Inadequate government funding risks the recovery of the UK’s world-leading sector. #WeMakeEvents urges the UK Government to recognise and provide adequate, fair financial support.
The recent government announcements to help hospitality, leisure and cultural industries on the surface are welcome, but they fall significantly short of providing the financial support needed by the live events supply chain, without whom these events cannot take place.
The live events sector was worth £70 billion to the UK economy and growing in 2019. This included manufacturers, production and equipment suppliers and an army of over half a million freelancers and specialists. From March 2020, live events had little to no acknowledgement from the government. Only around 12% of event supply chain companies benefited from the CRF lottery. Coupled to this, many local authorities did not recognise these companies as eligible for the available government grants. Not surprisingly the sector was on its knees by July 2021 when restrictions were lifted.
The disruption left by the lack of recognition and financial support since March 2020 led to enormous pressure on the remaining companies and individuals, accumulating huge debt along with a desperate shortage of highly skilled people.
Despite all this, the live events sector bounced back to pre-pandemic activity and revenues up until mid-December 2021, therefore proving it is a highly viable investment, and well deserving of support.
The recent crash in consumer confidence and cancellations, along with the impending capacity restrictions, which are already in place in parts of the UK, will devastate the sector with signs of up to 80% cancellations already.
The proposed CRF criteria for this round is not inclusive – it is a lottery.
The local authorities’ ‘lucky dip’ on deciding eligibility will not be sufficient to help the companies and individuals survive and will decimate what was a £70 billion industry.
Without financial support it will diminish the sector’s standing as world leaders in the delivery of live events and its cultural value in delivering festivals, theatre, music gigs, tours, sporting events, conferences, etc. which all add to the much-needed wellbeing of the nation.
The Live Events sector has suffered enough.
#WeMakeEvents urges the UK Government to recognise and provide adequate, fair financial support.