Industry body Performing Arts Employers Association League Europe (Pearle) has urged the European Union (EU) to include the live events industry in its post-COVID recovery package.

In a position paper released by Pearle, called Give Live Performance a Future, it calls for support for “a sector on the verge to collapse without genuine support and for which a comprehensive recovery package is needed.”

It suggests the EU backs “targeted support” for live entertainment firms, as well as introducing other continent-wide initiatives such as lowering VAT on tickets and taxation on artists crossing borders.

It highlights the economic impact of government measures on the sector, such as reduced income in ticket sales, less performances, less (or no) income from bar sales, sponsorship contracts on hold, much less touring in Europe and nearly no touring outside Europe, reduced size of productions, (very) short-term planning, less freelance work needed, and less extra services needed.

The latest proposal by the European Parliament is €39bn for flagship programmes, including culture, in the next budget, though this must still be agreed with the European Council leadership.

Anita Debaere, director of Pearle, said the recovery plan for the industry should be “built on three main pillars: survive, invest and resilience.”

She adds: “There are a wide range of possibilities that governments can use to help the sector in its recovery in the coming years, so there is no excuse to ignore the needs of live performance.”

Music Venues Trust

In the UK, Music Venue Trust has announced that 89 per cent of the 292 Grassroots Music Venues that applied for the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund have been successful.

This means that 259 venues will receive funding, while just 33 applications were unsuccessful (11%).

The total amount awarded to MVA Grassroots Music Venue members was £41,352,593 out of an overall distribution of £334,062,243 across the two rounds, which equates to 12.4 per cent.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of MVT, said: “Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this very effective intervention by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England into the Grassroots Music Venue sector. As a result of this fund, the challenges facing the sector have been substantially reduced.

“Music Venue Trust will now shift its focus and will be announcing plans very shortly to tackle the remaining challenges facing sole traders, smaller venues that did not qualify for support, and the venues who were unsuccessful or were under-funded.”

US indoor events

A December concert by Three-6-Mafia will become the first indoor arena show in the US since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The American rap group will perform at the Rupp Arena in Kentucky on December 11 and will enforce social distancing rules and concert-goers will be required to wear a mask.

According to Three-6-Mafia, the concert has been approved by the Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear.