Live events industry booms against new risk backdrop

A successful summer season for live events and festivals is cause for optimism, but the risk landscape of live entertainment also poses new challenges for event organisers, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty.

As in a number of other industries, the entertainment sector is facing staff shortages. According to a survey by the Professional Light And Sound Organisation, nearly 70% of companies surveyed at the end of 2021 reported a shortage of skilled workers. Engineers, technicians and at height workers in stage technology were most sought after, according to the survey.

"We are currently seeing a huge demand for live events," said Michael Furtschegger, global head of entertainment at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. "Fan hunger for live events is high and the larger promoters are seeing record numbers."

"Staff shortages can become a particularly acute problem when it comes to safety personnel. In some cases, it can mean that authorities won't allow an event to take place. In terms of other safety-critical tasks, organisers need to make sure they properly vet vendors and contractors to ensure the event is run professionally. "

As more performances and productions run in parallel, demand for touring equipment, often rented from rental companies with limited resources, is high, requiring thorough planning for equipment purchases, and also for repairs and spare parts, with ongoing supply chain issues exacerbating the issue.

AGCS says many events will require new risk assessments.

"The industry is innovative; in recent years we have seen successful events in new venues such as the old Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, which have been put to new uses by live events. Organisers of established festivals like Coachella in the US, Tomorrowland in Belgium or Rock am Ring in Germany will be relatively familiar with the risks of their venues; new and untested venues, however, require a different risk assessment," Furtschegger explained.

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