News June 9, 2020

Former Cricket Australia boss to skipper reboot of live events biz

Managing Editor
Former Cricket Australia boss to skipper reboot of live events biz

Australia’s biggest music, sport and entertainment promoters have hired former Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, to restart the $150 billion live events industry.

Sutherland will skipper the newly-established Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), to ensure fans can safely return to events after gathering restrictions are finally lifted.

The major names behind LEIF include TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring and Live Performance Australia, with rival reps from each taking a seat on the coalition’s committee.

Live Nation Australasia boss, Roger Field, said live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes, but play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life.

“Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviours, so too do music and the performing arts,” said Field.

“I am proud that we stand united to work together to make the return to events a reality and for the people of Australia to enjoy the power of live once again.”

TEG’s chief executive officer, Geoff Jones, said the collective of industry power players are committed to “bringing back live in a COVIDSafe manner”.

“Our industry has to work together at this challenging time,” Jones said.

“We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely.”

The Forum will work in conjunction with governments, sporting bodies, venues and audiences to build consumer confidence and explore how the industry can be supported by governments.

Industry-wide measures like cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing are top of the agenda, according to LEIF.

“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill,” Sutherland said.

“The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced.

“The cultural, creative and sports industries support the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part-time.

“We need a clear roadmap to get our industry back to work, while playing a bigger role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of our nation.”

Sutherland spent 17 years at the national umbrella body for cricket, departing in 2018.

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