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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 12/06/2020

Scotland’s first national Events Industry Advisory Group has been established to represent the events and festivals sector amid the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a series of industry-wide forums hosted by EventScotland to assess the impact of the pandemic on the sector, an urgent requirement for an industry-wide body was identified to provide a co-ordinated voice during the national response and recovery planning.

The group has now been formed comprising 17 senior members from across the industry representing a range of events including professional sport, music, culture and business featuring organisers, venues, local authorities and the supply chain.

In light of the urgency of the current situation the group has moved quickly to make representation to Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, citing the key concerns of the industry ahead of the Scottish Government’s next review of lockdown phases on 18 June.

These are hugely challenging times for our industry and it is vital that we have a collective voice to represent and champion the sector to Scottish Government during national response and to influence recovery planning.

I’d like to thank members of the group for responding so quickly and being so generous with their time as we co-ordinate the industry response into Scottish Government. We have submitted our main concerns to Fiona Hyslop and look forward to continued engagement. As a group we are absolutely committed to working with Government to find a way through this crisis and to help inform the decision-making process.

Peter Duthie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) and Chair of the Events Industry Advisory Group

The Events Industry Advisory Group was formed following a series of online forums facilitated by EventScotland, which saw engagement from more than 120 professionals across the events and festivals industry to identify key themes and issues facing the sector.

The group has now agreed to focus its efforts on the following key areas and will be seeking additional representation from across the industry to support these workstreams:

 

  • Funding – Furlough and Transition Support
  • Health & Wellbeing Economy
  • Hygiene & Physical Distancing Requirements
  • Communication & Public Mood
  • Innovation & Good Practice – Event Models
  • Engagement with Government

The group will be supported by VisitScotland through senior representation on the group and the provision of secretariat.

Although this has been a devastating period for the events and festivals industry in Scotland, it is heartening to see how the sector has come together and shown such an appetite for a co-ordinated response to the pandemic. I would like to thank Peter for taking on the role as Chair and to all members of the group for their time and commitment so far. We look forward to continuing to support the group, which represents such a vital and valued part of Scotland’s economy and culture.

Paul Bush, Director of Events

Further information on outputs from the Events Industry Advisory Group will be available in due course. For any further questions or submissions to the group please contact EIAG@eventscotland.org

A full list of members of the Events Industry Advisory Group is as follows:

 

Peter Duthie

CEO, SEC  (Chair, Event Industry Advisory Group)

Bridget McConnell

CEO, Glasgow Life

Geoff Ellis

CEO, DF Concerts

Tom Clements

President/ Director, National Outdoor Events Association / Specialized Security

Julia Amour

Director, Festivals Edinburgh

Fergus Linehan

CEO, Edinburgh International Festival

Alan Laidlaw

CEO, Royal Highland Show

Lesley Beck

Director, Rare Management (Mountain Bike World Cup)

Johnnie Cole Hamilton

Executive Director ‑ Championships, R&A

Dominic McKay

COO, Scottish Rugby

Claire Dow

Principal Events Officer, Dundee City Council

Mark Laidlaw

Director of Operations, SEC

Calder Sibbald

Director, Black Light Ltd

Gayle Findlay

Chair, Heb Celt Festival

Ian Maxwell

CEO, Scottish Football Association

Nick Waight

Managing Director, P&J Live

Paul Bush

Director of Events, VisitScotland