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Representatives of the nightlife sector from all around the world met virtually this past Monday in Valencia (Spain) in the framework of the 7th International Nightlife Congress which was broadcasted from the well-known Marina Beach Club Valencia. This event, which in its seventh edition was held for the first time in a virtual format due to the exceptional circumstances arising from the pandemic, dealt with matters of the utmost interest to the nightlife industry worldwide, and the newest breakthrough developments for the industry were made public.
The event had the support of the Spanish nightlife association Spain Nightlife, the Valencian Community Tourism Board, Visit Valencia, the Valencian Hospitality Federation (FEHV), the Hospitality and Tourism Business Confederation of the Valencian Region (CONHOSTUR), among other entities and sponsors such as Pepsi Max Zero, Schweppes and Roku Gin.
The sector announces the launch of an app that will allow for safe access to its venues
One of the most important announcements that took place on Monday in the framework of the congress took place during the panel about pilot testing to achieve a safe reopening of venues. Within the framework of said panel, Joaquim Boadas, General Secretary of the International Nightlife Association announced the reach of an agreement with the company that has developed the app called “LibertyPass”, which allows to carry out a rapid antigen test and therefore allowing access to an event or venue safely within the next 72 hours after the test is conducted. As Joaquim Boadas explained, “The launching of this app may be the definitive solution for nightlife venues to reopen safely as it guarantees the creation of a safe environment for those attending it. All of this thanks to a quick test and a QR code that enables a person to attend all the events they want to during the 72 hours following the test “
A formula similar to the one presented by the INA was proposed by Lutz Leichsenring, Creative Strategist of the Berlin Club Commission and Vibe Lab, also through rapid antigen tests that generates a QR code. On his behalf, Marc Galdon, Founder of the Chinese tourism school (Escuela Turismo Chino) and Brand Manager in Bar Rouge – with locations in Shanghai and Singapore, described how the industry had been reactivated in mainland China through a QR code system that also includes GPS tracking, mentioning that “Now in mainland China the industry is now open, and we have the opportunity of using bars and restaurants as the first line of detection of possible COVID cases in a coordinated effort with the authorities.” Lastly, Camilo Ospina, President of the Colombian Bar Association (Asobares Colombia), explained pilot testing carried out in the aforementioned country between the Government and the industry in order to achieve a safe reopening, which is having a very good result.
In the United States, 90% of independent venues at risk of closure, and in Europe urgent aid will be requested from Brussels
Riccardo Tarantoli participated in the panel on legal, commercial, and economic solutions to counteract the restrictions imposed on the industry as a result of the pandemic, representing Maurizio Pasca, President of the European Nightlife Association (ENA) and the Italian Nightlife Association (SILB-FIPE), and Nicos Vassiliou, President of the Cyprus Nightlife Association, who called for unity in the industry and announced that aid will be claimed directly from Brussels through the European Nightlife Association. For his part, Juan Carlos Diaz, President of the American Nightlife Association, called for a rescue plan for the industry in the United States, since according to his forecasts “90% of independent venues will be forced to shut down if aid does not arrive urgently “.
Rick Alfaro, CEO of the company Earthnauts, participated in the panel on virtual reality and new technologies, who highlighted the need to create sensory experiences to bring new sensations to the nightlife public. David Franzén, CEO of Nocto International, explained what the newest nightlife tool Nocto consists of, an app that creates a network between users and venues in a city to promote their activity and provide safe data to its users such as the possibility of knowing if a venue is at full capacity or not before attending.
The nightlife sector sends and SOS but governments are not responding to its needs
The last panel of Congress dealt with how to reactivate the nightlife industry, one of the hardest-hit economic sectors by this health crisis. In the same, under the title “Strategies to Reactivate the Nightlife Industry”. Chapter Leads form the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP), such as Lutz Leichsenring, Creative Strategist of the Berlin Club Commission and Vibe Lab, Alistair Turnham, Founder of MAKE Associates, Leni Schwendinger, Founder and Creative Director of the International Nighttime Design Initiative, Michael Fichman, an expert in urban planning from the University of Pennsylvania, Nandor Petrovics, Ph.D. Candidate of Corvinus University and, lastly, Diana Raiselis, researcher of cultural and nightlife policy at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
This panel highlighted the lack of involvement of governments and local administrations at a global level to save the culture and nightlife of many cities around the world, and it was warned that these will lose attractiveness and economic potential if the entertainment venues disappear.
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