£70bn UK Events Industry Predicts Over 400,000 Jobs Losses By End Of 2020

A survey by event planning platform Feast reveals that latest government lockdown measures, implemented on September 28th, have impacted the UK’s £70bn events industry, which stretches from dinner parties to music festivals.

Of the 503 businesses surveyed, 61% believed they will have ceased trading before March 2021 without further government support. This has been compounded by respondents saying the average amount lost in bookings due to the COVID crisis stands at £83,000.

The poll suggests that the events sector, which comprises over 25,000 businesses and over 700,000 employees in the UK, will have suffered around 413,000 job losses by the end of this year unless it receives immediate government support.

The survey also tried to uncover what would help businesses overcome the crisis.

35% cited ‘A clear roadmap for how events will return’, 32% said ‘Extension of the furlough scheme, 18% said ‘An easing of lockdown for certain demographics’ while 15% said ‘Government-backed event specific loans.’

56% of suppliers further stated they were seeing lower than usual demand for 2021 events, while 71% said that the demand for 2022 events was the same or less than usual.

The government announced further lockdown measures last week, which have had a dramatic impact on supplier’s outlooks, as reflected in the survey’s results and there have been no further specific references to the events industry receiving any further aid.

The UK’s events industry is reported to be worth in excess of £70bn, £50bn larger than both the domestic tourism industry and the hotel industry.

Adrian Luckie, founder of Mama’s Jerk, an events business providing Jamaican-style catering:

‘Our incredible industry has effectively been banned. We’ve been given no clear direction on how we can make it through this crisis and all that we’re looking for at this stage is clarity on how we can survive.’

Digby Vollrath, Feast It Co-Founder and CEO, said:

’The UK is globally renowned for events. From royal weddings to village fêtes, and from the world’s greatest music festivals to Europe’s largest Carnivals, throwing parties is in our blood. But without fast support we risk dismantling an industry that’s part of the beating heart of our national identity and all of the creativity, connections, and lifelong memories that go with it.

While we appreciate there is an immediate need for our industry to play a part in saving lives, there is a very real danger there won’t be the businesses available to create future events and new memories when the world goes back to normal.’