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Live Performance Australia’s $345 million plan to restart and rebuild the entertainment industry
Live Performance Australia (LPA) has developed a $345 million plan to help the live performance industry restart, rebuild and reopen for audiences following the COVID-19 shutdown.
The plan includes capital investment in performing arts companies and productions to help them restart, extending income support to businesses and individuals to retain jobs, and incentives to encourage Australians to return to live performance events.
LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson notes “as we enter the 12th week of shutdowns due to the public health response, it’s well and truly time for the Federal Government to get behind Australia’s arts and entertainment industry and deliver a comprehensive and properly funded plan so our world-class industry can get back to work.
Richardson advised that the LPA welcome the Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the arts and entertainment industry, however Richardson highlights that “it’s now time for real action backed by substantial targeted investment.
“Unlike some other parts of the economy, a gradual re-opening process is not commercially viable for most of our industry. We can’t re-open venues that only have dozens in the audience. That’s why we will need a sustained and strategic investment by government to get our industry up and running again.”
The LPA plan includes a $90 million Business Reactivation Fund which includes capital investments to restart and market productions and tours; support for service providers to the live performance industry (such as production and technical businesses, stage-hands, riggers, video, sound and lighting specialists); a Community Engagement Fund to support regional venues to get local communities engaged and to develop work; an Australian Music Recovery Fund; and funding to help the industry operate in a ‘COVID safe’ way.
The LPA plan also features digital and technology innovation; $70 million in additional support for the Australia Council; domestic incentives to help Australians reconnect with live performance events through a $55 million ‘See It Live’ household e-voucher scheme and travel incentives to attract international visitors to attend live events in Australia.
Richardson adds “Australians have always been great supporters of live performance, and buy more tickets to live performance events than all of our major sporting codes combined. Our proposal for a ‘See it Live’ e-voucher program for households will help them get back to their favourite live performance event.
“It will take time for the live performance industry to rebuild, so we also need to continue to provide income support through programs such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker for industry workers who have been displaced by COVID-19.”
The LPA two year recovery plan also includes longer-term initiatives to support the growth of the Australian live performance industry, including tax incentives for pre-production costs and live music venues; an Arts and Entertainment Loan scheme to encourage investment in commercial product; the waiving of visa fees for international touring performers; and a contingency fund to support events which may be impacted by future restrictions due to COVID-19 outbreaks, in particular locations that require a targeted public health response.
Richardson concludes ‘’our $4 billion dollar industry will be a major driver of economic activity, jobs and cultural tourism recovery. Our number one priority is getting our venues open and our people back to work. We look forward to working closely with governments at all levels to make this happen in the coming months. Getting our theatres open in spring is our first priority followed by our larger events such as concerts and music festivals. Our Kiwi cousins are back in theatres in the next two weeks with no physical distancing, so we believe our September timeframe is very achievable.
Image courtesy of Perth Festival 2020 Meow Meow. Credit Jessica Wyld
23rd March 2020 - LPA seeks targeted financial stimulus for live performance industry
17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package
11th March 2020 - Live Performance Australia release Coronavirus statement
16th December 2019 - Live Performance Australia says industry is waiting for Viagogo to communicate
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