Entertainment industry welcomes return of live events

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced COVID-19 restrictions will be further rolled back in July, including the abolition of the proposed 100-person limit on indoor gatherings.

Outdoor venues too will have more room to move. Those with a capacity up to 40,000 will be able to operate with up to 25% capacity.

Both outdoor and indoor venues will be subject to the one person per four square metre rule, and people will need to stay 1.5 metres away from each other where possible. Events must be ticketed and seated. It does not include music festivals, which remain off limits for now.

Sydney’s Leichhardt Oval which has a capacity of 20,000

Despite the announcement of moving to Step 3 in the Federal Government’s COVID Safe plans, it will still be down to the individual states and territories to determine when they proceed with the changes.

The Government also pushed for more people to download its COVID Safe app, saying 6.3 million had already done so, but more acton was needed.

“National Cabinet reiterated that it is vital for our society and our economy that we can live with this virus, and keep ourselves and others safe – we cannot risk a second wave and having to step backwards, especially now that we are making such good progress,” the Government statement said.

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which includes representatives from live entertainment and sporting groups, welcomed today’s news.

LEIF chairman and former CEO of Cricket Australia James Sutherland said the industry had been on its knees.

“This is a great first step to bring back fans and bring back jobs to an industry that has been on its knees for more than three months,” he said. “COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on millions of Australians and live events play a crucial role in the nation’s mental wellbeing, bringing people together to share and enjoy sport, music and the arts. It is part of the Australian way of life.”

Sutherland: Chair of LEIF

Work, he said, is already underway on getting venues ready to ensure consumers are safe, and LEIF will put together a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy, the organisation said.

“Australia has some of the finest stadia and venue professionals in the world. We are well-equiped to manage the critical safety plans needed to ensure COVID safety in, around and to and from these venues,” Sutherland said.

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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 Presents
  • Evelyn Richardson, CEO, Live Performance Australia
  • Geoff Jones, CEO, TEG
  • Harvey Lister, Chairman and Chief Executive, ASM Global
  • John Harnden, Chief Executive, Melbourne & Olympic Parks
  • 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
  • Todd Harris, CEO, Stadiums Queensland
  • Travis Auld, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL

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