– Emil Ionescu – managing partner at Best Music and founding member of AROC.
What are the latest estimates on the impact of the crisis generated by the pandemic on the cultural-artistic events industry in Romania?
We don't even know what will happen tomorrow, but in two weeks, so maybe we will have a pleasant surprise and we will get over this period faster. I think that at the moment the watchword is uncertainty, but on the other hand I think that most of the promoters will get over the period well and we will all be much stronger than before.
What is the current situation regarding the employees in the field and what solutions have been applied?
Fortunately, if you are a promoter, you don't have too many employees and you outsource most of the services, but at the same time, unfortunately, the "guild" of technicians and production people who take care of an event suffer quite a lot, so building an association that has something to say and that can ask for support from the authorities is to be tried. Just think that thousands of people were suddenly left without any income for an indefinite period of time and this is difficult especially since we do not know how long the pandemic will last.
How much do you think the industry was really supported by the measures taken by the Government so far?
At the moment I have not felt any support. I am also involved in iabilet.ro which has quite a lot of employees so we have some pretty high costs there and I honestly felt that we, as an entertainment industry, do not exist. I hope that through the efforts made by AROC we will receive adequate support as it happened in other countries where the „players” in the market received financial support to keep them afloat. As for ticketing, for example, you can't afford to put all people in technical unemployment because we worked 3 times more during this period than usual because we had to reschedule or cancel around 1000 events. If people are technically unemployed, who works?
What measures do you think should be taken by the authorities, so that companies operating in this field and their employees get through this period?
As I said above, I think that financial compensation should be offered, helping clubs not to lose their leases, security companies, technical and production teams, ticketing agencies and especially promoters who actually hold the top of the pyramid in showbusiness. I am also thinking of offering for the future discounts on the rents of state-owned locations, free promotion spaces in cities.
What do you think will be the medium and long term effects on cultural and artistic events in Romania?
I think that for the beginning we will have fewer events, at least big ones, fewer locations and even fewer local artists. Many will give up this "job" and we are talking here about the young people who have to live. So we will have fewer newcomers in the next 2-3 years.
What would be the message you would send to the public during this period?
To stay at home :). Not to relax until it is time to relax, to listen to the authorities. And to have patience and especially to be understanding with the „players” in the field: promoters and ticketing in particular. They can really help relaunch showbusiness in Romania and if somebody already paid 100 lei for a ticket, they should keep it for a rescheduled event, and they can be considered "shareholders" in local showbusiness because their money is an investment in the future. It will be fine :).