Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Events - the sector with no light at the end of the tunnel

We can't change a venue red today but it doesn't mean that we're not involved in this. We are a small independent promoter and at the periphery of the music industry (of that we have no misconceptions) but it doesn't mean we don't feel or see the impacts of the lockdown not only on us but on all of those that make WinterStorm and our South Beach Sessions happen. With no support for so many in the sector there is a sense of abandonment that needs addressed.

As independents, by definition, you get used to being on your own and when you see the big boys in the industry glibly using phrases like "We're all in this together" it sometimes takes every morsel of restraint to bit your tongue.

This crisis is indeed existential for many. We may all make it to 2021 but can we all make it through 2021?

With events rolling over and new tours and festivals being announced there is going to be more competition for the "leisure pound" than ever before. There is no reason to forecast that the public will spend much more on 2021 events than they did in 2019 - they only have so much money and the demands next year for leisure time are going to be as never seen before - holidays, friends and family celebrations, sports, dining out even.

We think that's a logical or at least sensible outlook. If you have twice the number of events or even 150% of 2019 events you cannot expect the same level of ticket sales and spend across such a high supply; it's illogical - it's possible but not certain. There are going to be more tours, more midweek gigs, more music and theatre releases held back til next year, more supply on every level but DEMAND CANNOT follow. It's just impossible.

It's why there needs to be a genuine review of the sector and a three year plan to see how it can re-balance itself through an extraordinary 2020 of no events and a 2021 with a glut.

This is a long term issue for the events, hospitality and music industries and it needs strategic and JOINED UP thinking like never before.