Vaccine passports for live events could revive the music industry – SAMRO

DURBAN – The Southern African Music Rights Organization believes that the introduction of vaccine passports for live events is the ideal situation to revive the music industry.

The music industry has been one of the hardest hit by the implementation of the various blockages.

Last Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country’s move to an adjusted Level 2 lockdown.

This has resulted in a change in curfew times as well as allowing larger crowds at indoor and outdoor events.

SAMRO CEO Mark Rosin welcomed the move, adding that more steps need to be taken to enable artists and performers to earn a decent living.

“” Performers and musicians were severely beaten during the COVID-19 lockdown introduced in March 2020, which effectively banned all public performances. This has seriously hampered the ability of artists and performers to make a living and left most of our members in financial difficulty, ”said Rosin.

He said that while SAMRO works tirelessly to collect royalties and expand revenue streams for its members, the main source of income for artists remains the ability to perform at live events.

“Given the devastating effect the Covid-19 lockdown has had on the ability of musicians to make a living, we urge a return to live performances as soon as possible, in a controlled environment,” he said. declared.

“Introducing vaccine passports as a prerequisite for attending live events would be the ideal solution to ensure public safety and curb the spread of the virus, while providing artists with the much-needed opportunity to earn a living,” said he added.

Rosin said that if SAMRO understands the need for people to act responsibly and adhere to measures to help curb the spread of the pandemic, it is critically important that the government do whatever it takes. its power to protect the country’s artists and the music industry as a whole during desperate times. times.

“A vaccination passport is a certification of vaccination status or immunity following a natural infection that confirms that a person is no longer a risk to others.

“The idea of ​​introducing vaccine passports for Covid-19 has been raised by various countries around the world, including member states of the European Union, primarily as a means of allowing unrestricted international travel, as well as ‘open live sports and entertainment events to live attendance,’ said Rosin.

Rosin says SAMRO welcomes the announcement of a possible vaccine passport and urges the government to move forward quickly with the initiative as it would be a crucial lifeline for those who depend on live events as a means. survival.

“We welcome this announcement by the President and call on the government to act quickly to introduce a vaccination passport for South African citizens. While we recognize the need to act responsibly and take an active role in helping to curb the spread of the virus, these measures must be weighed against the fundamental right of artists to earn an income, ”said Rosin. .

SAMRO’s primary role is to administer performing rights on behalf of its members, who are primarily music creators such as songwriters, composers and publishers.

The organization licenses music users (such as TV and radio broadcasters, concert halls, retailers, restaurants, promoters and malls) and collects license fees which are then distributed under form of royalties.

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