we make events

We Make Events study: 43 per cent of live events businesses to close by June

We Make Events has released new research indicating that 43 per cent of businesses across the live events industry could fold by June.

The We Make Events campaign is calling for urgent government support, as the live events industry continues to face the devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With live events having ground to a halt for almost a year now, thousands of jobs and businesses have been affected, especially amongst the vast number of freelancers and self-employed professionals who are ineligible for financial support.

As part of a new campaign highlighting the plight of the industry, We Make Events has issued alarming findings from a survey of over 2,800 business and individuals in the live events supply chain. Key findings include:

  • 93 per cent of individuals and businesses in the live event supply chain have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic – 65 per cent have seen a fall of over 50 per cent, and 30 per cent a fall of over 90 per cent
  • 34 per cent of individuals and businesses have received no government support – either through loans, furlough, or local or national grants. Many of those that have received support report it is inadequate
  • 50 per cent of individuals have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income. A third have been forced to leave – or are considering leaving – the sector
  • 43 per cent of live event supply chain businesses say they don’t have the resources to last until the summer

Prior to March 2020, UK live events industry generated in over £70 billion a year and supported over 700,000 jobs.

Peter Heath, We Make Events steering committee member and MD of PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association), said: “The live event supply chain has been all but unable to work for almost a year – we have been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Yet, we have received no targeted assistance and been excluded from much of the support said to be for businesses that are unable to open. As a result, the live event supply chain is on the brink of collapse.

“This can be stopped if the Government sees the human and economic devastation being inflicted on the live events supply chain, extends the whole sector the lifelines we need to survive until it is safe for live events to reopen, and works with us to build a practical roadmap for reopening. We hope this campaign moves the Government to take these vital steps.”

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, added“It’s hugely disappointing that almost a year since stages went dark, the skilled professionals making up our world leading creative sector are still falling through the cracks of Government support.

You may also be interested in:

“The DCMS Committee continues to hear evidence on the severe impact the pandemic has had on those in live event supply chains, in our inquiry into the support needed to save the 2021 season of festivals.

“I hope this serves as a catalyst to the Government taking the steps it so urgently needs to, including backing COVID-19 cancellation insurance.”

We Make Events is encouraging people to call on their local MPs for further support. A new initiative, entitled The Government Can’t See US, Can You? has also been published, telling the stories of may live events professionals whose livelihoods have been hit by the pandemic.

“2020 led to great growth but we need to manage that in 2021”
Read the Audio Media International partner plan.