The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) has issued a stark warning in a letter to the UK government highlighting the events industry’s increasingly desperate situation. The industry body, which represents outdoor events from music festivals to sporting competitions, has urged the Prime Minister to address the sector’s concerns and provide financial support.
Due to the arrival of Covid-19, the events industry has seen revenues decimated following government restrictions to combat the virus. The loss of income from 2020, combined with rising government and supplier debts incurred by many businesses throughout the pandemic, is causing significant worry for many across the sector. The association has described the situation as a “tidal wave of tax debt that will sink the events industry”. They have also underlined concerns that with no restart date or targeted financial support planned for the events sector, businesses are on the brink of collapse. This could result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
In the letter, NOEA has also reiterated twelve requests for government support that could help the industry. They’ve asked the Prime Minister to consider these points as part of a sector “specific support programme” from Westminster. Before signing off the correspondence, the association emphasised, “The events industry is on its knees and cannot survive the amount of debt it has incurred over the last twelve months. It needs a season of trading, employing staff and generating revenue for themselves and the economy before it can make good these commitments, but most crucially we are needed to keep people safe and secure as they again begin to congregate in larger groups.”
In a press release, Tom Clements, President of the National Outdoor Events Association, commented that, “This really is the last chance for many businesses. To get any event happening this year will require a well-functioning supply chain, and we’re in danger of losing thousands of these businesses.”
“This year more than any, we as an industry, need to be doing a safe and professional job, carried about by skilled and experienced people. At the current rate, these professionals will just not be there in the summer. That’s devastating for them, but it’s also incredibly dangerous for the millions of people who attend events in the UK, now and in the future”.