“A lapidary decision”: setback in capacity puts concerts in check again

After the announcement of retreat of the 52 communes of the Metropolitan Region to the Medium Sanitary Impact Phase, of the plan We Keep Taking Care of Ourselves Step by Step, in the entertainment industry the alarm went off. The exempt resolution establishes that in said phase the capacity for live shows is reduced again.

Specifically, resolution 494 of April 12, says that in Medium Impact Phase, the maximum capacity for massive events will be a maximum of 10,000 attendees, according to the capacity of the venue, which will be defined by the health authority and will be a requirement for the authorization of the event. Besides, in the case of closed venues with fixed seats, the total capacity may not exceed 75% of the usual capacity, determined by total seats available.

Photo: The Third

Regarding the situation of the shows with tickets already on sale, the Undersecretary of Public Health, Cristóbal Cuadrado, pointed out in an interview with CNN: “If the event had health authorization, the capacity is maintained, but if not, it must be governed by the current situation of the plan We Keep Taking Care of Ourselves, Step by Step.”

But from the concert industry, they maintain their objections. “This sector took more than two years to demonstrate to the previous government that the culture with traceability and entry control is safe; people must have a Mobility Pass, have their nominative ticket and we control the show, we also had a direct line with the Minsal”Jorge Ramírez, general manager of the Trade Association of Entertainment and Culture Production Companies (Agepec), tells Culto.

From his village, Ramírez insists that this measure hits the sector again after two years in which massive events could not be held and only in March was the reopening of full capacity announced. “We consider this decision of the authority to be surprising and totally unexpected. to lower the capacity. This decision is lapidary and is a setback that puts hundreds of live events in check.

“You cannot overnight change the capacity of a show. The undersecretary (Square) He pointed out that the events that were authorized were kept in capacity, but again, we are not understanding anything; there are more than 200 shows programmed in Chile. The solution It is not for this weekend, nor for the one that comes. The question is another, what is Chile going to do in terms of events regarding Covid?This is where we see that there is no clear public policy”, he adds.

Ramírez details that he had the opportunity to meet with the aforementioned authority some time ago. “Indeed, we had a meeting with Undersecretary Cuadrado a little before he took office. He manifested himself on that occasion as a bridge between the sector and the Minsal, later we asked him to materialize in a meeting, but he referred it to his head of epidemiology, Cristián García”. The meeting is scheduled for next May 26.

The billboard of events during the month of May includes shows such as those of Tommy Rey at the Caupolicán Theater, or that of the Puerto Rican Anuel AA, at the Movistar Arena as part of a tour of Chile that includes shows in the regions. Sources from the production company La Oreja told Culto that for now, the show of the idol of urban music in Santiago (scheduled for May 31) has a capacity of 10,000 people, and so far around 8,000 tickets have been sold, so it falls within the provisions of the authority .

Not only the concerts acknowledge receipt of the phase change. It also occurs with cultural centers such as GAM, which have theater performances in their programming, such as the play Spirit, with dates until next May 22. From the center, the executive director Philip Mellapoints to Cult: “The possibility of having our theaters full did not last us at all. We urgently need clear policies in relation to the capacity of theaters and cultural centers. It must be considered that cultural spaces are safe and responsible with health issues, they are not contagion points, because there are a series of measures that are applied, such as the mobility pass, the mask, the sanitization and ventilation of the rooms, etc”.

Mella appeals to what happened in other cases worldwide. “In other countries, theaters have remained at 100 capacity, it is something that has already been recovered and it has been established that culture offers schemes for coexistence with the pandemic. A 30% less capacity is critical in terms of labor and economic impact. Today we celebrate National Theater Day amid concern about the phase setback that the RM is experiencing. We urgently call on the authorities to review the capacity policies of our cultural spaces”.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Juliet Brodsky, referred to the subject during a address in the framework of the celebration of the National Theater Day -in the renovated room of the Azares theater- which is being held again in person after two years. “We meet again in the rooms with a interministerial work with the Ministry of Health, which achieved the expansion in spaces for cultural use, reaching 75% of the total in this Medium Impact phase. Which makes us happy because we have to remember that before, in this same phase, rooms like this had a lot of difficulties to sustain themselvesdue to more severe restrictions”.

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