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Australian live entertainment groups call for federal insurance guarantee

Australian live entertainment groups call for federal insurance guarantee
August 11, 2021

Live Performance Australia, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum, the Australia Festival Association (AFA) and Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) have joined together to renew calls for the Australian Government to provide a federal insurance guarantee to the live performance sector.

Renewing demands first made last year, the live entertainment groups’ new call follow the introduction last week by the UK Government of Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - a partnership between the UK Government and Lloyd’s of London insurers, which puts in place policies issued by commercial insurers to live events which include festival and business events as they are open to the public.

It also follows the AFA and Australian Music Industry Network last week releasing a latest report, finding that more than 28,000 live events have been cancelled due to lockdowns since 1st July.

As rolling lockdowns due to COVID-19 outbreaks in multiple states continue, the live performance industry remains one of the hardest hit sectors from the pandemic.

Commenting on the need for a reinsurance scheme, Annabelle Herd, Chief Executive of both Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and PPCA stated “the UK Government-backed scheme is a template for Australia’s Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to provide much-needed confidence to our live music industry following waves of cancellations and lost revenue.

“We need the confidence that this provides. Without a scheme like this, it is going to be a very quiet and sad summer.”

Live Performance Australia Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson added “the UK example shows there is a solution that can be developed in conjunction with industry on commercial terms. We’re not looking for a handout, promoters are willing to purchase an insurance product.

“A scheme underwritten by government just makes it viable for insurers to put policies in the market.”

In the Federal Parliament both Labor and the Greens are reported to be backing urging  the introduction of a such a scheme, with the Greens preparing to introduce a private member’s bill in the Senate.

Greens’ spokesperson for the arts, Sarah Hanson-Young advised “there has been a clear market failure and the government must step in and underwrite an insurance scheme.

“A federal insurance guarantee will plug this massive hole in the insurance market and help get our shows back on the road well into the future.

“The live performance sector isn’t asking for a handout, it is asking for a product that simply isn’t available right now so that they can plan gigs, festivals and events with confidence they won’t keep taking massive financial hits with ongoing restrictions and lockdowns.”

A similar call for a government-backed insurance scheme was made by Labor’s spokesperson for the arts, Tony Burke, in July.

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8th August 2021 - Australian entertainers highlight how Coronavirus has devastated lives and careers

6th August 2021 - Vivid Sydney 2021 cancelled with plans underway for next year’s event

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30th July 2021 - Federal Government releases $40 million in funds for 82 leading organisations

29th July 2021 - TEG launches Ovation single destination marketing and technology solutions for live entertainment and sport  

28th July 2021 - Unvaccinated Australians could be barred from festivals, theatres and sport and entertainment venues

26th July 2021 - New research shows that Australian arts and culture will need a ‘total reboot’ after COVID

22nd July 2021 - With live events an important part of life, Australians crave the return of international artists

20th July 2021 - Victorian performing arts community launches advertisement backing COVID-19 vaccinations

8th July 2021 - VMA says Australia getting vaccinated is the key to live entertainment industry’s road to recovery

20th June 2021 - Vaccines to play a key role in leisure industry recovery

16th June 2021 - Sunshine Coast live music venue owner critical of inconsistent COVID-19 safety rules

2nd June 2021 - Theme park tickets and airline rewards offered as incentives for vaccination uptake

16th April 2021 - Powderfinger bandmates lead call condemning Queensland Government’s ‘double standard’ on venue capacities for sport and live music

2nd April 2021 - Save Victorian Events highlight Bluesfest cancellation as confirmation of need for Governments to back event cancellation insurance

22nd March 2021 - Australian Live Music Business Council calls on government to ease COVID restrictions on venues

19th March 2021 - Live Performance Australia calls for 100% capacity in all live entertainment venues

29th December 2020 - Ombudsman’s report calls for action in addressing ‘national crisis’ in insurance coverage

22nd October 2020 - Festival promoters call for Federal Government insurance scheme


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