Live Entertainment Industry Forum Launched

Jun 9, 2020From the VMA President

Members’ Letter from VMA President Steve Harper

Last night’s launch of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) signals an important step in the transition from crisis to recovery for the Australian venue management industry.

As a collective of Australia’s biggest promoters of entertainment and sport, Venue Managers, the Venue Management Association and other industry peak bodies – LEIF’s aim is to build confidence in our industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by Government during its gradual return from the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the past 6 weeks the VMA has been working with key industry figures to assist with the development of LEIF’s operating structure and mission: to develop industry-wide COVID-safe measures – including cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing – that will ultimately assist our members, the venues and the wider industry with the return of events with live audiences.

I am delighted to welcome veteran sports administrator, James Sutherland, as the LEIF Chair to drive the initiative forward and rest assured that the VMA membership is widely represented at both the LEIF Executive level and across the numerous working groups that are underpinning this Forum.

The impact that COVOD-19 has had on our industry, our members, our venues, our employees and the thousands of support business’s that operate in our industry has been unprecedented. Through our investment in LEIF we are confident that State and Territory decision makers will have confidence in our planning to deliver COVID-safe events, our members will have the tools to assist in their planning, and the industry will be better placed to reopen their doors at the earliest opportunity.

We are delighted to be playing an integral role in this very important initiative and continue the work we have done over the past few months in assisting and supporting our members. Our industry is well known for its comradery and support, and through continued collaboration we can ensure we all come back sooner, safer and stronger than before.

Please see the welcome letter from LEIF Chair, James Sutherland, and the official press release below.

Yours sincerely
Steve Harper CVE
President, Venue Management Association

Welcome Letter from James Sutherland

I am writing to inform you that Australia’s largest live event businesses are preparing to announce the creation of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), to support the COVIDSafe return of events with live audiences across Australia, as gathering restrictions are eased.

Launching on Tuesday 9th June LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy that is intended to meet the needs of the public, Governments, performers and the industry, with safety at its heart.

LEIF has been formed by Australia’s biggest Promoters of Entertainment and Sport, Venue Managers and Key Peak Bodies – a list of LEIF’s executive committee members below for your reference.

Working closely with governments, businesses and audiences, LEIF’s aim is to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by Government during its gradual return.

In conjunction with industry peak bodies Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and Australian Festivals Association, LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The plan is designed to support adjacent industries such as transport, tourism and hospitality, which have also been badly affected by COVID-19.

We understand each State and Territory will develop their own roadmap and support initiatives for our industry on the advice of Chief Health Officers and relevant Ministers and we will work to develop a strong coordinated approach in partnership with Government.

The objective is to safely restart an industry which indirectly supports over 175,000 Australian jobs, while giving a hand up to some of the industries most badly affected by COVID-19 like tourism, transport and hospitality – an estimated $150 billion in creative, cultural and sport contribution to the Australian economy.

We believe that live entertainment and sport is the beating heart of Australian culture, and our industry also employs a disproportionate number of young and female workers, who are among those hit hardest by the pandemic.

I’m sure you are as motivated as I am to see our industry return to work as soon as possible and help to raise our nation’s spirits while ensuring safety of the community remains paramount. We need your help by spreading the word of LEIF to your members or staff so that the industry remains aligned during this time.

Please find attached the official press release.

James Sutherland
Chair, Live Entertainment Industry Forum

LEIF Executive Committee Members:

• Andrew Daniels, CEO, Adelaide Oval SMA
• Daryl Kerry, CEO, ANZ Stadium, Venues Live
• David Etherton, CEO, Venues West
• Dion Brant, COO, Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment/AEG Live
• Evelyn Richardson, CEO, Live Performance Australia
• Geoff Jones, CEO, TEG / TEG Dainty / Ticketek
• Harvey Lister, Chairman and Chief Executive, ASM Global
• John Harnden, Chief Executive, Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust
• Julia Robinson, CEO, Australian Festival Association
• Kerrie Mather, CEO, SCG Trust
• Michael Cassel, CEO/Producer, Michael Cassel Group
• Roger Field, CEO, Live Nation Australasia
• Steve Harper, Chair, Venue Management Association
• Stuart Fox, CEO, Melbourne Cricket Club/Melbourne Cricket Ground
• Travis Auld, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL

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