February 10th, 2021
Covid-19: Information, Pearle* statements and action on the crisis (Mar 2020 to ...)

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 - 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 - Oct 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 - Oct 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 - 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 - 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 - 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*

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

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

8 September - European Tourism Manifesto Alliance 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.

18 June - 99 cultural organisations sign the call "Investing in Europe's next generation by investing in culture", uniting 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.

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

30 April - 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.

28 April – Open letter to EU leaders : Culture needs Europe and Europe needs Culture

2 April - Joint statement of the music sector to call for EU and national investment to address the current crisis.

28 March - 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

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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