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Industry stakeholders unite to restart sport and entertainment

Industry stakeholders unite to restart sport and entertainment
June 9, 2020

Australia’s largest live event businesses have today announced the formation of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) - a new body that aims to ensure fans can return safely to live entertainment, music, theatre, festivals and sport events following the industry’s complete shutdown due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

LEIF’s executive committee includes leaders of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, ASM Global, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks, Adelaide Oval, ASM Global, Venues West, Venues Live, Michael Cassel Group, Live Performance Australia (LPA), Venue Management Association and the Australian Festivals Association.

The aim of LEIF will be to support the safe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia, with restrictions set to be eased from next month. The group will develop a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry reopening and risk management strategy that will meet the needs of the public, governments and sporting bodies alike.

James Sutherland, the former Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, will serve as LEIF's chair and oversee the body’s strategy. Sutherland left Cricket Australia in October 2018 after 17 years leading the organisation.

LEIF will seek to develop measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. LEIF’s objective will be to safely restart Australia’s live entertainment industry, which supports over 175,000 jobs in the country and feeds other sectors affected by COVID-19.

Commenting on the stakeholders coming together, Sutherland explained “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.

“Our industry was the first to close during COVID-19 and it will be one of the last to fully re-open. The cultural, creative and sports industries support 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.”

Roger Field, Chief Executive of Live Nation Australasia added "live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life.

“Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviours, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social well-being, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy. I am proud that we stand united to work together to make the return to events a reality and for the people of Australia to enjoy the power of live once again.”

Last week, LPA proposed a $345 million plan to support the arts and entertainment industry recovery. 

Inaugural LEIF executive committee members include:

• Travis Auld, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL
• Dion Brant, Chief Operating Officer, Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment/AEG Live
• Michael Cassel, Chief Executive/Producer, Michael Cassel Group
• Andrew Daniels, Chief Executive, Adelaide Oval SMA
• David Etherton, Chief Executive, Venues West
• Roger Field, Chief Executive, Live Nation Australasia
• Stuart Fox, Chief Executive, Melbourne Cricket Club/Melbourne Cricket Ground
• John Harnden, Chief Executive, Melbourne & Olympic Parks
• Steve Harper, Chair, Venue Management Association
• Geoff Jones, Chief Executive, TEG/TEG Dainty/Ticketek
• Daryl Kerry, Chief Executive, ANZ Stadium/VenuesLive
• Harvey Lister, Chairman and Chief Executive, ASM Global
• Kerrie Mather, Chief Executive, SCG Trust
• Evelyn Richardson, Chief Executive, Live Performance Australia
• Julia Robinson, Chief Executive, Australian Festival Association

For more information about the Live Entertainment Industry Forum go to

Lower image shows LEIF's infographic on the value of Australia's sport and entertainment industry.

Related Articles

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

4th June 2020 - EEAA online webinar highlights Australian business events industry ready to restart face-to-face events

1st June 2020 - NSW Government abandons plans for redevelopment of Sydney’s ANZ Stadium

25th May 2020 - VMA Digital Series looks at the effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry

18th May 2020 - 85% of patrons look to return to arts and culture events, but not yet

15th May 2020 - AFL announces that season will restart from 11th June

14th May 2020 - Business Events Council of Australia delivers COVIDSafe guidelines to government

13th May 2020 - AFL announces protocols for return to training and play

12th May 2020 - Melbourne to invest in events following lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

11th May 2020 - Live Nation says no return to ‘full scale’ concerts until 2021 as it looks to drive-in events

4th May 2020 - Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh says West End and Broadway shows will be ‘last to go back’

30th April 2020 - ASM Global to launch environmental hygiene program

4th April 2020 - LPA believes funding still not enough to prevent decimation of live performance industry

31st March 2020 - VMA supports members with suspension of membership dues

28th March 2020 - Major entertainment promoters call for Australian Government support through Coronavirus crisis

17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

17th September 2019 - Music promoters back potential Gold Coast indoor entertainment arena

11th April 2019 - Leading global promoters Frontier Touring and AEG announce strategic joint venture

26th March 2019 - Promoters Gudinski and Chugg announce new partnership

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