EUROPE (CelebrityAccess) European live industry association PEARLE is reportedly urging the European Commission to rethink its position requiring truckers to return to their country of origin every two weeks.
As part of a revision to EC regulations 561/2006 and 1071/2009, the EC is considering having truckers and their trucks go to their home bases every 14 days, according to IQ magazine, which is “something that would prove problematic for transport companies carrying gear on longer tours” a representative for the Netherlands’ Pieter Smit Group told IQ.
In response to the proposals, the Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe (PEARLE) calls on EC regulators “to consider the specificities of our industry when amending such rules.”
“Most artists aren’t on the roads for more than a few days or a couple weeks,” PEARLE says in an Oct. 22 statement. “But the logistics of longer tours – for example in the pop music sector – are much more complex due to tight schedules and the need to carry high-value, fragile equipment, be it audio gear, musical instruments or stage decor,” reads a statement from Pearle*. “Against this backdrop, it is in the interest of both artists and their promoters to be able to rely on one trustworthy service provider who is familiar with the processes in order to minimise interface costs and to keep up with demanding schedules over the whole duration of a tour.
“On long tours, service providers – including drivers – are essentially part of the crew. They have the possibility to eat, rest and live with other tour staff and artists, and can use the facilities available at the show venues, which are much higher standard than most facilities used by the general haulage industry. They also have the option to spend their free time in hotels in the vicinity of show venues.”
The new proposals, says PEARLE, “are compromising this model – not necessarily for a majority of shows for which performers are not on the roads for a very long time, but would be critical for a number of bigger, longer tours. Requiring drivers and vehicles to return to the establishment country of the transport service provider in the middle of a show would prove very disruptive.
“We call on decision-makers to consider the specific needs of our industry, and to align the regime of logistics and transport providers who serve us with the one of our other providers, who stay with the artists for the whole duration of a tour,” it concludes. “This can be achieved through a targeted exemption – only from the ‘return home’ rule – that would specifically apply to touring companies.”