The festival and events industry as we know it is on the brink of permanent demise according to research from the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA). In a report out today, the organisation reports that 84% of all organizers questioned have seen their entire events program wiped out for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the industries peak summer months.
The NOEA is warning both attendees and government departments that the loss of these businesses could permanently change the shape of the festival and event industry and lead to the closure of some of the most recognised festival, sporting, cultural and event brands in the UK.
According to the research, the average loss to event businesses is £539,431 with over half suffering losses of £100,000 or more. The outdoor event and festival market contributes over £30.4 billion to and with over 141.5 million people attending UK events annually. Jobs within the sector are also under severe threat, the industry provides employment for over 589,000 people, many within small SME companies or as freelancers with historically low margins. Three quarters of the companies surveyed have taken advantage of the staff furlough scheme, but over 65% are planning redundancies.
In addition, 51% of have said that without further support they will not see the end of 2020. Of those surveyed, 65% only have liquidity for 6 months or less and 41% only have enough for the next 3 months. However, whilst 65% of those surveyed have already applied for government grants 80% have yet to receive anything.