In front of the frightening consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for live music scenes, various actors of the sector have called for solidarity and initiated campaigns to save live music venues, clubs and festivals from definitive closure.
Solidarity and its practices are deeply rooted in Live DMA's philosophy and in our members'.
Many live music association in Europe have advocated their public authorities to develop emergency compensation funds for the music events impacted by the COVID-19 prevention measures. This constitutes a necessary first step in supporting live music scenes in unusual and difficult times.
Yet, the time frame and administrative process of discussions with authorities does not permit an immediate financial support to the endangered live music scenes.
After the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen several solidarity campaigns emerge. By involving the public in them or by exchanging data and information between actors of the sector, the first reflex of live music actors during this crisis was solidarity.
The next slides present calls for solidarity in three European countries.
#StayOnAir project. "It's a cultural revolution. From 18:00 to 20:00, 7 streaming channels simulteanously. From 22:00, one channel for festivals and special events."
#StayON is the initiative born together with live music clubs and festivals of all Italy, designed to give a continuity of programming to spaces where, hopefully soon, people will come back to music, and not only!
A relay of events streamed to capture the world of music around a single large virtual stage, focusing attention on the need to rekindle lights on cultural spaces: places of social gathering and a source of work for thousands of people in Italy.
Every live streaming is associated with a link to support local fundraising campaigns dedicated to hospitals and civil protection, a way for the live music sector to show support and solidarity.
#STAYONAIR programme 17/03/2020
LiveKomm have launched a call for solidarity for the German live music sector. Numerous club networks all over Germany are currently starting donation and crowdfunding campaigns to collect short-term resources for the endangered music venues.
The LiveKomm crisis team, together with the Clubcommission Berlin and ClubKombinat Hamburg, is also developing a campaign that calls for support for club culture and for solidarity across society. 8% of the donations are to be distributed to charitable causes.
"Last Night a DJ Saved My Life"
There are also numerous solo actions by the clubs themselves or by individuals, that LiveKomm lists on their website.
The Berlin Club Culture is facing it's biggest challenge in history. On Friday, the 13th of March, the whole of Berlin's night life was officially shut down to prevent the spreading of the Corona Virus. Therefore, about 9000 employees, as well as tens of thousands of artists are without work and wages and the many places that give Berlin part of it's identity face their ruin.
As a reaction to closing all Berlin Clubs and the rest of the world being in quarantine, Berlin declares it's support and solidarity by bringing the biggest digital club to your home.
United We Stream in alliance with Arte Concert publishes a streaming platform of Berlin's clubs, event organizers and artists and the whole spectrum and diversity of Berlin's club culture on one channel. Next to streaming live Dj-sets, live music and live performances, United We Stream will be a platform for discussions, presentations and movies addressing all themes concerning Berlin club culture.
The initiative received good media coverage and appealed to people: for the first night of streaming over 850 000 views, and 3143 donations for a total of 103 139€ for the Berlin clubs.
Indeed, the platform also offers a link to a crowdfunding campaign to save Berlin's club culture. It states:
"Now, we need your support, so that Berlin´s Club scene can survive these difficult times.
With only 10, 20 or 30 Euros per month, you can become a Sponsor and receive a virtual Club ticket. In Addition to that, you can donate to Clubs and event organizers directly or receive Soli-Merch.
All income of the stream will go directly to a relief fund which will support clubs and event organizers in need. For the distribution of these funds, the club commission Berlin e.V. developed a cataloged criteria and has assigned an independent jury."
Three local live music networks in Germany - ClubKombinat Hamburg, KlubNetz Dresden and KulturWerk MV have put crowdfunding campaigns in place. The donations will benefit the live music clubs most endangered.
Such campaigns, necessary to get immediate funding to sustain the live music scenes as much as possible, testify of the special link that can exist between some places and its audience. It permits the public to do an immediate action to support their favourite local music scene.
Around 200 000 concert tickets were sold for the timeframe for which Estonia has announced state of emergency (13.03.2020-30.04.2020). With the unclear legal and administrative perspectives on when the promoters should return the ticket money or how much time do they have in rescheduling the events, Live Music Estonia decided to start a campaign to incite people to wait until state of emergency is over to get a refund.
Different promoters as well as the biggest ticket selling companies in Estonia are participating in this campaign.
These actors also invite the people who can afford it to buy tickets to canceled or delayed events, in a gesture of support for the live music scenes.
Visual for the #KeepYourTicket campaign launched by Dansk Live on 19/03/2020
In Denmark, the national live music association Dansk Live launched the #BeholdDinBillet (Keep Your Ticket) campaign. It invites people who had booked concert tickets for a canceled or postponed show and who want to help and support the venue, workers and artists, to keep their ticket and not ask for a reimbursement.
The positive campaign also offered people to express their support on social media:
"If you keep your ticket and leave it hanging in the fridge or in the mailbox, then 'tag' your local venue and artist on Facebook or Instagram, write which concert you're looking forward to when the new date is ready and use the hashtag, #BeholdDinBillet. That way you help give the venue and artist a much needed shake during a difficult time and help us all remember that music will continue to play after this!"
Visual for the PETZI community fund launched on 25/03/2020
In order to help its members who are very badly affected by the closure of venues until 30th of April 2020, PETZI is setting up the "PETZI Community Fund", a solidarity fund for affected clubs and festivals.
There are different ways to contribute: either through a direct donation to a selected club or festival, or by a donation to the PETZI Community Fund that will quickly help structures in greater financial difficulties.
Music Venue Trust is calling on the music industry, cultural sector and the UK’s most successful musicians to come together to create a £1 million fighting fund to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues across the UK.
Despite Government action, over 550 Grassroots Music Venues remain under immediate threat of closure, representing the potential permanent loss of over 5,000 jobs, over 100,000 concerts, over 300,000 performances by musicians, and over 1 million temporary employment opportunities for gig economy workers.
To promote the Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Fund, several artists have come up with the #SofathonSingalong Challenge, a live streaming challenge where artists nominate each other to take part in it.
All artists' performances will be streamed on the 4th of April on a 24h live music marathon, promoting solidarity for Music Venue Trust, grassroots venues and the British live music sector.
Music Venue Trust have written an open letter to Boris Johnson, urging him to cancel the Festival of Britain 2022 and divert funds to grassroots venues.
Visual for the "Keep Your Ticket - Enjoy Later" campaign by several Dutch cultural, sports and event organisations, including VNPF.
Dutch theaters, concert halls, music venues, event and sports organisers, museums and festivals, with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Culture, jointly ask visitors to keep their tickets and thus support the cultural sector.
The tickets for a cancelled event who can be postponed will remain valid. If it is not possible (if the event is canceled permanently or if the holder of the ticket is prevented on the new date), the purchaser will receive a voucher worth the original ticket price.
Purchasers can also choose to turn their ticket into their donation, supporting artists, organisations and workers of the sector.
The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven said about the initiative:
"These are also challenging times for the cultural sector. We can help the theaters, organizers, music venues and museums by continuing to attend the shows, only later when circumstances allow. Events are now being moved. Save your ticket and continue to enjoy culture. And if you can't, ask for a credit voucher. In this way you help the cultural sector to survive."