The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is terrorizing the world. People everywhere are sick and dying, businesses failing. In Japan, a particularly hard hit segment of businesses are cultural facilities. Live music venues, nightclubs and theatres across the country have seen events canceled as a means of preventing transmission of the virus in large groups, resulting in plunging revenue. These spaces have a hard time closing though because they need to make money still to survive. But it’s not only the venues that are affected; their employees, performers, sound engineers, lighting engineers, and many others have been harmed.
A movement, #SaveOurSpace, has been created by the affected parties. This movement is asking that the government fund cultural facilities so that they can close, while still being able to pay their workers and maintain their spaces. It would also cut down on the chances of the COVID-19 being transmitted, since these spaces often contain large amounts of people in close quarters. #SaveOurSpace is also seeking compensation for revenue lost from events that have been canceled since February 26, when the Tokyo government first advised people to stay away from large groups.
#SaveOurSpace initially started with a petition that they plan to give to government officials. Original backers of petition include tofubeats, PUNPEE, Shinichi Osawa, KOM_I of Suiyoubi no Campanella, SKY-HI, SEKAI NO OWARI’s Saori, Kayama Yuzo, Matsuda Ryuhei, and Ling Tosite Sigure’s Pierre Nakano, among others.
The movement has gained steam on Japanese social media, with the likes of Koda Kumi, Mukai Taichi, Takagi Shohei of cero, and Ame no Parade’s Fukunaga Kohei lending their support.
#SaveOurSpace wanted to hit 100,000 signatures; they are now going for 200,000.
As music journalist Hiromi Matsubara tweeted, if these venues fail “Japan will lose that rich color scheme by music that you know. “
If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so here.