How is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affecting events?

How is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affecting events?

  • Mar 19, 2020
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Let's talk about the big C...

There has never been something that has shaken up the events industry, and indeed every industry in the last 30 years, more than Coronavirus. Every day events are cancelling due to it. As we publish this blog, Glastonbury has just been cancelled, as well as a huge array of events all over the world. Although the advice from Public Health England, at the time of publication, is that large events do not HAVE to be cancelled, it hasn't stopped organisers taking precautions and cancelling or postponing their events.

We don't know exactly what effect Coronavirus is going to have on us all, but it has already started to impact the events industry here in the UK in a major way, and the outlook is bleak.

Event enquiries aren't coming in like they have been in previous years at this time of year, and clients aren't sure yet when to reschedule events for. This is not only having an impact on events agencies, but on performers themselves, as many are being cancelled with no sign of being compensated or rebooked.

But there are ways round it...

We have seen a new trend in China, where entertainment and events are being streamed online. We are seeing more and more acts offering what they do, but virtually. For example, AFISHAL is now offering shows from his studio, so he is still offering his unique act, but in a totally new and exciting way. For those in quarantine, times are tough and frankly, boring. We can now bring the entertainment straight to your living rooms!

And of course, this situation gives us the perfect opportunity to update our website, our acts and media so that when new enquiries come in we are ready and raring to go!

For ourselves and our fellow events agencies, there is help out there. The main point to note is that a grant of £10,000 is being offered to small business in need of financial support during this time, that are in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. They are also offering grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The government is also refunding the two weeks statutory sick pay that is a result of COVID-19, should your staff need to take time off.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. The helpline number is 0800 0159 559.

If you are a performer out of work, we recommend the below tips to get you through:

  • Keep active – whether this be home workouts, running outside, or simply walking the dog, make sure you are doing something at least once a day.
  • Write a list of all the things you have wanted to do for ages but haven't had the time to e.g. fixing costumes, having a sort out, learning a new skill.
  • Help your future self by getting your media as up to date as possible with the latest pictures and videos of yourself, so that you have everything ready to go when the time comes. We recommend having a folder with you CV, pictures and showreel in so that you can quickly attach it to your emails to clients.
  • Social media – it can feel like every single post is about the coronavirus, but theres actually a lot out there to entertain and see you through – for example musicians are starting to do instagram lives, providing mini concerts from their living rooms. If you have a skill that entertains, why not do your own insta live and build up your social media following.
  • Most importantly of all – stay positive! There's nothing we can do about the situation (other than staying indoors), so we've just got to ride it out and remember we will come out of this shining!

Useful Links (Businesses):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/872586/7662_Employer_Bulletin_Budget_special_v4.pdf

Useful Links (Performers):

https://www.ism.org/advice/performers-covid-19

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/