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German concert promoter demands a ‘concrete plan’ for the return of live

German concert promoter Semmel Concerts Entertainment has made a series of demands to the government to push for the return of the live sector and rally against further events bans. The promoter has called for a concrete date for the complete reopening to be able to plan investments and rehearsals as well as promotion activities. Dieter Semmelmann, chief executive of Semmel Concerts, explained the importance of setting a reopening date. He told TheTicketingBusiness: “We need planning and investment security, to keep banks, partners and insurances on board and to maintain the existentially important pre sale business around Christmas, in which about 40% of tickets for the upcoming year are sold. This is extremely important to be able to restart quickly in favour of all artists, employees and fans and to provide a realistic chance of survival for the live-culture in Germany.” Last month, it was announced that Germany is set to ban large events where contacts cannot be traced and hygiene regulations cannot be complied with until next year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Germany’s federal states decided on a new package of measures amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. The ban extension is part of the series of new measures, which includes a minimum fine of €50 for those caught without a mask. Following this announcement, Semmel Concerts is urging the German government to plan for a true restart without capacity restrictions by April 2021 at the latest. The group believes there will be a vaccine available at that time, or at least an agreement on conditions under which a safe concert visit is possible. The company has also called for the implementation of “standardised, comprehensible and obligatory regulations nationwide” concerning standards for hygiene, organisation and documentation, under which events can be realised. It cites personalised tickets, special admission processes and hygienic measures like the obligatory mouth nose protection as examples. It is also demanding governmental support for business fixed costs until the complete restart to avoid a collapse of the industry and to make a fast restart possible next year, as well as “effective support” for all artists and freelancers. Finally, Semmel Concerts is urging the government to implement concrete governmental support regulated in advance in the event of a pandemic-related cancellation of events. It said: “Therefore we request the politically responsible departments to start a dialogue with us and the other affected event sectors and to create a joint working group – like in professional football – to develop sustainable solutions before it is too late. There is not much time left.” Earlier this month, the promoter hosted the first concert of its Open Air series ‘Back to LIVE’, which took place at Waldbühne Berlin. It was the first major live-concert in compliance with current coronavirus-related hygiene and distance regulations in Germany. Semmelman told TheTicketingBusiness: “On the one hand we saw that the audience is hungry for live-events and is also willing to comply with the official requirements. On the other hand, the first concerts have been very emotional moments, seeing all the people who do their jobs with lots of passion and joy. Besides that, we believe that it helped to make the miserable situation of the whole live-industry visible. “The biggest challenge was that all events had to be realised in compliance with current hygiene and distance regulations. Therefore a customised hygiene concept had to be developed and completely new processes had to be installed. Image: Arne Müseler / Arne-Mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / Edited for size