The National Outdoor Events Association, which represents the festival, sporting, agricultural, cultural and public event market has condemned the government after being ‘ignored’ once again as part of the fiscal relief packages announced on Friday (9th October).
The association, which represents an industry comprising of over 25,000 small businesses, and employs upwards of 250,000 people, including many freelance and smaller holding companies, believes that the government has the means to support the industry but is not doing so by choice.
“This isn’t a case of this administration not understanding or recognising the events industry. We remain in constant contact with them and have shown evidence of the positive economic and civil benefits our industry brings,” comments Tom Clements, President, National Outdoor Events Association. “We have been ignored and discriminated against once again, with other industries prioritised. This means thousands of businesses and people in our industry will lose their livelihoods.”
“We condemn the lack of action from this government. It is our opinion, that of our members but, the wider event industry and its long supply chain, that this is tantamount to a wilful destruction of our industry,” continues Tom Clements. “We pay taxes, we pay license fees, PRS and self-regulate our industry unlike others, the government is quick to collect but in our time of need, but following this government’s decision to all but shut down all events, they ignore us for the benefit of others”.
Tom Clements continued “At some point in the future, government ministers and MPs will be looking to take the stage at a major sporting event, sing the praises of our globally respected festival industry, meet communities at country & agricultural shows, or pose for photo opportunities at Hogmanay or the end of year fireworks night; and the industry that produces them just won’t be there anymore.”
The event industry needs to be able to participate in the latest Job Support Scheme and government must treat all industry equal and not pander to interest groups and multinational companies. This government is supporting the theatre, culture and arts whilst discriminating and killing the event industry and the many event suppliers who are the industry’s backbone.