UK live sector at “brink of collapse” due to new Omicron variant, LIVE survey reveals
With COVID-19 continuing to affect everyday life, a recent survey conducted by LIVE has unveiled the latest impact that the new variant Omicron has had on the live entertainment sector in the UK. As the constant increase in cases on the island, combined with the insufficient financial support from the government, the UK is now in a cross-turn as it faces a “devastating loss” over attendance, cancellations and ticket shows. Showcasing what most have feared, this snap industry survey is yet another indication on how quickly things can take a “turn for the worst,” and with no solid plan in place, the live sector in the UK is at a risk of collapsing.
Initial findings have led to the severe impact that the new COVID-19 variant has had and is still having, with 70% of organisers having to cancel shows that were meant to go ahead the week that has just passed. Seeing the likes of Jessie Ware, Steps, Paul Weller, Coldplay and Lil Nas X all put in the difficult situation of cancelling their shows, is yet another indication of the inadequate measures that are currently being presented by the government, with no clear focus on how significant the overall impact will be on the industry. Moreover, an array of major artists were also forced to cancel any remaining shows for 2021, with cancellations not stopping there, as 50% of venues have already cancelled shows that were set to take place early next year.
In addition to the drastic cancellation of shows, the wider-public is led by the fear of uncertainty, and as health is always put first, the country’s live sector has also seen a decrease in ticket sales over the past couple of weeks. With this in mind, the industry once more faces these unprecedented times with the fear of collapsing, and with no solid plan as of now, this latest survey most definitely showcases the immediate need of help that the sector needs from the government and everyone involved in ensuring that the UK live sector does not end up “running into the ground.”
“These statistics paint a bleak picture for the sector which is why it’s absolutely vital that the government provides additional support immediately. We need urgent assistance to avoid the live music industry running into the ground, forcing venues to shut up shop and a Christmas of Misery with job losses, and freelancers and artists without work. We also face a double-whammy as next year’s sales take a nosedive, meaning organisers do not have the cash needed to cover soaring costs as they struggle to stay afloat while operating at a loss.” – LIVE spokesperson
Having faced endless trials and tribulations since the beginning of the pandemic, these latest survey findings further indicate the cry for help that the sector needs from the people in charge, and thus, urgent financial support from the government is of the essence. Calling out on the creation of a new plan, where short term financial support and the deferation of any loan payments will allow the industry to “breathe” once more, and most significantly not allow the imminent collapse if things continue in the current way that they are dealt with.
Image Credit: Printworks (via Twitter)