The newly formed Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live entertainment and sport businesses, has welcomed the government’s move to allow outdoor ticketed events of up to 10,000 attendees from July.
Today, the Australian national cabinet agreed to more substantial caps on events in the third stage of eased restrictions as part of new relaxed physical distancing rules.
Once states and territories decide to move into phase three, the limit of 100 people on indoor events will no longer apply.
Venues will instead need to apply a four-square-metre distancing rule in each room, while outdoor sport and cultural gathering will be allowed for ticketed, seated venues with fewer than 40,000 seats at one-quarter capacity. This equates to crowds of up to 10,000 at mid-sized stadiums or ovals.
LEIF chairman James Sutherland said: “We welcome the Federal Government’s encouraging decision to enable the re-opening of live entertainment and sport. 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.”
LEIF’s more than 50 partner organisations, including the likes of TEG and Live Nation, have recently joined forces to ensure fans can return safely to events following the shutdown of the industry due to COVID-19.
The aim of LEIF will be to support the safe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia, with restrictions set to be eased from next month. The group will develop a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry reopening and risk management strategy that will meet the needs of the public, governments and sporting bodies alike.
The group and its members said it has begun the “significant work” that Prime Minister Scott Morrison said needs to be done to allow venues with capacities of greater than 40,000 to host spectators once again.
Sutherland continued: “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.
“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 said it 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.