Musicians and performing artists see new corona restrictions targeting the wrong places – “Gathering seems possible as long as it doesn’t include art”

“Frankly, I don’t think the closure of theaters matters, but I hope that all other measures and restrictions will help curb the epidemic in the coming weeks,” says Kari Arffman, director of the Helsinki City Theater.

New the corona barrier makes the performing arts a substitute sufferer. This is the opinion of the Association of Musicians, which issued a statement on the subject yesterday Saturday.

The new restrictions, which take effect on Monday, are considered unfair because the concert halls, National Opera, theaters, festivals and smaller stages that host the events have obediently complied with security measures. In addition, they have jointly developed guidelines and policies for the whole sector.

“The barrier is not eternal, but from the perspective of a distressed art industry, distress does not seem to be coming to an end. Even the few opportunities that could be prepared for the end of autumn by special arrangements dried up again in an instant, ”says the chairman of the Musicians’ Association. Ahti Vänttinen, Chairman of the Helsinki Musicians Patrik Stenström and Freelance Musicians Association Pekka Lehden in a signed letter.

According to them, the work of decision makers would have a perspective if the restrictions affected their own or close livelihoods as dramatically as they now affect musicians and other artists.

The position therefore hopes that the restrictions will be targeted where they are really needed.

“By constraints, gathering seems to be possible as long as it doesn’t include art,” they write.

“When most infections come in the home district, should a risk-averse person go to a concert or theater instead of at home, where the risk of infection is non-existent or in any case lower than at home?”

Freelance musicians President Lehti himself fell ill with a coronavirus disease last spring. The infection from the Music Hall’s Women’s Day concert took the double bassist to the hospital.

“I was in the hospital for a week because of breathing difficulties and I had pneumonia caused by a coronavirus,” Lehti says on the phone.

The magazine emphasizes that the situation is now quite different from the spring, when little was known about the disease and its infectivity. He himself was now in the fall involved in the Theater of Open Doors Sontiainenperformances, which used half of the auditoriums, and states that security measures were strictly observed at all times.

“Masks and handbags were in use. The safety clearances were also kept at intervals and the spectators were directed to and from the hall in order. ”

Magazine believes that people’s attitudes have changed in many ways since the spring.

“In the past, people might come to work with flu symptoms. Now that is completely out of the question. ”

Although Lehti has suffered from a corona, he is not lulled into being immune.

“I believe the use of respiratory protection and hand hygiene will become the norm, a routine course of action against all viruses. We need to learn to live with them in the future anyway, ”he says

Helsinki Director of the City Theater Kari Arffman understand the concerns of the musicians and myself is of the opinion that the performing arts are currently involved in joint communications work parties. And the message to be conveyed is clear: gatherings are not allowed.

“Frankly, I don’t think the closure of theaters matters at all, but I hope all the other measures and restrictions will help curb the epidemic in the coming weeks,” Arffman says.

Kari Arffman, director of the Helsinki City Theater.­

According to Arffman, there has been a tremendous amount of work being done in the industry, both at the individual and community level, to ensure that theaters can remain open and, of course, feel bad about the constraints. He therefore hopes that theaters and other performing arts will also be compensated for their involvement in the work.

“Hopefully, the government will keep its promise to compensate for future losses as a result of the corona measures. Especially when we are caught up in solidarity alone, ”he says.

Pekka Lehti is of the opinion that, in addition to limitations, the Crown Age also requires optimism and non-paralysis.

“The loss of income for people working in the performing arts has been really great. We need to be able to work, and I think the security measures in place in the autumn have been effective. ”

The long-running Korona period has hit freelancers the hardest, whose basic security is not as good as that of a permanent employee. If they are unable to do their job and cannot be compensated for the loss of income, it can have unpredictable consequences.

“People change fields or move on to study a new profession. It may happen that recruiting them back is challenging once the restrictions caused by the coronavirus have been overcome, ”Lehti says.

According to the common position of the musicians, restrictions are also about value choices. They suspect that restricting the performing arts in a coronation situation is politically easy and attractive, as the restrictions are visible and give the impression that something is being done that is important in politics.


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