A Year Of Struggle For The Live Music Industry

There are concerts that comply with Corona regulations. Mostly, however, as open-air events and thanks to financial support. In Munich, tens of bands performed on a small summer stage in the Olympic Stadium. The concerts cost nothing, only 400 spectators were allowed. The Association of Munich Cultural Organizers treats itself to this. As part of the summer festival, there were also several open-air concerts in the Kampnagel venue in Hamburg. The Berlin singer Christiane Rösinger, for example, have performed there – in front of no more than the permitted 99 spectators. And small live shows also took place on the summer terrace in the House of World Cultures in Berlin.

Live Music Industry Struggles To survive Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

“You can organize such events especially in funded institutions with a budget for concerts”, says Wieland Krämer from Powerline, whose Berlin-based agency is also responsible for Rösinger’s appearance in Hamburg. And he adds: “Playing cash in a club in front of 30 to 50 people makes no sense.”

When talking to representatives of the live industry, there is hardly any sense of confidence given the dramatic situation. “2020 was a total failure for live entertainment, 2021 will be a year of reparations,” said André Krüger from Channel Music. That sounds a bit like hope.

It could be a difficult 2021 for Live Music

But even if the concert business would slowly start up again soon, it should be a very difficult next year for a locally relatively large multi-event organizer like Trinity. The company organizes large open airs in the citadel or forest stage as well as appearances by indie bands in smaller clubs. “At the end of the day, however, we only really earn money with the bigger shows,” says André Krüger.

Concerts in the smaller shops with up to 800 spectators, what makes Berlin so special, are mostly negative deals. Which you just take with you because they are good opportunities for bands that may be successful in the future and whose implementation is therefore essential. “At the moment when Corona takes the opportunity to host larger concerts, we have the problem that we cannot actually help finance the small things,” he says.

Currently, the Berlin Senate’s imagination does not go beyond the permitted 1,000 spectators who will be admitted to indoor events from October. If it stayed that way until further notice, the larger concerts with tens of thousands of viewers necessary for cross-financing Trinity would continue to be banned. In addition, according to Krüger, the major European tours of international artists are also dependent on the corona developments in European countries.

That left the somewhat larger national artists. “But there is the problem,” said the Channel Music boss, “that you won’t be able to do a tour for them if you can play in front of 2,000 people or more in Berlin due to the different corona regulations in North Rhine-Westphalia but only before 750. At federal level, clear guidelines for our industry must first be created. ”

A deep crisis

The live entertainment sector is in a deep crisis that will continue. But what if he can’t start again soon to slowly shovel his way out of the precarious situation? What if the state aid does not continue to help one on one, as Norbert Jackschenties from the private club complains?

Then the concert scene in Berlin will change massively. Even so, organizer Berthold Seliger already believes that “25 to 30 percent of the smaller agencies will no longer exist next year. That is a problem, as we then slowly only have the uniformity and the uniformity that the big companies organize. ”He actually fears cut-throat competition. “The big ones have insane war chests. They will survive longer and have longer stamina than the small companies. Of course, the big ones will try to buy smaller companies. I think that will not be for the benefit of cultural diversity.

Given the situation, some musicians are selling t-shirts via heat press (read this post from Palmgear) to earn cash and to support their music.