“In the event that governments upgrade their public health response to COVID-19, which forces the cancellation of live performance events, they need to, in the short term, urgently develop a targeted relief package to keep businesses operating,” Ms Richardson said.

“As a sector with high casual employment, we would also urge the federal government to consider a program similar to farm relief to make access to social security payments available in the event of a sector shutdown
or significant loss of trade. Waiting periods should be waived.

“Consideration should also be given to extending the wage subsidy of 50 per cent for apprentices and trainees to artists, performers, creatives and technical crew who are employed by companies.

“We also need to provide certainty for the ticket-buying public that … the government will be there to support the industry through disruption. The impact of any forced closures will be huge and it’s critical the government acts now to ensure companies survive and people stay employed.”

LPA’s response to the dramatic escalation of cancellations due to COVID-19 comes as a taskforce of touring companies, including Live Nation and AEG, today recommends “large-scale events through [to] the end of March be postponed” while supporting small-scale events to follow the guidance of local government officials.

Earlier this week, Ms Richardson said “obviously, people who have been in COVID-19 affected countries, or have had contact with a confirmed case or are unwell should stay away from public gatherings, but otherwise it should be safe to attend.

“We’ll continue to follow that advice, any many of our live performance events are proceeding on that basis, including upcoming festivals such as Bluesfest. If and when the official advice changes, we will work closely with health authorities to respond to their advice.”

Source link