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Live Entertainment Industry Forum Unites Industry Stakeholders

In order to ensure fans can return safely to live sport, entertainment, music, theatre, and festivals, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) has been formed.

Bringing together the bosses of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, AEG Presents, 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, the LEIF intends to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia.

As restrictions continue to ease across the country from July, LEIF will put in place a comprehensive flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy aimed at meeting the needs of the public, governments, sporting bodies, venues performers and industry.

The executive committee has appointed former Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, to lead the development of LEIF’s strategy as chair of the committee.

In a statement released on behalf of LEIF, Sutherland said LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring, and contact tracing.

“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill,” Sutherland said.

“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.

“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,” he said.

TEG CEO, Geoff Jones, said this is about bringing fans and jobs back, safely.

“Our industry has to work together at this challenging time,” Jones said.

“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,” he said.

The official list of LEIF executive committee members includes:

• 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
• Travis Auld, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL                • Andrew Daniels, CEO, Adelaide Oval SMA