We Are at the Cliff Edge!

Our blood is boiling as this Government makes more U turns than a driver on L Plates.

Continued government inaction will be catastrophic for everyone in the event supply chain, from artists to labels, to grassroots venues and festival sites across the country.

The government must act now, and fast, or we risk losing the entire supply chain of live music and the cultural and financial gains made over the last 40 years. Without effective leadership, major and minor stakeholders inside the industry are stuck on a rudderless ship drifting out to sea.

The consensus is that our fate is out of our hands as we are at the whims of the government who in turn are at the whims of the coronavirus. It chips away at our confidence and capacity to plan for the future, something integral to the function of every level of business.

Planning has been hamstrung by the lack of a clear and workable framework and time is running out with some shows already cancelling. We must wake up to the reality that we need to shout a lot louder, or risk sleepwalking into 2021. Planning next season has started, artist offers are being negotiated and now again will be put on pause.

We must collectively make the decision to survive, by any means necessary, with support coming from outside of the industry, from everyone effected by its erasure.

A look at the ONS data leaves the outlook equally bleak. It is ineffective modelling if the true case number is higher than those tested are and in cities of mass density such as the Capital I find it hard to not believe the cases not presented to be significantly higher.

Rigorous testing reduces the apportioned mortality rate significantly and a failure properly to address this shows a clear disparity. It ignores the ratio of true case numbers vs mortality rates, giving a skewed perspective.

We are in dire need of guidance in the form of smart milestones and the freedom to reach them through the ingenuity, experience, and expertise of industry leaders. The coronavirus is here to be managed, not managed by. Industry leaders must be given support and a fair opportunity to adapt and provide the typically safe service they always have.

The events ecosystem is already under huge threat as the package of measures taken decimated the 2020 season. The lockdown offered no help of a cure but to temporarily slow the growth of the virus, squashing the sombrero as planned. This process in turn annihilated countless businesses and plunged the country into a recession with the knock on effect forecasted to last until 2024 at least.

Maybe the Prime Minister should look to his predecessors for inspiration. To quote one of his heroes, Winston Churchill, “There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool’s paradise.”

The Prime Minister says his government will put “arms around the whole of the workforce of the UK”. Now, it feels like hands around our neck. The life is being choked from us. We demand clarity. We demand honesty. And we demand it now.

Written by Nick Morgan.

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