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IMPALA publishes new recommendations for post-COVID music industry recovery across Europe

By | Published on Monday 30 November 2020


The pan-European organisation for the independent music community, IMPALA, has published a number of recommendations aimed at the European Union and governments of each EU member state to ensure that there is continued and long-term support for the music sector as the COVID crisis initially extends and then ultimately ends.

IMPALA launched a COVID-19 taskforce early on in the pandemic back in March, which then published a ten point plan to support the independent music industry through the COVID crisis, identifying action points for the European Commission, EU national governments and the music community itself.

As the EU then started to put together a COVID recovery plan in April, IMPALA identifying another ten priorities, those focused on what the EC and national governments could do to ensure the survival and recovery of the music sector.

Multiple European countries are currently battling a second surge of the virus of course, and it remains unknown just how quickly the various vaccines that have been developed will be approved and widely available.

That said, active consideration is now being given to what kind of government support will required to allow the music industry to return to normal once the virus is finally under control, in addition to what support is needed while COVID restrictions are still in place over the next few months.

In a statement this morning, IMPALA says: “Targeted support and coordination take on renewed importance as restrictions gradually lift and we can hopefully find some optimism about tackling the spread of COVID-19 over the next year. Sectors such as music will be last to come out of the crisis and will feel the direct impact on revenues for years, even without a potential third wave”.

In its latest call to action, IMPALA urges the EC and national governments to ensure existing COVID support is rolled on as lockdowns extend and that support will continue even once things start to slowly return to normal. Governments should also review the charging of VAT on things like tickets, livestreams and record store sales, it adds.

Beyond specific COVID support, IMPALA also calls on EU countries to implement last year’s copyright directive sooner rather than later, and without watering down the safe harbour reforms contained in article seventeen of that directive. There are also other copyright matters to be considered, it adds, including performer and broadcast rights.

Commenting on the organisation’s latest COVID statement, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith said this morning: “The aim of IMPALA’s call is to take stock and look ahead. This is essential to inspire the next generation of artists and music professionals to pursue their passion and contribute to Europe’s diversity and growth”.

Meanwhile the group’s Chair, Francesca Trainini, added: “Cultural and creative industries have been recognised as a priority ecosystem and culture received a boost last month with over half a billion euros in additional funding proposed in the EU’s budget. These are IMPALA’s recommendations to build on that”.

You can read IMPALA’s recommendations in full here.