Berlin booking agencies unite to call for industry-wide aid

Berlin booking agencies have come together to call for aid for all live acts that have been affected by the current global pandemic, which has caused the cancellation of festivals and shows across the globe. Approximately 70 different agencies have joined together in order to get the grant. Their union is called Booking United.

Booking United published a formal letter to the German government as a call for representation and recognition for all those who have been out of work and will be out of work for the foreseeable future, mainly freelance performers and musicians. The letter reads,

“The purpose of the initiative is to represent the community’s economic interests as well as those of our artists, employees, and freelancers. In the current phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to present the industry’s endangered state, with the primary goal of permanently securing its existence…we have been forced to stop working from one day to the next. With the cancellation of all events worldwide, 100% of our income for the current year has been eradicated. Furthermore, it is already clear that we will be among the last to resume business operations in the usual manner, with no foreseeable time frame. Each of the agencies we represent depends upon this income to secure the monthly existence of numerous people and their families.”

Booking United has also requested an immediate relief package, the letter reads,

”…we ask for cancellation fees of up to 60% for all artists if a fee of less than 1,000 Euros was planned and of 40% for fees of more than 1,000 Euros, with a maximum cancellation fee of 2,500 Euros, paid for by government aid and not from the clubs themselves, who are clearly also struggling in this situation.”

Similarly, in the US many organizations have gathered in support of all performers from touring musicians to local acts. Some charities include Sweet Relief which many live-streamed festivals have requested donations for, and MusiCares, an organization set up by The Recording Academy.

This is a huge and applaudable step by the Berlin booking agencies. We can only hope other countries may follow suit.

Image Credit: Simon Tartarotti on Unsplash