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Australia releases guidelines for return to live

Live Performance Australia (LPA), the trade association for the country’s live performance industry, has released a comprehensive set of Covid-safe guidelines to help facilitate Australia’s return to live.

The guidelines cover auditions, rehearsals and performances, as well as touring of live performances. The Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia guidelines for Covid-safe theatres, originally issued in June, have also been revised and updated.

Meanwhile, tailored guidelines for events of scale, such as large concerts and music festivals, are being developed through the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF).

“People in our industry are passionate about getting back to work and engaging and entertaining live audiences, but safety must be our top priority to ensure the well-being of our workers and audiences,” says LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson.

“As public health restrictions are eased in different states and territories, these guidelines will help the industry reopen, restart and rebuild following the devastating impact of Covid-19.”

The guidelines have been developed with industry input, reviewed by medical experts, revised based on that advice and endorsed by an epidemiologist. LPA also consulted with trade union Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) on the three guideline documents.

“People in our industry are passionate about getting back to work but safety must be our top priority”

Richardson says the live performance industry is also committed to working closely with state and territory governments on the implementation of the guidelines and the return to live.

“In addition to the emergency funding assistance that governments have provided to help our industry through this crisis, enabling our companies to reactivate and our performers to get back on stage in front of audiences is the best form of support they need. These guidelines provide the pathway for reopening venues and bringing our live performance industry back to life in the months ahead,” Richardson says.

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances are allowed to take place at music venues and concert halls, with gathering limits only determined by the state’s two-square-metre-per-person rule. For the state’s biggest venues, however, a 50% capacity rule currently applies.

The state began its return to live with the first “post-restrictions” stadium concert, which took place in mid-July, with local musicians Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina Says performing to over 2,000 fans as part of the WA Unlocked event at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

Phase 5, which could see the removal of WA’s two-square-metre rule and the 50 per cent capacity for major venues, was due to be implemented on 15 August but has now been delayed until at least 29 August.

Elsewhere in Australia, Melbourne’s gradual reopening of nightlife is still on hold as the city battles a deadly second wave of coronavirus. Australia’s second-biggest city was put back into lockdown on 9 July after a localised outbreak of Covid-19.

The state has recently mandated wearing masks and tightened a stay-at-home order to reduce transmissions.


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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