Australia's Live Entertainment Industry Forum has issued a new report alongside EY that serves as an eye-opener to just how devastating the impact of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have been on Australia's live entertainment sector.
The preliminary findings from The Economic Cost of COVID-19 on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry, which will be released in full later this month, demonstrates that the economic output of the industry has fallen by 65% between 2019 and 2020, with the overall estimated output sliding from $36.4b down to $12.8b to post an economic output loss of $23.6b.
This figure also correlates with predictions that the total value added by the live entertainment industry to the economy will fall by 65% from $16.6b to $5.9b in 2020, equating to a loss of $10.7b.
The report also claims that the Australian live entertainment sector supported 122,00 full-time equivalent jobs in 2019, and that in 2020, this number will fall by 79,000 - two thirds of the figure posted in 2019, and that's not even accounting for the amount of casual or part-time jobs in the industry that have evaporated.
Essentially, this means that if restrictions remain in place until December, the live entertainment sector will only consist of 43,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
In a statement discussing the report, LEIF state the live entertainment sector is in urgent need of further aid to prevent further job losses, recommending that the Federal Government continue a JobKeeper-style support program for employees, impose a moratorium on GST for live event tickets and expand the RISE grant funding program to assist commercial enterainment operators.
“JobKeeper has provided a lifeline for our sector, but the prospect of it disappearing in March 2021 – when the industry is likely to remain massively inhibited by key pandemic-related restrictions – is of grave concern to all industry operators,” James Sutherland, chair of LEIF, said in a statement.
“For our sector to operate profitably we require venues operating at full capacity, unrestricted interstate movement, and open international borders without extensive quarantine. Without those necessary conditions, the outlook is truly bleak."
Find out more about the new report via the Live Entertainment Industry Forum.
(Header Image: POND by Dave Kan, Splendour In The Grass 2019)