The nine-day protest, which is being held by the campaign group ‘Still Standing for Culture’, culminates on 8 May when 50-capacity outdoor events are permitted.
According to the group, all activities will be carried in accordance with the health protocol, which includes social distancing, mask-wearing and the separation of household bubbles.
“We will do this without underestimating the dangerousness of the virus, but we recall that experiments and studies show that the opening of cultural places has only a minimal impact on the contamination curves in the face of the effects attributed to the activities. businesses, shops and services,” reads a statement on the Still Standing for Culture website.
“We will do so to refuse that certain sectors of activity and certain categories of the population are the only ones to carry the weight of measures on their shoulders. And to defend the diversity of places and practices.”
Brussels venue Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS) was the first Belgian venue that pledged to open its doors regardless of any restrictions in place but ultimately, the government agreed to turn its scheduled performances into test events.
According to Flemish business newspaper Tidj, the Flemish region is not participating in the demonstration as the regional government has provided a range of support measures for affected culture workers, artists and cultural entrepreneurs – including a €60 million safety net for festival organisers.