Access All Areas December 2021 - Page 35


Creating a social impact

The economic impact of the live events industry has never been more clearly communicated than since the pandemic began , with industry bodies having lobbied the Government hard for support , but perhaps less obvious is the sector ’ s remarkably positive social impact . Access investigates .
Words : Christopher Barrett

During the pandemic it was the huge economic benefit delivered by the live events industry that was at the sharp end of lobbying efforts by industry organisations . Among the figures highlighted was that live events boost the UK economy by more than £ 70 billion per year .

Clearly , the live events industry does far more than make a commercial impact , if it didn ’ t enrich our culture , and exhilarate and entertain audiences en masse it wouldn ’ t exist , but it also plays a hugely important role improving lives in wider society .
The UK ’ s biggest events are , in some cases , synonymous with their charitable impact and chief among them is the London Marathon , which has raised more than £ 1 billion for charity in the 40 years since it was founded by Chris Brasher and John Disley .
Michael Eavis and the team behind the 147,500-capacity Glastonbury Festival have long been recognised for the impact the event has on its charitable partners , including Greenpeace , Oxfam and WaterAid .
Glastonbury has been funding charities since 1980 , and in 2017 alone distributed £ 3 million . Since 2000 it has paid more than £ 1m per year to local charities and good cause including building the new
The London Marathon has raised more than £ 1 billion for charity
Pilton Working Men ’ s Club and the completion of a housing project providing housing with affordable rent for the offspring of villagers who cannot afford Pilton prices .
Away from the headline-grabbing events and seven-figure donations , there is no shortage of smaller scale benevolent activity happening throughout the live events industry .
Among them is The Community Fund , run by the team behind Manchester ’ s 80,000-capacity Parklife festival . Operated in cooperation with Manchester , Bury and Rochdale councils , the fund is designed to benefit community groups , with priority given to groups and projects that benefit parks , open spaces and young people .
Funds are generated from contributions made at the festival by guest-list attendees and through festival tickets being donated to various charities for raffles and auctions . This year ’ s event generated £ 81,750 for the Fund .
Among those heavily involved in the project is Jon Drape ,