Potential impact of the Russia / Ukraine conflict | Nightclubs expected to reopen for 1 night only | Performers put the safety of fans first
Russia / Ukraine tensions & the Beijing Olympics
Sticking with the Olympic theme, the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine have the Beijing Olympic committee (and the Games insurers) worried about event cancellations. If Russia invades Ukraine and begins a war, athletes or even entire teams could be prompted to withdraw from the Games. We’re not just speaking about those participants from Russia and Ukraine either. China’s President, Xi Jinping, declared support for Russia before the opening ceremony which could result in the intervention of US and European governments with measures to ensure the safety of citizens abroad. However, if Putin ruins Xi’s olympics…Ukraine and its allies might not be the only thing he has to worry about.
Today, we’re just shy of the halfway mark and short of President Putin nodding off during the opening ceremony while the Ukrainian team made their entrance, Russia has remained adamant that no invasion is imminent; the 100,000 troops stationed along the border notwithstanding. If the worst case scenario happens, the non-appearance of athletes could be the cause of cancellations and result in huge financial losses.
A European nightlife update
If you happen to find yourself headed to the Netherlands this weekend, don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes. Nightclubs have been shuttered for the better part of the last two years but on Saturday, February 12th, clubs across the country will be opening up in protest of COVID restrictions. Being called “De Nacht Staat op”, officials have confirmed that there will be no repercussions for those venues that decide to reopen.
Despite rising case numbers, the Netherlands currently has some of the strictest COVID measures in Europe. Cultural and sporting events are limited to 1,250 people regardless of indoor or outdoor and all attendees must have an assigned seat. These restrictions are expected to remain in place until at least March 8th.
Brussels, along with several other Belgian cities, have taken a different approach and intend to reopen nightclubs regardless of consequences on February 18th if no date is given for the lifting of restrictions. Many countries in Europe have already rolled back restrictions and allowed the nightlife industry to resume.
Showstopping….but for safety reasons
Of late, news has been filled with performers stopping shows to ensure the safety of their fans. Just this week, both Billie Eilish and John Mayer (in separate shows) responded to distressed audience members by calling attention to what was happening and refusing to continue playing until those involved received the help they needed.
The importance of attendee safety has become a crucial conversation since the death of 10 people at the Astroworld Festival in Texas late last year. This tragic event has put the spotlight on event professionals and performers alike to pay closer attention to the audience and search for warning signs of people in distress.
In related news, Kanye West has taken to social media to demand an apology from Billie Eilish and has threatened to bail on Coachella. He interpreted her remarks during the incident as an insult directed at Travis Scott, though he was the one who mentioned Scott’s name, not her. 🤔