‘Keep Alive What Little Is Left’: Italy’s Live Sector Addresses Government

Italy's live sector is struggling as a whole.
– Italy’s live sector is struggling as a whole.
Its representatives have once again appealed to their government for help.

Italy’s latest coronavirus measures, introduced in reaction to rising case numbers and the Omicron variant, include a ban on indoor and outdoor concerts, and the closure of nightclubs until Jan. 31.

What is more, the government extended the state of emergency until March 31, which prohibits the sale of food and drinks in enclosed spaces. This means that even if venues are allowed to open at the end of January, they will be deprived of their key income.
The country’s association representing the live events industries – Arci (Italian Recreational and Cultural Association), Assomusica (Italian Association of Organizers and Producers of Live Music Shows) and KeepOn LIVE (Association of Italian Live Clubs and Festivals) – wrote an open letter to government, pointing these things out.
They demand social safety nets and an extension of the government’s redundancy fund, compensation for the new sudden closures that will go towards artists, workers, producers and organizers, an extension of the mortgage and leasing moratoriums, financial support to pay the fixed rental and utility costs.
People protest during a demonstration against the Green Pass health certificate, at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy, Nov. 20, 2021.
Stefano Montesi – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
– People protest during a demonstration against the Green Pass health certificate, at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy, Nov. 20, 2021.
As of Oct. 15, the 23 million civil servants and employees in Italy must present proof of vaccination, the so called “Green Pass” or a negative Covid-19 test to work.

The state of emergency until March 31 made the planning of economically viable events impossible, nipping any attempt at a proper restart in the bud.

“Realizing live music shows requires time and planning. At present, in the light of so many uncertainties, the sector for all intents and purposes falls back into the same complete darkness, in which is has been operating for almost two years,” the letter states.
It also emphasizes that the discrimination against nightclubs had to stop. They should be treated the same way as other forms of entertainment venues, like theaters and cinemas, which are allowed to open, albeit only to people showing proof of full vaccination or coronavirus recovery.
The introduction of the so-called Green Pass and recently the Super Green Pass, which got rid of a negative test as valid health proof, has been causing massive protests in Italy – similar to what can be observed in most European countries at the moment.
Arci, Assomusica and KeepOn LIVE, as spokespersons of an entire sector and the people and businesses revolving around it, are asking for “immediate interventions from government in order to keep alive what little is left of one of the sectors most penalized by the entire pandemic.”