Stage scaffolding New Year tree warns about troubles in event industry

Photo: STA

Ljubljana – Representatives of the Slovenian event industry are erecting a New Year tree in Ljubljana’s Congress Square made from stage scaffolding and lights in order to warn about the sector having ground to an almost complete halt in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, and about the financial troubles of its employees.

After the sector was the first to be shut down at the beginning of March, and after the summer with almost no festivals, after a year of cancelled concerts and tours, a New Year tree will be erected in Congress Square instead of a stage.

The association Mi Delamo Dogodke (We Make Events) added in the press release on Tuesday that the tree would be constructed exclusively from stage material, and put together by Slovenian stagehands.

The tree being put together with help of the Ljubljana City Municipality and “enthusiastic individuals and companies”, which the organisers hope will bring at least a bit of the holiday atmosphere, will be standing in the centre of the capital until 4 January.

On the occasion, Mitja Prezelj of the coalition of the music sector told the STA that the government had failed to include in the latest stimulus package the sector’s proposal to raise the universal basic income for those who had suffered revenue loss in 2020.

“We justify the proposal with the duration of the measure. The universal basic income of EUR 1,100 is not sufficient to cover all costs of living and the self-employed are thus forced to cover the the difference from our own savings,” he added.

The sector is worried about it being struck out from the aid measures applied for other companies with a significantly lesser drop in revenue, because the government does not take into account the specifics of the sector.

According to Prezelj, the largest problem for the event industry next year will be that they will have to negotiate concerts for July and later without knowing whether they would be able to organise them at all due to the epidemiological situation.

He noted that some countries, like the UK and Germany, offer to organisers compensation for costs related to cancellation of events, which is not the case in Slovenia.