July 20th, 2021
Covid-19: Information, Pearle* statements and action on the crisis

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 at the end of 2019 in China and in the following months in Europe and the rest of the world, the live performance sector has been impacted by cancelled tours first, then by the closure of venues and live events of all sizes.

Today it is clear that the crisis 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 and phased exit strategies can always be interrupted by a new wave of infection.

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


Pearle* launches the 2021 map of Europe presenting the phases of re-opening of venues and cultural live events

Following the initiative launched in May 2020, Pearle* published on the 10th February 2021 a new edition of the Map of Europe presenting the updates on the re-opening of venues for live cultural events.

Based on the information provided by Pearle* members, the map shows the different situations from country to country, with some countries allowing performances for a smaller audience, others allowing rehearsals, whilst in many countries live performances stay closed until further notice.

 Over the past year, the live performance sector has proven its capacity to manage the risks for rehearsals and performances. It has also fully proven its expertise on how to manage audiences. In the meantime, various scientific studies provide evidence of the fact that it is absolutely possible to reopen venues and hold open air events in safe conditions for workers and audience. It’s time for governments to give the sector an outlook. Live events matter to people. Providing citizens with a perspective of when they will be able to see a live concert or performance again is an important sign of hope to society.

The 2021 2021 map can be accessed here.

The map will be continuously updated according to information received.


The map with the evolution during 2020 can be accessed here.


Pearle* Policy Papers

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

In this paper, Pearle* urges 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 revenues 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 in 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 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*

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  front row seat for music

In this open letter, 76 international, European and national music organisation call for a better recognition of music in all policy areas. It calls on policy makers 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 for 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 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 recovey if culture is left behind. It uges policy makers 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 andto 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 EU, national, regional and local level 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 an increased flexibility of 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 guaranty 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 t he case for the sector in government negotiations
  • #19: State aid temporary framework
  • #20: Recommendation on free movement in the EU
  • #21: Recovery and resiliance 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 on safe re-opening
  • #26: National plans on the recovery and resilience facility
  • #27: EU Digital COVID Certificates
  • #28: Coordination of free movement restrictions
  • #29: Lfting of travel restrictions for certain third countries

Pearle also initiated virtual members meetings and is collecting information on the following topics:

Exchanges in 2021:

  • 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 on 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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