The corona crisis is hitting it hard, also in the entertainment industry. In Holland – and maybe elsewhere – a third of the theatres and concert halls may die this summer.
A third of Dutch theatres and concert halls are on the verge of collapse, De Telegraaf recently reported. A course of events that was actually to be expected in times when everyone has to sit inside thanks to COVID. Precisely the live entertainment industry is hit hard by the Great ‘Smart’ Lockdown. And where it all seemed to fall apart at first and the lockdown would be short-lived, it is now clear that it will all take a lot longer. At least at least until there is a vaccine and everyone is vaccinated. And that can take at least another 18 months. During that time you’re not really comfortable in rooms where a lot of people are relaxing together. And that goes for example for public transport, air traffic and therefore also that very sociable local pop stage or theatre.
Extra money requested from the Cabinet
So it is not entirely strange that theatres and concert halls together have written a letter to the government in which they ask for an extra 55 million euros to prevent anything and everything from falling apart. The problem with this is of course that these kinds of service providers (let’s just call it that) do not fall into the category of ‘essential’, just like the hospitality industry. But where the hospitality industry always loudly makes itself heard, it is often a lot quieter with live entertainment organisations.
Still, it would be a terrible pity if precisely those smaller venues and theatres were to die. They often have a unique ambiance and atmosphere. So we’ll have to wait and see if extra money becomes available. And above all, all this shouldn’t take years. Because the chance that especially those smaller theatres and concert halls will survive is rather small unfortunately.