A number of Australian live music organisations have called on the Federal Government to implement a government-backed insurance scheme that will help out with compensation for events that have been forced to cancel because of COVID-19.
On Friday, 6th August, Live Music Australia, ARIA, APRA AMCOS, PPCA, the Australian Festival Association, and Live Entertainment Industry Forum all released a joint statement to the Federal Government.
In the statement, the groups are calling for a “UK-style insurance scheme”, to provide “certainty for the Australian live music and entertainment sector.”
For context, the scheme in the UK – dubbed the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme – has been created in partnership with the UK government, and Lloyd’s of London insurers. Through this partnership, the government have been able to “guarantee policies issued by commercial insurers to live events that are open to the general public.” This includes festivals, and business events.
In the statement, these organisations point out the vital contribution live music and entertainment has to this country, not only economically, but for culture and vitality.
“The UK Government-backed scheme is a template for Australia’s Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to provide much-needed confidence to our live music industry following waves of cancellations and lost revenue,”said ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd.
“We need the confidence that this provides. Without a scheme like this it is going to be a very quiet and sad summer.”
LPA’s Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson, touches on how the UK’s scheme is of vital importance, as it is proof that an insurance plan of this scale actually works.
“We’re not looking for a handout, promoters are willing to purchase an insurance product,” she said. “A scheme underwritten by government just makes it viable for insurers to put policies in the market.”
The statement ends with a word on the future of the industry if a scheme like this is adopted.
“The Australian live music and entertainment sector has long argued that a government-backed insurance scheme is the missing piece of the puzzle necessary to allow the sector to rebuild, maintain employment and rapidly restore the critical economic and cultural contribution to the nation.”
“The industry calls on all levels of government to come together and establish a partnership approach with industry, delivering a government-backed insurance scheme.”
“It will ensure that Australia continues to foster global best practice in incentives and schemes for our world leading live music and entertainment industry.”
Australia’s live music sector has had an incredibly tumultuous almost two years. With cancellation and postponement, after cancellation and postponement, the uncertainty has meant the industry has seen income losses of up to $64 million since July 1, 2021 alone, according to a recent I Lost My Gig survey.