Restrictions “Feeling completely dismayed” – Public events were banned in much of Finland on a fast schedule, and now the future worries people in the event industry

New strict event restrictions have been received by the industry as sad.

23.12. 16:46 | Updated 23.12. 17:35

Southern Finland the regional government agency (avi) said on thursday, as expected, that strict interest rate restrictions will also come into force in Uusimaa. According to the regulations, all indoor public events, regardless of the number of people, are prohibited. The new regulations will take effect on Tuesday 28 December and will run for three weeks until 17 January.

Tough restrictions have already been introduced elsewhere in Finland. For example, in the municipalities of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Satakunta and Northern Ostrobothnia, all indoor and outdoor public events are prohibited. As early as Monday, the AVI of Southwest Finland banned all public events in Southwest Finland temporarily indoors and outdoors.

Finnish the extensive barrier restrictions in the event industry are once again hitting the canvases.

The regulations close to theaters, cinemas, gigs and larger arenas around the country.

For example In Pirkanmaa, a huge cancellation arena spectacle, Snow Queenice show, the premiere of which was scheduled to take place in Tampere’s new Nokia arena on January 1. The performance, which has been prepared for years and has required the input of hundreds of people, will be postponed after a year.

The strict restrictions have been met with disappointment throughout Finland.

“The industry has clearly recovered and picked up since the introduction of the corona passport in October, and now many events in the cultural and sports sectors as well as in other sectors have largely been sold out,” the director of Tapahtumateollisuus ry Maria Sahlstedt says.

According to Sahlstedt, during the autumn, companies have invested in getting the business back on track and employees have been taken back to work.

“With only a couple of months to go, there are no financial buffers to prepare for a complete closure, at least for some areas. Yes, it’s going to get really hard down there. The spiritual faith of both entrepreneurs and employees is beginning to be tested. ”

Sahlstedt strongly criticizes, in particular, the timetables for enforcing the restrictions.

“There is no time to prepare here. As such, it is incomprehensible for the authorities to put the decision into force on the same day or with a delay of a few days. Large arena productions that have been prepared by hundreds of people at their best for several years are now being canceled. In many ways, the situation is unreasonable from this point of view, ”says Sahlstedt.

“We understand that the disease situation is bad and it is certainly necessary to set limits, but we would have liked a more reasonable anticipation period.”

Event industry already on Wednesday issued a press release urging the government to immediately disclose how it intends to support businesses in this predicament.

“Events will be closed again without any information on compensatory support measures. The government should have published proposals for comprehensive subsidies in conjunction with the new restrictions, Chairman of the Board of the Event Industry Pekka Timonen says in a press release.

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“It is very important for our industry that even some of the public events can still operate with the help of the corona passport without restrictions. However, the government’s recommendation does not guarantee the operating conditions for our industry, and the situation is confusing again and the outlook is non-existent. ”

Helsinki’s Voice Wall will close due to interest rate restrictions. The band Aavikko celebrated their 25-year career at a sold-out gig in Ääniwall in November 2020.

Restaurateur Tim Uskali sounds very disappointed when answering their phone.

Together with his business partners, Uskali runs Kuudeslinja oy’s night restaurants and popular gig venues, which include Kuudes Linja, Ääniwalli, Post Bar, Kaiku and Siltanen.

“Everyone gets caught,” Uskali says.

The restaurants were scheduled to host numerous gigs in the coming weeks, the fate of which is now open. They will either have to be canceled altogether or postponed again. Uskali says the reorganization will again do a lot of work. It is by no means new at this point in a pandemic.

“Throughout this time, we’ve probably had to cancel or relocate closer to a thousand gigs from our restaurants,” Uskali says.

When asked about moods, Uskal doesn’t have many words. Most of all, he says he is sad because of the staff at his restaurants. Everything has to be laid off again. The worst part is that you cannot be sure that the restrictions will last for only three weeks this time as well.

Uskali seems very disappointed with the corona passport arrangements. He finds it very special that at first the restaurants have been given the impression that they can organize events specifically with the help of a corona passport and that now it is decided to take the passport out of service.

National Opera communications director Liisa Riekki says the situation was prepared for, but the news was not gladly received. Customer messages had already been written in two languages.

“We’re going to catch up. We are disappointed. ”

All performances will be canceled until January 17th. Swan pond the premiere was supposed to be on Saturday, January 15, but will be postponed to Thursday, January 20. It gives way La traviatan one performance.

“We are not speculating on what will happen after January 17,” Riekki says.

Cinema chain CEO of BioRex Cinemas Aku Jaakkola the decision is annoying.

“Completely appalled. I don’t know what else to say. ”

According to Jaakkola, cinemas have been working for two years and have shown that the halls are safe places. Now the promises of decision-makers about him have been “thrown in the rubbish bin”.

“The faith in taking care of things is gone.”

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The chain will have to close its cinemas in Hyvinkää, Helsinki and Porvoo. BioRex’s theaters can be found in the neighboring town of Hyvinkää in Riihimäki and seven other locations.

The chain is considering whether to keep some of the closed theater stores open because customers want to buy series tickets with cultural vouchers later this year.

Due to the situation, domestic premieres have been postponed, but Jaakkola is not worried about the content. The halls feature films awaiting the audience, such as the new installment in the Matrix series.

Audience on the Grand Stage of the National Theater before the performance of the Docent play in Helsinki on December 1.

Strict restrictions also close the doors of theaters. For example, the National Theater has a full performance calendar right after Christmas, so the plans are going to be new again.

“Everyone is very sad, but of course we understand this situation. There is nothing wonderful about it in me, the figures are wild, and we act as the authorities hope, ”says the Director General of the National Theater. Mika Myllyaho says.

However, he hopes that theaters will not be forgotten at a time when the coronary situation is starting to ease again.

“We hope that, like last spring, cultural institutions will not wait long for them to open. It is hoped that the corona passport will be introduced immediately and extended again on 17 January. Of course, it is our great hope that something has been learned from the past year. ”

The closure of theaters right now is not a completely catastrophic situation for the National Theater, but Myllyaho says it will cause challenging situations.

“We have Hamlet coming to the premiere right on the 19th and the premiere of one of the guest performances will move on, but of course we can and will all rehearse. However, it is 7,500 tickets, it talks about a large amount of money. ”

According to Myllyaho, it is by no means unusual for the National Theater to have so many performances during the Christmas break.

“The National Theater has a long Christmas holiday every other year and a short Christmas every other year. Every other year is a ski holiday. This has been the case for many decades and has been adhered to. ”

Winter Circus Vauhtia has now been performed in Suvilahti.

Dance theater Director of Hurjaruuthi Liisa Korpiniitty is sad about the situation even though he understands it. According to him, the effects of the new restrictions on the theater are “substantial”. “Let’s talk about a six-figure sum,” he admits.

Korpiniitty says that he has announced to the entire staff: performers, audience guides, technicians, café staff – a wide range of event professionals.

Hurjaruuthi is currently going through a “high season,” a winter season that is very important to the theater. Hurjaruuthi’s popular winter circuses have been gathering the audience since 1994.

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However, Korpiniitty is most sorry for the viewers: many eager children are now missing the expected experience.

According to Korpiniity, the Hurjaruuthi Winter Circus is a “warm Christmas tradition” for many small spectators and multi-generational families to go together.

The theater will have time to perform this season Winter Circus Speed performance twice more on the day of the slaughter, then a note is placed on the door. In all Winter circus Speed 17 presentations will not be submitted.

Winter Circus Speed was already on Hurjaruuthi ‘s program last year, but then 70 percent of the performances were missed due to the pandemic. Now it was re-incorporated into the software.

The popular work will now remain in it, as the last performance would have been on January 9th. According to Korpiniity, the work will no longer be included in the program next year. “Next year we will move to the Dance House.”

There is still nothing left over, the theater director promises. “Solutions are being found. We came up with a replacement, plan b exists. ”

Helsinki the city orchestra will have to cancel the concerts in the early weeks of the year, at least as public events.

“In any case Joe Hisaishin the Epiphany concert will be canceled, and immediately after Christmas we will see what kind of activities we can organize as an orchestra in January without public events, ”says the curator of the Helsinki City Orchestra Aleksi Malmberg.

Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi has made music Hayao Miyazakin animated films, and the HKO’s final concert, which he conducted, sold out so quickly that a second concert was also scheduled for Saturday, January 8th. However, these concerts will have to be canceled, but according to Alex Malmberg, the aim is to find a new time for Hisaish’s visit.

The opening concert of the city orchestra’s spring season was scheduled to take place on Friday, January 14, but it could not be held, at least as a public event, according to the order of the Regional State Administrative Agency. So the city orchestra will decide next week mainly whether the concert will take place as an online event.

“I believe that the authorities have made a decision based on sound judgment, and that, of course, will work. Of course, I am sorry for our audiences. I know many who had bought tickets to our concerts at the beginning of the year, for example as gifts for their friends and loved ones, ”says Aleksi Malmberg.

HS working group: Tero Kartastenpää, Riitta Koivuranta, Mari Koppinen, Juuso Määttänen, Samuli Tiikkaja

Read more: New restrictions hit Helsinki’s events hard: Nightwish postpones its concert once again, New Year’s celebration without the audience

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