Squeezing the life out of our Live Events industry
Let’s start by stating the obvious: This Covid-19 pandemic has left millions of people throughout Britain in a horrible state of uncertainty about their future. Without going down the rabbit hole of facts and figures (this is a blog post not a company report) we can say many thousands of people have lost their jobs and millions more are wondering how long they will keep theirs. The twin horrors of Covid-19 and Brexit have seen to that.
OK, so the Government has been quite rightly ploughing billions of pounds into different sectors of the economy to shore up manufacturing, retail, the care sector and, latterly and almost reluctantly, the arts. But hospitality has largely been left to make its own way, finding creative paths to follow in order to keep businesses afloat.
Even worse is the plight of the Live Events industry, which has ground to an almost total halt. You might find the odd band playing a couple of singalong numbers at the end of a suburban street just to keep their hand in; you might even be lucky enough to have one of those doorstep productions of songs from the musicals cropping up near you. But overall, the clubs and pubs are shut down, cobwebs are being spun across the lighting rigs and Silent Night is the only song in town.
We at Complete Licensing are helping clients lobby for support and continuing to advise on licenses so that when life starts getting back to near-normal, they have genuine ‘oven-ready’ applications agreed
Not that the industry is accepting this state of affairs meekly. Petitions have gone to Parliament, internet music streaming is everywhere and there are even online pleas like the excellent ‘Dear Boris’ video on Dropbox which allows DJs, event organisers and venue owners to put their case for help and understanding. We at Complete Licensing are helping clients lobby for support and continuing to advise on licenses so that when life starts getting back to near-normal, they have genuine ‘oven-ready’ applications agreed – because ours have been properly researched and followed through.
One point which stands out from that Dropbox clip is the statistic (said we wouldn’t, but here’s just a little one) that the Live Events industry is worth £4.5 billion to the UK every year. Contrast that with the fishing industry which receives impressive backing from the Government and appears to be the Brexit ‘hill’ our Prime Minister is prepared to die on. We all like a bit of cod and chips or even a tasty turbot dinner, but should we really be prioritising fishing over many more lucrative industries? After all, the Government’s own figures show that fishing was worth £987 million to the UK in 2019. And it employs 12,000 people. That’s at least 988,000 fewer than the Live Events sector.