Live Performance Australia has commended the WA Government for its innovative approach to helping the live performance industry manage risk associated with re-opening during COVID-19.
As part of the comprehensive $76 million arts and culture package unveiled by the McGowan Government, $15 million has been earmarked for a ‘Getting the Show back on the Road’ shared risk package to support the reactivation of live performances and touring activities.
The package includes venue hire waivers for local performing arts companies for free access to State Government venues, and up to $9 million to help underwrite COVID-19 related financial risks for live music and performance.
“While states such as WA have achieved great results in suppressing COVID-19 and been able to relax restrictions, Victoria’s stage 4 shutdown and ongoing concerns about clusters in NSW highlight the persistent threat posed by COVID-19,” said LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson.
We applaud the McGowan Government’s approach in developing this shared risk package in consultation with our industry.
“There is significant commercial risk involved with restarting or scheduling new productions or festivals as long as there is potential for venue and event closures or other restrictions which are imposed to deal with further outbreaks of COVID-19.
“The Commonwealth Government and other states and territories should follow WA’s lead in designing similar shared risk support measures to give the live performance industry greater confidence to plan and prepare for reopening in their jurisdictions.
“We have asked Federal Government to consider extending the Temporary Interruption Fund for the screen industry, or a similar model, to the live performance sector, given we face very similar challenges in securing insurance against COVID-19 related disruptions.
‘’It is not commercially viable for major productions to resume with current social distancing requirements. In the event these are relaxed, the prospect of future disruption for production or touring seasons remains a major obstacle to being able to confidently restart and rebuild our industry,’’ Ms Richardson said.