Governments need to act in support of live performance sector amid COVID-19
UNI Global Union's Entertainment and Media sector, UNI-MEI, together with the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and Pearle* are urging governments to take emergency measures in support of the live performance sector following the impact of COVID-19.
In response to the epidemic striking an increasing number of countries around the world, several governments have announced their decision, among other emergency measures, to prohibit large gatherings of people with a view to containing the spread of the COVID19 virus.
Without appropriate support measures, these decisions will have devastating economic and social consequences on the live performance sector, as numerous live events and tours are being cancelled abruptly. Whether employed or freelance, workers in the sector, who are often in an already precarious situation, are facing a sudden and dramatic loss of income. Many live performance organisations will be profoundly weakened or imperilled due to the reduction of number of performances, tours and live events.
FIM, FIA, UNI-MEI and Pearle* therefore call on all governments to adopt emergency measures that may adequately support the sustainability of the live performance sector in this unique situation, protect the safety of cultural workers but equally their livelihood. Exceptional measures must be identified and enforced and funding allotted as soon as possible to alleviate the adverse effects of these sudden income losses.
At EU level, a Corona Response Initiative was announced on March 10th, “directed at the health care systems, SMEs, labour markets and other vulnerable parts of our economies” and mobilising a €25 billion public investment. It is essential to make sure that this initiative benefits the live performance sector in proportion to the unprecedented challenge that it is currently facing and all workers, regardless of their contractual status, who rely on these shows and events to earn a living.