Australian live entertainment groups ask for federal insurance guarantee

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Live Performance Australia, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum, the Australian Festival Association (AFA) and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) have come together to renew calls on the Australian government to provide a federal insurance guarantee to the performing arts sector.

Renewing demands first made last year, the new call for live entertainment groups follows the UK Government’s introduction last week of the Live Events Reinsurance Program – a partnership between the UK government and Lloyd’s of London Insurers, which sets up policies issued by commercial insurers to live events that include festivals and commercial events because they are open to the public.

It also follows the release of a latest report by the AFA and the Australian Music Industry Network last week, finding that more than 28,000 live events have been canceled due to lockdowns since July 1.

As gradual lockdowns from COVID-19 outbreaks in several states continue, the live performance industry remains one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

Commenting on the need for a reinsurance program, Annabelle Herd, Managing Director of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and PPCA, said: to our live music industry following waves of cancellations and loss of income.

“We need the confidence that this provides. Without a project like this it will be a very calm and sad summer. “

Live Performance Australia Managing Director Evelyn Richardson added: “The UK example shows that there is a solution that can be developed in collaboration with industry on commercial terms. We are not looking for a handout, the promoters are ready to buy an insurance product.

“A government-sponsored plan just allows insurers to put policies on the market. “

In the Federal Parliament, Labor and Greens would support the introduction of such a program, with the Greens preparing to present a private member’s bill to the Senate.

Greens for the Arts spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said “there has been a clear market failure and the government needs to step in and take out an insurance plan.

“A federal insurance guarantee will close this huge gap in the insurance market and help get our emissions back on the road in the future.

“The live performance industry is not asking for help, it is asking for a product that is just not available right now so they can plan concerts, festivals and events with confidence, they will not continue. not to take massive financial blows with ongoing restrictions and blockages. “

A similar call for a government-backed insurance scheme was made by Labor Party arts spokesperson Tony Burke in July.

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