April 20th, 2022
Covid-19: Information, Pearle* statements and action on the crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic is without precedent and will have a long-lasting impact on the live performance sector which counts among the sectors most hit by health & safety restrictions. Recovery is expected to go slowly, as it was learned in the last year that phased exit strategies can always be interrupted by a new wave of infection.

Until today, the live performance sector has been impacted by cancelled tours as well as the closure of venues and live events of all sizes.

In this section, we give an overview of Pearle* action, statements and co-signed papers since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.


Pearle* updates the 2022 map of Europe

In spring, Pearle* updated the 2022 map that was first published in 2020. The map of Europe shows the current situation regarding the reopening of venues and live cultural events in the different countries and gives an overview of current restrictions and health measures. The map is based on information collected from our member organisations.

Over the past two years, the live performance sector has proven its capacity to manage the risks for rehearsals and performances. It has also fully proven its expertise in how to manage audiences. I

Former editions of the map:

  • December 2021 version is accessible here
  • February 2021 version is accessible here
  • Map of evolution throughout 2020 is accessible here


Pearle* newsletter "On the European Stage"

The sector-wide newsletter includes the latest information about relevant EU policy-making in the context of the pandemic and its impact on the European live performance sector


Pearle* Policy Papers

Pearle* press release on the state aid scheme for Culture in the Covid-19 crisis - 25 October 2021

In this paper, Pearle* - Live Performance Europe calls on Member States and the European Commission to prolong the State aid Temporary Framework for the cultural sector beyond June 2022. It is expected that the live performance sector will not fully recover in 2022 and taking into account new restrictions in the 4th wave will need continuous support throughout the next years.

Pearle* statement: One year without Culture - 8 March 2021

In this paper, Pearle* urges the EU and its Member States to take scientific evidence into account and open up the live performance sector to audiences. Pearle* also refers to the EY study 'Rebuilding Europe', revealing that the performing arts and music are the worst hit among the cultural industries, with estimated 90% less revenue for performing arts and 75% less for music – and this only in 2020.

Pearle* call: Give Live Performance A Future - 20 October 2020

The paper puts forward three pillars on which the recovery of the sector should be built: Survive, Invest, Resilience. It also provides concrete input on which way the EU and Member States should provide targeted support through the EU recovery package and other policy measures and programmes.

Call of the Social Partners for a coordinated action plan - 14 October 2020

The urgent call for action echoes the concerns and demands of representatives of national employers’ and workers’ organisations voiced during the October 13th webinar “Covid 19: Outlook for the Live Performance Sector and Measures Needed”, jointly organized by PEARLE* and the EAEA

Pearle* open letter to the Commission, Culture Ministers and EU presidency - 13 May 2020

Pearle drafted an open letter to the Commission, the Culture Ministers and the EU presidency to call upon a joint and proportionate approach of European ministers of Culture when reopening cultural activities with a live audience in the context of Covid19 exit strategies.

Pearle* statement on Covid-19: Call for targeted measures - 19 March 2020

Following on to the first initiative, In this statement of March 19th, Pearle* underlines the need for specific and targeted measures both for immediate and long-term action to put all those involved back on track when the crisis has ended. These measures should include clarification on state aid rules, force majeure, consumer rules and an initiative to suspend cross-border artiste taxation. Member States are called to take targeted measures in the field of employment (especially for freelancers), tax policy, financial matters, grants or subsidies

Joint statement of the social partners in the live performance - 19 March 2020

In a first statement on March 12th, at the beginning of lockdown in various European countries, the international trade-unions IAEA (including FIM, FIA, UNI-MEI) and Pearle* urge governments to take emergency measures in support of the live performance. They recall that without appropriate support measures, the cancelling of live events, performances and shows will have devastating economic and social consequences on the live performance sector.  They also underline the much-needed support for freelancers in the sector.

Calls and statements signed by Pearle*

European Tourism Manifesto Alliance’s position on the Commission’s proposals for council recommendations on intra-EU and international travel - 1 Dec 2021

70 travel and tourism organisations express their support for any effort – based on scientific evidence – to keep protecting and ensuring the freedom of movement and avoid a patchwork of diverging national measures within the EU/EEA as well as internationally.

Joint statement of the live sector on the EU guidelines for the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sectors - 15 July 2021

In this statement, a group of organisations representing the live sector and creators community welcomes the “EU guidelines for the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sectors -COVID-19” issued by the European Commission, which strikes the right balance between proposals to foster safe reopening and recommendations to boost sustainable recovery of cultural events.

Claiming a front-row seat for music - 1 July 2021

In this open letter, 76 international, European and national music organisations call for better recognition of music in all policy areas. It calls on policymakers to fully acknowledge the artistic, social and economic value of the music sector and implement concrete actions in their political decision making. The letter also highlights the specific work environment in the music sector and stresses the role of music in health and well-being.

Input to the Commission strategy on a safe and sustainable re-opening - 21 April 2021

Following the launch of the European Commission Communication on “a common path to safe and sustained re-opening”, live performance and creators organisations sent a written contribution to European Commissioners Mariya Gabriel (Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth) and Thierry Breton (Internal Market), sharing their views and recommendations on the necessary next steps to be taken for a coordinated, swift and safe reopening of live events.

Letter to Commissioner Thierry Breton - 18 March 2021

Seven major cultural and event organisations sent a letter to Commissioner Thierry Breton, asking for an EU-wide approach to reactivate Europe’s cultural events and venues before the busiest period of the year.

Open letter: Secure a future for Culture in Europe - 19 March 2021

Following the open letter published by 110 pan-European networks on 30 October 2020 “Make culture central in the EU recovery”, the group comes together again to reiterate their call in this second open letter, coordinated by Culture Action Europe. The European cultural community calls on the Member States and the European Commission to secure a future for culture and cultural life in Europe.

Open letter "Make culture central in the EU recovery" - 30 October 2020

Together with other 109 pan-European cultural networks and associations, Pearle* signed a letter to the European Union and National Governments calling to protect culture as part of the coronavirus recovery plans and dedicate at the very least 2% of the national Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) budget to culture and creative sectors.

Open letters of the cultural sector - 5 October 2020

26 European organisations signed open letters to Commissioners Breton (Internal Market) and Gentiloni (Economy) to urge for appropriate support via InvestEU 2021-2027.

Call of the European Tourism Manifesto Alliance - 8 September 2020

urges EU governments in a joint call to agree on harmonised travel restrictions. The alliance applauds renewed efforts of the European Commission as well as the initiative from the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union to improve coordination on cross-border travel and restore the integrity of the Schengen area.

Call of 99 cultural organisations - 18 June 2020

With the call "Investing in Europe's next generation by investing in culture", the organistions unite their voices to alert EU leaders that our sector needs strong and systemic support measures to recover from this crisis. The proposed recovery plan of the Commission doesn't reflect the reality of the sector, which is one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

CAE call "Uphold culture in the EU budget" - 3 June 2020

The paper states that there will be no real recovery if culture is left behind. It urges policymakers to double the budget of the Creative Europe programme and make sure that the additional funds stemming from the Next Generation EU initiative, such as REACT-EU, reach cultural operators.

CAE letter to the Commission - 30 April 2020

In a second letter to the Commission, CAE calls for further explanation on issues related to eligibility, match-funding and co-financing rates, budgetary shifts and effects of the MFF extension on networks funded by Creative Europe.

Open letter Culture needs Europe and Europe needs Culture - 28 April 2020

Organisations in the live performance sector call upon all countries in Europe: EU member states and other European countries to each include culture, live performance and artists in their emergency funds and to dedicate a considerable part of its Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to the cultural sector, and in particular to the live performance sector.

Joint statement of the music sector - 2 April 2020

In the statement, the music sector calls for emergency as well as sustainable public support and structural policies at the EU, national, regional and local levels to consolidate the music ecosystem, and help it thrive again in all its diversity.

CAE open letter - 28 March 2020

In an open letter, Culture Action Europe points out the effects of Covid-19 on Creative Europe and the CCS and advocates for increased flexibility of the Creative Europe program during and after the pandemic.


Covid-19 special news and Pearle* members’ exchange

The special news series on different topics and policy fields aims at supporting Pearle* members in their daily operations in the field of live performance by informing about applicable EU law, relevant EU help schemes and programmes, actions and meetings of European institutions.

For the time being, the following issues were covered and are available for Pearle* members:

  • #1: EU measures to fight the corona crisis
  • #2: Consumer rights and refunds for tickets
  • #3: Culture Council meeting on 8 April 2020
  • #4: Digital content and copyrights
  • #5: Health and safety at work in times of covid-19
  • #6: Commission communication on exit strategies
  • #7: Mobility - travel restrictions for third-country nationals, inside the EU or Schengen area
  • #8: EU recovery plan
  • #9: Update on guidance from international and European health organisations
  • #10: Report on heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • #11: Update on state aid rules
  • #12: Ahead of European Summit: Which place for culture in the EU recovery plan and long-term budget?
  • #13: After the European summit: On the future EU budget and options for culture
  • #14: Cultural and creative sectors guarantee facility
  • #15: Lifting of travel restrictions: list of third countries reviewed
  • #16: Common approach to travel restrictions within the EU
  • #17: Pearle* joins Businesseurope mobility advocacy group
  • #18: Making the case for the sector in government negotiations
  • #19: State aid temporary framework
  • #20: Recommendation on free movement in the EU
  • #21: Recovery and resilience facility
  • #22: Outcomes of the Culture Council
  • #23: Studies published on the impact of the crisis on culture & scientific evidence to support the re-opening of venues
  • #24: Council decisions in relation to Covid 19 travel measures
  • #25: Commission Communication on a common path to safe re-opening
  • #26: National plans on the recovery and resilience facility
  • #27: EU Digital COVID Certificates
  • #28: Coordination of free movement restrictions
  • #29: Lifting of travel restrictions for certain third countries
  • #30: Non-essential travel and vaccination rates

Pearle also initiates (virtual) members meetings. Information on the various topics discussed is collected and shared between members.

Exchanges in 2021:

  • 1 December: Facing the 4th wave in the live performance
  • 29 -30 September: 62nd Pearle* conference in Lucerne
  • 26 April: Re-opening of venues and continued support for the live performance sector

Exchanges in 2020:

  • 22 April: Help measures and for the live performance at EU level and throughout Europe
  • 06 May: Exit strategies for the Live Performance
  • 20 May: Meeting on digital tools and new formats in the live performance
  • 3 June: Meeting on prevention protocols, guidance and plan
  • 17 June: Meeting at the start of the new season in September

*Summer break*

  • 30 September: Share your questions: Members exchange on subjects such as ventilation systems, touring activities, social distancing rules on stage, access to EU recovery plan and other financial help schemes
  • Pearle online members conference, 16-27 November 2020

    As a red thread through all the sessions, members discussed topics related to Covid-19, such as ventilation systems for live venues and events to mitigate the risk of infection, mobility impediments for touring companies and artists, new and extended state aid schemes for the cultural sector in the crisis, support measures under the recovery and resilience facility and new skills to be acquired for new ways of working.


Available information on the live performance at EU level


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