Today, there are no borders for culture in Europe. Berlin actors show their plays in Luxembourg, Dutch performance artists perform in squares in Krakow, musicians from Malta tour through 15 European countries. This exchange is a great stimulus for everyone: the artists, their staff and the audience – those who are joining live and those who experience or re-experience events via streaming service. Artists inspire people, and at the same time we want to be inspired. Nowhere else is a borderless Europe as visible as in creativity. At the same time, however, Europe is also preventing creativity – through inconsistent regulation.
Creativity is boundless. That is why it is so strong and expressive. Millions of people are actors, musicians, designers, filmmakers, authors, publishers, journalists, product designers, photographers, dancers, musical performers, singers, stage designers, event technicians, directors, comedians, … and much more. Europe offers them opportunities and development opportunities. It offers listeners and spectators a variety of perspectives and possibilities.
With their work, artists create a sense of togetherness. The people in Europe, whether ancestors, newcomers or guests – all feel connected in a space of creativity experienced together. Europe enables everyone to creative themselves. There are no more borders, no geographical ones and certainly no borders between people. Making music together, performing together, going on tour together: all this is possible for everyone in Europe. We all profit from it and love it. The cultural and creative industries are important for standing together in Europe. Europe is nothing without its jointly developed creativity.
Culture and cultural events are the breathing air of the continent. But this breathing air is getting thinner. The continent’s creativity is at risk. Suddenly Europe has borders again. Although there is a common currency in many countries and a harmonized internal market everywhere – this is why it is possible to use the same mobile phone in Europe, and without expensive roaming costs. Unfortunately, however, this common European market has not yet been established in one important area. This is when it comes to the mediation and production of content in the cultural and creative industries.
Why? In the cultural and creative industries, different regulations apply to sound technology. Without sound, we hear and experience nothing, whether at a musical, in front of an open-air stage or in a concert hall. We can listen via microphones, today wirelessly. The microphone receives sounds and sends them on. Through the air. Via a frequency. Wherever wireless microphones are used, frequencies are needed. Otherwise a microphone cannot work. The problem: There is no abundance of frequencies. They are a precious commodity. At the same time, mobile phones are using more and more frequencies. Although the mobile phone sector has received valuable spectrum at the expense of terrestrial television and the cultural and creative industries, it does not always use it efficiently.
The artists only have a small sub-set of suitable frequencies. And this small remainder is now also in danger. There are a few other frequencies that artists can theoretically use. But there are often problems: interference from other users or too little spectrum for larger events. The biggest problem is that there is almost no uniform frequency range for the whole of Europe. Those who go on tour therefore have many worries. In the worst case, they will have to take different equipment with them for each country. That is expensive, impractical and contradicts the European sense of togetherness. Where is the single market for artists and their microphones?