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Article published 08/09/2022

Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) met on Thursday 1 September to discuss a number of key areas including reflections and key lessons learnt from Scotland’s summer programme of events, the future role and priorities for EIAG, and updates from both Scottish Government and EventScotland.

Peter Duthie, EIAG Chair, opened up the meeting by inviting voices from the sector to share their experiences and outcomes following delivery of a range of successful events across the summer period.  Representatives included DF Concerts, Edinburgh International Festival, Festivals Edinburgh and The R&A – all of whom emphasised the appetite for live events and demand to attend across their own respective events and activity.

Feedback centred on a range of similar themes and considerations which included: the importance of proactive planning and clear communication throughout the event life cycle both with audiences and the supply chain; baseline mitigations advice continuing to be useful; the sector continuing to show adaptation and innovation across areas such as sustainability, and in response to strike action.

Ongoing challenges

Whilst many of the events had excellent outcomes, the group emphasised the ongoing challenges faced by the sector including the rail/ bin strikes during the busy summer event period impacting Scotland’s reputation, the cost-of-living crisis, staffing and skill set resource limitations, higher supply chain and artist costs; variations in ticket sale demand; and the wider limited funding landscape.

In their update, the Scottish Government confirmed that the First Minister had chaired the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (11 August) to discuss urgent steps to mitigate the growing cost emergency which is affecting people and businesses.  Scottish Government requested that EIAG members continue to feedback on the direct impact being faced by the sector.  

EventScotland update

It was announced that EventScotland’s National Events Funding Programme Round 47 had opened (31 August) inviting applications from eligible events taking place from January to June 2023 with the deadline for applications on Wednesday 28 September 2022 at 5pm. 

Read the news story about the National Funding Programme opening on this website.

EventScotland also confirmed that work has now restarted on the refresh of Scotland’s National Events Strategy, Scotland: The Perfect Stage with draft Terms of Reference (ToR) developed to provide a clear rationale on the scope of the project.  EIAG Members were invited to discuss their initial feedback and views on the ToR with key areas such as the wellbeing impact of events, sustainability, skills gaps, the international event landscape, one-off versus regular programming all being discussed as key strategic considerations.

Next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 8 November which will include discussion around the future role and priorities for the EIAG post-pandemic.

Email to raise any points for future consideration if you are a representative from the sector.

Contextual updates since meeting

Since the EIAG meeting was held, Deputy First Minister John Swinney updated the Scottish Parliament (7 September) on steps being taken to meet the increased costs of public sector pay and to provide support to those who need it most, while balancing public finances.

Read John Swinney's full update on prioritising spending on the Scottish Government website.

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