The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, welcomes the Federal Government’s six-month extension to its JobKeeper program, saying the wage subsidy will support thousands of jobs in the industry, which is among the hardest hit by COVID-19. 

LEIF said almost all its members are continuing to suffer revenue losses of more than 90 per cent because of the restrictions on gatherings imposed to protect the public from the spread of the virus. JobKeeper will provide an important bridge for those businesses while they work with authorities on crucial initiatives to plan for the COVIDSafe reactivation of Australia’s live entertainment and sporting industry at scale.

LEIF also looks forward to hearing further details of the Government’s $250 million JobMaker plan for the Creative Economy as it continues to work with Federal, State and Territory Governments to brings fans and jobs back safely to live entertainment and sport.

Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) Chair James Sutherland: “We applaud the Federal Government on its decision to extend JobKeeper for another six months. We have been speaking to the Government since our formation and it has understood the destructive impact the pandemic is having on our industry.

“LEIF’s mission is to bring fans back safely to live events and as a result bring back jobs to our industry. JobKeeper has played a critical role in keeping thousands of people in the live entertainment and sport industries employed. Its extension gives us some clarity to plan ahead and breathing space to work on industry specific initiatives that tackle the unique challenges our sector faces.

“The rising virus numbers are a concern and give rise to further uncertainty about the road back. Live events have long lead times and, barring a timetable for us to be able to re-activate our businesses, we remain somewhat paralysed. Until venues can welcome fans at scale back into large live events, the industry and its tens of thousands of employees will remain vulnerable.

LEIF is continuing to work with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to develop nationally approved high-level principles for a safe return to live entertainment and sport at large venues. We understand the safety imperative – and have engaged experts across the industry to address best practice principles to support the return of fans to live events. LEIF is also working with State and Territory Governments’ Chief Health Officers to tailor those principles to meet each State and Territory’s needs.” 

LEIF’s mission is to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia. 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 TEGLive NationFrontier TouringChugg EntertainmentAEG PresentsWME, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel StadiumMelbourne Olympic ParksAdelaide OvalASM GlobalVenues WestVenues LiveStadiums Queensland, Michael Cassel Group, Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and the Australian Festivals Association (full executive committee list in Notes to Editors below)

The Forum is working 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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