Preliminary finding of a report into the state of Australia’s live entertainment industry suggested that around 69 000 jobs will be lost if capacity and related restrictions at venues are allowed to continue until December.
While there were about 112,000 full-time jobs supported in 2019, that total will fall to a meagre 43,000 a study by consulting firm EY suggests.
The report was commissioned by the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) – which includes some of Australia’s biggest promoters of entertainment, sport and festivals, as well as stadium and venue managers.
Losses of around $23-billion
According to the study, losses for 2020 in the live event space are expected to total $23-billion and economic output from the sector has fallen 65% this year.
An improvement in the industry’s fortunes seems unlikely next year if it continues to be difficult to host large crowds at venues and the country’s borders remain closed.
The report’s estimated job losses encompass production and venue staff, artists and people such as hotel workers who would normally benefit from live entertainment events.
Pushing for JobKeeper extension
Now the beleaguered industry says it is pushing for the Federal government to extend the JobKeeper program for its workers beyond the scheduled end date of March 2021.
James Sutherland, the chairperson of LEIF, said the prospects of Jobkeeper ending was of grave concern to all the operators in the industry as it had been a lifeline in the current situation.
The industry body is also requesting a moratorium on GST on ticket prices, so that the money can be used to help cover costs associated with making venues Covid-safe.
Govt.-backed insurance fund
REIF has also called for a government-backed fund to offset the difficulty of securing event insurance and an expansion of the RISE grant program for arts businesses.
The situation is said to be particularly difficult in Victoria, where many live venues have been closed since March.
Meanwhile, Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said the party would press for more assistance for the arts and entertainment industry during Senate Estimates hearings next week.