COVID-19 - Expressing our solidarity towards the festivals
20 March 2020
The coronavirus is hitting the arts ferociously with many festivals, concerts and events cancelled or postponed (see this page for an initial overview of our members). Theaters, museums and other cultural sites have already closed in most European countries.
We are seriously concerned by the spread and intensity of the virus and want to express our solidarity with the whole cultural sector: the festivals, artists, audiences and the families impacted by this crisis.
It may feel as if the many hours of work and the sleepless nights spent coming up with creative ideas are going to waste now but nothing is less true. We will use this period of quarantine and social distancing as a time for reflection - to come up with new ideas, to use the break from daily routine to prepare for even more exciting editions of our festivals.
We are all standing together with our EFA members, The Festival Academy Alumni, the EFFE Labels and the EFFE Hubs in this time of crisis. As a network and all together, we are committed to exploring ways to react to this crisis; by sharing knowledge and by giving festivals and artists a face and voice through digital means.
We do not know the full impact of this crisis yet but we know that things will change after it. We follow and fully support the actions and initiatives by our colleagues that aim to collect facts so that all of us can respond more effectively:
- The statement by Pearle and their work document assessing the impact.
- The statement by Culture Action Europe and the joint letter to EU Commissioner Gabriel and Members of Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC).
- Sabine Verheyen’s statement “New funds must reach creative sectors immediately” and the The European Parliament’s call to support students and the creative industry to mitigate effects of COVID-19.
- The collection of information by On the move.
- The Festival Academy is collecting interesting initiatives in the festivals field: proposals for solidarity, new actions, online festivals, etc.
We have also collected in a working document a selection of digital tools for spreading culture and arts during this time of social distancing, as well as tools to help you organise video conferences, meetings and webinars, along with information about government support and links to inspirational articles.
Our ears are open and we would be happy to add your ideas to our collection. Please send your thoughts, your suggestions, your challenges and solutions to us via info [@] efa-aef.eu.
Together we hope to look forward a summer full of arts, once the virus retreats. In the meantime we will keep up our energy, enthusiasm and commitment to serve our common cause.