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‘Perfect storm’ leaves 400,000 jobs lost in events sector – industry body

Written by on 27/01/2021

An events industry body has told Sky News that 400,000 jobs have been lost in a “perfect storm” for the sector during the coronavirus crisis.

Peter Heath, the managing director of the Performance Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA), said Brexit red tape had exacerbated the challenges facing the industry as it looks to get back on its feet.

In an interview with Ian King Live, he said almost a year of pandemic disruption had forced 400,000 people, most of them skilled professionals, out of the industry and warned many may not return.

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‘Devastation’ for events industry in virus crisis

He blamed a lack of government financial support for the industry’s supply chain amid the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the sector that has forced venues to be largely closed and events cancelled since last March.

Mr Heath said the recent decision to call off the Glastonbury festival in June was “devastating” for thousands of people who were preparing for its return after the 2020 edition was cancelled.

He voiced fears for the wider festivals season in the UK but said he had no information on whether other major events faced the chop.

He told the programme: “We’re now in the perfect storm for our industry to really hit an all-time low. In fact, devastation.”

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Mr Heath called for a government-led insurance scheme to support the events sector in the absence of a date for a return to business as usual.

He also made the case for so-called vaccine passports to promote a safe return to operations across the economy.

“If we’re looking at vaccine roll-out, we’re looking at rapid testing programmes and people complying, that’s going to help our sector return,” he added.

“The reality is that if the government were able to talk to us sensibly about some kind of insurance that would help secure events – not just live events outside but events generally”.

 Sky News

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