The Live Entertainment Industry Forum applauds the Australian government’s JobKeeper programme extension, while HBF Stadium hosts the country’s first restriction-free concert…

JobKeeper

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, applauds the six-month extension to the JobKeeper program, which it said will support thousands of jobs in the industry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed today (Tuesday) that the wage subsidy will continue until March at a reduced rate of A$1,200 a fortnight from September, down from A$1,500 over the same 14-day period, and shift to a new two-tiered payment that’s harder to qualify for.

LEIF welcomed the announcement adding that 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.

LEIF chair James Sutherland said: “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.”

Australian concert

Australia hosted its first restriction-free concert on Saturday at Perth’s HBF Stadium, which is operated by VenuesWest.

The WA Unlocked event was organised by music events company Zaccaria Concerts and Touring, which are also involved with Castaway Festival.

The event at the 4,500-capacity venue featured a line-up of Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina One.

VenuesWest chief operating officer Peter Beauchop, said ahead of the show: “It’s so exciting to see the live entertainment industry get back on its feet so quickly with this amazing event.

“I acknowledge the assistance provided by Zaccaria Concerts and Touring, who together with VenuesWest recognise the importance of supporting local music and the event industry.

“This is just the first of many concerts that will be held at a VenuesWest venue in support of music in WA, giving the local economy a much-needed boost.”

T20 World Cup

Tickets for the postponed International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup will remain valid for the rescheduled event if Australia hosts the 2021 edition instead of India.

The 2020 event, which was postponed yesterday (Monday) due to COVID-19, was scheduled to take place in October and November in Australia.

The 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup was due to be held in India, but the ICC has not confirmed which country would host the event next year.

The ICC said: “Ticket holders are welcome to retain their tickets, noting, if Australia hosts in 2021, tickets will remain valid for fans who have already bought and will be automatically updated to reflect the new dates.

“If Australia hosts in 2022, for tickets already bought a full refund will be processed automatically.”

Fans can retain their tickets until a date is confirmed for the event and refund requests can be made until December 15 and they will be processed within 30 days after an online submission.