Roses, theatre props, music sheets and placards were strewn across Brussels’ Mont des Arts on Friday in a collective show of support to a sector left badly battered by the crisis.
Organised in secret and anonymously, the symbolic action called on artists, creators and sympathisers to dress in black and march in the direction of the central Brussels square between 10:00 AM and noon.
Attendants were also asked to take part in the symbolic action individually but were encouraged to form a socially-distanced procession in the direction of the square if some crossed paths with one another.
Hordes of people responded to the call, shared through social media, and laid placards, books, musical partitions or theatre programmes at the summit of the square, which offers a birdseye view of the normally bustling city centre.
The words “cancelled” were written across many of the documents spread across the ground, with some theatre fans also bringing a rose and symbolic tomatoes.
The action coincides with an afternoon of hearings at the federal parliament during which MPs are set to hear from representatives of the arts and culture sector, who will make their case for wider support from the state.
Organisers said the impromptu memorial aimed to highlight the hope the sector had that leaders would roll out concrete measures capable of seeing artists and creators through the public health crisis.
Regional and local authorities have already announced a series of grants and aides to help pull the sector, left in an economic freefall as the pandemic led to a string of event and performance cancellations.
Alongside the hospitality and catering industry, arts and culture representatives are hoping that a National Security Council next week will provide answers regarding the reopening of their respective sectors.