For more than 5 months a whole industry has stood still. No parties, no concerts and no festivals. People who are working in the event industry have been without income for months. Be they artists, organizers, or sound engineers, these people were deprived of their livelihood almost overnight. And many of them are now threatened with financial ruin.
Anna Ströhlein / Thomas Tischhauser
If you have been on social media these past few days, you will have seen the many hashtags: #soundofsilence #sos #5na12 and the many profile pictures displaying an orange banner or pictures with the following text:
X – DON`T LET THE MUSIC DIE. DON´T LET THE LIGHTS BURN OUT.
But what exactly does that mean?
The Belgian music industry has started this campaign. There too, the music scene has been almost at a standstill for more than 150 days. It’s time to finally break the silence and set an example. In Belgium, more than 80,000 people work in the event industry. People like you and me. And about 3000 companies have been affected by the lockdown. 70,000 events have been canceled.
This campaign has many advocates within and across the entire music scene. For example, Charlotte DeWitte, DJ Coone, Mark with A K, and Sound Rush (to name a few) are among those who are supporting and sharing this widely on their socials. But there are also people who love festivals and the silence on behalf of governments is taking its toll.
The aim is to (finally!) allow events to take place again, although strict hygiene regulations will have to be in place for a while. Regardless, we can trust that event organizers have the experience to plan and organize such events under these very different and strict regulations.
Interview with Mark with a K & MC Chucky
HaMa: Sound of silence, an campaign by the Belgian music industry, what progress or success do you hope for?
Mark with a K: It’s to make our government aware that they need to take action to support the event sector because if not a lot of companies will go bankrupt and that means the end for a lot of festivals in the future.
MC Chucky: With this campaign, The Belgian event sector wants to wake up the government. We truly feel that they ignored our sector throughout the past 6months. 80.000 jobs are at stake and the future isn’t looking bright at all…if we’re not getting the necessary support within a short period, it’s going to be game over for many companies. We truly hope that this campaign will wake up the government and parties (with the necessary covid-19 safety measures) can start up again
HaMa: How are you in the current situation? We know its not easy, but how do you try to deal with it?
Mark with a K: Of course this whole situation sucks in 2 ways. First financially because in the last years I made a lot of investments (new studio for example but also singers, songwriters, videoclips etc) and now I have no more gigs so that stings a lot.
And secondly mentally, which in my case is much harder. Performing for people is my passion, my outlet. It’s something I need and it’s now been taken away from me without any perspective. This has hit me harder then I would have expected to be honest. I’m still working in the studio making new music because that is something I love to do but because of the lack in gigs it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation. Sometimes I’m making a track and I think: “for who am I making this music?”
Because when you play a gig you see the people react to your music and now you don’t so that is sometimes very demotivating.
MC Chucky: It’s a tough one to be honest. For years I’ve been looking forward to the summer; all those festivals, good weather, you’re able to perform and do what you love to do… making new, incredible memories and from one moment to another one it all changed due to covid-19. Half a year without a gig and still no perspective for the future results in a mental game as well as financial challenge for many of us in the scene. Together with Mark with A K, I’m trying to do from time to time a livestream and let our fans forget the covid-19 situation for 60minutes. Also I’m trying to keep in touch with my fans on social media, but it’s nothing compared to the real deal of course; performing in front of a crowd. I call myself very blessed to still have a fulltime job, so I can change thoughts from what is happening in the event sector, but yeah…there are black days as well, I guess we all have them once in a while during this period but I’m trying to stay positive.
HaMa: Do you have a message for your fans? What do you really want to tell them?
Mark with a K: I really hope we can see each other again soon ❤️
MC Chucky: It’s a hard time for everyone, in times like these it is important to help and support each other whenever you can. But most of all, when the events return, buy your ticket and party like never before!
If some action is not taken in the near future the lights in our scene will gradually die out, many events will become a part of history and your favorite DJ may be out of a job.
Please help us to set an example and support this action in the hope that events will be reinstated and we can all celebrate together again. But we will be celebrating under different circumstances. To live out our love for music and to support our favorite DJ in the front row again.