The publication of the new white paper follows last week’s announcement that Take1, in partnership with Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions and the Event Safety Alliance, will provide free Event Safety Access Training to professionals returning to work after more than a year of being sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take1 Insurance Vice President and Program Director, Scott Carroll said: “The entertainment and live events industry have been through a nightmare scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a halt. Virtual events have helped fill gaps, but, ultimately, the desire of people to experience live events in person cannot be denied. Now with vaccines rolling out, the prospect of getting back to some semblance or normality is becoming a reality. Together with our partners, we are doing everything possible to help shake off the rust and get our industry back to work safely.”
Carroll said that everyone must recognise that the workforce of the Entertainment and Live Events Industry has changed radically in both quantity and quality over the last year and a half. According to IBISWorld there were more than 270,000 Concert and Event Promotion employees in the U.S. as of February 2019. A year later, that workforce had shrunk to around 148,000, a drop of 55%.
“Even as we start to recover, the workforce totalled 190,000 in February 2021. When will it return to pre-COVID numbers?” Carroll said. “Even with steady growth, not before 2022, if then. Many experienced workers will not be returning. They were forced to seek alternate employment and have moved on with their lives.”
In addition, the employment model itself has changed from full time staff to freelance gig workers. Looking at the two largest concert producers underlines this dramatic story. Live Nation, the world’s largest producer saw its quarterly concert activity plunge from 7,000 concerts in 2019 Q2 to 24 concerts in 2020 Q2. With revenue down 98%, it’s not surprising that their workforce was reduced from 18,700 to 700 to keep pace.
AEG, the number two producer, told Rolling Stone that the company expected to lose 10,000 North American shows in 2020, plus at least half of that in 2021. That’s a loss of $2bn to $3bn dollars. In a normal year, AEG puts on around 13,000 shows, which translates into a loss of about 75% of their expected business in 2020.
With all this upheaval, the live events workforce, particularly technical workers, face enormous challenges.
1) The pool of experienced workers has shrunk dramatically. Many are financially stressed after a year of turmoil as well as professionally “rusty” and in need of refresher training as the industry gets back up to speed.
2) Many new workers are entering the pool without any training or experience, especially when it comes to safety on the job site. Their inexperience can create risk.
The new Take1 white paper discusses strategies to go back to work, while managing risk. While there are many strategies to consider, the most crucial is safety. The white paper features industry experts, including production professionals, underwriters, brokers, and safety specialists, to better understand what it will really take to get back to work safely.