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SLEN: Save Our Stages Act fails many in live biz

Further relief beyond Save Our Stages, the relief bill passed by the US Congress earlier this week, must be provided in 2021 to American live events workers, many of whom will not benefit from the bill’s provisions, the Save Live Events Now (SLEN) coalition has warned.

SLENformed in October by companies including Live Nation, AEG Presents, WME, CAA, UTA, Paradigm Talent Agency, Feld Entertainment, Oak View Group and ASM Global – says that while the “passage of the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2021”, which incorporates the Save Our Stages bill, “was an important step forward for many of those across the nation impacted by the coronavirus pandemic”, more must be done to help those who have fallen through the cracks.

“For many in the live events industry this is a [sticking plaster] on a large cut. It helps to cover a portion of the cut, but doesn’t stop the bleeding,” comments SLEN spokesperson Jeanne Moran. “The live events industry was the first to stop operations due to the pandemic and will likely be one of the last to restart, and the Save Live Events Now coalition will continue to shine a light on the vast and diverse ecosystem of workers and industries impacted by the shutdown of the live events industry due to Covid-19 in the year ahead.”

According to SLEN, since March 77% of all US live entertainment professionals have lost 100% of their income, while staff and crew have been reduced by almost 80% and 62% of American artists are unemployed.

“This helps to cover a portion of the cut, but doesn’t stop the bleeding”

“The Save Our Stages Act will provide relief to the industry, but it leaves behind key segments of the industry, which is why to truly save the live events industry – and more specifically the workers who power it – more must be done,” explains the organisation in a statement. “For example, the deal restores the federal pandemic unemployment compensation at $300 per week for 11 weeks, and certain self-employed and gig workers could get an extra $100 per week. While this is less than the $600 a week over a 16-week period desired by SLEN, this deal improves upon the status quo.

“Overall, this is a step in the right direction, but more work needs to be done – enhanced relief and additional extensions will be urgently needed early next year, as most live events workers will continue to be out of work past mid-March when these provisions expire.”

Concludes Moran: “We look forward to working with those on both sides of the aisle in the new Congress, as well as the new administration to ensure that meaningful action is taken to aid the millions of people whose livelihoods remain severely impacted by the shutdown of live events.”

New US president Joe Biden takes office on 20 January 2021.


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