Germany’s live events industry has penned an open letter calling on the government to allow unrestricted events to take place from September 21.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that from that date, “everyone will have received a vaccination offer”, prompting the Event Management Forum, the alliance of key associations in the industry, to push for the same full capacity reopening date.
The Event Management Forum (EMF) includes five major associations in the sector, which are the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV), the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC), the Interest Group of Independent Service Providers in the event industry (ISDV), the LIVEKOMM (Association of Music Venues in Germany) and the Association for Media and Event Technology (VPLT).
“We therefore ask you, Chancellor, to use your promise as an opening strategy for the event industry and to announce this accordingly,” the group said in the letter.
The EMF said that for those who do not get the COVID-19 vaccine before the autumn date, admission could be made dependent on a negative result of a timely antigen test.
The group added: “In view of your promise, the German organisers are unable to see what else would have to happen so that cultural and economic events can actually take place again without restrictions and the branch of industry finally those for months required perspective.”
Many event organisers in Germany have begun selling tickets for autumn of this year. The letter stressed that if these events are required to be carried out with social distancing rules in place, they will be uneconomical and “the companies will not survive despite the various generous offers of help.”
The open letter also points to a previous notice sent by the group to the government, which detailed the circumstances under which the reopening of events gradually could be possible up to September 21. Its Manifest Restart plan presented a reopening concept that would turn event rooms into a safe place for the public, “so that the risk of infection would be reduced to zero.”
In its plan it proposes the industry carry out quick tests for non-vaccinated and untested event visitors before each event admission. It said: “This would not only ensure that only those who have been vaccinated, tested or recovered have access to the events, but it would also close an important gap, as not everyone will use the public test offers. In this respect, organisers could also make a valuable contribution to tracking infections.”
It continues: “In our opinion, provided that these requirements are met, as well as the additional development of specific hygiene concepts and compliance with the usual protective provisions, a step-by-step opening of event venues can also be made possible.”
The letter also speaks to the industry’s thousands of employees that are eager to return to work after more than 18 months away.