With COVID-19 impacting the entertainment industry in more ways than one, news such as the following puts a further hold on the complete return to “normality” for the live sector. The latest blow to nightlife comes from the Bavaria region of Germany, where an announcement was made regarding the closure of bars and clubs for an estimated at the time three weeks, beginning Monday, November 22nd.
These news come following a record high of new COVID-19 cases in parts of Germany, with chancellor Angela Merkel herself calling the current fourth wave of infections “dramatic,” and in turn urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. With the vaccination rate in Germany currently lower than the average in Western Europe, the signs for the safe return of clubbing are not promising at all. Feeling the impact of the global pandemic, David Muallem, the co-founder at Munich club BLITZ, had the following to say on the current situation;
“I saw it coming. If I’m really honest, I think we won’t open before maybe end of January, February. But I don’t know. I can’t predict the future. After two years of pandemic, I’m so out of power. I just feel so weak, to be honest. Because if I think about the past five or six weeks since we reopened, it was really a nightmare. It’s hard for people to understand because everyone goes like, ‘yeah, you can open your club again after such a long time.’ And of course, I’m happy to see smiling faces on the dance floor again and have amazing parties, but we lost about 50 percent of our staff.”
An endless cycle as it seems, Muallem goes on to further portray his frustration at the current situation, with BLITZ now preparing to close once again. In turn, another round of cancellations and re-bookings is on the cards, with government funds also coming into play for administration. The whole process only adds a further burden to owners and their clubs, with Muallem making once more clear the impact that the current situation is having on himself, the co-owners, and everyone involved with BLITZ;
“It’s like writing credit notes, checking all the replacement dates. It’s so much effort. Then administrating the government funds again. So it’s just a very frustrating task. You know, I don’t want to beg for help, I want to throw parties.”
Sharing a similar frustration on the issue, the Clubcommission in Berlin has issued a statement claiming the false frame of clubs for the spark in new COVID-19 cases. Following a press release sent out by Germany’s contract tracing system (Luca app), it was made public my media outlets in the country that 49% of COVID-19 alerts in the month of October were traced back to nightclubs. Pointing fingers at bars and clubs was as expected not welcomed by the Berlin Clubcommission, with their spokesperson Lutz Leichsenring having the following to say;
“Club visitors find out retrospectively whether a person present on the evening of their visit has tested positive for Covid-19. In almost all other areas of public and private life, this certainty does not exist. Even though we as operators look forward to the coming months with concern, we can claim that we take the hygiene rules and contact tracing very seriously.”
One step forwards and two backwards as it seems, the current situation in Germany further showcases the impact the the pandemic has had and is still having on the live entertainment sector, with at the moment no effective solutions to be met by either sides of the table. You can read the full Berlin Clubcommission statement here.
Image Credit: WorldAtlas
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