Pearle* - Live Performance Europe held its bi-annual Conference and General Assembly meeting in Manchester, UK on 12 and 13 May. It was hosted by its member organisation ABO, the Association of British Orchestras and chaired by the President of Pearle*, Morten Gjelten.
At the beginning of the conference, Pearle* members held a minute of silence to remember the people of Ukraine and the numerous victims of this terrible war.
The conference opened with a session on Manchester as an international cultural hub moderated by Mark Pemberton (ABO) and included panellists Nick McDowell of the Arts Council, Jane Beese and Paul Clay of Manchester International Festival and David Butcher of the Hallé.
Delegates exchanged on various topics such as diversity in the live performance sector, securing access to radio spectrum for performances and stage lighting under the ecodesign rules. A special focus was placed on public policy engagement in times of crisis, drawing on lessons learned from the Covid pandemic. Members also discussed post-Brexit cultural exchange and touring activities between the UK and the EU. Pearle* president Morten Gjelten said:
“This conference demonstrated the strong ties between us Europeans and the strong power of culture. Regardless of political situations, people always manage to overcome differences and find what connects them.”
Once more, sustainability in the live performance sector was high on the agenda. Julie’s Bicycle presented tools for measuring carbon footprints for different kinds of organisations and cultural activities. Members also set an agenda for actionable steps contributing to the EU Green Deal and its climate targets. The results of the working group will be presented during the next Pearle* conference to be held in Paris in November.
In a keynote address, Chris Elsden from the University of Edinburgh explored creative transactions in the performing arts in order to increase value for audiences, venues and artists.
During the conference, Pearle* members bid farewell to Julius Klein who represented the Association of Slovak Theatres and Orchestras.
Note to editors:
Pearle*- Live Performance Europe is a European federation representing through its members more than 10,000 theatres, theatre production companies, orchestras and music ensembles, opera houses, ballet and dance companies, festivals, concert halls, venues and technical suppliers and sole traders within the performing arts and music sector across Europe. The aim of this non-profit organisation is the establishment of a stable environment by supporting sustainability and promotion of Live Performance across Europe.
 Julie’s Bicycle is an organisation mobilising arts and culture to take climate action.
Photo credits: Alex Burns, The Hallé