SYDNEY, NSW (CelebrityAccess) — Australia’s leading live entertainment and sports companies have partnered to form the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), a new initiative aimed at developing a roadmap for a return to live events.
Led by veteran sports administrator and former Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland, LEIF’s mission is to support the safe re-opening of concert and sports venues for live audiences across Australia as the nation moves towards relaxing restrictions on mass gatherings in July.
For the reopening, LEIF is preparing a comprehensive, flexible, industry wide plan to facilitate a safe return to live events and to provide for risk management once those live events resume.
The plan, developed in collaboration with public health officials, will focus on cleaning, sanitation, crowd management, and social distancing, as well as broader concepts such as contact tracing.
“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill. The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced,” Sutherland said.
“Our industry was the first to close during Covid-19 and it will be one of the last to fully reopen. The cultural, creative and sports industries supports the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part time. The industry also contributes an estimated $150 billion to the Australian economy. Our live events have a huge economic flow on effect: we support jobs in airlines and other transport companies, hotels, pubs, restaurants and retail establishments of all sizes all over Australia.
“We need a clear roadmap to get our industry back to work, while playing a bigger role in the post-Covid-19 economic recovery of our nation. We are committed to working with all states and territories, especially with their chief medical and health officers. We will develop COVIDSafe best practices and a world-leading response to revive our industry, get people back to work and bring fans back together throughout Australia through the unbeatable power of live events.”
“Our industry has to work together at this challenging time. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely,” says Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG. “We want to work closely with the federal, state and territory governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”
LEIF’s executive committee includes leaders from the concerts and live events world, including Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment COO Dion Brant; TEG CEO Geoff Jones; Michael Cassel Group CEO Michael Cassel, Live Nation Australia CEO Roger Field; Live Performance Australia CEO Evelyn Richardson; and Australian Festival Association CEO Julia Robinson.
Australia’s sports and venue management community is represented as well with ASM Global Chairman/CEO Harvey Lister; Venue Management Association Chair Steve Harper, Venues West CEO David Etherton; ANZ Stadium/Venues Live CEO Daryl Kerry; SCG Trust CEO Kerrie Mather; Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust Chief Executive John Harnden; Melbourne Cricket Ground CEO Stuart Fox; Adelaide Oval CEO Andrew Daniels; and Travis Auld Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL on the committee.
“Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life,” added Live Nation’s Roger Field. “Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviors, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social wellbeing, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy.”