Dutch festival organisers dealt another big blow
Only small, one-day festivals will be permitted to take place in the Netherlands this summer, the Dutch government has announced.
From 14 August, events with a maximum of 750 attendees can take place provided they meet a series of restrictions.
Attendees must be fully vaccinated, recovered from infection within the past six months, or present a negative test from Testing for Access. Visitors are also asked to take a test five days after the event. The events are not allowed closed festival tents.
Multi-day festivals with overnight stays are not allowed until at least 1 September, after the government last week extended the ban.
Events that cannot meet the aforementioned restrictions will not be covered by the government’s guarantee fund.
In addition to the measures for the event sector, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte also announced that those who get the Janssen jab will not be considered fully vaccinated until four weeks after, rather than two.
“[The government’s decision is] a bitter pill for the industry that has been closed for so long”
The Alliance of Event Builders (Alliantie van Evenementenbouwers) has reacted to the news: “Unfortunately, we conclude that the government is once again imposing a major restriction on the events today. As a result, the event industry is again faced with serious disappointment.
“After the multi-day festivals with camping last week, many one-day festivals and multi-day festivals without camping are now also deleted from the summer calendar. A hard decision and of course another big blow, a very sad observation and bitter pill for the industry that has been closed for so long.
“We will soon resume talks [with the government] for the period after 1 September. With the further increase in vaccination coverage and the insights from the Fieldlab Events studies, the Alliance is committed to a responsible, full opening of the planned events.”
Initially, the government was due to give a decision on one-day events without overnight stays on 13 August but the date was brought forward at the request of the events sector.
It’s like that the summary proceedings that promoter ID&T filed against the government also played a role in bringing the decision forward.
The event organiser – which has been forced to cancel events including Mysteryland – and 44 industry peers have filed a lawsuit against the government because they believed a decision on 13 August would be too late. The preliminary relief proceedings have been temporarily adjourned pending today’s decision.
The lawyer representing ID&T and co-claimants has contacted the state lawyer to request the Outbreak Management Team’s advice and the substantiation of the decision. ID&T will consider these documents and decide within two days whether the summary proceedings will be continued.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Lessons learnt from ‘super-spreader’ festival
Verknipt, an outdoor festival in the Netherlands, has become a cautionary tale for the sector after it recorded more than 1,000 Covid infections among 20,000 attendees.
The two-day event took place in Utrecht in early July and all attendees were required to show a QR code that demonstrated that they were either vaccinated, had recently had a Covid infection, or had a negative Covid test.
Despite the festival’s entry requirements, the event recorded 1,100 infections among the attendees, prompting the municipal health service (GGD) of Utrecht to investigate the origin of the infections, as well as suspected large-scale fraud with test tickets.
The GGD checked the pathways of nearly 400 infected Verknipt visitors from the province of Utrecht and concluded that at least 34% of those surveyed were likely Covid-positive even before they arrived at the site, it was reported by de Volkskrant.
The festival accepted negative rapid tests taken up to 40 hours prior to the event, meaning attendees had a significant window in which they could become unknowingly infected. Experts said the timeframe was ‘far too long’.
“We should have had a 24 hour [period], that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things”
Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board, or GGD, previously said: “This period is too long. We should have had a 24 hour [period], that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs.”
According to the GGD’s research, about 90% of the infected festivalgoers surveyed had attended multiple other social events earlier that week at which they may have become infected – following the relaxation of nightlife restrictions on 26 June.
The GGD was not able to trace the other infected festivalgoers from other regions and stressed that the research is not complete. The health service found no indications of large-scale fraud involving test tickets.
Another issue was that residents in the Netherlands could get a Covid pass for the festival immediately after being vaccinated and didn’t have to show a negative Covid test, though research shows it takes several weeks for immunity to build following a Covid vaccine.
“It is striking that 34% of the infected festival-goers we examined were already infected,” says the spokesperson for the GGD region of Utrecht. You can’t blame the youngsters, she thinks. “They had heard from the government that they were allowed to party.”
Just over two weeks after the Netherlands’ rollback of restrictions, Covid cases increased exponentially and the Dutch prime minister acknowledged that the cabinet made an error of judgment.
The easing has largely been reversed in the weeks following as the government this week extended its ban on multi-day events until September, resulting in the cancellation of major events such as Lowlands, Down the Rabbit Hole and Mysteryland.
More than 30 other event organisations including Event Warehouse/Paaspop, DGTL and F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort joined ID&T as co-plaintiffs in its legal proceedings against the Dutch government over the “carelessly prepared” restrictions.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Dutch gov delivers death knell for summer festivals
Dutch festivals such as Lowlands, Down the Rabbit Hole and Mysteryland, will not be permitted to take place this summer after the government extended its ban on multi-day events until September.
The ban on non-seated public events and multi-day festivals with more than 1,000 attendees came into effect on 10 July and was set to remain until 14 August, when the government would decide whether festivals after that date could go ahead.
However, the cabinet has sealed the fate of the summer season sooner than expected, ruling out multi-day festivals until at least 1 September due to uncertainties surrounding the Delta variant of Covid.
Following the news, Mojo-promoted event A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (aka Lowlands), which would have taken place between 20–22 August, has been called off for a second consecutive year.
“This is a very bitter pill because the developments surrounding corona have clearly gone in the right direction in recent months,” says Mojo. “Based on that, we started the preparations for Lowlands full of enthusiasm and all artists, suppliers and especially you were ready for a fantastic weekend in the polder. While this is a major setback, we understand and respect [the government’s] decision.”
“This is a very bitter pill because the developments surrounding corona have clearly gone in the right direction”
All Lowlands ticket buyers will automatically receive a refund for tickets purchased in 2020 and 2021. The next edition of the festival is set for 19–21 August 2022.
The organisers thanked the government for setting up the €385 million insurance fund, which they say would guarantee the survival of the sector, as well as Lowlands itself.
Mojo has also been forced to cancel Down the Rabbit Hole, which had already moved from July to the weekend of 27–29 August for a one-off visit to the Biddinghuizen (home of Lowlands).
“No matter how big that setback is, we respect that decision and are happy with the life preservation buoy in the form of a guarantee fund that allows us to support artists, suppliers, caterers, and all the other thousands of hands that make Down The Rabbit Hole,” says Mojo.
All ticket buyers will automatically receive a refund for tickets purchased in 2020 and 2021. Down the Rabbit Hole will return to its usual home of Groene Huvels in Beuningen between 1–3 July 2022.
“No matter how big that setback is, we respect that decision and are happy with the guarantee fund – a life preservation buoy”
Mysteryland (cap. 60,000), the Netherlands’ oldest and most famous electronic music festival, will also forego 2021 due to the extension of the ban.
This year’s sold-out edition was due to take place between 27–29 August in Haarlemmermeerse Bos in north Amsterdam.
The festival’s promoter ID&T, along with a raft of Dutch event organisers, recently initiated summary proceedings against the government over the initial ban on multi-day festivals.
“We understand that this isn’t the news you were hoping for, and it breaks our heart to share it with you,” ID&T wrote.
“During the last months, our whole team has been pushing the limit, working day and night to create what would’ve been the most magical weekend of the year, while also complying with the changing regulations set by the Dutch government. With only a month to go till a sold-out Mysteryland would’ve taken place, all stages and shows were ready for our festival adventure, but unfortunately, it seems it wasn’t meant to be this year.”
“Unfortunately, the Alliance jointly with the government had to conclude that [multi-day festivals] are an unfeasible scenario”
Elsewhere, the Alliance of Event Builders says that it understands the cabinet decision: “Over the past few weeks, we have had intensive consultations with the government about the conditions under which multi-day camping festivals such as Lowlands and Mysteryland can continue.
“Unfortunately, the Alliance jointly with the government had to conclude that we have now been overtaken by reality and that this has become an unfeasible scenario. The quality and responsible festival experience for visitors, employees and artists cannot be sufficiently guaranteed.”
Organisers of one-day festivals will have to wait until August before the government decides whether or not they can continue with their event. The same applies to other one-day events without overnight stays.
The government’s tightening of restrictions comes in spite of Fieldlab’s findings from three months’ worth of pilot events in the Netherlands show that the risk of Covid-19 infection, when following certain hygiene and testing protocols, is about the same as being at home.
Fieldlab is an initiative of the Dutch government and several trade bodies, including the Alliance of Event Builders.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
ID&T joined by raft of co-plaintiffs for gov case
More than 30 other event organisations including Event Warehouse/Paaspop, DGTL and F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort are joining ID&T as co-plaintiffs in its legal proceedings against the Dutch government.
ID&T, known for events such as Mysteryland, Sensation, Milkshake and Decibel Outdoor, announced on Friday (9 July) that it will initiate summary proceedings against the Dutch government over new Covid restrictions, which have been reimposed just weeks after they were lifted.
The co-plaintiffs say that the Dutch government’s decision to categorically ban non-seated public events and multi-day festivals until 14 August is “carelessly prepared and incorrect”.
The organisers have asked the judge in preliminary relief proceedings for permission to allow public events that meet the Fieldlab conditions.
Fieldlab’s conditions for organising a safe event, without social distancing, are based on findings from three months’ worth of pilot events, and have been endorsed by the Dutch government.
Dutch prime minister Rutte said the government won’t give any more clarity until 14 August for events after that date, leaving organisers in the dark.
“It is inexplicable to not have clarity of the conditions under which we can organise the event three weeks prior to the event”
Ritty van Straalen, CEO of ID&T, says: “We are overwhelmed by the support we received from our visitors, artists and partners in the past days. The fact that so many parties in the market are joining us reflects perfectly what the impact is on the entire public events industry.”
Imre van Leeuwen, managing director at F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort, says: “As a large-scale sports event, we deal with a long lead time and large financial risks. For us it is also inexplicable internationally to not have clarity of the conditions under which we can organise the event three weeks prior to the event. It’s even more disappointing that, despite the good work of Fieldlab Events and the high vaccination rate the Netherlands has achieved, we may not be able to make the event a huge success with the whole world watching.”
Joop Soree, CEO of The Event Warehouse, organiser of one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands, Paaspop, and WiSH Outdoor, among others: “We join ID&T and the imminent summary proceedings because of the enormous (financial) consequences caused by the lack of clarity. We need to know where we, and the events industry, stand.”
The other parties that have joined the summary proceedings are Don’t Let Daddy Know, 24-uurs Solexrace, 4PM Entertainment, A Venue Events, Absolutely Fresh, Apenkooi, Apex Event Productions, BeetjeDansen Events, BZB, Chasing the Hihat, De Wijze Uil and E&A.
Elevations Events, Feestfabriek, First Vision, HockeyLoverz, Intents Events, Life Over Future, Minority Events, Nomads, One of the Guys, Par-T, Rebirth Events, Rotterdam Dance Parade, Sensation Events, Sportvibes, Thuishaven Events, Toffler, Trees of Live, UDC, and ZeeZout have also joined.
ID&T to sue Dutch gov over “disproportionate” restrictions
ID&T, the promoter behind festivals including Mysteryland and Awakenings, has announced it is taking the Dutch government to court over new Covid restrictions, which have been reimposed just weeks after they were lifted.
Prime minister Mark Rutte held a press conference last Friday (9 July), in which he announced that restrictions would renew on 10 July and remain until 14 August, in an effort to halt a sudden surge in Covid-19 restrictions.
Under the new measures, multi-day events will be banned and only one-day festivals will be permitted until 14 August, provided visitors are given a seat and no more than a thousand people attend.
In the press conference, Rutte said the government won’t give any more clarity until 14 August for events after that date – leaving organisers in a stalemate situation.
ID&T called the measures “disproportionate” and announced that the company would be filing a draft subpoena with the court today (12 July).
“It is our expertise to organise events well and safely and we know that our audience has the discipline,” says said Ritty van Straalen, CEO of ID&T.
“It feels like a death knell for our industry”
“We are now the good who suffer from the bad and it seems that the government prefers holidays over festivals. You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling. Young people are disproportionately affected by these measures. The social importance of our industry is enormous.”
Mojo-promoted event A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (aka Lowlands) is due to take place on 20–22 August but festival director Eric van Eerdenburg tells IQ that the Dutch government has created an “unworkable situation”.
“For our festivals, Lowlands (20–22 August) and Down The Rabbit Hole (27–29 Aug), as well as suppliers and artists, this has created a lot of uncertainty. We are already building the infrastructure as we speak, and will continue to do so as we believe it should be possible to let them happen,” says Eerdenburg.
“Our belief is based on a constructive relationship between Mojo and the ministries of health and economic affairs, as well as the Outbreak Management Team that advises the government, we will get more clarity on how we can move on after close consultation in the next few days,” he added.
The Association of Dutch Poppodia and Festivals (VNPF) and the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) are also hoping to sit down with ministers to get a perspective on the summer season and discuss extra support measures.
In January, the government announced a €385 million insurance fund which would compensate organisers 80% of the costs of their event if it is cancelled due to state-enforced coronavirus measures.
“You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling”
However, VNPF and VVEM are calling for the compensation to be increased to 100% and extended to organisers who have to cancel within an “unreasonably short period of time” but can’t claim under the scheme.
Eerdenburg says that Mojo is also pushing for the scheme to cover fees for UK artists, as well as those of Dutch and EU artists.
In a joint statement, the VNPF and VVEM wrote: “It feels like a death knell for our industry. Of course, it is understandable that measures are taken when the infection rate increases. However, within those measures, the industry that has not contributed to that higher infection rate at all is being hit hard. It was precisely our industry – the only industry in the Netherlands – that has actively sought solutions in recent months in collaboration with science and ministries.”
Fieldlab Evenementen – an initiative of the Dutch government and several trade bodies – recently revealed findings from three months’ worth of pilot events in the Netherlands show that the risk of Covid-19 infection, when following certain hygiene and testing protocols, is about the same as being at home.
According to OurWorldinData, daily cases in the Netherlands have risen almost sevenfold, from a rolling seven-day average of 49.2 per million people on 4 July to 328.7 on Sunday (11 July).
The Dutch prime minister today (12 July) acknowledged that the cabinet made an error of judgment with the rapid relaxation at the end of June. “What we thought was possible, was not possible.”
Eventim’s Henk Schuit appointed head of VVEM
The board of the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) has appointed Henk Schuit, managing director of Eventim Netherlands, as chairman.
Schuit succeeds Hèrald van de Bunt, MD of Arnhem stadium GelreDome, who stepped down in in April 2021 after 16 years at the helm of the Dutch industry association, which represents promoters, festivals, venues and suppliers.
Schuit began his music industry career in 1991, initially at a record label, Provogue, and later moved into ticketing. He has been MD of CTS Eventim Nederland since 2005 and a VVEM member since 2009.
He is also chairman of the jury of the Dutch Live Entertainment Production Awards (DLEPA) and treasurer of the Weet Waar Je Koop! campaign against secondary ticketing. He joined the VVEM board, which recently expanded from seven to eight members, in April and started his role as chairman this month.
“I am proud and honoured to be chairman of the VVEM,” says Henk Schuit. “I believe in the power of working together and helping each other, and that is also what the VVEM does. In this coronavirus time, we have seen once again how important that is.
“I look forward to working with the entire board and everyone involved to represent the interests of all event makers and to contribute to a bright future for live entertainment in the Netherlands.”
Netherlands hosts first post-restrictions festival
Stereo Sunday welcomed 20,000 visitors to Julianapark in Venlo last weekend (2–3 July), marking the Netherlands’ first outdoor festival since the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020.
The sold-out festival welcomed both domestic and international visitors to enjoy performances from the likes of Lucas & Steve, Bizzey, Wildstylez, Moksi, Jonna Fraser, Curbi, Frontliner, Warface, Partyraiser and Feestdjruud.
All attendees were required to show proof of identity (passport, driving license or ID card) and a negative test certificate or proof of full vaccination to gain entry to the event.
This test had to be taken within 40 hours before the start of Stereo Sunday, on Friday 2 July, by a recognised test location specially set up for events.
Once attendees were granted entry to the festival, they were not legally required to socially distance or wear a mask
A negative test on Friday 2 July granted access to the festival on both Friday and Saturday. Those who were tested on Thursday 2 July were required to get tested again on Saturday 3 July in order to regain access.
The cost for a test to access Stereo Sunday was covered by the Dutch government and anyone who tested positive ahead of the event was granted a full refund from the festival.
Once attendees were granted entry to the festival, based on the requirements, they were not legally required to socially distance or wear a mask.
Ticketed events in the Netherlands have been permitted to go ahead at 100% capacity since 30 June if organisers require a vaccination certificate or negative test (the latter a maximum of 40 hours old) from attendees.
As of 1 July 2021, major events and music festivals that attract at least 3,000 visitors are covered by the government’s €300 million guarantee fund if the event can’t take place due to coronavirus measures.
The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Laura Nagtegaal, Ms Gyver
The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.
The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect at The Zoo XYZ, based in the UK here.
Guitar technician & tour manager, MsGyver
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Prior to my transition, I would get hired before I’d even finish saying yes. Never, during those 15 years, did I need to send a resume or even prove that I was worthy. After having struggled most of 2019 to get hired at all, I had finally managed to be accepted and respected as Laura. And as a result, my calendar was filling up again in the exact same way I had been used to for all those years.
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Be yourself. Do not be afraid to speak up and be seen as your true self. Will it be awkward and frightening? Yes, you can bet on it. Do your job to the best of your abilities and accept only criticism on your possibly underperforming. Do not accept criticism on who you are, ever. They have no right!
And, in the meantime, we – the ones currently in the industry – are working hard to (re)write the rules of engagement, while continually working on paving the path for you, so your path will be smoother.
“My employability literally went down the drain when I changed my name and pronouns and what’s in my underwear”
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person in the industry.
Today, as a woman (who happens to be transgender), I am on the receiving end of sexism. Not so much on the unsolicited sexual advances but all the more on the job equity.
My employability literally went down the drain when I changed my name and pronouns and what’s in my underwear. My skills stayed the same. Still, it took me a year of trying to get hired again. Twenty-five years of experience in the industry vanished, as if they never existed. Not even my resume was able to turn that tide.
Like other marginalised people, whether by being queer, non- white, or any other way, I now need to work twice as hard for the same ‘recognition’, and a mistake counts twice as heavily. It’s a steep and rocky hill to climb now, whereas my path as a mostly white male was as close to a smooth and level highway as can be.
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
We need to stop hiring based on who we know or what tour we were on. And certainly stop hiring based on our likeness to cishet white men.
Do a good job and/or act like a human: get hired again. Do a poor job and/or act in a deplorable manner: lose your spot.
“Whatever [the industry] will look like, it will not and can not be like it was like before the pandemic”
A cause you support.
I don’t actually support an official cause, but I dedicate a large amount of my time engaging with, and providing visibilty for, marginalised people in both the live music industry and sports. Queer and women in general, and transgender people in particular. “Visibility will, inevitably, lead to awareness. Through awareness, the path to acceptance can be found, and followed.”
What does the near future of the industry look like?
Whatever it will look like, it will not and can not be like it was like before the pandemic. And if it does, we’ll have to need to learn to come to terms with that.
How would you like to see the industry build back better, post pandemic?
Once we restart, we had better act on the improvements we’ve been discussing for the last year; on creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, where attention to mental health and compassion is not something to be ridiculed anymore, and as a whole we will positively empower the other so together we’re stronger (instead of us simply trying to not be the weakest link ourselves).
New CEO for Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena
Tanja Dik has been appointed CEO of Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, succeeding Henk Markerink, who will retire on 1 September.
Dik previously worked for Schiphol Group (of airport fame) as general director of consumer products and services. Before that, she was international venue director for for European theatre giant Stage Entertainment.
Johan Cruijff Arena, formerly Amsterdam Arena, is the Netherlands’ largest stadium, with a capacity of 55,5000 for football matches and 68,000 for concerts. Home to Dutch football club AFX Ajax, it has hosted headline shows by the likes of Coldplay, AC/DC, Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Rihanna, as well as dance music festival Sensation.
“We are convinced that in Tanja Dik we have a highly qualified successor”
The venue celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021, having opened in August 1996.
“We are convinced that in Tanja we have a highly qualified successor who, in collaboration with our employees and partners, will lead the further development of this beautiful stadium,” comments stadium chairman Hans van der Noordaa. “I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude on behalf of the supervisory noard for the impressive contribution Henk Markerink has made to the development and success of the Johan Cruijff Arena over the past 25 years.”
Dik says her new role brings together her “passion for sports, live entertainment and the customer”. She adds: “The social role that the Arena fulfils is an important icing on the cake for me, which I would like to further shape. I look forward to working with the team, shareholders, business partners, founders and other stakeholders at the Johan Cruijff Arena.”
Resurgent live music sector faces staff shortages
UK industry bodies including LIVE (Live music Industries Venues and Entertainment), the Concert Promoters Association, the Events Industry Forum and the UK Crowd Management Association have written to the prime minister regarding what they describe as crippling staff shortages across large parts of the UK economy.
The live entertainment and events associations are joined by trade bodies representing other sectors, including hospitality, food and drink and retail, in calling for government action to help remediate the situation, with the letter suggesting that EU workers could be allowed to return on a short-term basis to help fill the empty roles.
“While the overall picture is complex, one short-term solution with immediate benefit would be to temporarily ease immigration requirements for the large numbers of workers, particularly from the EU, who have returned to their homelands during the lockdowns. This has contributed greatly to the shortfalls,” reads the letter, which can be read here.
“Indeed, a study in 2020 by the UK’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence estimated that 1.3 million migrants left the UK between July 2019 and September 2020. This figure was based on UK labour statistics, and represents over 4% of the UK workforce.
“Unfortunately, evidence suggests that those unemployed within the UK workforce seem unwilling to take on many of the jobs where there are vacancies in the industries we represent. To help resolve this we ask that all those who have worked in the UK over the last three years are given the freedom to return to work here with less restrictive immigration regulations on a short-term basis.
“One short-term solution with immediate benefit would be to temporarily ease immigration requirements”
“A relaxation of the rules does not need to be open ended but it needs to happen quickly if we are to support the recovery of the UK economy.”
The letter comes as entertainment and hospitality businesses in other countries also warn they are facing a staff shortage as they begin to reopen this summer.
In the Netherlands, live music association VNPF is warning that the industry will likely be short of staff when full-capacity shows restart later this year, with many professionals having left the industry over the past 16 months.
Both venues and festivals are short of people, VNPF director Berend Schans tells NU.nl, with the former sector having laid off an average of 20% of their staff last year and the latter probably even more. “Exact figures are lacking, but because that industry [festivals] has been hit even harder than venues, and they have received relatively less government support, I would say that the situation there is even more serious, especially in view of the lay-offs at Mojo Concerts and ID&T, for example.”
Similarly, France, the US and New Zealand are all facing post-pandemic labour shortages, particularly in the hospitality sector, and while the issue has been exacerbated by Brexit in the UK, experts have been warning of shortages for months.
“This will need a government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff”
The UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) said back in march that venues and clubs could face trouble reopening as planned following an exodus of security staff during the pandemic.
In addition to EU workers who have gone home, many qualified door staff were forced to find work elsewhere when venues were closed in March 2020.
According to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), over a quarter of the UK’s total security workforce were non-UK nationals in 2018. The UKDSA estimates that over half of the vacancies in the sector may be left unfilled when business restarts gets back to normal later this summer.
“This will need a government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff,” says Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association. Concerning new elements in the SIA door supervisor licence which require more training for door staff, Kill adds: “While the training is welcomed, it is not timely given the current economic situation across most of the sector, and consideration needs to be given to it being pushed back to 2022.”
Read IQ’s feature on the challenges of recruiting and restaffing post-pandemic in the latest, 100th issue of the magazine.