Characters from the culture and events sector gathered in central Helsinki on Thursday to protest against restrictions on mass events to prevent the spread of events during the Covid pandemic.
Using slogan "final locking"some 500 protesters demanded that the current measures be final and that no other restrictions be imposed.
They are also calling for more financial compensation and a program to help the sector recover from the crisis.
Pop-rock singer Anssi Kela said that the music industry has been in a “completely absurd” situation for two years since the epidemic began in Finland.
Kela, who has made several hit records during her long career, said that big names are needed to pay attention to the problems in the industry.
"People may easily think that successful artists complain that they don’t get paid," said Kela. "But it took a really long time before the distress of this great sector was even noticed."
The industry has been under some sort of restriction since March 2020. At an International Women’s Day concert on March 8, it was suspected that 100 people had been exposed to the coronavirus after the city of Helsinki announced that seven people had contracted the virus.
Eight days after the concert, Finland declared a state of emergency and shut down a large part of society, including cultural sites.
Minister of Culture Antti Kurvinen (Cen) said Thursday he understands the irritation in the industry.
"I understand why this demonstration has been called" said Kurvinen. "The message and demands of these people are certainly fully justified."
He said the situation has now eased and restrictions will be lifted from mid-February. Although the organizers of the protest did not give him time to speak on stage, he also told the media that the next pandemic would be better, as the government plans to bring public benefits to those whose livelihoods are affected by the restrictions.
Source: The Nordic Page