PLASA: Events supply chain “on the brink of collapse”
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
peterPLASA MD Peter Heath
UK - The entire events supply chain is at risk of collapse without further government support, PLASA has warned.
“Research has already shown that the majority of companies are running out of reserves fast with no prospect of work on the horizon,” the Association says in a statement. “It is only a matter of time before companies begin to fail and skilled individuals are lost to other sectors.”
It has been a devastating year for companies and freelancers across the industry, with the latest PLASA survey revealing that 70% of respondents lost all their revenue in the past four months. Meanwhile, the survey also found that 60% of the respondents don’t believe the government’s £1.57bn arts rescue package would have an impact on their business.
“This financial challenge was exacerbated for companies who were denied business grants, despite the chancellor announcing that they would be eligible, as well as freelancers and limited company directors who do not qualify for income support,” PLASA’s statement continues. “The government’s £1.57bn rescue package for the arts hit the headlines, yet only addresses the very tip of the iceberg. Theatres and venues are of course an essential part of our industry, but the government has failed to recognise the vast network of professionals who bring shows to the stage, often ranging in the hundreds from manufacture and distribution to stage design and technical crew.”
On 9 July, the government announced that outdoor events can resume. However, of those surveyed by PLASA, 80% have said the measures would have no to little impact on their revenue over the next six months whilst social distancing measures render most outdoor events unviable and indoor performances remain behind closed doors.
The government has stated that it is piloting some indoor events with the hope of opening theatres before Christmas, but there are no published proposals for large music venues such as arenas.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath comments: “It is absolutely crucial that the government takes notice of the supply chain, otherwise the consequences will be widespread and irreversible. ​We are in daily contact with members and we know redundancies are happening now, as companies cannot wait until the end of the furlough scheme, we recognise the urgency and pace needed and more will be announced shortly".
To help raise awareness of the struggles of the events supply chain and all those who work within it, PLASA has been running the #WeMakeEvents campaign which is calling on the government to provide further support for the sector. The campaign has already gained huge traction with the campaign video being seen by over 70,000 people across social media. The campaign also supported #LightItInRed, which saw over 600 building lit up in red on 6 July.
PLASA is working with the industry on a second phase of collaborative action, and encourages everyone to sign-up to the campaign to be informed on how they can join in.
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