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New Report Suggests World Tours May Not Return to Australian Arenas Until Mid-2022

A new report suggests the return of world tours to arenas in Australia may not come until mid-next year, citing the rigidity of global travel and quarantine periods.

As NME reports, the 20th edition of PwC’s annual Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook says world tours returning to Australian arenas is unlikely “until international movements are more fluid and conditions regarding 14 day quarantine are modified.” It goes on to predict that these issues may be addressed from mid-to-late 2022. Arena tours set to take place in Australia over the next 12 months include Guns N’ Roses and Lorde.

Additionally, the report acknowledges the lack of cohesion regarding restrictions across states as a challenge for large-scale tours going ahead. Their viability rests on, the report argues, “the ability for acts to quarantine safely for the prescribed period, and their ability to move between states that may have different lockdown requirements and travel restrictions at any given point in time.”

Elsewhere in the report are staggering statistics around the impact of the pandemic on live music more broadly in Australia. Calling the live music market is the “hardest hit” of entertainment and media sectors by the pandemic, it claims the industry experienced a 90% drop in revenue between 2019 and 2020. The report also argues that the biggest threat to the recovery of the sector is the last-minute cancellations of shows due to short-term health warnings, with the industry “remain[ing] beholden to State government regarding events’ ability to proceed.”

The report’s publication comes as live music is halted in many parts of the country, with New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia all currently undergoing lockdown restrictions. Earlier this week, the Brisbane-based annual music conference and showcase BIGSOUND – which hasn’t been able to hold an in-person event since 2019 due to the pandemic – was cancelled due to continuing uncertainty around border restrictions and capacity restrictions.

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