Live sector suing UK Government to make Events Research Programme findings public

Live sector suing UK Government to make Events Research Programme findings public

LIVE, the industry body for the live sector, is suing the UK Government to get the results of Events Research Programme published.

Phase 1 of the study into Covid-19 mitigations in sport, entertainment and business conferences settings has not been made public, although some sections of it have leaked.

The BRIT Awards, the world snooker tournament at Sheffiled's Crucible Theatre and Download festival were among those studied by the Events Research Programme, however, the data has not been shared with the live sector and so far the Government has not outlined the scientific basis for its decision to maintain restrictions on events.

“The live music industry has been very willing to work with Government for the last year to show that our industry can operate safely. But it is intolerable that after running pilot shows for the Government’s Events Research Programme, at our own cost, we have been blocked from seeing the results, leaving the whole sector in limbo with the real chance that the entire summer could collapse for the second year running," explained Stuart Galbraith, music promoter and co-founder of LIVE.

“Even now, the live music sector has no idea what the rest of the summer brings, and we are left with a complete inability to plan ahead due to the Government’s continued unwillingness to provide some form of insurance to enable events to move forward.”

In addition to the legal action, LIVE is also calling on the Government to offer insurance to the sector in the same way it has backed TV and film, the adoption of a daily testing regime instead of enforced isolations which are currently impacting productions and rehearsals, and the issuing of details of restrictions or requirements on events that may be in place should social distancing measures be lifted in England on July 19 as is currently planned.

“Without immediate government intervention, the festival industry is on the brink of collapse," declared Peter Gabriel, who also runs the Woman Festival.

"That doesn't mean cash, it means providing the certainty to enable us to deliver festivals, guidance on safety, and an understanding of how their timing affects us in the real world. At the end of this week, Womad will be faced with one very difficult and heart-wrenching decision. Millions of pounds of investment and the livelihood of around five thousand people are at stake. Several pilot events have been successfully run over recent months. But, like other festival teams, we need to be told what that research means for Womad. We struggle to understand why these trials took place if the Government can't now tell us the results and how that will affect all of us.”

Yesterday, MPs on the House Of Commons' Public Accounts Committee published a report suggesting UK festivals will not survive without a "government-backed insurance indemnity package".

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