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Germany won’t Return to Live, says government

Germany’s federal and state governments have dashed hopes of the country returning to live any time soon after announcing that major events which do not adhere to hygiene regulations will be banned at least until the end of this year.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country would be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

The extension of the ban is part of a series of measures to help contain the spread of the virus in Germany, which include a minimum fine of €50 for those caught without a mask.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says: “We want to keep our health system strong in the pandemic, because this benefits everyone, but also the economy and public life.”

Earlier this week, the Live Nation GSA-promoted concert Return to Live – slated to be the biggest show in the country since March – was postponed indefinitely due to increasing infections.

“We want to keep our health system strong in the pandemic, because this benefits everyone, but also the economy and public”

The concert was due to take place on 4 September, inviting up to 12,000 to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor and Rea Garvey at the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena in Dusseldorf.

Music industry conference and showcase festival Reeperbahn is among those still slated to take place in Germany between August and November, set for 16 to 19 September in Hamburg.

According to Hamburg government spokesperson Enno Isermann Reeperbahn “should take place under the applicable corona regulations”

While Germany may not be able to return to live yet, preparations for next year look promising. Just a few days ago the German federal government committed €80 million to organisers of music concerts and festivals from its €1bn Restart Culture programme.

The 12-month Neustart Kultur (‘Restart Culture’) stimulus package includes a total of €150m earmarked for music, with this initial €80m dedicated to events from October 2020 to the end of August 2021.

This news followed reports that Germany is likely to extend its coronavirus furlough scheme to 24 months – a proposal that has the backing of the chancellor, Angela Merkel.

 


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Joint approach agreed for Live Nation Germany concert

Live Nation GSA and local authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia have agreed on a joint procedure for the country’s major return to live, Give Live A Chance.

The 4 September concert (originally billed as Return to Live) is scheduled to be the biggest show Germany has seen since March, inviting up to 12,000 fans to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey in the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena.

However, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the City of Düsseldorf raised concerns about the concert after the country saw an increase in coronavirus infections.

After meeting with Marek Lieberberg, CEO of Live Nation GSA, both parties have agreed to continue to monitor the infection process together and make a final decision by 31 August, at the latest, as to whether Give Live A Chance can take place.

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance and takes into account the specific development of the infection. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that,” says Lieberberg.

Health minister Karl-Josef Laumann says: “Today [13 August] NRW has an incidence of 13.7. Compared with other state capitals, the state capital Düsseldorf ranks second for infections with an incidence of 18.7.”

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that”

“As long as the incidence and infection rate are at a high level, a music event of this magnitude will not be able to take place. But, in the sense of the constructive discussions of the last few days and in recognition of the conscientious concept for the arena area, no final decision will be made today.”

Experts from the ministry had previously checked the hygiene measures developed by Lieberberg and the event subsidiary of the state capital Düsseldorf, D-Live.

They confirmed that, subject to a few questions, this is a “technically well-thought-out concept” that adequately takes into account the infection protection requirements for the arena area.

Fans attending Give Live A Chance will have to register their contact details when buying their tickets and agree to the special terms and conditions which includes wearing a face mask and adhering to the social distancing set out in the seated arrangement.

Further measures include larger waiting areas outside the stadium, tiered entry and exit time slots, an alcohol ban as well as regular disinfecting and additional hygiene precautions.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

The presale for Give Live A Chance continues for the time being but in the event of cancellation, visitors will be reimbursed the entry fee including the advance booking fee.

 


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