08 Apr Live Events Coalition Requests Health Insurance and Stabilization For Live Professionals
The Live Events Coalition has created a letter requesting federal aid for the live event industry, to be sent to government officials including Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Steven Mnuchin, and other federal representatives based on address.
The Live Events Coalition has updated the initial change.org petition that inspired its formation, requesting, among other things, $800 billion to stabilize a live events industry that has been totally disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and stating that current aid available through the CARES Act is merely a “band-aid” on a grievous wound to the industry.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was a $2 Trillion aid package passed by Congress in late March. It does make money available to individuals – most widely in the form of $1,200 per person making less than $75,000 annually – and makes $377 billion available to small businesses, mostly in the form of forgiveable loans. But the Live Events Coalition says, while those funds will help in the immediacy of getting peoples’ lives in order, they will not mitigate the extensive damage already done to the event industry.
“While small businesses and event workers will benefit to some degree from the stimulus packages approved thus far, the live events industry as a whole is in a dire situation,” organizers wrote on an update to the change.org petition that gave inspired the formation of the coalition. “With expected industry revenue loss between 60% to 80%, many businesses are facing permanent closure and we’ve furloughed on average 85% of our workforce. Across the Live Events industry, we are coming to terms with the fact that revenues generated by events will likely not begin to flow until August or September of this year.
“Live events is the second largest industry in total for the US economy and the fastest growing industry prior to this pandemic, with yearly increases above 5% GDP.”
The coalition has updated its request for aid into a four-point platform addressing: Family stabilization for affected workers at 90 percent of expected income; Health insurance for workers who lost coverage from their employers through layoffs or furloughs or are unable to pay employee shares; An insurance recovery fund to address lost revenue for cancelled events; and $800 billion to cover 80 percent of net income for businesses whose primary revenue source, the live event industry, has been totally disrupted. The coalition is also requesting the live events industry’s inclusion in the North American Industry Classification System.
Signatories on the update include representatives of companies of varying sizes, from Carole Galle of Special D Events to Lyn Stout of Bond Events to Eileen Valois of PRG/VER.
Pollstar previously published testimonials of production professionals whose business has been entirely disrupted by COVID-19, and stories of those struggling to get adequate aid through the CARES Act are still being reviewed.
Pollstar conducted a video interview with Isaac Rothwell of Digerati Productions, who wrote the initial Change.org petition that led to the formation of the Live Events coalition, on April 3.
When asked about the $800 billion dollar amount, Rothwell said: “You’re looking at $350 billion set aside for 8 weeks, and they’re even saying that’s not enough. When we’re looking at what live events is in the U.S., we’re probably looking at between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion [annually]. We’re looking at profit disruptions at 80% loss of revenue. … I think it’s gonna raise some eyebrows, but I’ve spoken to people in the industry who realize what the revenues that get generated in this industry are. We’re also talking about the stabilization of the hotel industry, there’s a whole lot of things that touch live events, and when you’re talking about all these things, it’s a big number.”
The full interview with Isaac Rothwell can be found below: