Top executives across the Australian entertainment industry have joined together to focus on reviving live events in the aftermath of a global pandemic.

The Live Event Industry Forum (LEIF) features representatives from the country’s sports and entertainment groups with the goal of creating an industry-wide roadmap for reopening as Australia prepares to relax its restrictions on mass gatherings next month. Former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland is spearheading the initiative.

“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill,” Sutherland said in a statement, via Celebrity Access. “The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced. Our industry was the first to close during Covid-19 and it will be one of the last to fully reopen.”

LEIF’s mission involves creating a plan focused on detecting and minimizing risks for guests, with comprehensive measures regarding sanitation, crowd control, social distancing and contact tracing. Industry experts involved in the committee – including reps from Live Nation, TEG, and the Australian Festival Association – are eager to resume their operations to not only bring back entertainment to the country but reinvigorate Australia’s economy.

“Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life,” said Live Nation Australia CEO Roger Field. “Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviors, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social wellbeing, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy.”

There is solidarity among the group despite being compiled of some competitors as all participants agree that the industry needs to return safely.

“Our industry has to work together at this challenging time. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people safely,” said Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG. “We want to work closely with the federal, state and territory governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”