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Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes potential easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and entertainment venues

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

The newly formed Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) has today welcomed the Federal Government’s move on to further ease restrictions on organised on outdoor sport and entertainment gatherings while also advising of its work in making LEIF in making stadia with capacities in excess of 40,000 COVIDSafe.

Following today’s National Cabinet meeting and the announcement from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that crowds would be allowed back to outdoor sport and entertainment venues, LEIF has advised that it is looking forward to working closely with Federal, State and Territory Governments to implement the new measures and enable the safe easing of further restrictions on organised mass gatherings, including for venues with capacities of greater than 40,000 spectators.

LEIF Chairman, James Sutherland explained “we welcome the Federal Government’s encouraging decision to enable the re-opening of live entertainment and sport.

“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. 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.”

Explaining LEIF’s activity to date, Sutherland noted “more than 50 organisations have contributed experts to LEIF’s working groups. We are united in our commitment to ensure that the needs of each state and territory government and each event are met and that fans, performers, athletes, staff and the public are kept safe. We are working with governments across Australia and stand ready to respond and adapt our approach based on circumstances. The majority of our members’ events are ticketed and seated.”

Advising that LEIF and its members have also begun the “significant work” that Prime Minister Morrison said needs to be done to allow venues with capacities of greater than 40,000 to host spectators once again, Sutherland added “Australia has some of the finest stadia and venue professionals in the world. We are well equipped to manage the critical safety plans needed to ensure COVIDSafety in, around and to and from those venues.

“We encourage further announcements from all Governments regarding future milestones as this enables our industry to project a potential gradual path to recovery, bringing back fans and bringing back jobs.”

LEIF’s mission is to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia as restrictions are eased from July. LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy that meets the needs of the public, Governments, sporting bodies, venues, performers and industry, with safety at its core.

Sutherland, the former Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, was appointed this week to lead the development of LEIF’s strategy as Chair. The Forum will work in conjunction with governments, sporting bodies, venues and audiences to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by Governments during its gradual return.

LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The objective is to safely restart an industry which supports over 175,000 Australian jobs and feeds other sectors hit hard by COVID-19 such as tourism, transport and hospitality.

Images: James Sutherland (top) and the Adelaide Oval, where the South Australian Government will allow 2,000 fans to attend the AFL Adelaide showdown this weekend (below, courtesy of Hiro Ishino).

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