LPA calls on states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead
Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called on all states and territories to move to 100% venue capacity and keep borders open now that the vaccination program is underway.
LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said the live entertainment industry had proved resilient in the face of significant disruption caused by the pandemic.
“The industry has worked with all governments to get our people back to work, our shows back on stage and touring,” Richardson said in a statement on Friday.
“We set a goal of getting our theatres open at 100% capacity by March this year.
“We’ve nearly reached 75% audience capacity indoors across the country with some shows at 85+% and Queensland at 100%, the first state to lift restrictions (in late 2020).
“We’re now calling on all states and territories to follow the lead of Queensland and open all indoor theatre venues to 100% capacity.
LPA also wants a review of the one person per two square metre rule, which is causing venues to struggle to program events, and delay concerts and festivals in returning to normal operations.
“The challenges of eight different frameworks with anomalies in indoor and outdoor settings plus lack of consistency across industry sectors is severely impeding business recovery,” Richardson points out.
“We are concerned that sport and cultural events are being treated differently, despite the venue settings being broadly the same.
“We are also a huge touring industry and rely on borders being open and venue capacities being aligned nationally.
“For a producer putting a show into market, the current patchwork of restrictions severely hinders their ability to design a business model that works in terms of ticket sales and touring costs.
“At 75% capacity, most of our shows are still not breaking even.
“We’ve also had the constant disruption of snap lockdowns and changing border and density restrictions. This has impacted both consumer and industry confidence.”
For LPA it’s about the importance of setting the new rules in place well in advance.
“For our live music promoters we also need certainty we can kick start our summer touring season in October with full capacity in all our venues, indoor and outdoor, large and small.
“We ask that the National Cabinet agree to keep the borders open, commit to increasing capacity to 100% at all live entertainment venues and work with us to implement a framework for bringing in international artists and crew.
“This will get all of our people back to work and enable our companies to get back to business.”
The LPA call comes in the tailwind of a week where 200 music venues in Victoria and 120 in South Australia sent out similar Open Letters and WA moved to 75% capacity for indoor and outdoor venues.