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Croatian event industry joins global Red Alert initiative 

Pula Arena

ZAGREB, 1 September 2020 – Thousands of buildings and venues across the world will be lit in red Tuesday night to dramatise the urgent need for financial relief in the event industry.

Croatia is also joining the large global initiative “Red Alert”, which was launched in order to raise awareness about the crisis situation in which the entire event industry found itself.

Today, from 9 pm to 11 pm, thousands of locations around the world will light up in red, including the Zagreb and Pula Arena. The Croatian event industry consists of more than 2,000 business entities with more than 12,000 employees, and all of them were left without the opportunity to do their job overnight when the pandemic hit.

Experts predict that it will be another year before the restart, so an urgent reaction is needed and the necessary measures are taken so that the entire industry does not completely collapse.

Every live event, from the smallest to the largest, has something in common. The hidden part of this living mechanism without which the production as a whole or the whole event would not be possible to realise – are people. These are talented professionals who stand “behind the curtain” and who are completely dedicated to their work and create that unforgettable wow effect.

These are audio engineers, lighting designers, video masters, system designers, loudspeaker technicians, video technicians, lighting technicians, backline technicians, stage builders, energy technicians, riggers, deminers, stagehands, runners, roadies, stage managers, production and hospitality managers, directors, logistics coordinators, promoters, caterers, drivers, employees in numerous event and booking agencies, security guards who have been on their knees for months, with no income and no prospects.

Affected are concerts, festivals, theatres, fairs, congresses, and many other events that either cannot work at all or can work with numerous restrictions and in a drastically reduced audience capacity which in practice prevents work and creates huge financial losses.

The Croatian event industry generates HRK 4.5 billion in turnover annually. With the outbreak of the pandemic, they experienced a complete closure, and after 6 months of stagnation, the situation is still not improving and it is predicted that it will take at least another year to recover and start. Without the possibility of income and immeasurable losses, the entire industry is on the verge of complete collapse and an urgent reaction of the Government of Croatia is necessary.

“We can’t do what we love and what we are best at. Our special knowledge and skills, valued in the event industry, outside of it don’t mean much to us. The moment has come when we, the people “behind the curtain” of live events, need to stand in front of that curtain and be loud. We are here – we need help and support. Without help and support, now and immediately, the question is whether we will still be there when bigger live events can start again. That is why we are joining the Red Alert initiative, as part of which thousands of locations around the world will light up in red today. In this way, we want to make the Government aware, but also the general public about the situation we are in,” Zoran Biškupić, director of the firm Promologistika.

The Association of Music Managers and Organisers sent to the Government of Croatia a proposal of the most necessary measures to save the Croatian event industry, following the example of similar moves by many other European countries, which are:

  • Extension of CES measures to preserve jobs for the event industry, until March 2021.
  • Opening of new favourable credit lines for working capital, for entrepreneurs in the event industry, modelled on HAMAG’s COVID-19 loan.
  • Reducing the VAT rate on tickets to 5% or equalisation with the tax rate for cinema tickets.
  • Coordinating local Civil Protection Headquarters and minimising harmful and unjustified bans on those events that can take place in safe conditions.
  • Forming a fund to help events in the marketing activities of future events, according to domestic and foreign audiences.

“No live event is a spectacle without an audience, participants who give that last emotion. Now we need you to be our voice, our strength, our lobbyists. Whether you work in the event industry or simply love live events, support us, join us, post a dear photo from an unforgettable live event, like, share, all with the hashtag #WeMakeEvents,” organisers said. 

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