Musicians Call For Support For Struggling Music Industry
A demonstration will be held this evening in Prague’s Old Town Square, in support of a petition asking the government for more support for the music industry and clear information on when large events will be permitted again. Image: Courtesy of Za živou hudbu.
Czech Rep., Jul 27 (BD) – This evening, Monday, July 27th, Czech musicians and others employed by the music industry will hold a demonstration in Prague’s Old Town Square. The initiative Za živou hudbu [“For Live Music”], which is organizing the event, wants support from the government in the face of the coronavirus crisis, and the serious threat facing live music and the wider music industry, which employs 130,000 people in total.
The music industry was severely affected by the anti-coronavirus measures, as live music was effectively banned for the duration of the lockdown and has yet to recover, with almost all large-scale music events and festivals cancelled this summer. From today, live music events will again be limited in capacity, to 1,000 for outdoor events and 500 for indoor events. Za živou hudbu say that the music industry is currently operating at just 15%.
The protest is accompanied by a petition addressed to Prime Minister Andrej Babis: “We were the first to lose our jobs due to the anti-coronavirus measures and we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is not clear when it will be possible to organize large music events and under what conditions. The government has restricted our freedom of enterprise and the ability to work, and is doing nothing to address the situation. Only 15% of our industry is operating: there are no festivals or concerts, musicians have cancelled performances, no musical instruments are being produced, and music technicians have no work.”
The petition calls on the government to set out a clear timetable for when large public events will be allowed to resume, with a suggestion that events for up to 5,000 people be permitted from September. It also demands further steps to provide financial support for businesses in the cultural sector adversely affected by the crisis, similar to those announced in other European countries, which the government has already promised, but without details.