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The UK Live Events Supply Chain Concerns for 2021.

Andy Robertson

Whether it’s an artist on tour or music festival the many suppliers including lighting and sound technicians, equipment suppliers and providers of safety and site management for example have been faced with a dire 2020. What will be the impact of this on the live events sector if and when events and music festivals return in 2021. 


Many of these small SME supplier companies have had virtually no income in the last 12 months and many have declared bankruptcy and closed down. This is a dilemma for an industry that relies heavily on these suppliers and their expertise to put on an event. At best equipment suppliers will have mothballed their stock meaning that it will take time to make equipment available again. Whether it’s electricity generators or stage and light equipment there is a requirement to check and certify equipment as safe to use.

This could lead to music festivals being cancelled and postponed, not because of a continuing pandemic or expensive health and safety restriction implementation but because the equipment and expertise thy need to build stages and lighting systems are simply in short supply. The same will apply to the supply of electricity generators which may have ended up in a warehouse somewhere having been sold off but with no technically capable people to check and install them.

It is precisely this group of support companies that especially need financial support and whilst the British government has announced various financial assistance packages it will have been too little too late for many companies and their employees. The current discussion by MPs regarding a government backed insurance scheme again is likely to be too little too late. There is no clear solution to these dilemmas facing the live events sector but event organisers are no doubt trying their upmost to get their events up and running in 2021. The challenge they face are the lead times required to organise an event with music festivals taking up to 18 months for example.

The outcome is becoming much clearer now, organisers determined to get their events to take place in 2021 have been planning and organising thier event logistics since last year and have already booked artists, vendors and the suppliers they need. The wise organisers have opted for dates in late 2021 opting for the end of summer and early Autumn. For those organisers who have not yet started they may well have to look to 2022 irrespective of managing to get ticket sales, artists and vendors booked there is going to be a short supply of equipment suppliers and technical expertise unless they opted for using an overseas supplier but that may well prove cost prohibitive and further complicated post BREXIT.

For any event organisers planning their 2021 events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need to plan every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing.

Photo by Jake Ryan from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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