The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) and campaign group #WeMakeEvents have released results from a survey, detailing the global impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on aspects such as work force and equipment.

Around 1,948 respondents completed the survey for the trade association between November 1 and December 21 and included businesses in the UK, Poland, Australia, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

A major impact forced upon the live entertainment industry is the problem surrounding the supply chain – some 95% of manufacturers have reported component shortages. This has then produced a knock-on effect further down the chain, with 70% of non-manufacturing companies experiencing a delay in finished goods.

Comments from respondents included: “Availability is getting worse at present, lead times are over a year in some cases. The largest price increases come from alternate source/excess inventory sourcing where it’s necessary to maintain continuity of supply.”

Other issues included skills shortages across the sector, with site crew, riggers, engineers and technicians most needed. Around 69% of companies reported these shortages. Further problems came in the form of freelancers, with 50% having not yet returned full-time to the industry.

As a result of the skills shortage, a third of companies have had to or will need to delay work, and a further third will have to cancel work altogether.

The financial strain has also been significant for businesses in the live entertainment industry, with 45% of respondents taking on additional debt.

Further comments read: “Around 20% of my work is now cancelled. Often with enough notice that I will lose out on payment, but near enough that I cannot replace that work. Cancellations make work in the live sector somewhat unreliable.”

Image: BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash