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With live events an important part of life, Australians crave the return of international artists
A new study commissioned by The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) reveals that fans are longing for the return of international acts to Australia and highlights the need for National Cabinet to align to ensure the industry can recover with a blockbuster summer of live entertainment.
More than 80% of the 35,000 consumers surveyed by consultants EY indicated that they consider international artists to be a ‘significant’ or ‘very significant’ factor in their decision to attend live events. The survey also found that fans want live events with larger crowd numbers to return this year, with more than 80% keen to see live events return with greater crowd numbers as of November 2021.
Geoff Jones, Chief Executive of TEG and Co-Chair of LEIF, said the results underline the need for Federal, state and territory governments to align with leading promoters to ensure vaccinated international acts and their crews can enter the country and move around easily in COVID-Safe travel bubbles for shows and festivals throughout the coming summer.
Jones advised “we already know that international superstars love to tour Australia and that we offer them the best fans, the best weather and the best food in the world.
“We also know that shows by international artists generate 80% of concert ticket sales by value.
“They also generate the greatest economic benefit for our country through tourism, travel, hospitality, and other industries, and to our own industry which has been ravaged by the pandemic. EY’s findings show that Aussie fans are hungry for the world’s biggest performers to return to our shores and tour our beautiful country.”
Roger Field, President Asia Pacific of Live Nation and Co-Chair of LEIF, added “other international markets are beginning to reopen and offer alternative touring options for artists so it is absolutely critical that we reach rapid alignment with the Federal, state and territory governments at National Cabinet level to ensure Australia does not miss out on this vital opportunity for the live entertainment industry to recover from the worst year in its long and storied history.”
Amid fresh lockdown measures to quash the current outbreaks of COVID-19, EY’s survey also spotlights the positive impact that live entertainment has on the nation’s mental health, showing that three-quarters of Australians saying they consider live events an important part of their work, social, and family life.
The report features quotations from fans that display the negative impact that the shutdown of the live industry has had on their wellbeing since the COVID-19 pandemic enforced gathering restrictions which have since eased but continue to affect the sector, with snap lockdowns an ongoing concern.
One fan told EY “Live music literally helps so much with my depression. I am struggling without it.”
“Live events are a major part of people’s mental health. People need to be able to have something to look forward to and somewhere to go to forget about the stresses of normal day to day life,” writes another.
Another participant noted “I am disabled. These events are often the only time I leave the house and get dressed nicely in a month, and the only time I get to socialise without focus on my disability. Live music is my lifeblood despite financial limitations.”
Reflecting on this fan sentiment, Julia Robinson, General Manager, Australian Festivals Association also commented on the importance of mass gatherings in Australian society.
Robinson stated “EY’s study shows how vital live experiences are to social cohesion and wellbeing. Events bring us together. They can inspire and move us. Live entertainment is the antidote to last year’s disconnection, and we know audiences around Australia continue to miss their festivals, concerts and events.”
EY’s study also shows that a majority of individuals identifying as ‘Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander’, ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ or ‘Living with a Disability’ believe live entertainment events play an important or significant part of their lives.
Only 5% of survey respondents noted that they would ‘not be impacted if live entertainment events did not return in 2021’.
Only 12% of respondents said they were uncomfortable attending live events with a large crowd whilst more than 50% said they were happy to attend live events no matter how big the crowd is.
Live Performance Australia’s Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson said that the best call to action for fans to help the live entertainment industry is to go and get vaccinated.
Richardson added “if we want keep our theatre and venue doors open, and we want to see our favourite performers on stage, the most important thing we can do right now is to get vaccinated. Not only will it keep our communities, families, friends and colleagues safe, it will ensure the future of our industry. Don’t wait. Do it now so we can welcome the world’s greatest acts back to the country that they love visiting and performing in.”
LEIF’S executive committee includes the heads of TEG, Live Nation, Chugg Entertainment, AEG Presents, Frontier Touring, WME, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks, Adelaide Oval, Venues West, Venues Live, ASM Global, Michael Cassel Group, Stadiums Queensland, Live performance Australia, Australian Festivals Association, and Venue Management Association. (Executive committee list in notes to editors)
LEIF supports the restarting of live events with correct and responsible COVID-19 safety measures at venues with live audiences.
For more information about the Live Entertainment Industry Forum go to www.leif.net.au.
Image: Taylor Swift at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium in 2019.
11th July 2021 - Major events to deliver $380 million boost to Queensland economy
11th January 2021 - Promoter Tony Cochrane winds up International Entertainment Consulting
22nd October 2020 - Festival promoters call for Federal Government insurance scheme
14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID
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