Music and theater industries launch lawsuit to force release of test event data

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Andrew Lloyd Webber has teamed up with the live music industry to take legal action that could force the UK government to hand over the results of its pilot program of live events.

The events and research program saw the public attending a weekend of events in Liverpool, the BRIT Awards and the Download Festival.

Event planners were eagerly awaiting the results of the program last week ahead of a planned summer of live music, but they have been delayed without explanation.

They are now taking legal action in an attempt to reopen the live events industry.

“The short-term success is striking,” the live events industries said in a collective statement. “Research indicates that the potential four-week delay before the reopening will result in the cancellation of approximately 5,000 live music concerts, as well as numerous theatrical productions across the country, costing hundreds of millions of pounds. lost income. “

Lord Lloyd-Webber also highlighted the decision to let sporting events such as Wimbledon and Euro 2020 take place with large audiences, while concerts and theatrical productions are closed.

“The government’s actions are forcing theater and music companies to descend a cliff as the summer progresses, while choosing high-profile sporting events to continue,” Lord Lloyd-Webber said. “The situation is more than urgent. “

“Now we just need to see the data that is being used to strangle our industry so unfairly.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber (Photo: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images)

The lawsuit was also brought by other prominent figures, including West End producers Sonia Friedman and Cameron Mackintosh. Other supporters include Peter Gabriel of the Womad Festival and the live music group, LIVE.

It comes after industry figures accused the government of “pushing live music off a cliff” and endangering the industry’s future by failing to publish the results.

They pointed to reports that apparently only 15 of 58,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of the various trials of events organized by the government, which followed a corroborating report that the events of mass without COVID-19 restrictions are “as risky as shopping.”

Commenting on the decision, Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said: “Last week we asked the government to release the results of the events research program. Without the data and evidence from this program, it is not possible to plan safe events that meet the government’s latest position to create Covid safe venues and concerts.

“The government has refused to disclose this information, has not provided a justifiable reason for the denial of disclosure and therefore cannot engage with the industry to work on any risk mitigations that may be required based on the content. of the report. “

There have also been new calls for a government-backed insurance fund to cover live events this summer after this week saw Kendal Calling become the latest in a long line of UK festivals that have been forced to ‘cancel this year.

The organizers of Kendal Calling said it was “an insult to the entire industry” to still wait for the long-awaited research of the Events Research Program two months later, combined with the government’s refusal to provide festival insurance until the industry reopens.


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