After six months off, the cultural sector is rehearsing a return to activities. Although the number of deaths and new cases of Covid-19 remain high, there are discussions about the reopening of concert halls and the protocols to be adopted so that this can be done safely for the public, musicians and the entire team involved. .
Despite the insecurity, the return already seems inevitable, as there are a large number of professionals who were left without income during this period. “There is no way to stay put and keep the business running, there is no other way because we do not have public support. I am actively participating in the debates about the law Aldir Blanc, I participated in some meetings with the Secretariat of Culture on behalf of the Vegas Group, but only now this resumption plan is being discussed and the public notices are being opened, but payments for legal entities are foreseen for December, ”says Fabricio Nobre, programmer for the houses of the Vegas Group, which already has a plan to reopen the houses in progress for the houses Z Largo da Batata , Cine Joia , Blue Note and Bar dos Arcos .
About two months ago, the city of São Paulo offered assistance for some cultural spaces, with values of 8 and 12 thousand reais, but not all those enrolled were able to get the assistance. At the federal level, the federal cultural emergency law Aldir Blanc was recently approved, which at that time begins to distribute aid to professionals, communities and cultural spaces. However, the law is still poorly understood, bureaucratic and in a sense excluding, as not all professionals can be covered with the aid provided.
Despite the difficulties, many of the houses in the independent scene chose to remain closed and some of them try to maintain themselves based on creative solutions, such as 74 Club , from Santo André, which has delivered food and drink at home, or Agulha , from Porto Alegre, which created a virtual store. “We launched a collection called Salve Salve , with products that include t-shirts, pajamas, decks, beers and our Sugarcane liquor. We also created a delivery menu to increase our revenue and thus provide support to employees. We still do not feel comfortable to receive the public ”, says Guilherme Thiesen , producer and curator of Agulha. During the closed period, Agulha also developed a project to revitalize the street in which they are located, which is already in the final phase and will include four squares. A generous and humanistic view at such a difficult time.
“It is a matter of paying the bills, of financial transactions, I see these initiatives as solutions for a desperate entrepreneur”, says Leonel Mancha, owner of Casa do Mancha in São Paulo. “I dismantled the house myself, thinking about building another work structure. With the 'mismanagement' of this country, I cannot plan an activity that puts me at risk, as well as the public and the artist for being in São Paulo, I have this privilege for the history of the house that allows me to build other narratives to continue working with music and not necessarily with shows ”.
Fernando Dotta, partner at Breve , is feeling the impacts of keeping the house closed, despite believing in the importance to keep cultural spaces active. “We don't even know how long it makes sense to insure with the house closed. Many of the producers are unable to handle this and the houses will inevitably close without support, which is a pity, because the spaces for the independent and copyrighted bands are already very limited, so if Breve closes, it will be the result of not having had one. support from both brands and the government ”.
Dotta and partner, Rafael Farah, are part of a group of musicians and concert hall producers who exchange information and impressions about the current period. “Most think very similarly in that sense of not wanting to return if there is a minimal or medium risk. The vast majority of these people do not consider this turn to be so fast. But when we get out of the bubble a little, the thinking is already different, comes the discourse that the economy of the cultural sector needs to revolve and activities need to return. Of course, there are differences, the cultural sector is huge ”, says Rafael Farah.
“The night returns, yes, I am an optimist. Three or four years from now, when we are talking about Covid as we speak today about swine flu, which is no longer so risky. This process that we are doing will create alternatives, this return will be guided by novelty, it will come back already transformed by what we went through, ”says Mancha, while Fabrício Nobre believes in a much closer turn and risks a guess for this year:“ A information is beginning to arrive, it is being discussed now and the homeowners are taking steps and studying and preparing the protocols, but the return will not be immediate. If they start to come back, it will be in November or December ”.
Mario Bross, one of the owners of the house Asteroid , in Sorocaba, shares the feeling of lack of support and information: “We are sitting, waiting for all this to pass, because we have no support from anyone. Our financial reserves were exhausted in the first month, and today we think that the reopening will only happen when there is a vaccine, there is no way, clubbing, a concert hall is a lot of people together. We even thought about opening in an alternative way, with tables, but it seems wrong, people are still getting infected ”.
There is also no consensus on what decisions should be made. “There is no common thought among musicians, producers, entrepreneurs, the state or even consumers, it is a very conflicting relationship. As the government did not decide what to do there in March or April or May, these people will have to organize and align themselves as much as possible to make a reopening plan feasible ”, says Fabrício Nobre
There is also a question about how this reopening would be, since there is no guarantee of public presence, which protocols would be adopted and whether partial reopening, with reduced hours and capacity would be economically viable.
“You can't blame anyone else for not working or not wanting to leave. You can make the choice within the limits of your mental health, public health, public interest and the financial capacity of each one, because everyone has already crossed the line. It is a very personal option, but opinions are very divided. We are still afraid, we have empathy for those who had a problem. It is unsafe, but unfortunately, staying at home doing nothing has not been an option ”, says Fabrício Nobre.