Live Nation, Frontier and TEG urge government to aid SMEs in Australia

Leaders of Australia’s three largest live entertainment companies have banded together to lobby the federal government to provide support for small and medium-sized businesses amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Live Nation Australasia, Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment and TEG make up the taskforce who said they want to “ensure the survival of the many SMEs that support our industry,” while stressing it is not a letter aimed to directly benefit their firms.

In a letter to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia, Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, and Dion Brant and Susan Heymann, COO and MD, respectively, of Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment, said they support the ban on mass gatherings from a public health perspective, but highlighted the significant impact it has had on the industry.

It read: “Overnight we lost all revenue for at least the next six months. We also lost the money we had already spent on shows that can no longer proceed due to the ban.

“In addition to the many small businesses we rely on to run our events, there are thousands of sole traders, from tour managers and production managers to drivers, who completely rely on us for a regular income. Then there are the artists, the headliners and support acts, the household names and the emerging artists, who primary income comes from touring. Their ability to earn a living has been drastically compromised by this crisis.”

The taskforce said that all three firms have committed to keeping “as many full-time staff” employed throughout the crisis as possible. It has also pre-booked a number of contractors on rescheduled tours with part of their invoices pre-paid upfront to help with cashflow.

It continued: “As part of an industry-based response we have commenced the necessary due diligence to provide government with a detailed estimate of the lost income.”

In addition, Live Performance Australia has requested a A$650m industry support package from government for small companies, freelance operators, and specialised staff.