The State Association of Concert Halls (ACCES - Asociación Estatel de Salas de Conciertos ) and The Concert Hall Platform (PSDC - Plataforma de Salas De Conciertos ) have issued a joint statement entitled Requiem for Concert Halls as they desperately attempt to gain a slither of political will to save the sector. The statement, translated and reproduced in full below, points out that the sector has now been closed for six months by State decree but rent, mortgages, fees, taxes and other expenses have continued unabated. The statement calls for a rescue plan to be provided for the sector. Spain has a rich culture of live music that extends far beyond the concert venues and into the village and town fiestas. The COVID crisis has been devastating to the musicians, technicians and logistics crews who work on these events and the fairground operators and hospitality businesses that look to the festivals for their income.
Once again the entertainment and hospitality sector issue stark warnings about the impending destruction of a sector that is key to the cultural lifeblood and international image of Spain!
REQUIEM FOR CONCERT HALLS August 19, 2020 Rescue plan now!
“If a contingency plan was already necessary before the new normal, now a rescue plan is essential for this business sector, which has been closed for 6 months by decree, sustaining its economic burdens and prohibiting work and being unable to carry out its businesses. More than 5000 families without income and without a future in the improvised agenda of authorities, who decree without evaluating the very serious consequences of their decisions, families directly affected by the closure of the rooms, not counting the other thousands without work, of all auxiliary companies from the music sector, journalists, photographers, music magazines, designers, computer scientists, network managers, rental and sale of instruments and a long etcetera.
Our sector that represents 280 concert halls throughout the state, which has met all the requirements and regulations dictated by the government, is now doomed to ruin after having been closed for more than 6 months and paying its rents, mortgages, supplies, labor expenses, fees, taxes etc.
Chronology of a death foretold.
March 14, state of alarm: we proceed to the voluntary closure of all concert halls a few days before, prior to the state of alarm.
June 21, a new normal: 10% of the auditorium park opens with ridiculous capacity. August 14: concert halls are closed.
6 months paying rents, mortgages, supplies, fees, taxes, removing staff from the ERTES in the face of confusing and contradictory measures, which later end in restrictions, prohibitions and more economic losses and we could continue with the list of unjustified and onerous measures. Even when?
Outrage among the concert halls.
Now, on August 14, the Interterritorial Council of the public health system, decides arbitrarily, without consulting with the sector, and overnight, that the concert halls are closed. An absolute lack of respect for all musicians, technicians and professionals in the sector.
Since the declaration of the state of alarm on March 14, all concert halls in the state are closed. As of the return to the so-called “new normal” on June 21, some of them resumed their activity, scrupulously complying with the reductions in capacity and the hygienic sanitary measures dictated by the authorities. With this timid return to activity, it was intended to timidly return to return the music to the stages and invoice something to alleviate the lack of income and the payment of fixed expenses for two and a half months. Under these conditions, the few rooms that restarted the activity confirmed that these conditions make the activity absolutely unsustainable.
The concert halls are safe cultural spaces, which, complying with the measures, are no less so than any hospitality establishment. In addition, in concert halls traceability is guaranteed since anyone who buys a ticket is identified with their contact details.
Concert halls are the essential link for the development of artists and all the great figures that fill the great venues and festivals began their careers in concert halls.
If concert halls disappear, young emerging talent is castrated and cultural diversity disappears.
The ban on the opening of spaces, where live music is programmed, cannot be decreed without simultaneously announcing the economic measures that will be adopted so that they do not disappear. How is already happening with some rooms that have announced their final closure. We are facing a situation that can be irreversible. What company can maintain its expenses without being able to work?
We demand a rescue plan now! " .