PRESIDENT VINCENZO SPERA
“For the live industry, unprecedented damage”
LOSSES FOR THE SUPPLY CHAIN ARE ESTIMATED AT EUR 650 MILLION BETWEEN FEBRUARY AND SEPTEMBER AND MORE THAN 1.5 BILLION EUROS OF INDUCED
These are the words of the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, summarizing the drama of the situation that the live music sector and the thousands of workers and families who depend on it are experiencing.
Assomusica, the Association of Organizers and Producers of Live Music Shows, which includes (almost) all the organizers of contemporary music shows, has continued to carry on in recent months - together with ELMA (European Live Music Association) - an important awareness campaign not only among Italian institutions, but addressed directly to the European Parliament, which, last September 17, in a resolution on "Europe's cultural recovery", shared the urgency of direct and rapid support to the cultural and creative sectors, through financial aid from both national budgets and EU funds.
MEPs, in particular, expressed strong concern that no specific amount was reserved for the direct benefit of the cultural and creative sectors in the EU's Next Generation Recovery Plan. For this reason, the European Commission and EU countries are asked to allocate at least 2% of the mechanism for recovery and resilience - the most important part of the Recovery Plan (Next Generation EU) - to support the cultural creative.
Assomusica thus renews its appeal to the Italian Government to be the bearer of this resolution and, in the context of the proposals it will present on the use of the resources of the Recovery Fund, may include measures capable of reviving and giving a perspective to the cultural and music sector. On the subject, the President of Assomusica Vincenzo Spera specifies, «The digital revolution and the chapter of investments on environmental sustainability hypothesized in the Recovery Fund are topics on which we would like to reason with the Government and we hope to be heard in the appropriate forums».
«In these difficult times, many have turned to culture, music and art to overcome moments of discouragement and loneliness. In such a critical moment, both for the future of the EU and for our sector, it is necessary to intervene to safeguard its survival », adds the President of Assomusica. «For these reasons, I would like to make a further, urgent appeal to our institutional representatives to work on creating an adequate financial 'framework' to support a key sector for the growth and cultural diversity of our continent».
Other Associations similar to Assomusica in the European Union, such as the German BDKV (The Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry), are doing their utmost to their governments for a similar initiative.
In the meantime, the Association continues to monitor data relating to the real impact, for the sector, of the provisions adopted by the Government to deal with the Coronavirus emergency in Italy.
«250,000 families are unemployed; the circuit lost 650 million euros between February and September and over 1.5 billion euros of related activities. There have been decreases in turnover close to 100% compared to last year. These are damages that for us organizers, and for every single person involved, are unprecedented – denounces the President of Assomusica. «Live music shows, and more generally cultural events which, by their very nature, are built around the presence of a "gathered audience", were the first to close and, as it is emerging, the last to restart. Many professional figures, including technicians and light designers, are already disappearing and there is no precise moment on the horizon when you can start working again. This cannot be ignored. The dignity of thousands of people is at stake, even before workers.».
These, in particular, are the proposals addressed since the end of June by the Association to the President of the Council of Ministers Giuseppe Conte, to the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and for Tourism Dario Franceschini, to the Minister of Economy Roberto Gualtieri and to the Minister of European Affairs Vincenzo Amendola:
- Include, in the framework of the proposals that will be presented on the use of the resources of the "Recovery Fund", measures specifically aimed at Cultural and Creative Industries and contemporary popular music.
- The commitment that the EU Heads of State and Government, following the requests of the European Parliament, decide to increase the budget for the Creative Europe Program in the next Multiannual Financial Framework to 2.8 billion euros.
- The introduction of the reduced 4% VAT on tickets for live performances.
- Allocate at least 2% of the recovery and resilience mechanism dedicated to recovery to industries and the cultural and creative sectors, according to their specific needs.
- Provide an Emergency Fund for live entertainment workers, powered by European resources and precise financial plans to ensure operational continuity in the industries and cultural and creative sectors and to ensure predictability for the relevant operators.