News July 26, 2021

Government urged to assist the return of international touring

Government urged to assist the return of international touring

There have been more calls for the Federal Government to help the live music industry get back on its feet, particularly in relation to international visitors.

In a survey of 35,000 consumers, commissioned by the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) and undertaken by Ernst and Young, more than 80% of respondents said that they considered international artists to be a ‘significant’ or ‘very significant’ factor in their decision to attend live events.

The study also indicated that three-quarters of Australians consider live events to be an important part of their work, social and family life, with more than 80% of the sample size wishing to see live events return with greater crowd numbers by November 2021.

More than 50% of respondents said that they were happy to attend live events regardless of how large the crowd was, with only 12% of respondents saying that they were uncomfortable with attending events with a large crowd.

Only 5% of survey respondents were recorded as saying that they would not be impacted if international touring did not return in 2021.

TEG CEO and LEIF co-chair Geoff Jones noted that the results of the study demonstrated a need for governing bodies to work with leading promoters to create COVID-Safe touring bubbles, allowing vaccinated international acts and their crews to enter and move freely around the country ahead of the summer events season.

 “We already know that international superstars love to tour Australia and that we offer them the best fans, the best weather and the best food in the world,” Jones said.

“We also know that shows by international artists generate 80% of concert ticket sales by value. They also generate the greatest economic benefit for our country through tourism, travel, hospitality, and other industries, and to our own industry which has been ravaged by the pandemic.

“EY’s findings show that Aussie fans are hungry for the world’s biggest performers to return to our shores and tour our beautiful country.”

Roger Field, president of Live Nation’s Asia Pacific division and fellow LEIF co-chair, pointed to the return of overseas touring as an example of how Australia should model its own approach.

“Other international markets are beginning to reopen and offer alternative touring options for artists, so it is absolutely critical that we reach rapid alignment with the Federal and State and Territory Governments at National Cabinet level to ensure Australia does not miss out on this vital opportunity for the live entertainment industry to recover from the worst year in its long and storied history,” Field said.

Meanwhile, Live Performance Australia’s CEO Evelyn Richardson rallied for music fans to get vaccinated in order to streamline the return of international touring.

“If we want keep our theatre and venue doors open, and we want to see our favourite performers on stage, the most. important thing we can do right now is to get vaccinated,” Richardson said.

“Not only will it keep our communities, families, friends and colleagues safe, it will ensure the future of our industry. Don’t wait. Do it now so we can welcome the world’s greatest acts back to the country that they love visiting and performing in.”

Formed last year amid the onset of the pandemic, LEIF’s executive committee includes the heads of major Australian live event enterprises such as Frontier Touring, Live Nation, Chugg Entertainment and WME, as well as the Australian Festivals Association, Venue Management Association, Live Performance Australia and more.

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