Statement: creators and live sector welcome EU guidelines

GESAC has once again united with our live sector partners to issue a statement addressed to European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

The statement, which can be read in full below, welcomes the recently released EU guidelines on the reopening of cultural venues. It also reaffirms the plethora of available evidence that shows events are being held safely all over Europe and suggests additional measures that can help facilitate the free movement of artists and cultural professionals.


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Brussels, 14 July 2021

Vice-President Margaritis Schinas
Promoting our European Way of Life
European Commission

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
European Commission


Creators and the live sector welcome EU Guidelines on reopening of cultural events


Dear Vice-President,

Dear Commissioner,

Our group of organisations representing the live sector and creators community warmly welcomes the “EU guidelines for the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sectors – COVID-19” issued by the European Commission, which strikes the right balance between proposals to foster safe reopening and recommendations to boost sustainable recovery of cultural events.

As underlined in the Communication, there have been very few cases of transmissions of the COVID-19 virus at cultural events. Indeed, cultural establishments offer safe environments, as demonstrated by a number of test events organised in several countries. Something the Commission also noted in its recommendations as evidence that live events can be safely held while taking into account the necessary sanitary measures and without causing a risk to public health.

The promising results of recent additional test events, held despite growing fear over variants, confirm that the reopening of cultural events can be sustained in safety.[1] We invite the Member States to take these findings into careful consideration when setting their required national reopening strategies and trust that the Commission can play a key role in coordinating and ensuring the implementation of such highly needed national plans at EU level.

Additionally, as European and international touring seem to be taking the most time to resume, we would like to call on the European institutions and EU Member States to implement EU digital COVID certificates and take appropriate measures to facilitate the free movement of artists and cultural professionals, for whom mobility is essential to carry out their work.

It is essential to continue building on the experience and positive developments that have taken place so far to ensure that cultural establishments remain open and to avoid any risk of returning to complete lockdown in the event of a new wave. This can be done safely thanks to the use of safety health protocols and measures put in place by venues and live events. We invite Member States to ensure the continuation of the cultural activities under the set measures, and the Commission to closely monitor and coordinate the implementation of such protocols.

We would like to congratulate the Commission for taking a clear and strong position in persuading the Member States to use the national recovery and resilience funds for the sustainable reopening and recovery of the CCIs in general, and the live sector in particular. It is also encouraging that several EU funding programmes can be used for the same purpose.

We look forward to working closely with the Commission’s services and national authorities to realise the objectives laid out in this promising initiative.

Your sincerely,


ARA – Arena Resilience Alliance

AFEM – Association For Electronic Music

EMMA – European Music Managers Alliance

GESAC – The European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers

LIVE DMA – European Network for Live Music Associations

Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent

PEARLE – Live Performance Europe

YOUROPE – The European Festival Association


[1] For the recent results in France, see here

For more info on the new report of ARA on the results of test events:

For some of the previous results and an overview chart of test events across Europe published in the end of May 2021, see here