In an open letter, the Live2020 solidarity fund and the live music industry called on Friday for a reopening. "Losing another summer could be the final blow," they warned.
"Let the sector reopen in a controlled and gradual manner and regain its economically and socially vital position," wrote Mike Naert on behalf of Live2020 and the sector.
"The live music sector is not only made up of the artists on stage, but also of many sound and lighting technicians, managers, organisers, production and communication people, tour managers, stage builders, hospitality people, security staff, programmers and thousands of volunteers," he added.
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The sector has always stood together, the letter said, even during the health crisis. "Stepping aside for health care, so that children can continue to go to school. So that shops can stay open. So that other economic sectors can continue to function. So that we can go to the park, keep moving and enjoy relative freedom. We do it, we stand together."
But the price the live music sector is paying for this, according to the authors of the letter, is too high with, they say, a 90% economic loss and the collapse of employees' mental health. And all this when full recovery is not expected until late 2022 or even early 2023.
"Losing another summer could be the final blow. Festivals represent 65% of our sector's annual turnover, but they are also the symbol of our summer happiness, freedom, conviviality and collective artistic pleasure," concluded Naert.
"Not only for our own mental well-being, but also for the social well-being, we ask the following: open our doors."
The Brussels Times