Australia’s peak body for the live entertainment industry, Live Performance Australia, has called on state and federal governments to establish a business interruption fund to help companies safely re-emerge.
The fund would act as an insurance scheme for organisers who are looking to begin planning future events but risk new public gathering restrictions or other unexpected setbacks caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Even though Australia’s active case numbers are on a reassuring decline, LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said there were still risks involved with scheduling new events. Additionally, producers and promoters are no longer able to insure against COVID-19 because it is now a known risk.
“The live performance industry was the first to be completely shut down by public health restrictions, and remains among the most vulnerable to future closure due to new outbreaks,” Richardson said.
“Live performance businesses have little or no financial reserves to survive another shutdown, and this risk will hold back the industry’s reactivation and its contribution to our economic recovery.”
Members of Live Performance Australia include Live Nation, Arts Centre Melbourne, Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring, TEG and many prominent theatre companies. The body was behind a proposal for $345million from the government to support the arts sector at the onset of the pandemic.
A similar $50million fund already exists for the nation’s film industry, which is the model for LPA’s proposed scheme. The Temporary Interruption Fund helps crews restart when productions were brought to halt due to insurers not providing coverage for COVID-19.