Rockhal hosts its biggest pilot concerts yet
Luxembourg’s Rockhal (cap. 6,500) is scaling up its pilot concerts from 100 to 600 people per night as part of the Because Music Matters initiative.
The initiative initially launched in February with five nights of pilot concerts, limited to 100 people each night.
The second round of Because Music Matters launched on Friday 21 May when an audience of 600 tested people watched Luxembourgish artist Serge Tonnar perform in Rockhal’s main hall.
In addition to the sanitary measures in place – which included physical distancing (between groups of up to 4 people) and mandatory wearing of masks – each attendee was required to undergo a PCR or a free antigen test before the concert, as well as a second (PCR) test a few days later.
The venue is once again working with Luxembourg’s Health Inspection and the ministries of culture and health.
“I am hopeful that events like this will help to build towards a model that can be further scaled”
“After more than a year without higher capacity live events, pilot concerts like our Because Music Matters series and other pilot and test events that have been taking place across Europe, are an important and positive step forward in showcasing the safety measures we can employ to support our back to business strategies,” says Olivier Toth, CEO of the Rockhal.
“Building confidence amongst all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important. It felt great to have our main hall vibrate with the sound of live music and a cheerful crowd. We are grateful for the enthusiasm and participation of both artists and audience, which is a real show of support for our sector.
“As the name of the project suggests, music really does play an essential role in people’s well-being. I am hopeful that events like this, together with other pilot concerts that are taking place throughout Europe, will help to build towards a model that can be further scaled as our industry works towards a safe and sustainable return of live events.”
The second round of Because Music Matters will continue at Rockhal this Friday (4 June) with a performance from Luxembourg’s Remo Cavallini which will take place in the same way as the Serge Tonnar concert.
Pilot projects have taken place in markets including Germany, the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. See an extensive list of live music experiments here.
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Road to recovery: A timeline of pilot projects
In August 2020, Germany paved the way for live music pilot projects with Restart-19, an experiment which saw thousands of volunteers to take part in a concert at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko.
Since then, similar experiments have popped up across the globe. From Spain to Singapore, test events with as few as 50 participants and as many as 5,000 have taken place to prove to authorities (and the world) that when it comes to safety and security, the live music industry knows what it’s doing.
Below is a timeline of the pilot projects that have taken place since late summer 2020 – all of which have proved, in one way or another, that the live entertainment sector can reopen safely under certain measures – as well as the tests that are on the horizon in 2021.
When: 22 August 2020
Where: Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Who: University Medical Center of Halle
What they said: “[T]he contacts that do occur at an event do not involve all participants. Therefore, events could take place under specific conditions during a pandemic.”
Konzerthaus Dortmund (study)
When: 2–3, 20 November 2020
Where: Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany
Who: Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Goslar, ParteQ
What they said: “Concert halls and theatres are not places of infection. […] With our study, we want to ensure that concert halls and theatres may again admit sufficient audiences when they reopen.”
When: 12 December 2020
Where: Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
Who: Primavera Sound, Germans Trias Hospital, the Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation
What they said: “A live music concert, staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for Sars- CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections.”
Philharmonie de Paris (study)
When: 16 December 2020
Where: Philharmonie de Paris, France
Who: Dassault Systèmes
What they said: “The combination of face masks with a fresh-air supply built into every seat gives the indoor Philharmonie a similar profile to that of an outdoor space, with a very limited risk of spread from one side [of the venue] to the other.”
Back to Live (SG)
When: 18–19 December 2020 Where: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay, Singapore
Who: AEG Presents, Collective Minds
What they said: “[T]he outcome of such pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to allow events of a larger scale to resume in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Because Music Matters
When: 10–14 February
Where: Rockhal, Luxembourg
What they said: “Building confidence among all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important.”
Participants: 100 per night
Back to Live (NL)
When: 15, 20, 21, 28 February & 6, 7, 20, 21 March 2021
Where: The Netherlands
Who: Fieldlab Evenementen
What they said: “We can now show that we can organise events in a very safe way. […] We hope this can lead to a tailor- made reopening of venues.”
Participants: Varies between events
Love of Lesbian
When: 27 March 2021
Where: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Who: Festivals per la Cultura Segura
What they said: The event had no impact on Covid-19 transmission among attendees, despite the lack of social distancing observed.
The Berlin Philharmonic
When: 20 March 2021
Where: Chamber Music Hall, Berlin
Who: Pilotprojekt, Berlin department of culture
What they said: ‘Zero infections among the 1,000 people who attended the show is further proof that events can be organised safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’
Jonathan theatre performance
When: 26 April–9 May 2021
Where: Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS), Belgium
Who: KVS and Belgium’s Ministry of Culture
What they said: “An important observation is that the CO2 value and the relative humidity have barely increased. We saw the figure increase from 500 ppm to 600 ppm, while the maximum permitted value is 1200 ppm. This is of course only a first indication.”
Events Research Programme
When: April/May 2021
Where: Sefton Park and Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, Brit Awards in London, The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and more
Who: Festival Republic, Circus, BPI, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and more
What they said: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts but will work flat out to make that happen.”
When: TBC 2021
Who: Dansk Live, Divisionsforeningen
What they said: “This should very much lead to a much-needed festival summer and many great concert experiences across the country in 2021.”
When: TBC 2021
Where: Accor Arena, Paris
Who: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, St Louis Hospital, Prodiss
When: TBC 2021
Where: Dôme, Marseille
Who: The city of Marseille, Inserm, Béatrice Desgranges (Marsatac, SMA)
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See Tickets appoints new Benelux managing director
See Tickets has appointed Marijke van den Bosch as managing director for the Benelux region, effective 1 March.
Van den Bosch has worked for See Tickets since 2011, and is currently CCO. In the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), See works with events and companies including Tomorrowland, ID&T, Dour festival, Amsterdam Dance Event, Dutch Design Week, Vrienden van Amstel and Studio 100.
Commenting on her promotion, van den Bosch says: “I certainly see it as a crowning achievement on my 10th work anniversary. The coronavirus crisis has dominated the past year – a challenging yet educational period for the company, in which we will ultimately come out stronger. The turning point is now in sight and I am looking forward to the future plans with great enthusiasm.”
“Marijke has our full trust as the new sole managing director in Benelux to exploit the significant assets and expertise of the See Tickets family”
Van den Bosch says See has used the year-long shutdown to make new investments in other sectors, including the museum and attractions market, “which is a segment which we are currently focussing on internationally,” she continues. “Our offering is also being expanded with new products such as a CRM tool and more marketing solutions to constantly improve the needs of our clients and their fans.”
Rob Wilmshurst, group CEO of See Tickets, says: “As an international company, we know that local support, resources and services are absolutely essential in developing successful client partnerships. Marijke has our full trust as the new sole managing director in Benelux to exploit the significant assets and expertise of the See Tickets family to serve our valuable clients, and their customers, in the Benelux region.”
See Tickets, owned by French conglomerate Vivendi, expanded its presence in the Benelux market in 2018 when it acquired Netherlands-based Paylogic.
ARA set to reveal manifesto for Europe’s return to live
The Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), the purpose-driven initiative created by the European Arenas Association (EAA), is set to launch a manifesto detailing the essential next steps for a safe return to live music and sport across Europe.
The action plan will be revealed during the industry body’s second conference, ‘A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg‘ in association with IQ, which will be streamed live on Thursday 18 February at 1 pm GMT on the EAA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The free virtual event will feature contributions from a range of speakers including John Langford (AEG Europe COO and EAA president), Sam Tanson (minister of culture for Luxembourg) and Alex Jäger, (sport director at Champions Hockey League).
The free virtual event will feature contributions from speakers including John Langford, Sam Tanson and Alex Jäger
A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg will also feature a keynote speech and presentation by Sam Tanson, minister of culture for Luxembourg, featuring behind the scenes footage and in-depth analysis from a series of test concerts taking place in Luxembourg at Rockhal arena’s club venue.
Alongside the Rockhal test events presentation and ARA manifesto launch, the event will also feature two panel discussions titled ‘Ready to Rock and Play’ and ‘Working out Way Back To You’ which will explore what support the live events sector needs from policymakers on both a national and EU level to enable long-term resilience and future growth.
Opening addresses will be delivered by Rita Brasil de Brito (chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, Portuguese presidency of the council of the EU and Viviane Hoffmann (deputy director general at the European Commission Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture).
ARA conference to analyse Rockhal test concerts
The Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), a newly formed purpose group created by the European Arenas Association (EAA), has announced part two of its virtual conference, A Game of Two Halves, in association with IQ.
A Game of Two Halves: The Return Leg will hear key representatives from EU institutions, national governments, and live event sectors explore how large capacity venues across Europe are preparing for a safe reopening, particularly using test concerts.
The conference will reflect on a series of test concerts taking place in Luxembourg at Rockhal arena’s club venue between 10–14 February.
Taking place under the banner of ‘Because Music Matters’, each event in the five-night series will be limited to 100 people – all of whom will be required to take a Covid-19 test prior to the event and again seven days later, wear a mask throughout the event, and socially distance inside.
The series is hosted in conjunction with the national health inspection authority.
Behind the scenes content and insights from the Rockhal test concerts will be screened as part of the conference, offering an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned and next steps and helping to frame the discussion around what still needs to be done.
“[The Rockhal tests] are an important step forward in testing the safety measures we can employ to support our strategies”
The event will also explore what support the live events sector needs from policymakers on both a national and EU level to enable long-term resilience and future growth.
Olivier Toth, CEO, Rockhal in Luxembourg and co-founder of the ARA says: “Building on the success of our first #AGameofTwoHalves webinar in December, we are proud to return with a second event that will explore how we are working towards the safe return of live music and sport. Our Because Music Matters showcase at Rockhal is an important step forward in testing the safety measures we can employ to support our back to business strategies. I look forward to sharing our experience and insights from these events.”
Robert Fitzpatrick, CEO, The Odyssey Trust, owners of The SSE Arena, Belfast and co-founder of the ARA added: “As the advocacy platform for European arenas, the ARA is proud to provide an opportunity for the industry to come together with key EU decision-makers to prepare for a return to live events, whilst working to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities and the sustainability of our industry, which will be central to the economic and societal recovery of countries across Europe.
“Together, we can build regional and national frameworks, with international collaboration that will help us get back to business.”
ARA’s first virtual conference in December 2020 is available to watch online here.
More concert venues become vaccination centres
Further music, entertainment and sports venues in Europe and North America are gearing up to become mass inoculation centres, as the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine continues its roll-out in the UK, with more countries set to follow suit, and other competing vaccines near approval.
IQ reported earlier this month that venues in the UK and Germany, as well as members of Belgian festival association FFMWB, had offered up their facilities as vaccination centres amid the ongoing British vaccination programme and ahead of European Medicines Agency approval for the 27 EU countries.
In Germany, joining the previously announced Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf is Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, a historic concert hall (2,100-cap.) and convention centre which will reopen in the new year following a recent renovation with the capacity to immunise 2,500 people a day.
According to German news agency DPA, there are now more than 440 vaccination centres set up across Germany, with locations including converted exhibition centres, sports halls and hotels.
Historic concert hall Liederhalle will have a vaccination capacity of 2,500 a day
DPA reports that German health minister Jens Spahn is relying on EU approval of the first vaccine “shortly before Christmas”, with the first vaccinations then beginning within two to four days. It is being left to Germany’s federal Lands to deliver the national vaccination programme, though the federal government expects immunisation centres are expected to be at full capacity by mid-January.
In Luxembourg, which is similarly waiting on EU approval to begin its vaccination programme, the 2,300-capacity Halle Victor-Hugo in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg City, has been announced as the country’s first vaccination centre, serving the Luxembourgish capital.
Luxembourg has signed contracts with six vaccine manufacturers (AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac) for 1.3 million doses of vaccine, with which it will be possible to immunise 800,000 people (nearly 150,000 more than there are Luxembourgers) against Covid-19, according to Les Frontaliers.
Canada, along with neighbouring America and Mexico, has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and began inoculating its earlier this week.
The first vaccinations were given in Quebec on Monday, at a conference centre
The first vaccinations were given in Quebec on Monday, with a conference centre in the city of Sherbrooke, Center de foires de Sherbrooke, chosen as one of the sites, given its history of providing vaccinations against seasonal flu. The 60,000sqft venue was, therefore, “ideal as a place for the delivery and administration of the first doses of the vaccine”, reports local daily La Tribune.
The UK, meanwhile, continues to add new venues to its national vaccination programme, which has given more than 137,000 people their first Covid-19 jab (of two) so far.
Hull’s 25,000-seat KCom Stadium is the latest major sporting venue to be transformed into a mass vaccination facility, with people from “priority” groups (the over-80s and National Health Service workers) receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from Tuesday (15 December).
James Crick, associate medical director for Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, tells the Hull Daily Mail, that, thanks to “location vaccination sites” like KCom Stadium, more vulnerable people identified as priority cohorts will be able to receive the vaccine. […] In the meantime, I urge everybody to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS services while we carry out this vital work.”
Venue leaders optimistic for 2020 reopening
Venue professionals expressed confidence that doors will reopen before the end of the year, but shared doubts as to whether social distancing is the answer, in the latest IQ Focus panel.
Available to watch back now on the IQ website, as well as on Facebook and Youtube, the session saw John Langford (AEG Europe), Lucy Noble (Royal Albert Hall/NAA), Olivier Toth (Rockhal/EAA), Oliver Hoppe (Wizard Promotions), Tom Lynch (ASM Global) and Lotta Nibell (GOT Event) reflect on when they will return to business and the tactics that venues will use to ensure the show goes on.
All panellists were optimistic that some shows will return before the end of 2020, although next year will see the true restart of indoor live events, with many speaking of “packed 2021 calendars”.
For Toth, CEO of the 6,500-capacity Rockhal in Luxembourg, smaller capacity shows with strict social distancing measures will be the most likely to restart before the new year. Rockhal’s intimate club venue, which typically has a capacity of 1,100, can hold 90 people with two metre distancing measures in place, but “we can increase capacity as we go”, said Toth.
“For shows of a bigger scale, I am optimistically hoping for the end of this year, but it is more likely to be 2021,” said Toth.
Rockhal is one of a number of venues in Luxembourg acting as a temporary medical facility.
For GOT Event, which operates nine venues in Sweden, sports fixtures are the most likely to return in 2020, with all matches played behind closed doors. “For music and other shows, I think it’ll be next year,” said Nibell.
Even though Sweden has not entered a full lockdown unlike many of its European counterparts, a ban on shows over 50 people has left the Swedish live industry in much the same position as elsewhere.
“For shows of a bigger scale, I am optimistically hoping for the end of this year, but it is more likely to be 2021”
ASM Global has already seen some success with the return of sporting events, hosting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events behind closed doors at venues in the United States.
Lynch said ASM Global’s VenueShield, a post-coronavirus reopening programme, has played a big part in allowing the sports powerhouse to get back up and running. “Next I’d like to see how, or if, we can introduce fans with social distancing and in a safe and clean environment.”
Social distancing has been a “hot topic” of late for the events industry, said Langford, asking Wizard Promotions’ Hoppe if it is a viable solution for event organisers.
While it may work for some kinds of shows and events, “I don’t think social distancing will be a part of what we will be looking at,” said Hoppe. Drive-in concerts offer an example of social distancing success, added Hoppe, but “are horrible for an artist in my opinion”.
Noble, artistic and commercial director at London’s (5,272-cap.) Royal Albert Hall and chair of the UK’s National Arenas Association (NAA), agreed that social distancing is not part of the plan for reopening as “it just doesn’t work financially”.
“We do know we can run our venues in world class ways to facilitate shows going on, be it by contact tracing, temperature checks, questionnaires, disinfectant mists etc.”
Noble noted the lack of clarity given to the live industry by the UK government, which is yet to give a date for when events of any size will be permitted again. “If they don’t give us clarity, then we need to give them clarity,” said Noble. “We are suggesting to them how we can operate.”
“I am really positive about the future of live events, but we just need to find a way of operating in this situation, if it recurs”
The EAA has also taken up a lobbying position, working with the European Commission to develop a reopening plan for the live industry.
“We’ll be facing very different requirements and expectations from our customers,” said Toth. “Scenarios will be very different, from artist hospitality to audience experience, not even mentioning social distancing, so the ambition was to put major concerns out there and open up the discussion.”
Consumer demand has been another worry for the live industry, with surveys indicating a potential cautiousness on behalf of some about returning to public events. However, Toth pointed out that the majority of fans are holding on to tickets for postponed events, indicating that “people are looking forward to coming back”.
Noble said that the Royal Albert Hall is expecting confidence will take a while to return and is modelling accordingly.
“We certainly won’t be selling to full houses when we reopen,” said Noble. The venue is adjusting its programming to focus on shows that attract younger audiences first, the demographic most likely to make a quick return to events.
“I am really positive about the future of live events,” said Noble, “but we just need to find a way of operating in this situation, and for if it recurs.”
The next IQ Focus session, The Innovation Session, is taking place on Thursday 28 May at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET, chaired by Mike Malak (Paradigm), and featuring speakers Sheri Bryant (Sansar), Tommas Arnby (Locomotion Ent.), Amy Oldham (Dice), Ben Samuels (MelodyVR) and Prajit Gopal (Looped).
Dutch venues back in June as Benelux advances reopening
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are embarking on significant phases of their respective reopening plans, with some form of live music events potentially returning to the countries from June.
The Dutch government yesterday (6 May) presented its recovery roadmap which will see the country emerge from coronavirus lockdown measures “as quickly as possible, but no faster than responsible,” according to prime minister Mark Rutte.
The five-stage plan, which begins on Monday 11 May, allows cultural institutions “such as concert venues and theatres” to reopen from 1 June, contradicting previous information from the government that stated it planned to include all concerts and club nights in its all-summer event ban.
With a list of conditions that will leave most venue operators scratching their heads, venues can reopen on the basis that a maximum of 30 people – including staff – are allowed in at any one time and they remain 1.5 metres apart. A reservation system must also be in place, with no walk-in customers admitted. Venue owners must discuss potential risks with visitors before they enter.
The maximum number of visitors to cultural institutions will be increased to 100 in the following stage of the plan from 1 July, if the virus is kept “under control”.
“The only certainty is that mass events such as festivals are not allowed before 31 August”
The Dutch government states that a decision regarding mass spectator events “such as festivals and major concerts” will be taken before 1 September, when the current ban on large public gatherings is set to expire.
In neighbouring Belgium, where large-scale events are banned until 31 August, a three-stage lockdown lifting plan began this week, with the country preparing to move into the second part of its first phase, 1B, on Monday.
The third phase of the plan, which will come into force on 8 June “at the earliest”, includes the reopening of “smaller open-air events”. The third stage will also potentially see the gradual reopening of “restaurants, cafes, bars and the like”.
“The only certainty is that mass events such as festivals are not allowed before 31 August,” reads the government document.
Luxembourg embarks on the second phase of its exit plan on 11 May, when shops and some cultural venues will be allowed to open under social-distancing measures. It remains unclear when nightclubs, bars and other nighttime venues will be allowed to resume business.
A ban on events of over 100 people is in force in Luxembourg until 31 July.
Swiss festival season gone as gov extends event ban
Following two weeks of deliberation, the Swiss government last night (29 April) declared that no events over 1,000 people will take place in the country until the end of August.
The government states it will reassess the situation “before the summer holidays”. The fate of events with fewer than 1,000 attendees will be decided on 27 May.
The decision follows criticism from festival organisers and the Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) over the lack of clarity offered by the government to organisers of large-scale events. In the absence of an official declaration, the SMPA recently advised all members to postpone any large events due to take place before mid-July.
Switzerland now joins fellow European countries Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland to effectively ban the whole summer festival season. Large events are not permitted until mid-August in Hungary, the end of June in Austria, mid-July in France and the end of July in Luxembourg and Finland.
Although Swiss festival giants Paléo Festival Nyon and Montreux Jazz Festival had already called time on 2020, a number of significant events including OpenAir St Gallen, SummerDays and Seaside Festivals, Openair Frauenfeld and Zürich Openair were awaiting word from the authorities before cancelling.
“This summer, for the first time in the history of the festival since 1977, there will be no OpenAir St.Gallen,” reads a statement from organisers of the 30,000-capacity festival, which is part of the majority CTS Eventim-owned wepromote, along with SummerDays and Seaside festivals.
Openair St Gallen 2020 was set to feature Twenty One Pilots, the Lumineers, Alan Walker and Of Monsters and Men. “We promise you that we will now put all our passion for the OpenAir St.Gallen even more into the 2021 edition.”
“This summer, for the first time in the history of the festival since 1977, there will be no OpenAir St.Gallen”
The OpenAir St Gallen team urges fans to hold on to their tickets for 2021, saying that “by doing so, you are helping to secure the foundation of our festival, the work of our colleagues and our various teams who have been working on the festival for months and to get us through this very difficult time.”
SummerDays (12,000-cap.) is another to announce its cancellation in the wake of the government’s announcement. The festival falls inside the event ban limits by only a few days, scheduled for 28 to 29 August.
Organisers say they “fully support the actions of the government” and “had to expect this would happen”.
“Let’s make SummerDays 2021 a big highlight together and celebrate like never before.”
Seaside Festival (10,000-cap.), which had previously postponed to the end of August, also announced its support for the government, “albeit with a heavy heart”. Seaside Festival will return from 3 to 4 September 2021.
Other Swiss events to cancel following the government’s announcement include hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfeld (50,000), which had booked Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky and DaBaby for 2020; pop festival Zürich Openair (20,000-cap.), which was to feature Martin Garrix, Lewis Capaldi and Rita Ora, among others; the 30,000-capacity Greenfield Festival (Disturbed, Bring Me The Horizon); and 33,000-capacity OpenAir Gampel (Macklemore, Limp Bizkit, Sum 41).
Dutch agencies demand Europe-wide support for live
A coalition of independent Dutch booking music agencies have joined forces to create United Independent Music Agencies to advocate for a coordinated, Europe-wide policy for the live music sector.
Made up of Blip Agency, Belmont Bookings, Black Rice Booking, Earth Beat, Good Music Company, Octopus Agents and Sedate Bookings, United Independent Music Agencies asks for recognition that the live music industry “cannot function regularly until at least the end of 2020” and the corresponding “robust” financial support.
The collective also stresses the need for recognition that artists are a “crucial part” of the sector as a whole.
“The live sector stands or falls with the artist,” says Ronald Keizer of Amsterdam-based Blip Agency in an interview with Entertainment Business. “Unfortunately, the artist and his representation has so far been ignored.”
“Why are agreements not made at European level about the period in which concerts are to be allowed again and how?”
United Independent Music Agencies asks for “solid agreements” to be made to enable sustainable, long-term support of the sector, as well as agreements which “properly coordinate” the post-lockdown period to overall European standards.
Countries in Europe “have their own rules” in respect to lockdown laws, says Keizer. “Why are agreements not made at European level about the period in which concerts are to be allowed again and how?”
Currently, events are banned until 31 August in Germany, Belgium and Denmark, until the end July in Luxembourg, mid-July in France and the end of June in Austria, with event organisers in Switzerland and Czech Republic among those to ask for governments for clear decisions regarding the summer season.