Let’s take a moment to commemorate all the festivals and concerts that didn’t blossom this summer. Tour buses stood empty, awaiting excited and anxious bands and crew, but didn’t leave their parking lots. European borders were enforced like they hadn’t been in two decades.
Nothing has shaken the European music scene like COVID-19 has, reducing a seemingly borderless continent into city-states of a novel kind. Of course, many artists made ample use of their newfound time to create new work and get inspired. But travel uncertainty has profoundly impacted the livelihoods of artists, venues, and other industry professionals.
Much like tourism, no guests equals no pay for artists and venues alike. Live music venues were the first businesses to close down due to attendance restrictions, some still waiting for any good news. In an industry that is increasingly dependent on playing live—streaming revenue won’t cut it for most artists—many have seen their summer incomes evaporate overnight.
So we decided to catch up with three different venues in three different countries to talk about the current state of affairs, their take on the role of mobility for live music, and their hopes for the future. All work together with Liveurope and have a borderless passion for discovering and booking artists from all over the continent. We also spoke to some of their favorite artists about their experience of being a musician in the year 2020.
Buckle up, because we are about to take a virtual road trip to Ljubljana, Barcelona and Copenhagen.
Let’s go, pojdimo, som-hi, lad os gå!
Beats over borders stories
Beats Over Borders is an initiative by Liveurope and is supported by Creative Europe, Nordic Cultural Fund and Institut Ramon Llull.
Produced by Are We Europe
Text by Toon Vos
Illustrations by Tijmen Snelderwaard
Editorial Assistance by Flora Leahy
Special thanks to:
Matjaž Manček (Kino Šiška), Nik Drozg (Kino Šiška), Naiara Lasa (Sala Apolo), Jeppe Nygaard Christensen (VEGA), Pijammies, TUHAF, TVERSKY, Inbar Preiss, Alex White