'This whole industry is going to get decimated': Live event companies struggling
EDMONTON -- Live events companies are trying to find ways to keep their businesses going as COVID-19 continues to hit them hard.
“We need to find a safe way to open this up or literally this whole industry is going to get decimated,” said Jon Beckett with Production World.
Under current public health guidelines outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people.
Industry professionals saw a recent concert in the United Kingdom that had spectators physically distanced in fenced-off platforms as a potential solution to that problem.
Mike Anderson, the president Trixstar Productions, said he wanted to hold a similar event in Kinsmen Park.
The event, called “Together Again YEG,” would see people separated in “social circles” with entry times staggered and food and drinks brought to the circles.
“We want this to be an example of how events can be produced and can continue to be produced because the reality is, Covid-19 is going to be here next summer,” said Anderson.
Anderson said capacity would be capped at 1,500 if they were able to get approval for the event.
The proposal was rejected by Alberta Health based on the attendee numbers. A request to the health minister for an exemption from the 200 person gathering limit was also rejected.
“It’s almost impossible to create an event that’s made for 200 people, it doesn’t make sense financially,” said Anderson.
Trixstar has had to cancel all 29 events scheduled for 2020 according to Anderson and industry revenues are reportedly down by 90 per cent.
“Given our current recommendations on outdoor events and the number of active cases in Edmonton currently, we cannot approve the proposal as it stands,” said Sherene Khaw, with the Alberta Government, in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
“I’m calling on the government to start working with our industry to get everybody up and working,” said Anderson.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Dan Grummett