In light of the growing Omicron crisis, #WeMakeEvents calls on the UK Government to provide urgent financial support for the live events supply chain including the freelance and self-employed community, in line with hospitality.
December is a huge month for the events industry, and cancellations are increasing rapidly every day. One production company alone has had £300,000 worth of work cancelled that was scheduled in from now up to Christmas Eve. The situation is exacerbated because these companies were just starting to recover and still have to pay all the wages and a percentage of sub-hire bills, which in the above case added a further £120,000+ to the debt.
The hospitality sector relies heavily on sales from events and therefore, with a pre-covid contribution from the live event sector alone of £70 billion to the UK economy, the live events sector should be recognised similarly. Most companies and freelancers only got the green light to return to work on 19 July following 16 months without income, and companies only received around 12% of the Culture Recovery fund that the Government put in place, and many freelancers were not able to obtain government support.
#WeMakeEvents is calling on the Government to urgently recognise the value of the live event sector alongside hospitality and provide a rescue package that allows:
- Distribution of the remaining CRF funds and local authority grants
- Instant rates waivers for businesses
- Holidays on loan repayments
- A Government provided ‘cancellation fund’ that the industry can draw on in the absence of Covid insurance. (Not only is the Government-backed insurance scheme not triggered unless there is a national lockdown, it is unsuitable or unavailable to most)
- A support scheme to protect company employees and freelancer wages
There will be a press release early next week to industry and national press.