Melbourne and Sydney (17 June, 2020) – The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment and sport businesses, welcomes the Queensland government’s progressive return of fans to venues in Queensland from this weekend as big win for the industry. 

Queensland Health Minister, the Hon. Steven Miles today announced in the Queensland Parliament that up to 2,000 sports fans would be allowed in stadia from this Saturday, under a trial approach suggested by sporting codes.

Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) Chair James Sutherland said it was a common-sense approach but that there is still a long way to go until events become economically viable for the sector. 

“Live entertainment is a huge part of the Australian way of life, and it’s also the livelihood of thousands of Queenslanders, predominantly young, female employees who have really been doing it tough for three months without the employment our sector provides,” Mr Sutherland said. 

“Of course the health of our fans and staff is our top priority and we want to ensure the return to live events is conducted safely to ensure the long-term health and viability of our sector, so we appreciate the incredible amount of work Stadiums Queensland and its venue partners have done to generate this staged approach that will help us get the gates open as soon as possible, and show we can manage a safe return,” he said. 

“This is an encouraging move in the right direction, and we look forward to similar announcements around the country. The graduated path to recovery has started and we are now focused on finding a way for venues to get back to the capacities that they need for economic viability.”

LEIF’s mission is to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia as restrictions are eased from July. LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy that meets the needs of the public, Governments, sporting bodies, venues, performers and industry, with safety at its core. LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing.

LEIF has been formed by Australia’s biggest Promoters of Entertainment and Sport, Venue Managers, and Key Peak Bodies. LEIF’s executive committee includes the bosses 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 (full executive committee list in Notes to Editors below).

The executive committee appointed veteran sports administrator and former Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland to lead the development of LEIF’s strategy as Chair. The Forum will work in conjunction with governments, sporting bodies, venues and audiences to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by Governments during its gradual return.

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