An empty Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, participated in the June 22 “Night of Light” campaign.

EVVC fires back at German government over position on live events

The European Association of Event Centers says that while the German government hasn’t specifically banned events from going ahead, it had made it impossible to stage large gatherings in an economically viable manner by insisting on enforcing hygiene regulations that include distancing.

Germany announced June 17 that it would continue to restrict large-scale public gatherings until the end of October.

The organization, known as the EVVC for its German acronym, also said that the government hasn’t defined the hygienic measures it expects promoters to take and that German news media haven’t reported on the most recent developments accurately, which has created the impression that large-scale events have indeed been banned outright until October.

The resulting uncertainty makes it even harder for fans to have the confidence to return to events, and it makes it harder for promoters to plan.

A spokesperson for the EVVC told VenuesNow that it was hoping for clearer words from the government going forward. She also said one of the most important factors would be the ability to trace contacts, which is why the EVVC is a supporter of a coronavirus app that would enable it.

According to EVVC, the events business employs 1 million people in Germany, generating direct revenue of almost 130 million euros ($146 million). The association’s president, Ilona Jarabek, said further financial aid from the government was required to save the event ecosystem, emphasizing that current measures should be seen as a transition period but never as the “new normal.”

Many venues and other live entertainment businesses in Germany illuminated their buildings in red June 22 to support a campaign dubbed “Night of Light,” a reminder of the many buildings in the country that remain empty.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.