10 Jun 2020


On 9 June 2020, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) was launched to support the COVIDSafe return of events with live audiences across Australia, as gathering restrictions are eased. LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy that is intended to meet the needs of the public, Governments, performers and the industry, with safety at its heart. 

LEIF has been formed by Australia’s biggest Promoters of Entertainment and Sport, Venue Managers and Key Peak Bodies. LEIF will work closely with governments, businesses and audiences to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably and explore how industry can be supported by Government during its gradual return.

In conjunction with industry peak bodies Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and Australian Festivals Association, LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing. The plan is designed to support adjacent industries such as transport, tourism and hospitality, which have also been badly affected by COVID-19.


LEIF’s mission is to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia as restrictions are eased from July. LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry re-opening and risk management strategy that meets the needs of the public, Governments, sporting bodies, venues performers and industry, with safety at its core.

LEIF Executive Committee Members are:
• Andrew Daniels, CEO, Adelaide Oval SMA
• Daryl Kerry, CEO, ANZ Stadium, Venues Live
• David Etherton, CEO, Venues West
• Dion Brant, COO, Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment/AEG Presents
• Evelyn Richardson, CEO, Live Performance Australia
• Geoff Jones, CEO, TEG
• Harvey Lister, Chairman and Chief Executive, ASM Global
• John Harnden, Chief Executive, Melbourne & Olympic Parks
• Julia Robinson, CEO, Australian Festival Association
• Kerrie Mather, CEO, SCG Trust
• Michael Cassel, CEO/Producer, Michael Cassel Group
• Roger Field, CEO, Live Nation Australasia
• Steve Harper, Chair, Venue Management Association
• Stuart Fox, CEO, Melbourne Cricket Club/Melbourne Cricket Ground
• Travis Auld, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, AFL

The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) released an analysis in October 2018 estimating cultural and creative activity contributed $111.7 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016-17. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 2017 report for Sport Australia used input-output tables published by the ABS to estimate the gross value added attributable to the sports industry at $39 billion. Latest ABS data estimates that the creative and performing arts sector employs 40,000 people, while sport and recreation activities employ 134,000.


The executive committee has appointed veteran sports administrator and former Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland to lead the development of LEIF’s strategy as Chair. 


LEIF is Sports-Heavy, but it’s the only voice
by Julius Grafton

Five minutes after it was announced, corners of the Arts started to weep that LEIF was loaded with sports and light on entertainment, but it is inevitable since sport drives Australia. Sport agues it sells more tickets and beer, and generates way more money than the creative arts.

Try booking an event in any of the top ten venues in Australia. By capacity, they are sports arenas, and by design, they are available first to sport and second to anything else. Grand Prix and Supercars tie up whole city calendars for months of the year. The creative arts has its boutique little venues, the sport guys say, but we all compete for funding.

On COVID-19 we’re united – no sport or show or festival or opera can run at less than 73% average capacity (or without broadcast rights) and make a dollar. Without a dollar you don’t have anything inside the pyramid. And here’s the pyramid, courtesy Martin Smith at the UK’s Origin8:


Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.