AUSTRALIA’S LIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY COUNTS THE COST OF COVID – EXTENDED SUPPORT NEEDED

TWO THIRDS OF INDUSTRY JOBS (79,000) LOST, $23.6 BILLION OF ECONOMIC OUTPUT LOST, $10.7 BILLION OF ADDED VALUE LOST 

Melbourne and Sydney (14 October, 2020) The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) has asked the Federal Government to urgently consider targeted measures to provide additional support to the live entertainment sector as a new report by EY lays bare the devastating impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the industry and the livelihoods of the people who work in it.

Preliminary findings from The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industryreport 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.

EY estimates that COVID-19 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.

The preliminary findings from the report, which will be released later this month, show that the sector supported 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2019, and forecast that in 2020 this will fall two-thirds – or 79,000 – to just 43,000 full-time equivalent jobs if current restrictions on gatherings remain in place until the end of December this year.

LEIF, which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment employers, said that it is grateful for the support provided to the industry to date but added that the new data shows urgent ongoing and additional government support is essential to prevent further job losses and lasting damage to the sector. 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.

Importantly, live entertainment industry leaders have reiterated their commitment to working in collaboration with Governments and health authorities across Australia to ensure the re-opening of COVIDSafe events as restrictions ease.

James Sutherland, Chair of LEIF, said: “The Federal Government is understandably focused on jobs. This vitally important report shows that our sector, which normally supports 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs, has lost nearly two-thirds of those jobs this year.

“JobKeeper has provided a lifeline for our sector, but the prospect of it disappearing in March 2021 – when the industry is likely to remain massively inhibited by key pandemic-related restrictions – is of grave concern to all industry operators. For our sector to operate profitably we require venues operating at full capacity, unrestricted interstate movement, and open international borders without extensive quarantine. Without those necessary conditions, the outlook is truly bleak.

“Given the long route to recovery, and the nature of lasting restrictions, we believe that an industry extension to JobKeeper is a fair and important next step.”

Matt Colston, Associate Partner at EY and Asia Pacific Leader of EY’s Sports, Events and Venues Advisory said: “Live entertainment is a huge part of the Australian culture. Through our work with the Live Entertainment Industry Forum, we know that the industry has been severely impacted in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. We have also been able to demonstrate just how important a vibrant Live Entertainment Industry is to our economy, contributing over $36 billion in 2019 and employing an estimated 122,000 people.”

Geoff Jones, Chief Executive of TEG, said: “EY’s report demonstrates that when the live entertainment industry does badly, Australia loses. Almost all of our revenue disappeared overnight when COVID-19 restrictions closed down the industry in March and while the return of sport with limited capacities has offset some of that impact in EY’s figures, for commercial live entertainment operators both large and small, revenue in September/October remains at no more than 10% of 2019 levels.

“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.”

Mr Jones stressed that despite the tough outlook, pent-up demand for live entertainment is huge: “More than 80% of people have held onto tickets for postponed shows during COVID. Australians have cabin fever – they want to entertain themselves, get the kids out of the house, and have a concert, exhibition or live experience to put on the kitchen calendar – for this year or next – and look forward to after such an awful 2020. 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.”

The preliminary findings of The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry will be unveiled by Matt Colston, EY’s Associate Partner for Sports, Events and Venues Consulting, at 9am AEDT today (Wednesday 14th October) at The Event Summit 2020, followed at 9:30am AEDT by a Q&A with James Sutherland, Geoff Jones and Roger Field, hosted by 7NEWS Finance Expert Gemma Acton. The event is free to view online, viewers can register here.

LEIF RELEASES COVID-SAFE GUIDELINES

The LEIF COVID-Safe Guidelines have been released ahead of the Event Summit, taking place on 14th October where LEIF will unveil, along with partners EY, a first ever study to assess the economic contribution of the live entertainment. industry in Australia.

Melbourne and Sydney (7th October, 2020) – The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment and sport businesses has today released its COVID-Safe Guidelines.

Formed in June this yearby 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 LEIF COVID-Safe guidelines have been prepared by a network of industry experts from more than 50 organisations and include industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The guidelines which can be found on the LEIF website: https://leif.net.au/guidelines have been developed in consultation with government and health agencies. Note, these guidelines should be viewed as a guide only to assist industry in their preparation to return to live. Each venue is responsible for developing their own risk management plan relevant to your business and jurisdiction (State/Territory).

LEIF has been working hard behind the scenes with governments and health officials to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably during its gradual return and the guidelines released today are a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy to do just that.

Chair of LEIF, James Sutherland said: “LEIF is committed to ensuring the passionate people of the industry have the safest, staged and most considered route back to full employment, which in turn, will deliver significant positive economic outcomes for the community through events which are integral features of healthy and connected communities. These Guidelines have been developed by LEIF to provide guidance, support and a point of reference to live entertainment venues, event promoters and service providers to reactivate live events in a COVID-Safe way.”

The LEIF COVID-Safe Guidelines have been released ahead of the Event Summit, taking place on 14th October in Sydney where LEIF will unveil, along with partners EY, a first ever study to assess the economic contribution of the live entertainment industry in Australia. Titled ‘The economic cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry’ the report will detail the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the economic outlook for recovery. The Event Summit is a unique one-day conference for the event and experience industry which brings together the industry’s most innovative and diligent stakeholders to share best practice experiences, insights, tips and techniques. Industry heavyweights and co-founders of LEIF Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG and Roger Field, President of Live Nation Asia Pacific will join James Sutherland in a Q&A discussing the study and the return to live recovery roadmap.

Please join LEIF and EY for the following sessions at the Event Summit on 14th October:

Quantifying the contribution of the live events industry and first look at the report titled: ‘The economic cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry’
9:00 AM – 9:25 AM
Presented by: Matt Colston – Association Partner Sports, Events & Venues Consulting, Ernst & Young 
Hosted by: Gemma Acton – Finance Expert, 7News

Live Entertainment Industry Forum – The Return to Live 
9:30 AM – 10:05 AM
Presented by:  James Sutherland – Chair, LEIF, Roger Field – President, Live Nation Asia Pacific & Geoff Jones – CEO, TEG
Hosted by: Gemma Acton – Finance Expert, 7News

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 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 (full executive committee list in Notes to Editors below).

For more information about the Live Entertainment Industry Forum, please visit the website here: www.leif.net.au

LEIF APPLAUDS THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’s EXTENSION OF JOBKEeper

LEIF APPLAUDS THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S EXTENSION OF JOBKEEPER

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.

LEIF WELCOMES THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S CREATIVE ECONOMY PACKAGE

THE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FORUM (LEIF) WELCOMES THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S CREATIVE ECONOMY PACKAGE

Also acknowledges that there is still a long way to go until the show can get back on the road and events become economically viable for the sector.

Melbourne and Sydney (25 June, 2020) – The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, welcomes the Federal Government’s $250 million creative economy package today as it continues to work with Federal, State and Territory Governments to brings fans and jobs back safely to live entertainment and sport.

LEIF applauded the Government in particular for its $75 million seed investment to reactivate productions and tours, the $90 million it has pledged in concessional show starter loans, and its commitment to a roadmap to recovery for the sector, but acknowledged that there is still a long way to go until the show can get back on the road and events become economically viable for the sector.

Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) Chair James Sutherland: Today’s announcement by the Morrison Government is a great start to getting the sector back on track. I thank the PM for recognising the serious business of entertainment that employs hundreds of thousands of jobs and makes a significant contribution to the Australian way of life.

“We particularly welcome the Government’s commitment to provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease, as well as the work with the Australia Council to develop broader guidelines for the arts and entertainment sector to protect the public and workers. 

“We also applaud the Prime Minister’s decision to seek approval from National Cabinet to give the entertainment industry greater certainty about the timetable for us to be able to re-activate our businesses. While we greatly appreciate the support package, this certainty is even more important for us to get the sector truly back on track.

“LEIF is working 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. LEIF is also working with State and Territory Governments’ Chief Health Officers to tailor those principles to meet each State and Territory’s needs.

“Through this unprecedented collaboration across live entertainment and sport we are committed to delivering COVIDSafe live events and sport. We welcome the Government’s support for both the live entertainment and live sport sectors as we push ahead with these plans.”

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, Stadiums 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.


LEIF WELCOMES THE RETURN OF SPORTS FANS IN QUEENSLAND

LEIF WELCOMES THE RETURN OF SPORTS FANS IN QUEENSLAND

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.

LEIF WELCOMES PM’S EASING OF RESTRICTIONS AT OUTDOOR VENUES AND HAS BEGUN WORKING WITH GOVERNMENTS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FORUM WELCOMES PM’S EASING OF RESTRICTIONS AT OUTDOOR VENUES AND HAS BEGUN WORKING WITH GOVERNMENTS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

News comes as LEIF starts work to make stadia with 40k+ capacity COVIDSafe

LEIF will work closely with Federal, State and Territory Governments to implement the new measures and enable the safe easing of further restrictions on organised mass gatherings, including for venues with capacities of greater than 40,000 spectators.

LEIF Chairman James Sutherland said: “We welcome the Federal Government’s encouraging decision to begin re-opening the live entertainment and sport industries. This is a great first step to bring back fans and bring back jobs to an industry that has been on its knees for more than three months. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on millions of Australians and live events play a crucial role in the nation’s mental wellbeing, bringing people together to share and enjoy sport, music and the arts. It is part of the Australian way of life.

“More than 50 organisations have contributed experts to LEIF’s working groups. We are united in our commitment to ensure that the needs of each State & Territory Government and each event are met and that fans, performers, athletes, staff and the public are kept safe. We are working with Governments across Australia and stand ready to respond and adapt our approach based on circumstances. The majority of our members’ events are ticketed and seated.”

LEIF and its members have also begun the “significant work” that the Prime Minister said needs to be done to allow venues with capacities of greater than 40,000 to host spectators once again.

Mr Sutherland added: “Australia has some of the finest stadia and venue professionals in the world. We are well equipped to manage the critical safety plans needed to ensure COVIDSafety in, around and to and from those venues.”

“We encourage further announcements from all Governments regarding future milestones as this enables our industry to project a potential gradual path to recovery, bringing back fans and bringing back jobs.”

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 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 this week 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.

LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The objective is to safely restart an industry which supports over 175,000 Australian jobs and feeds other sectors hit hard by COVID-19 such as tourism, transport and hospitality.

The cultural, creative and sports industries support the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part time. The industry also contributes an estimated $150 billion to the Australian economy*. Our live events have a huge economic flow on effect: we support jobs in airlines and other transport companies, hotels, pubs, restaurants and retail establishments of all sizes all over Australia.

*In a media conference after a meeting of the National Cabinet today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the 100 per person cap for each indoor gathering during Step Three will be removed, to be replaced by a four-square-metre rule for all premises. The Federal Government will also allow attendance of up to 25 per cent capacity at stadiums that have a capacity of less 40,000 for events that are ticketed and seated. Venues with capacities greater than 40,000 will be dealt with by their respective State & Territory Governments.

For more information about the Live Entertainment Industry Forum, please visit our website here: www.leif.net.au

ENDS

INTRODUCING THE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FORUM (LEIF)

LEADING LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS BUSINESSES UNITE TO SAFELY RESTART THE $150 BILLION INDUSTRY AND BRING BACK JOBS

Former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland appointed as Chair to lead LEIF and develop world’s best practice safety protocols

Melbourne and Sydney (Tuesday 9th June, 2020) – Australia’s largest live event businesses have today announced the formation of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) to ensure fans can return safely to live entertainment, music, theatre, festivals and sport events following the industry’s complete shutdown due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

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 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 has 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.

LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The objective is to safely restart an industry which supports over 175,000 Australian jobs and feeds other sectors hit hard by COVID-19 such as tourism, transport and hospitality.

Releasing this statement on behalf of LEIF, James Sutherland said: “This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill. The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced.

“Our industry was the first to close during COVID-19 and it will be one of the last to fully re-open. The cultural, creative and sports industries supports the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part time. The industry also contributes an estimated $150 billion to the Australian economy*. Our live events have a huge economic flow on effect: we support jobs in airlines and other transport companies, hotels, pubs, restaurants and retail establishments of all sizes all over Australia.

“We need a clear roadmap to get our industry back to work, while playing a bigger role in the post COVID-19 economic recovery of our nation. We are committed to working with all States and Territories, especially with their Chief Medical and Health Officers. We will develop COVIDSafe best practices and a world-leading response to revive our industry, get people back to work and bring fans back together throughout Australia through the unbeatable power of live events.”

Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, said: “Our industry has to work together at this challenging time. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely. We want to work closely with the Federal, State and Territory Governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”

“Live entertainment and sport at scale is the beating heart of Australian culture. From footy Grand Finals to outdoor festivals and from The Ashes series to stadium concerts like FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA, the live experience unites us with our fellow Australians and lifts spirits as no other experience can. We are all committed to bringing back live in a COVIDSafe manner.”

Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia said: “Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life.

“Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviours, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social well-being, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy. I am proud that we stand united to work together to make the return to events a reality and for the people of Australia to enjoy the power of live once again.”

*The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) released an analysis in October 2018 estimating cultural and creative activity contributed $111.7 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016-17. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 2017 report for Sport Australia used input-output tables published by the ABS to estimate the gross value added attributable to the sports industry at $39 billion. Latest ABS data estimates that the creative and performing arts sector employs 40,000 people, while sport and recreation activities employ 134,000.