Between the end of February and June, depending on the situation of lockdown in a country, live performance activities with an audience couldn’t take place due to restrictions to master the Covid19 pandemic.
After the period of confinement, and in summer, the sector could restart activities under very restricted conditions. In practice, only a reduced number of people on stage were allowed and (sometimes very) limited number of audiences. In addition, in most countries it was not possible to offer refreshments in the concert hall or theatre and in general, (large) events with a standing audience continue to be forbidden, apart from the rare exception during summer.
Now, in autumn, the sector is hit again very heavy as Europe is going under a second wave of the pandemic with closed theatres in some countries or further reduced audiences allowed.
The economic impact of such government measures on the sector is very clear: reduced income in ticket sales, less performances, less (or no) income from bar sales, sponsorship contracts on hold, much less touring in Europe and nearly no touring outside Europe, reduced size of productions, (very) short-term planning, less freelance work needed, less extra services needed.
All those together form a real pressure on the preservation of cultural diversity which is rooted in the European Treaty.
In short, a sector on the verge to collapse without genuine support and for which a comprehensive recovery package is needed.
As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the state of the Union address to the European Parliament last September:
“This is definitely not the time to withdraw support. Our economies need continued policy support, and a delicate balance will need to be struck between providing financial support and ensuring fiscal sustainability.”
The live performance sector needs in each Member State and across the EU a recovery plan built on three main pillars: survive, invest, resilience.
Those should rely on the instruments provided in the EU recovery package and the MFF and be accompanied with targeted policy measures.
Read the full paper: