Sunday 24 September 2023

‘We want to work!’: Entertainment industry cries out to Government

Entertainment sector workers held a peaceful march in San José calling for the reopening of large-scale events, such as concerts

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QCOSTARICA – After a year of no work, engineers, technicians, producers, cleaners, food and beverage personnel, among others, held a peaceful march this Thursday morning, March 4, to ask the government authorities to reopen the entertainment industry in Costa Rich.

All dressed in black, representatives of the different unions in the production of live shows gathered outside the Melico Salazar theater, in downtown San José, and marched to the Plaza de la Democracia.

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Raising their voices with the slogan “¡Queremos trabajar”! (We want to work!), they called on the Executive Branch for authorization of protocols to hold mass events, which for almost a year were canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic, affecting thousands of people in to be out of work to this day.

The march was organized by the Cámara de Empresas Productoras de Entretenimiento, Eventos y Afines (Caproevent) – Chamber of Entertainment, Events and Related Production Companies, but the march was also attended by other firms and workers who are not affiliated with the chamber, demonstrating unity in their desire to get back to work.

“This is an orderly and peaceful march in which we express our concern for being closed for 365 days. The entertainment industry has had a year off. We no longer want a campaign of fear and uncertainty because companies continue to face costs such as electricity, water, telephone, social charges, employee salaries; savings are running out,” explained production manager Arleth Arroyo, one of the most specialized professionals in this field in the country.

According to Arroyo, the intention of the march is that there is clarity on the part of the Government regarding dates, approval of capacity, and protocols to resume activities of mass concentration.

“We have shown that we are responsible, so how can they not approve us to reactivate us with some basic protocols? If we can do an event for 30,000 or 40,000, we can do an event with 1,000 or 1,500 perfectly,” added the producer.

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“Costa Rica has fully qualified venues to hold events such as stadiums or Parque Viva. Events can be done with distancing and complying with all the protocols, but we need a (green) light on when and how to carry them out, ” she said.

The protesters taking part in the march complied with health protocols, such as the use of masks and alcohol gel.

Mass concentration activities are not yet allowed by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture and Youth. At the beginning of February 2021 events with public and live music were authorized in open and closed places but with a reduced capacity, which applies in bars, restaurants, and hotels, for example.

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There is still no clarity from authorities on when large-scale events, such as concerts, can be resumed.

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