Revenue / 06.16.21
UK Government Deals 'Crippling Blow' to Live Events Sector by Delaying Reopening
Pollstar (06/15/21) Gottfried, Gideon
Britain's live events and hospitality sectors are devastated by the government's decision to delay the final date to lift all restrictions on social gatherings from June 21 to July 19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the four-week delay seeks to boost COVID-19 vaccinations in light of "the Delta variant that is now spreading faster than the third wave predicted in the February roadmap." The U.K. live event industry has excoriated the move, noting that the country's live professionals have been in constant contact with policymakers, citing scientific evidence that live events pose no greater threat than other large social gatherings that have not been restricted. "We understand that there were only 15 cases out of 58,000 attendees [at pilot events] — although government is refusing to either publish the full report or to allow the sector to open up with the carefully planned precautions which we have been planning and putting in place for months," said Lucy Noble with the U.K.'s National Arenas Association. U.K. live events trade body LIVE was equally shocked, noting that European countries have announced reopening at full capacity with COVID certification schemes implemented, while British businesses are left "hamstrung as part of an industry in limbo." LIVE added that the situation is exacerbated by the absence of a government-backed insurance scheme for live events forced to cancel due to government-mandated restrictions, along with "hundreds of millions of pounds" in unallocated money from the U.K.'s Culture Recovery Fund. The U.K.'s Music Venue Trust called the delay "a crippling blow to the sector," lamenting that "over 4,000 shows will be canceled, losing tens of thousands of people, many of them unable to earn for over 15 months, the chance to get back to work."
Read the full story from Pollstar.
Tags: News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus