In order to allow the culture and events sector to recover, the lifting of restrictions on the sector must be timely

The City of Helsinki has decided to strengthen its cooperation with the events industry in the summer of 2021. The city will support the local events industry and partner events in line with its strategy in implementing health safety and increasing arts and culture content purchases at its own events.

Helsinki accounts for about 35 per cent of Finnish arts and culture jobs and about 65 per cent of the events sector. Events significantly increase the vitality of the capital. The culture and events sectors employ a large number of young people and maintain substantial business activities through subcontracting chains. At the same time, they are also among the sectors most affected by the corona pandemic. These sectors currently lack a vision of the future, which, as a result, increases the financial problems of entrepreneurs and the entire subcontracting chain due to uncertainties concerning investments. There is a threat is that companies and professionals will be forced to leave the sectors permanently. 

In Finland, the events sector is strongly concentrated in Helsinki, and events have long been a key strategic priority for the city. Due to the prolongation of the corona pandemic, the crisis and financial difficulties experienced by the culture and events sectors have deepened since the turn of the year. As a result, the city is preparing recovery measures in order to support the culture and events sectors as a follow-up to previous measures. In addition, the city also wants to promote its ability to serve as a testbed for innovations in the events sector.

At the same time, however, it is essential that the recovery of the culture and events sectors be supported by national measures and that the specific nature of the sectors be taken into account in the preparation of an exit strategy. Summer 2021 will be a significant turning point for the recovery of the sectors, the planning of which must begin as early as possible, despite the uncertainty of the corona situation.

Service purchases and events partnerships

The common goal of intensifying co-operation with the culture and events industry is to strengthen the city's events operations by increasing service purchases from events and culture actors related to, among other things, content, infrastructure, production and health safety.

Purchases shall be channeled through the city's current events, such as the summer terrace at Kasarmitor and Helsinki Festival.The co-operation project will also strengthen event partnerships and health safety, and aim to support the recovery of the sector as a whole following the coronary crisis.

The epidemic phase is serious right now, but it is important to build a vision beyond the current situation. There are many expectations regarding the exit plan being prepared by the government. It is essential that the events sector is no more strictly restricted than other industries, but it is treated, for example, in the same way as the restaurant sector. We hope that in the coming summer, Helsinki will have the conditions in which to pilot safe events in its area and, at the same time, support the recovery of the sector. However, national guidelines should also support this aim, says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

Helsinki will also facilitate, within the limits made possible by the corona situation, the use of urban space for outdoor events next summer, and will support the organization of small events in particular. At the same time, the Varaamo service is being further developed, through which various event spaces may once again be booked once the corona situation has been eased.

At its discretion, the city may also support the production of virtual content through co-operation agreements, in the event that an event has to be canceled due to the corona situation.

During the spring, the city, in co-operation with Tapahtumateollisuus ry, will organize health safety training, where all Helsinki-based event parties will be offered information and advice, as well as discussion opportunities with professionals in the field.

The city will increase their cooperation with culture and sports events that support the aims of the city strategy, and support the organisation of events in a health-safe manner. Helsinki can contribute a great deal to the recovery of the sector, but the most impressive would be a nationwide common, correctly dimensioned support for the recovery, says Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar says.
The main responsibility for task co-operation with the culture and events sector is held by the brand unit of the Communications Department of the City Executive Office and the Helsinki culture and leisure field. Several different parties are participating in the co-operation, including Events Helsinki and Helsinki's Leijona Oy.
We understand that creating a shared, hopeful outlook involves considered risks and requires constant monitoring of the disease situation. In Helsinki, it is important to strengthen trust in city life and Helsinki as a platform and partner for events. Events, arts and culture are in dire need of work opportunities, says Mari Männistö, Director of Culture.