The coronavirus pandemic that started in China’s Hubei province has managed to spread across the globe. As of now, practically all nations and parts of the world have been affected by the novel coronavirus infection. The virus has already been contracted by more than 7 million people while over 400 thousand have unfortunately died. This grim mark that nears half a million would have been worse without effective measures taken by governments globally in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Many countries have experienced the pandemic at its full force. The virus is new and we know very few things about it. Yet, what we know most certainly is that COVID-19 should be taken seriously. It is an extremely contagious virus with one infected person potentially transmitting the diseases to roughly 3 others. The R, also known as the reproduction rate, is what makes social distancing such an important part of our lives during these unprecedented times. Without the population following certain rules, the pandemic can simply get out of control within the days.
Implementing and maintaining regulations is what governments all around the world have been doing. The entertainment industry remains to be one of the worst-hit as almost all major music events, film festivals and others had to be canceled or postponed indefinitely. Gambling venues across the globe have come to a standstill with ceased operations and halted future projects. Representatives of https://casinopånett.eu/, one of the largest European online gambling platforms, says, that the issues with physical venues have resulted in thumping spikes of online casino users. Besides casinos, practically all businesses, that could, went online in order to survive themselves.
The case is not similar to live music and concerts. Initially, many people thought that this would be one of the industries adapting to the new reality significantly easily. However, the sector has since then come across a number of obstacles, preventing it from going online. First off, naturally, there is no similar experience to what it feels like being in a packed arena, listening to your favorite artist. Fans argue, that paying for digital concerts will not be the same value for money. Therefore, artists also refrain from taking steps that could potentially result in fanbase backlash and terrible accusations from the international media.
Norway is taking the first steps towards re-opening the sector
Unlike other nations globally, the Scandinavian nation of Norway has taken some rather brave steps towards re-opening the live entertainment sector. The country has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Being a developed country with high mobility, it received lots of imported cases from different regions around the world. However, with high social responsibility and good national leadership, the country managed to escape the possible horror of this deadly disease. Today, Norway has practically eliminated community transmission within its territories. People keep responsibly following the lockdown rules while limiting social and physical interactions to the absolute minimum.
The current situation with the pandemic is what made Norway take a brave step almost a month ago and allow live concerts of up to 50 people. This is absolutely worth noting as, at the beginning of May, many countries were in the middle of their peak state of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Norway had already curbed community transmission to the lowest possible levels, re-opening businesses, and lifting strict regulations.
Along with Norway, its neighbor Sweden has also been incredibly brave throughout this process. The country has not introduced any official regulations in regard to concerts or live performances. However, events, especially the big ones were still canceled or postponed indefinitely. Yet again, Scandinavian nations are showing a sense of responsibility and care for their countries and peoples. However, without any restrictions in place, Sweden has become one of the worst affected countries globally. In particular, the death toll across Sweden is grim, for which the government has received a lot of criticism.
However, the situation is drastically different in Norway where the restrictions resulted in a more peaceful resolution of the state. For almost a month now, live concerts with up to 50 attendees have been allowed. However, representatives of the industry say that the scale of such events is simply not enough to support companies in the industry financially. Anders Tangen from the Norwegian Live Music Association commented on the current situation: “It’s great to see that some concerts can take place again, but to make it very clear – it’s not something that can keep our industry economically afloat.”
He asserted that the limitation of 50 people max can work for small events, private gatherings, and weddings. However, for those who intend to make profits out of live music, the situation will remain highly enviable for some time to come. In the meantime, concert halls and music collectives have started getting back to work. Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra has opened to the public but keeping the number of attendees under 50 will also be a difficult task there.
Was lifting the regulation well-timed? What comes next?
Many might think that this step was taken a bit too quickly perhaps. However, the truth is that tens of thousands of people have already benefited from the eased restrictions. We should keep remembering that small private or public events, local community gatherings are what really cheer us up during tough times. Music is a great way to support one another and Norwegians are truly managing to keep the spirit up while following the rules. Moreover, according to the government’s plan, gatherings of up to 200 will be allowed from mid-June, promising a comeback of the live entertainment industry across the country