their “commitment and support of the CITES objectives as regards the combat against wildlife trafficking, including illegal trade of ivory and other protected species”, the seven groups request delegates to CITES’s 2017 general meeting (CoP17) – currently being held in Johannesburg – to recognise that “musical instruments are built with highly sophisticated craftsmanship”; that “some of them are unique and, as such, represent genuine cultural treasures”; and that, “given that using these instruments does not raise any conservation concern, we would like to respectfully request member states to agree upon simplified travel procedures” (as follows):
1. Uniform procedures and harmonised rules when crossing international borders are crucial for musicians and orchestras, in order to avoid travel delays and financial burdens. We therefore urge all CITES parties to harmonise the rules that apply when travelling with musical instruments and the implementation of resolution 16.8
2. The certificate itself should be issued in a more flexible way. Many musicians play on extremely expensive instruments that are owned by orchestras or patrons (thanks to generous loan programs [sic]). As a consequence, the fact that an instrument is “personally owned” is not a relevant criterion. We therefore recommend that this reference be removed
3. Travel delays could be significantly reduced by simplifying inspecting and credentialing procedures. Subject to the regulatory framework being adapted along the lines above, controls upon request would limit the administrative burden and help reduce delays at the border
The revision of resolution 16.8 is the 42nd item on the CoP17 agenda.