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Industry comes together to assess impact of COVID-19 on the events and entertainment industry

Industry comes together to assess impact of COVID-19 on the events and entertainment industry
October 14, 2020

Event Summit 2020 is today bringing together the leaders of the events, live entertainment and technology industry to reveal the winners, losers and innovators of COVID 19 filmed at The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden.

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) hosted by James Sutherland (LEIF Chair), Geoff Jones (Chief Executive, TEG) and Roger Field (President, Live Nation Asia Pacific) and EY’s Matt Colston (Associate Partner Sports, Events and Venues Consulting ), headlined the discussion with the results of an industry-wide research piece conducted to measure both the contribution of live events to the Australian economy and the devastating loss it has suffered.

As TEG Chief Executive, Geoff Jones explained “EY’s report demonstrates that when the live entertainment industry does badly, Australia loses.

“Almost all of our revenue disappeared overnight when COVID-19 restrictions closed down the industry in March and while the return of sport with limited capacities has offset some of that impact in EY’s figures, for commercial live entertainment operators both large and small, revenue in September/October remains at no more than 10% of 2019 levels.”

Reflecting how content creators, live streaming and the ability to adapt event sponsorships into new territories is providing some hope for business growth, KFC’s Sally Spriggs advised “we do rely heavily on tapping into Australia culture and live entertainment such as sport and music and it’s really important as a mass brand to be a part of that culture.

“We’ve tried to endure those connections - we’ve had to adapt. We started getting into music before COVID hit with the KFC truck going to festivals but during COVID we started sponsoring live stream events to continue that connection. Sport, we’ve had to think more about the at home audience. It’s really important to keep the momentum going but be adaptable to what you can do. The most important thing is to keep those passions alive in Australians because that’s what will endure.”

Twitch’s Ricky Chanana also weighed in on the debate with professional gamer and content creator Jessie James of Geekgg who said that audiences had flocked to platforms like Twitch where they could still experience the thrill of live entertainment whilst interacting with talent they felt connected to, from the comfort of their own homes.

NEC’s David Borean agreed, noting “during COVID both event organisers and venues alike have had to turn to technology to find new ways to access audiences and deliver content.”

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres showed support for the industry with a heartfelt opening address, ensuring the audience that an updated Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan would provide the road to recovery for the NSW Tourism sector with events as a key focus of the plan and where the NSW Government will invest tax payer money.

Minister Ayres noted “no sector has been affected more that the Tourism, Accommodation and Hospitality sectors. It is critical that we establish confidence back into this market and we get people back out, into our cities and regions”

Event speakers and topics are:

• Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney: Event Open.
Qualifying the contribution of the live events industry - Matt Colston- Associate Partner Sports, Events and Venues Consulting, EY
Live Entertainment Industry Forum - James Sutherland, LEIF Chairman; Roger Field, President, Live Nation Asia Pacific and Geoff Jones, Chief Executive, TEG
• Craig Tiley, Chief Executive, Tennis Australia: The Australian Open 2021.
• David Borean General Manager Brand and Customer Experience NEC Australia: Biometrics and AI, CX game changers for venues and events.
• Nicola Lewis, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM; Sally Spriggs, KFC South Pacific Marketing Director; Shannan Quinn, PRISM MD: Event Sponsorships in a COVID World and beyond
• Johnny Little, Vice President Spartan Race Inc: Driving Global Participation Engagement
• Luke Anear, Chief Executive Officer Safety Culture: Helping Organisations build immunity to risk.
• Andrew Waddel, General Manager, Tourism New Zealand; Lewis Mitchel Partnership Lead, Twitch AUNZ; Jessie James (Geekgg), Twitch content creator; Ricky Chanana Head of Sales AUNZ Twitch: The future of live streaming and content.
• Richie McNeill - Chief Executive, Hardware Group; John Curtin - Director Curtin Consulting; Frank Cotela - Chief Executive and founder OneLove Music Group; Kim Friedlaender, Business Development Director Live Nation Australasia Festival X: Launching a new music festival brand, building and retaining new audience. 

The Event Summit is running from 9am to 2pm today (Wednesday 14th October 2020).

All sessions can be viewed directly at

For more information go to

Images: Nicola Lewis, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM; Sally Spriggs, KFC South Pacific Marketing Director and Shannan Quinn, PRISM MD address Event Sponsorships in a COVID World and beyond at today's Summit (top) and findings from LEIF's report, compiled by consultants EY, on the devastating impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the industry and the livelihoods of the people who work in it (below).

Related Articles

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

2nd October 2020 - Venues in 25 nations light up red to back #WeMakeEvents initiative

1st October 2020 - TEG invests in West End theatre giant ATG

25th September 2020 - NSW Government relaxes restrictions for cinemas, events, sport and theatre

24th September 2020 - Industry leaders announced as Event Summit 2020 speakers

21st September 2020 - Live Nation appoints senior leadership roles within its Asia Pacific division

2nd September 2020 - TEG restructures management team for long-term global expansion

1st September 2020 - Events Centre Caloundra reopens for first live performance in over four months

18th August 2020 - Mass participation sporting events calls for $48 million stimulus funding from Federal Government

22nd July 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum applauds Australian Government’s JobKeeper extension

30th June 2020 - Event Summit to return in October as free-to-attend physical conference

25th June 2020 - Arts and entertainment funding package welcomed by Live performance industry

23rd June 2020 - MEAA advocate for multi-level support of arts and entertainment sector

19th June 2020 - Mass participation sporting event industry highlights $1.1 billion Coronavirus impact

18th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes return of sports fans in Queensland

12th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes potential easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and entertainment venues

11th June 2020 - Albany Entertainment Centre becomes Western Australia’s first theatre to reopen

4th June 2020 - Live Performance Australia’s $345 million plan to restart and rebuild the entertainment industry

2nd June 2020 - Reopening of cultural institutions coincides with Australian Government considering support for arts and entertainment sector

3rd April 2019 - Leading global experts coming to Sydney for Event Summit 2019

3rd April 2018 - The Event Summit 2018 wants delegates to ‘dream big’

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