Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (17 March)
Our industry is facing an extraordinary challenge. . .
…and event professionals all over the world are feeling shell-shocked after an unbelievable few weeks.
We want to do our bit. So we’ll be working hard over the coming weeks to keep you updated with information and advice on how to navigate these turbulent times—whether that’s info on financial relief, petitions to support professionals in the entertainment industry, or even just sharing content that lets you know you’re not going through this alone.
Large gathering guidance from Scottish govt
For anyone who hasn’t already heard, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that gatherings of 500 people or more should not take place in Scotland—asking organisers of all large events (indoors or outdoors) to cancel or postpone. This guidance has been published to protect public services—especially the NHS and emergency services—until the impact of COVID-19 has lessened substantially.
£320m package of support for businesses
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has introduced new measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Scotland, throughout the financial year 2020-21:
- a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from 1 April 2020;
- an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19;
- 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020.
If you think these measures might help your business, you can find out more here.
COVID-19 business helpline
There’s also a business helpline you can call if you’re looking for guidance and advice on COVID-19. The helpline number is 0300 303 0660 and it’s open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Petition for govt to offer economic assistance to events industry during COVID-19
This petition calls on the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.
The petition has already surpassed the 100,000 signatures needed for parliament to consider a debate—but please, keep on signing.
COVID-19 event planning advice
In the wake of COVID-19, Event Ctrl—a fellow live production crew—has created a document full of event planning, delivery, and operational advice. It’s based on current guidance and feedback from experienced events profs and production planners, and it’s certainly worth a read.
They’ve made this doc publicly available, you can find it here. Thanks guys.
For anyone in the entertainment industry. . .
This will resonate with anyone who works in our industry—and for those who don’t, this should give you an idea of how we’re feeling right now.
WHO mental health guidance during COVID-19
WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse has issued some guidance to promote mental and psychological well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. This invaluable advice targets all kinds of groups—from the general population, to healthcare workers, to vulnerable people, to anyone in isolation. We’d encourage you to give it a read.
So we’re singing off this time with an important message—please take care of yourselves during this stressful time. Be supportive, be compassionate, and be kind.
Look out for each other, and check back soon.