The cost of COVID on live entertainment – more support needed for the industry

Oct 14, 2020Industry News



The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry
Today we are asking the Federal Government to urgently consider targeted measures to provide additional support to the live entertainment sector as a new report by EY lays bare the devastating impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the industry and the livelihoods of the people who work in it.

Preliminary findings from The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry report quantify for the first time the total economic output of live entertainment in Australia, at an estimated $36.4 billion in total contribution in 2019.

EY estimates that COVID-19 has led to a fall of 65% in the economic output of the industry to $12.8bn in 2020 if restrictions remain in place until the end of year. This equates to $23.6bn in lost economic output. Likewise, the total value added by live entertainment is predicted to fall by 65% from $16.6 billion in 2019 to $5.9 billion in 2020, a fall of $10.7 billion.

The preliminary findings from the report, which will be released later this month, show that the sector supported 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2019, and forecast that in 2020 this will fall two-thirds – or 79,000 – to just 43,000 full-time equivalent jobs if current restrictions on gatherings remain in place until the end of December this year.

LEIF has written to the Prime Minister highlighting this new data requesting additional government support to prevent further job losses and lasting damage to the sector. Here are our industry specific initiatives that include:

  • Continuation of a JobKeeper-style support program for employees in our industry until such time as the live entertainment industry returns to normal operation and without the constraints of major restrictions
  • A moratorium on GST on live event tickets, following the precedent set in the UK
  • An industry-led Live Entertainment Business Interruption Fund underwritten by Government; and
  • A significant expansion of the RISE grant funding program, with a particular focus on assisting commercial, non-subsidised live entertainment operators to deliver popular live events in COVID-safe formats.

You can read the press release in full here or this article in the Australian Financial Review here.

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