March 12, 2020

Tuesday was somewhat chaotic, to say the least. Follow did a “black Wednesday” when I, and my freelance colleagues with me, started getting one email or phone call after another about cancelled concerts and performances. Today is Thursday and now all the cancellations come, which, after the development the past few days, are expected…

I personally find it wise to cancel big gatherings at this situation. I think each and every one of us have a big responsibility to slow the spread of the covid-19 down as much as possible so that the health care systems manages and can help those of us who will need it.
However, this is indeed a very serious situation for freelance and self employed artists. The entire economy and many other professions get hit by this too, of course. We all know that it is unavoidable and that we will get through it. Somehow.

The problem is that artists normally, unfortunately, don’t have savings to speak of nor are they included in social support systems. I don’t know what the opinion can do, but so far the state funded institutions don’t pay for cancelled shows. For those of us who normally make a considerable part of our yearly income during easter, the situation is..harsh. For me personally not only the bigger concerts have been cancelled but even so the smaller (oper+)gigs, which I rarely even write in my calendar, where the audience is considerably smaller. They would have been helpful…

Only a few concerts have gotten “post-poned”, most have simply got cancelled. But even if post-poned is better than culture not happening at all, it doesn’t help paying the bills. Bills are not subjected to an eventual Corona-infection.

We are all trying to digest and deal with this situation and with the uncertainty of the future which comes with it. Please consider signing this petition which asks the german government to help freelance artists financially through this “shut-down”.

I and my colleagues will do what we do: We process what we experience through art. We will be there to support and sooth you with our music. We are just working on ways to do it safely. Stay in touch!