New Industry Body Launched To Help Support The Return Of Live Music

9 June 2020 | 9:07 am | Staff Writer

Announced today.

Leaders in the music and sports industry have come together to form the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF)

The new industry body, which is chaired by Former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, aims to support and ensure the safe venue of both music and sports as restrictions begin to ease around the country from July. 

They will develop measures around cleaning, sanitisation, physical distancing plans, contact tracing, crowd management and health monitoring.

"LEIF’s mission is to support the safe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia from July as restrictions are eased," explained a statement on the group's website. "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 and performers and industry, with safety at its core. 

"LEIF will work closely with governments, businesses and audiences to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by the government in a gradual return."

Members of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, AEG, WME, 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, Venue Management Association and the Australian Festivals Association make up the LEIF executive committee. 

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

"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," said Sutherland.

“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 supports 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.”

"Our industry has to work together at this challenging time," added TEG CEO Geoff Jones. "We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely. We want to work closely with the Federal, State and Territory Governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”

“Live entertainment and sport at scale is the beating heart of Australian culture. From footy Grand Finals to outdoor festivals and from The Ashes series to stadium concerts like FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA, the live experience unites us with our fellow Australians and lifts spirits as no other experience can. We are all committed to bringing back live in a COVIDSafe manner.”

“Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life," said Live National Australasia CEO Roger Field. "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."

Find out more about LEIF here.