‘The Number Of Casualties Will Be High’: Music Sector Appeals To EU

A man wearing a protective mask stands in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany, a spot that under normal circumstances would be bustling with activity.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
– A man wearing a protective mask stands in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany, a spot that under normal circumstances would be bustling with activity.
The fear of Covid-19 is having a fundamental impact on society, government and the economy in Germany. An economic recession seems likely as economic activity is slowed and many businesses are temporarily closed.

37 music industry organisations across Europe have co-signed an open letter to the EU member states and the European Commission, urging them to 
“significantly increase the national and EU budgets dedicated to culture, and within that to music.”
Music was one of the first sectors hit by the COVID-19 crisis. “It will also be one of the last,” the letter states.
Closed borders and venues, suspended festivals, cancelled performances, the ban of group activity, closure of shops – the entire creative value chain has come to a standstill. 
Staff, whose livelihoods are on the line, include artists and their management, performers, composers, songwriters, music educators, conductors, booking agents, record shops, labels, publishers, distributors, promoters, manufacturers, technicians, events managers and event staff.
The letter states that “profound harm” to their respective businesses will be felt long into 2021 due to how the music ecosystem operates.
“In light of this dire situation, we call for emergency as well as sustainable public support and structural policies at EU, national, regional and local level to consolidate the music ecosystem, and help it thrive again in all its diversity,” the letter continues.
Aside from a general increase in the national and EU budgets dedicated to culture, the co-signing associations appeal to the EU’s Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which in theory allows each member state to provide Europe’s creative sector with swift and comprehensive access to structural funds in order to offset the harm in the shorter term.
“The full magnitude of the current turmoil will build for months and the number of casualties will be high. Even when the complete standstill ends, the crisis will continue due to hyper saturation of events and new releases and audiences will be unpredictable,” the letter continues.
The associations predict less job opportunities, less audience participation, at least in the initial months after the crisis, and less room for risk taking.
Aside from the economic disaster this crisis has brought about, Europe’s music professionals are also worried about its impact on diversity.
“In times of containment and pressure, music builds bridges between individuals and cultures irrespective of social, ethnic, cultural backgrounds. Music and culture are essential to offer citizens the renewed social and cultural bond that Europe will sorely need.
“As decision makers reflect on how to address the crisis, culture must be recognised as a priority sector,” the letter concludes.
List of signees:
The undersigned organisations
AEC, Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et
CIME/ICEM, International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music
DME, Digital Music Europe
ECA-EC, European Choral Association – Europa Cantat
ECSA, European Composer and Songwriter Alliance
EFNYO, European Federation of National Youth Orchesta
EMC, European Music Council
EMCY, European Union of Music Competitions for Youth
EMEE, European Music Exporters Exchange
EMMA, European Music Managers Alliance
EOFed, European Orchestra Federation
ETEP, European Talent Exchange Programme
EJN, Europe Jazz Network
EVTA, European Voice Teachers Association
FIM, International Federation of Musicians
GESAC, the European Authors Societies
IAMIC, International Association of Music Information Centres
IAO, International Artist Organisation of Music
ICAS, International Cities of Advanced Sound
ICMP, International Confederation of Music Publishers
ICSM, International Society for Contemporary Music
IFPI, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
IMMF, International Music Managers Forum
IMPF, Independent Music Publishers International Forum
IMPALA, Independent music compagnies associations
INES, Innovation Network of European Showcases
JMI, Jeunesses Musicales International
JUMP, European Music Market Accelerator
Live DMA, European network for music venues and festivals
Liveurope, the platform for new European Talent
Pearle*, Live Performance Europe
SHAPE, Sound Heterogenous Art and Performance in Europe
REMA, European Early Music Network
We are Europe
Yourope, the European festival Association