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Australian live industry group unveils COVID-Safe guidelines

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, has today released its COVID-Safe Guidelines.

The recommendations include measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing.

They have been developed in consultation with government and health agencies to assist the sector in its preparation to return to live.

LEIF said the advice – available here – should be viewed as a guide only and stresses that each venue and event organiser is responsible for developing their own risk management plan relevant to their business and jurisdiction.

James Sutherland, chair of LEIF, 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 advice covers small to large indoor and outdoor live entertainment venues configured as fully reserved/seated, general admission standing, or a combination of both, as well as theatres with fully reserved seating, and arenas configured as fully reserved/seated, or a combination of both reserved seating and general admission standing.

It also includes stadia, festival and greenfield sites including amphitheatres, showgrounds where hosting live entertainment and conference and convention centres where hosting live entertainment.

The LEIF COVID-Safe Guidelines have been released ahead of the Event Summit, taking place on October 14 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.

Australia’s biggest music, sport and entertainment promoters formed LEIF in June to collaborate in restarting the $150bn live events industry. The group’s executive committee includes the bosses of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, and AEG, among several others.

Currently in New South Wales, public gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed, while for large venues attendance to a ticketed event with allocated seating must not exceed 25 per cent of capacity or 10,000. Meanwhile public gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 30 people in Queensland, though these limits do not apply to businesses operating with a Covid-safe plan, such as concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, nightclubs, and outdoor amusement parks. There is no limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings in Western Australia, as long as there is at least two square metres of space per person. There is a 50 per cent capacity cap on major sport and entertainment venues, such as the Optus Stadium, HBF Park and RAC Arena.