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UK report: Double vaccination rate higher in concertgoers

The double vaccination rate among UK concertgoers is substantially higher than in the country’s general population, according to a new report by Music Venue Trust (MVT).

More than three-quarters (76.3%) of people attending live music events in the UK were fully vaccinated, while just 61.3% of the general population received two jabs, it found at the time of data collection.

Furthermore, almost all UK concertgoers (91.6%) will have been fully vaccinated by the end of September if they complete their vaccination programme – again, substantially higher than predicted for the general population (77.9%).

According to the report, these statistics aren’t a coincidence; 91.3% of attendees had chosen to take an additional personal precaution such as double vaccination, testing or immunity to support their safety.

Despite a high vaccination rate among concertgoers, only 2.1% of live music fans wanted to see certified double vaccination as the sole mandatory condition of entry and 8.9% wanted to see mandatory certification of health status as a condition of entry to grassroots music venues.

Only 2.1% of live music fans wanted to see certified double vaccination as the sole mandatory condition of entry

A mix of mandatory certification options, displaying vaccination, testing or immunity, was more strongly supported by live music fans.

The findings are from a series of surveys and data collection exercises conducted by MVT during the first month of the full capacity reopening of grassroots music venues in the UK.

The audience survey recorded answers from 1,891 people who normally attended live music events prior to the Covid crisis.

While 221 grassroots music venues took part in a survey about the precautions they had taken around opening and the attendance at their events.

And 100 grassroots music venues were selected as representative of the sector, with case rates and transmission rates in their locality mapped to explore if the full capacity reopening of grassroots music venues had a discernible impact on local case rates.

In the local areas around a representative sample of 100 grassroots music venues, Covid-19 case rates declined by 39%

Notably, in the local areas around a representative sample of 100 grassroots music venues, Covid-19 case rates declined by 39%.

“The response from venues, artists and audiences to the Covid threat has been incredible,” says Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust.

“These survey results clearly demonstrate a will by the live music community to create safe spaces, to take personal responsibility for ourselves and each other, and to act to Reopen Every Venue Safely. It is particularly striking that local case and transmission rates around grassroots music venues, far from exponentially increasing as was predicted, have, in reality, exceeded the decline in rates witnessed nationally.”

Other findings from MVT’s report include:

 


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Disabled fans eager to return to live events

A new ‘audience snapshot’ by music and event industry charity Attitude is Everything indicates that a majority of Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people want to return to live events – as long as accessible safety precautions are in place.

The poll of 289 individuals with a history of attending live events found that respondents went to more than 5,000 indoor and more than 1,200 outdoor live events in 2019 – from gigs and festivals to football matches and book launches.

Following the UK’s relaxation of restrictions on 19 July, 50% of respondents say they would feel comfortable attending an indoor live event and 73% said they would feel comfortable attending an outdoor live event, as long as they are confident that as many accessible measures as possible have been put in place to increase safety.

Almost three-quarters (74%) have additional access requirements in order to attend live events, such as companion tickets, accessible seating, step-free access and accessible toilets.

The results underscore the need for event organisers to ensure that access and Covid-safety measures are at the forefront of reopening plans.

Just over two-thirds (67%) of respondents considered themselves to be at heightened risk if they were to contract Covid-19, with 46% having shielded in 2020, and 27% feeling it necessary to return to shielding now rules have been lifted.

“More than ever before, it’s time to recognise that the disabled community are part of the life-blood of culture in the UK”

Furthermore, 42% didn’t see how a live venue could be a safe environment for them at the time they completed the survey (19 July– 1 August), with 24% feeling that they won’t be able to get to an indoor live event until next year at the earliest.

Eighty-three per cent said they would attend a venue or event that requires the NHS Covid Pass to gain entry, with 67% stating they would actively choose a venue that requires an NHS Covid Pass to gain entry over one that doesn’t.

Almost all (96%) of all respondents said it is important that venues and events engage with disabled people who don’t feel safe to return just yet, with 78% thinking venues and events should maintain online streaming as an option.

“In 2019, disabled people were big consumers of live events. In fact, in the years before the pandemic, the economic spend from disabled people attending live music grew from £3.4 million in 2013 to £9.3 million in 2019, so there was always going to be a huge demand from the disabled community to return to live events,” says Suzanne Bull MBE, founder of Attitude is Everything.

“Understandably, disabled people have real and deep-seated fears about how safe live events will be after the pandemic. I urge the live events sector to address concerns and make demonstratable efforts to welcome those with access requirements back to their venues and events, and for artists to become actively involved in this welcome.

“Over the past 18 months, disabled people have been loyal in donating to venues and campaigns to support musicians, and bought music, art and books to help creatives to sustain themselves. So more than ever before, it’s time to recognise that the disabled community are part of the life-blood of culture in the UK.”

Following the survey, Attitude is Everything calls on event organisers to check their post-19 July Covid-safety information and practices against its list of reopening measures supported by respondents.

 


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UK Music reports progress with diversity in industry

Representation of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities and women has increased at almost every level in the industry since 2016, according to a new report by UK Music.

The trade body revealed the findings of its 2020 Workforce Diversity Survey in its UK Music Diversity Report, as well as a ten-point plan to tackle racism and boost diversity in Britain’s music industry.

The survey’s most notable findings include an increase in minority ethic employees between 16-24, up from 25.9% in 2018 to a record 30.6%.

The number of people from minority ethnic professionals at entry-level has also risen from 23.2% in 2018 to new high of 34.6% in 2020, though representation is worse in senior positions at just 19.9% – one in five posts.

Elsewhere, the proportion of women has increased from 45.3% in 2016 to new high of 49.6% in 2020. However, the number of women in the 45–64 age group has dropped from 38.7% in 2018 to 35% in 2020.

“Against a backdrop of global change the diversity taskforce has been carefully listening, challenging and working behind the scenes to help shape a transformational and game-changing ten-point plan,” says UK Music diversity taskforce chair Ammo Talwar MBE.

“If our music industry is to tell the story of modern-day Britain, then it needs to look like modern-day Britain too”

“This plan is data driven and evidence based with metrics and lived experience. It’s the accumulation of nine months’ work across the whole music industry to support yet hold the industry to account. No tokenistic statements, no short-term wins but a truly collaborative long term plan that reboots the sector and ensures diversity is front and centre of all major decisions.”

UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin says: “As an industry, we are united in our determination to lead the way on improving diversity and inclusion in our sector and across society. This report consists of a frank and candid analysis of the current situation our industry faces, and a bold and ambitious ten-point plan for how to achieve the positive change we all want to see. It’s relevant not just to the music industry, but to organisations everywhere.

“If our music industry is to tell the story of modern-day Britain, then it needs to look like modern-day Britain too. This ground-breaking report is an important step towards achieving that.”

The trade body’s ten-point plan to improve diversity makes a number of commitments including maintaining a database of people responsible for promoting diversity across UK Music; removing the word “urban” to describe music of black origin, using genre-specific terms like R&B or soul instead; and ending the use of the “offensive and outdated” term BAME in official communications.

UK Music has conducted a diversity study every two years since 2016, which collates data from across the music business including studios, management agencies, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.

 


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170,000 UK live music jobs lost by end of 2020

More than 26,000 permanent jobs will be lost in the live music industry before the end of the year if government support is withdrawn, new research published today (21 October) reveals.

In addition, 144,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) roles, including self-employed and freelance workers, will have effectively ceased to exist by the end of 2020, the new report, UK live music: At a cliff edge, shows.

Revenue into the industry has been almost zero since March, with a fall of 81% in 2020 compared to 2019 – four times the national UK average, where reductions across industries run at around 20%.

At a cliff edge – conducted by Chris Carey and Tim Chambers for Media Insight Consulting on behalf of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment), an umbrella group representing the UK live music industry – also reveals the positive contribution made by the Culture Recovery Fund, which has offered a lifeline to a range of businesses, but whose impact is tempered by 80% of employees still being reliant on the furlough scheme, which ends this month.

The report’s findings include:

“This research shows clearly that the entire ecosystem is being decimated”

Following the lockdown in March, and the ongoing government restrictions on venues and events, many of those working within the live music sector have received no income at all. The new tier-two and three restrictions put further limitations on the sector reopening, while the sector is currently excluded from the government’s extended Job Support Scheme.

With recent indications from the prime minister that severe restrictions could be in place for a further six months, meaning a full year with next-to-no live music or revenues, the associations represented by Live – including the Entertainment Agents’ Association, Association for Electronic Music (AFEM), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Concert Promoters Association (CPA), Music Managers Forum (MMF), National Arenas Association (NAA), Production Services Association (PSA) and Music Venue Trust (MVT) – are calling on the government to ensure the live business can benefit from new support measures.

Phil Bowdery, CPA chair, comments: “We were one of the first sectors to close and we will be one of the last to reopen. We are currently caught in a catch 22, where we are unable to operate due to government restrictions but are excluded from the extended Job Support Scheme as the furlough comes to an end. If businesses can’t access that support soon, then the majority of our specialist, highly trained workforce will be gone.”

“Those who have often found themselves overlooked and left behind throughout the last six months are the freelancers and self-employed – the people up and do the country that we rely on to bring us the live experiences we love,” adds PSA general manager Andy Lenthall. “Things are becoming increasingly desperate for a great many people in the industry and government needs to recognise that these crucial individuals need support.”

““Things are becoming increasingly desperate for a great many people in the industry”

Economist Chris Carey, who co-authored the report, says: “From the artists on stage, to the venues and the many specialist roles and occupations that make live music happen, this research shows clearly that the entire ecosystem is being decimated.”

The report includes sector-specific data on artists, managers, promoters, booking agents, venues, festivals, ticketing companies and technical suppliers, as well as case studies from some of those affected and comment from industry leaders.

“The Culture Recovery Fund is a help, especially to grassroots music venues,” continues Carey. “However, larger companies are going to be hit harder, and without ongoing government investment in protecting this industry, the UK will lose its place as a cultural leader in live entertainment.

“Moreover, the skills we lose in this time will significantly hinder the sector’s ability to recover and return to driving economic growth and supplying UK jobs.”

Download the report here.

 


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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Live DMA estimates €1.2bn loss for member venues

Live DMA, a European live music network comprising 16 member countries, has released a new report which estimates a €1.2 billion loss in audience income for the 2,600 music venues it represents.

The new report, which gives an overview on the impact of Covid-19 has had on its member venues, estimates that 664,000 artist performances will not take place in the venues, because 284,000 music events are cancelled or postponed this year.

This is only 30% (a 70% decline) of the number of music events and artist performances that took place last year.

Therefore, a 76% decline in audience visits is expected –53 million less compared to last year. This leads to the €1.2bn loss in audience income for the venues.

The loss in audience income consists of an estimated: €496m less income from ticket sales; €521m less income from food & beverages sales; €172m less other income.

Audience income makes up 84% of the €1.8 bn+ income the venues were expected to generate in 2020

According to Live DMA, audience income makes up 84% of the €1.8bn+ income the venues were expected to generate in 2020.

Among Live DMA’s worst affected venues are the 48% that have a private commercial structure. These venues and clubs lost almost 100% of their total income, which consists almost solely of income generated by their audiences (ticket sales, beverage, food, etc.).

According to the report, without this income source, the 1,250 venues and clubs cannot fulfil their financial obligations and are relying solely on their own reserves, cutbacks and financial support from governments to survive.

The full report can be viewed here.

Live DMA’s members include the Music Venue Trust (UK); Live Komm (Germany); Svensk Live (Sweden), and Dansk Live (Denmark).

 


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Icelandic music business calls for more support

A new report put together by the Icelandic music industry has highlighted the measures needed to be taken by the government to help the business through the current crisis.

The ‘Impact of Covid-19 on the Icelandic music industry report’ has been compiled by the Icelandic Musicians Union (FIH), Icelandic National Group for IFPI (FHF), Collecting society for performers and phonogram producers (SFH), the Performing Rights Association of Iceland (STEF), Reykjavík Music City and Iceland Music (ÚTÓN).

The report states that, although a number of measures have been taken to address the loss of income of musicians, many schemes such as the partial compensation scheme for cancelled events and closure subsidies for companies forced to halt their operations for public health reasons, “have benefitted members of the music industry in a very limited way”.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland,” reads the report.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland”

Existing measures include a ISK 244 million (€1.5m) artists’ salary fund; a ISK 86m (€540,870) fund for new music-related activities; the ISK 30m (€188,680) City of Reykjavík Culture Fund (Menningarpottur Reykjavíkurborgar); and the Summer City 2020 project, which promotes culture and creates job opportunites for musicians and venues in Reykjavík.

The music industry representatives present various counter measures, drawing from action taken in the countries of Denmark, Germany and Finland, to support the industry.

Suggestions include establishing “extensive support packages” for venues, promoters, festivals and agents; a reduction of real estate tax for venues; compensation for the operating costs and other fixed costs of businesses that have not closed down over the period; the creation of a small businesses fund; and government-led promotional campaigns for the music industry.

The report also makes some recommendations for actions to be taken by those in the industry itself, including the establishment of a “formal alliance” of Icelandic concert promoters and increased cooperation between music organisations, with the aim of creating an association to represent the industry as a whole.

The document cites measures taken in Denmark to support self-employed individuals and in Finland, where €700m has been put aside to assist small- and medium-sized businesses. The report also recommends the Icelandic government consider Germany, where €150m has been dedicated to supporting the live music industry.

An executive summary of the report can be found here.

 


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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Report: Covid-19 to cost festival sector $16.8bn

Festivals around the world are set to collectively lose almost US$17 billion due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report carried out by music data start-up Viberate.

Using data from Viberate’s recently launched Sick Festivals tool – which monitors over 5,000 data-enriched festival pages from the company’s blockchain-based music industry database – the report estimates the monetary loss for festivals in 2020, as well as the number of fans who will miss out on festivals this season.

The report, entitled ‘The economic impact of coronavirus on the music festival season’, also catalogues the number of festivals affected worldwide by Covid-19; the countries with the highest proportion of cancelled or postponed festivals; and the rate at which organisers made decisions on the fate of their festivals.

 


The losses in numbers
Viberate calculates that the direct economic impact of Covid-19 on music festivals is $16.8bn, with $5.1bn – or around 30% – of that coming from losses in ticket sales.

The remainder of the monetary loss comes from other festival site businesses, such as food and drink suppliers, merchandise vendors and other paid-for onsite facilities.

The company also provides a breakdown for the types of festivals likely to lose out most due to coronavirus, with “mega” festivals – those for 80,000 visitors or more – taking on almost 75% ($12.4bn) of total losses.

“Huge” festivals – those for 30,000 to 80,000 fans – account for $2.4bn of total losses; “big” festivals (15,000 to 30,000 visitors) for $1.2bn; “medium” festivals (5,000 to 15,000 visitors) for $500 million; and small festivals – those with a capacity smaller than 5,000 – for $300m.

The estimated number of fans unable to attend music festivals this year is estimated to be 13.2m worldwide.

 

The most affected countries
Over 750 festivals have been affected worldwide by Covid-19, according to the Viberate report.

The Netherlands is the country with the highest number of festivals affected by the coronavirus outbreak (121), followed by the United States (90), the UK (86), Germany (84) and France (80).

 

How quickly did organisers react to the outbreak?
The report shows that festivals planned ot take place from march to May were the most likely to be affected by the outbreak. However, some optimism remained until the end pog April, with around 50% of festivals having been postponed, rather than cancelled, at this point.

A total of 127 festivals were cancelled or postponed in March, with 230 also getting the coronavirus treatment in April and a further 193 becoming affected in May.

Organisers of some of the largest US festivals, such as Stagecoach, Bonnaroo and Coachella, were among the last to call time on 2020, holding out for autumn editions until finally cancelling in June.

 

How festival organisers can get back on track
The report also offers words of advice to music festival professionals on the back of its findings.

The first piece of advice is to make “less risky, data-based decisions”. The likelihood for smaller budgets in the future calls for a greater use of data to drive decisions. The Viberate team is developing Viberate Pro, a tool offering data-driven insights to those in the music industry.

Currently in beta trial, the tool allows users to explore Pro Charts, filtering artists by nationality, genre and subgenre, and to sort by Viberate popularity, desired timeline and other channel-specific parametres.

For more information, email the Viberate team.

The other recommendation is to maintain good levels of communication with fans, which is possible via a customisable, sector-specific mobile app.

The full report can be accessed here.

 


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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Are online experiences here to stay?

For many cultural organisations, such as live music venues, museums, theatres and arts venues, Covid-19 has meant a pivot to an online presence. But as attractions move through a phased period of reopening we have to ask: Are online experiences here to stay?

Over the last three months, Vivid Interface has put a variety of research projects in the field to track consumer sentiment, the mood of organisations and their online intentions. This has revealed an extraordinary growth in online consumption in terms of cultural experiences, media viewing and health and wellbeing. Add to that last week’s Ofcom report revealing that the average Briton has been spending 25% of their day online while in lockdown, and we know that this is an area we all need to pay attention to.

Vivid Interface, in association with Panelbase, conducted an e-survey with over 1,000 visitors to attractions and cultural venues in early June. The report, which can be read here, looks at what visitors have been watching and participating in online while venues and attractions have been closed. While taking a yoga class or watching a new release film are right up there, so are live music performances and stand-up comedy.

The report explores what they say they will continue to watch and also what they feel they may continue to watch online in preference to going out. It makes interesting reading:

What sort of unique experiences the visitor attraction sectors can come up with next is an exciting space to watch

These are significant stats that can’t be ignored.

The report highlights significant variances in age, gender and life stage, too, which are important in understanding online engagement opportunities for programmers and marketers.

The cultural sector was already well set up to pivot to online experiences, but the sheer explosion of content and audience reaction tells us that there’s plenty more to come.

Just looking at this week’s news we see the Royal Opera House building on its success of live streaming from Covent Garden with a programme of paid for online experiences (at £4.99 a performance). And the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, managed by English Heritage, received over 3.6 million views for its first-ever live stream of the event. It normally attracts around 10,000.

Are online experiences here to stay? Yes, they are. But what sort of unique experiences the visitor attraction sectors can come up with next is an exciting space to watch.

 


Geoffrey Dixon is managing director of Vivid Interface, a full-service market research agency serving the events, festivals and attractions industries.

Social issues top festivalgoers’ concerns

Sustainability and gender diversity are among the main concerns for UK festivalgoers, new data released by Ticketmaster has revealed.

The findings come from the ticketing giant’s annual State of Play report, which this year focuses on festivals. Previous reports have concentrated on grime, theatre, comedy and dance music.

Of the 4,000 festivalgoers that participated in the survey, 62% state that waste reduction at events, along with better recycling facilities, is their number one concern this festival season.

Despite growing awareness of environmental issues, the Ticketmaster survey shows that more than a third of fans (38%) admit to leaving their tents behind at a festival, with 36% saying they do so assuming tents will be recycled.

A recent campaign by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) revealed that abandoned tents result in almost 900 tonnes of plastic waste every festival season.

Victoria Chapman, head of sustainability at Festival Republic, says it is “a huge positive” that sustainability is festivalgoers’ number one concern.

“It is imperative that festival organisers look at how they can minimise the environmental impact of their events and work together with fans to enjoy an amazing festival experience whilst respecting the planet,” comments Chapman.

Several initiatives have been set up to make festivals more eco-friendly, including Live Nation’s Green Nation coalition and Glastonbury Festival’s single use plastic bottle ban.

“British summer wouldn’t be what it is without festivals and these findings give us an insight into what festival fans really want”

Gender representation in festival line-ups is another concern for festivalgoers, with 41% of those surveyed saying that want more diversity in line-ups and almost a third (29%) saying they take the gender parity of a line-up into account before buying a ticket.

Primavera Sound this year presented its first-ever gender-equal billing, but elsewhere festival bookers remain divided on the merits of curating balanced bills.

According to Ticketmaster, more traditional festival gripes are down, with 37% of respondents stating that festival toilet facilities need improving, compared to 66% in 2012.

The survey also highlighted the importance of festivals for emerging artists, showing that three in five festivalgoers find new artists by attending festivals. On the headliner side, fans of BTS stated they would pay up to four figures to see the K-Pop band head up a festival.

The numbers are also in on festival romance. Two fifths of people (37%) have hooked up at a festival, with a fifth doing so with someone they met at the event. Those who shower at a festival are more likely to find love (45%), than those who opt not to (36%).

Almost one in ten festivalgoers (7%) have carried on a relationship with a fellow attendee after the event. Location-based dating app Tinder is tapping into the romantic potential of festivals, rolling out its specialised Festival Mode at events across the UK, United States and Australia.

“British summer wouldn’t be what it is without festivals and these findings give us an insight into what festival fans really want,” says Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons.

“While it’s mostly all about the music and having a great time, I’m not surprised and encouraged to see fans wanting more action on sustainability issues and line-up equality.

“Festivals have always been a microcosm of wider society and with the continued rise of social consciousness we expect fans will only become more demanding of festivals to get it right,” adds Parsons.

The full report is available to read online here.

 


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Report: UK festivals use 380m litres of diesel a year

A recent report has revealed the public health impact of the UK festival and events industry, detailing the level of diesel emissions and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) produced by events each year.

Environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts worked together with event industry professionals to produce the report in the run up to this year’s air pollution-focused World Environment Day on 5 June.

“Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution,” says Hope Solutions director Luke Howell.

“We are releasing this report to open up the conversation with the industry to effect positive and practical change without diminishing customer experience. For the organisers, every litre of diesel not used is saving money and contributing to the fight against climate change.”

The emissions from the 380m litres of diesels used to power events release 1.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the unit used to express the impact of each greenhouse gas in relation to CO2. This is approximately the same level of emissions as the European island country of Malta releases per year.

The environmental impact of the diesel emissions is equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the roads every day.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet”

The report suggests that diesel consumption could be reduced by up to 40% on average at each event, with some being able to avoid diesel use altogether through renewables and hybrid battery technologies.

Using mains or grid power can also negate the need for generators but, states the report, is often overlooked and under utilised, especially in urban areas.

The use of more efficient generators would also help to reduce emissions. Monitoring shows that diesel generators are often running well under full capacity, with efficiency ratings of between 10 and 20%.

ZAP Concepts UK head of operations, Rob Scully, says that events could reduce consumption “without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events.”

Scully states that “Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”

The report draws on data collected by A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle and Powerful Thinking, as well as 20 million data points of electronic monitoring, analysed by ZAP. The full report is available to read online here.

 


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