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Industry orgs advise governments on live’s reopening

As many countries around the world begin to emerge slowly from lockdown, industry organisations are being counted on to instruct governments on how best to facilitate the reopening of the live events sector.

Live industry organisations played a key role in lobbying governments at the start of the coronavirus crisis, making clear what financial aid and support measures were needed to ensure the safeguarding of the business.

Now, many governments are turning to associations and asking for advice on how to get the industry back up and running.

In Canada, the government has asked the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) for advice on how to distribute the CA$20 million (€13.2m) it has earmarked for the sector.

CLMA’s Saving Canadian Live Music document suggests what should form the focus of support measures in the immediate, short, medium and long term.

The association identifies “retaining staff” and “preventing the loss of venues” as the most pressing issues currently facing the industry, with more general financial aid needed in the short term to mitigate the “devastating impact” of complete revenue losses.

CMLA indicates that support will be essential in the medium and long term to cover diminished revenues caused by increased costs upon reopening, a lack of consumer confidence and widespread economic fallout.

Many governments around the world are turning to associations and asking for advice on how to get the industry back up and running

To implement this support, the CMLA suggests the government identify funds that could be redirected to protect the live sector for a sustained period of time, as well as developing a dedicated Canadian live music fund to ensure protection for the future.

In France, music industry trade union, the Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA), has developed proposals for a recovery plan in favour of the French music sector.

The SMA’s proposals include financial support for independent festivals and promoters, regulation on refunds – allowing organisers to offer the option of making a donation or keeping tickets for next year, as well as cash refunds –, clear information on when borders will reopen and the continuation of tax deferrals and other aid measures.

The association also stresses the need for a “major financial stimulus package” for the contemporary music sector.

“As the President has pointed out, cultural sectors such as tourism and events will undoubtedly be the most affected by this crisis,” reads the SMA document. “So we expect massive financial support to be dedicated there.”

The SMA is currently working on a further report detailing the economic impact of Covid-19 on its members, in order to quantify the losses and find the appropriate support measures.

“Cultural sectors such as tourism and events will undoubtedly be the most affected by this crisis, so we expect massive financial support to be dedicated there”

Another industry association to put forward reopening recommendations to the government is the UK’s Events Industry Forum (EIF), which comprises 26 trade and representative organisations from across the outdoor events sector.

In its Making Outdoor Event Gatherings Happen Again guide, EIF identifies events that could go ahead with the suitable risk assessment, hygiene facilities, personal protective equipment (PPE) and access and egress systems, such as public spectacles and displays, including “music in the park-type events”, exhibition-style outdoor events.

Festivals and major outdoor concerts, however, are “unlikely” to restart while social distancing continues, says the EIF, noting that capacity reductions are not feasible for the majority of events.

For these events, in particular, a clear timeline for relaxing lockdown restrictions and guidance on any ongoing measures are essential.

“For organisers to begin investing in events for 2021, they need to have assurances now that it will be feasible to operate by then,” warns the EIF.

The EIF is currently working on an additional protocol document detailing what measures must be implemented by those hoping to restart events.

A UK events and entertainment working group is meeting today (28 May) to develop guidance for the reopening of the sector and advise government on how best the industry can get back to business.

Please let us know what your association is doing to aid live’s reopening, by emailing [email protected]


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times. 

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