Belgium’s cultural economy showed deep red numbers in the first quarter of 2021. In the first three months of the year, an additional loss of € 41 million was recorded. Sapam, the Belgian Association of Authors, Composers and Publishers, calculated that. Income from cultural events decreased by at least 99.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
In the first three months of 2021, only 135 cultural events were held. In the first quarter of 2020, that was still 14,230, down also 99.9 percent compared to the start of the lockdown.
Consequently, income from cultural events fell sharply, to only 7,964 euros. In the same period in 2020, revenue from ticket sales was still 40.8 million euros. In addition, income lost from the sale of beverages and food and trade must be accounted for before, during and after the cultural event.
As in 2020, concerts have once again suffered the most damage. This sector lost more than 20 million euros. Professional theaters lost at least 10 million euros, while the remaining 11 million related to classical concerts, parties and other events.
The numbers for this first quarter should shake up policymakers. We must realize that the situation is extremely urgent
This brings the total losses since the start of the Corona crisis to at least 360 million euros. “The numbers for this first quarter should shake up policymakers. We need to realize that the situation is very urgent,” said Karen Liebert, CEO of SABAM. “Since the beginning of the crisis, the cultural sector, like many other sectors, has been facing a real disaster. It still has no future prospects. Without the prospect of a quick recovery, the entire cultural ecosystem will collapse.”
This is why Sabam is calling for specific perspectives in the next advisory panel on April 23 – International Copyright Day. “The entire sector has reached a point where the damage is irreparable,” Lippert concludes.
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