Border Control Login

At the request of the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) has delivered its findings from an investigation into the impact on the outdoor events industry of the delay to Step 4 of the easing of the lockdown process.

The report consists of anecdotal evidence from NOEA members who have provided insight into how the delay has impacted them. Many said it had cost their businesses in excess of £100,000 due to cancelled events, caused suppliers to go out of business, increased confusion among consumers about events, and a lack of Government guidance was making it very hard to plan events post 19 July. Another concern voiced is a lack of pilot free-to-attend outdoor festivals in the Events Research Programme ERP, and clarity on what events are included in the scheme’s scope.

NOEA CEO Susan Tanner said the testimonies underline the levels of anxiety and anger, as well as the falling levels of confidence within the events industry since the announcement of the delay to lockdown restrictions last week: “DCMS were really keen to gain feedback from the industry on how the delay of the easing of restrictions has affected them. The report really brings to life anecdotal, emotional, but in a highly credible way, just how desperate the situation now is for many.

“Although this is just a sample of the industry, it’s true to say that it is representative of where the industry is as we look towards another excruciating six months for the industry.”

NOEA has issued Government with a list of actions that it says need to be undertaken in order to keep the outdoor events industry afloat:

Immediate actions

  • Take steps to ensure that monies intended for events specific businesses reach their intended destinations via Local Authorities
  • Enforce on Local Authorities that these businesses are not only a tremendous long-term investment, but also support an entire eco system of other companies, across different industries
  • Create business support packages that are specific to the events industry, and understand that:
    • The industry is season – predominantly late spring to late summer – specific and has lost two seasons of income
    • Many of the key events are based in businesses without premises but still need the same level of support as those with premises
    • Many of those businesses that work remotely / not office based have massive impacts on the procurement and supply chain and need to be protected
  • Events businesses should receive rate relief just like others in the hospitality sector
  • The 5% level of VAT made available to event organisers on ticket sales, to be made available to event supplier’s sales
  • Confirmation of a start date for the event industry. If this needs to be put back, this should be on a fortnightly basis from 1 June 2021
  • Government to underwrite cancellation insurance when the industry “Starts Back”

Longer term actions

  • Furlough needs to be continued until at least the end of December 2021
  • Staff employed up to 31 December 2020 to be allowed to go on furlough
  • Employers National Insurance and Pension contributions to be suspended until December 2021
  • Repayments of PAYE and VAT owed to HMRC to be deferred to December 2021 with the outstanding amounts turned into a loan payable over 10 years
  • The repayment of Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Loans taken out in 2020 to be deferred to April 2022
  • Event Industry companies & Event Suppliers should also qualify for Business Rates Relief
  • Further grants required now that we have lost events until July
  • Implementation of IR35 deferred to April 2022
  • Devolved administrations to synchronise their plans with Westminster government, the industry and supply chain works throughout the UK