Here we are in the middle of a British summer, and we can go to festivals and shows again! That means work for many of us who haven’t done a gig in over 16 months. Hopefully this means that the live events world and concert touring will start to get back to normal and people can get back to the work they love. There are still going to be issues moving forward – especially with touring in the EU, with visa, work permit, and then there’s the wonderful world of ‘cabotage’.
The good news is that PSA members are getting back to work after such a long and torturous wait. Despite the uncertain times, it is my sincere hope we can get back to some sense of normality. I know how much joy attending concerts and festivals brings to people and the quicker we get back to concerts, festivals and social gatherings with our friends and colleagues, the better.
Technology has changed during the pandemic as artists chose the only option they had, which was to go online and stream. This was never going to replace being in front of a live audience, but it was certainly better than nothing. It will be interesting to see what happens next with this medium in the coming months.
It was also interesting to hear that The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 have been updated and will be law until 27 September. This means that local authorities still have the power to cancel non COVID-19 secure events in England. The live event industry has called the last-minute changes unfair – especially as we have been asking for guidance for months, along with requesting a government-backed insurance policy to be in place. I would urge organisers to engage early with their local authorities and to understand what guidance they are working to. Let’s hope there are no last-minute cancellations and the shows can go on.
On the subject of engaging with the government, I thought it would be a good time to highlight one of the biggest incentives that the PSA has been involved in for the past few months; the fact that we are one of the founding members of LIVE. As I’m sure most readers of TPi will be aware, LIVE is an umbrella association including artist managers, agents, promoters, venues, and festival organisers.
Collectively, we represent productions, production companies, freelance technicians, and crew. The PSA, along with the other members, meet regularly and have various sub-groups working on specific issues. Seeing our industry working together with the aim of helping everyone involved is one of the great things to have come out of COVID-19. We have regular meetings with government departments, ministers and their civil servants, along with Arts Council England.
So, onward into the depths of summer and I hope you all have a chance to see and hear live music after such a long silence.
This article originally appeared in issue #264 of TPi, which you can read here.