Tasmania’s live event industry wants restrictions eased in line with other states

The Tasmanian live event industry is calling on the state government to ease social distancing restrictions to save to “help save an industry”.

Speaking to The Mercury, Vandemonian Touring director Brendan Self said the “government has forgotten about events companies”.

Self said the impacts of the restrictions are hurting everyone in the industry including “lighting techs, the sound techs, contractors, bartenders, ticketing staff, marketing companies, people who bring in the toilets and infrastructure”.

Self wants to see live gigs and major events resume across the state in a similar fashion to Western Australia, where major events are permitted with gatherings only determined by a 2sqm rule.

Self also questioned why the Tones and I concert planned for October had to be postponed to May, while Mona Foma, which returns in January, was given the greenlight.

“We feel it’s unfair and unnecessary,” he said.

Events Minister Sarah Courtney said the Public Health Services are currently working with Events Tasmania on a framework for the restarting of larger gatherings “which will be made public in coming weeks”.

Theatre Council of Tasmania president Petr Divis also called for audience restrictions to be lifted in line with other states as the number of shows being forced to cancel grows.

Up to 250 audience members are allowed inside a theatre and require 1.5m distancing at indoor and outdoor performances under the current rules.

“Restrictions on audience numbers have had a devastating affect,” Divis told The Mercury.

“Even when they are in a position to try and stand on their own two feet those current restrictions are making it impossible for productions to be financially viable.”

Divis said the sector is looking for a safe way to increase to 50 per cent capacity.

“Companies are absolutely perplexed that it’s a different case here where we’ve had zero community transmission,” he said.