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Event Industry Advisory Group Update (May 2021)

Fri 14 May 21

Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group has continued its dialogue with Scottish Government officials ahead of a return of events on May 17 when most of mainland Scotland will move to Level 2 and Scottish islands, with the exception of Skye, Level 1 as part of Scotland’s Strategic Framework for COVID-19 recovery.

From Monday 17 May events will be permitted across Scotland in accordance with significantly reduced capacity limits set out in the Scottish Government’s framework, with an opportunity for event organisers to apply for higher numbers of attendees for specific events.

The Scottish Government is due to publish guidance on the application process for increased numbers of attendees with local authorities able to approve attendee numbers for small and medium events while applications for large events will be subject to Scottish Government approval.

In discussions with Scottish Government, members of the Event Industry Advisory Group called for the guidance to be clear and concise to ensure a fair and consistent approach to events across the country. The group also echoed calls from the events and festivals sector to assess the rules for physical distancing with many events being financially unviable while physical distancing guidelines remain.

The group heard that Scottish Government is currently undertaking a review into physical distancing across a range of sectors with results expected at the beginning of June.

Other issues raised by the group include the need for ongoing financial assistance to organisations within the events and festivals sector should restrictions continue, an industry-wide issue in relation to the affordability of event insurance and the need for updated guidance to be published in a timely manner given the longer lead-in times associated with events compared to other sectors. The group also recognised the current Four Nations approach to international travel and called for a similar approach to the return of events and easing of physical distancing.

Event organisers are looking forward to the prospect of events resuming from May 17th but are understandably looking for greater clarity on the exemption process and a more detailed outlook on the prospects for reducing physical distancing guidelines going forward to ensure viability of their events.

The engagement of the Event Industry Advisory Group has been crucial in raising these issues with the Scottish Government and helping to inform the upcoming guidance.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events

Elsewhere the group heard updates on a number of workstreams including a proposed webinar to outline the event exemption guidance when it is published and an upcoming report on the health & wellbeing benefits of events.

Work is also ongoing to improve communications with the industry, particularly in the sharing of information and best practice as well as activity to encourage the return of members of the public to events. Other work includes the ongoing review of SIC codes linked to the industry as well as a discussion on future event sector stimulus activity.

A summary meeting note will be published soon from the meeting. You can read further outputs from the group and representatives from the sector can raise any points for consideration by the group by emailing [email protected]. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for 16 June from 2-3.30pm.

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