Covid lifeline / Australia

Australia Preps Return To LIVE

– Australia’s live entertainment industry contribution estimated at $36.4 billion of economic output in 2019 — is estimated to fall by 65% in 2020.
– LEIF publish guidelines; recommends industry specific initiatives.

As Australia preps for more changes in the live music industry, LEIF is launched to assist in its recovery from covid. Image courtesy of LEIF. Music Press Asia

As Australia preps for more changes in the live music industry, LEIF is launched to assist in its recovery from covid. Image courtesy of LEIF. Music Press Asia

The LEIF COVID-Safe Guidelines was released last week ahead of the Event Summit, taking place online today where LEIF will unveil, along with partners EY, a first ever study to assess the economic contribution of the live entertainment industry in Australia.

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment and sport businesses has recently released its COVID-Safe Guidelines.

Formed in June this year by Australia’s biggest promoters of entertainment and sport, professional venue managers, and key peak bodies, LEIF’s mission is to support the COVID-Safe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia as restrictions are eased.

The guidelines, developed in consultation with government and health agencies, have been prepared by a network of industry experts from more than 50 organisations, from which include industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing.

According to LEIF, these guidelines should be viewed as a guide only to assist industry in their preparation to return to live: to assist industry’s re-opening, risk management strategy and preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably during its gradual return.

In another release today, LEIF has asked the Federal Government to urgently consider targeted measures to provide additional support to the live entertainment sector, which supported 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2019.

The release also mentioned EY’s preliminary findings from The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry report quantify, for the first time, the total economic output of live entertainment in Australia: at an estimated $36.4 billion in total contribution in 2019.

It also estimated that the pandemic has led to a fall of 65% in the economic output of the industry to $12.8bn in 2020 if restrictions remain in place until the end of year.

This equates to $23.6bn in lost economic output. Likewise, the total value added by live entertainment is predicted to fall by 65% from $16.6 billion in 2019 to $5.9 billion in 2020, a fall of $10.7 billion. Statistics below is provided by EY.

LEIF has recommended industry specific initiatives that include:

  • Continuation of a JobKeeper-style support program for employees in our industry until such time as the live entertainment industry returns to normal operation and without the constraints of major restrictions
  • A moratorium on GST on live event tickets, following the precedent set in the UK
  • An industry-led Live Entertainment Business Interruption Fund underwritten by Government; and
  • A significant expansion of the RISE grant funding program, with a particular focus on assisting commercial, non-subsidised live entertainment operators to deliver popular live events in COVID-safe formats.

Geoff Jones, Chief Executive of TEG, commented: “…A simple, targeted action that will do a great deal to help our industry is a moratorium on GST on sales of tickets to live entertainment until 30 June next year. This will help us to offset the increased costs we are incurring to make our events COVID-Safe.”

“Access to live entertainment is part of what makes the Australian lifestyle so special, which is why our industry needs and deserves temporary assistance to ensure its survival.”

Roger Field, President of Live Nation Asia-Pacific said: “Another simple action – which also has a precedent – is the introduction of an industry-led Live Entertainment Business Interruption Fund underwritten by Government to overcome the fact that we cannot get any insurance to cover us for shows being stalled due to COVID.”

“We are a very self-sufficient industry; however, we need the support of Government in respect of losses incurred due to interruptions caused by the imposition of COVID related restrictions. This small safety net would allow us to get back to investing in our events and communities as we return safely and responsibly.”

“The Government has set up a $50 million Screen Australia fund to overcome this problem for the screen production sector, and it has allowed that industry to get back to work, shooting movies and TV shows. As proven by this report, event fans contribute significantly more spending in the local economy, so there’s even more value in figuring out this solution to get our shows back on the road.” — Roger Field, President of Live Nation Asia-Pacific.

LEIF’s executive committee includes the leaders of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, AEG Presents, WME, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks, Adelaide Oval, ASM Global, Venues West, Venues Live, Michael Cassel Group, Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and the Australian Festivals Association.

To register a copy of the LEIF’s covid guidelines, please click here.

For more information about Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), please click here.

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