Access All Areas December 2021 - Page 41

“ Requirement for staff will be up in 2022 yet we are only going to be operating at 80 % of pre-Covid staff capacities .” – Michael Kill

WINTER 21 / 22 | FEATURE

Safe and sound

Access explores how crew shortages will likely impact the events industry in what is predicted to be an extremely busy 2022 .
Words : Cameron Roberts

What do the pandemic , the Commonwealth Games , the festival season and the Queen ’ s Platinum Jubilee have in common ? All of them are causing a strain on crew numbers heading into 2022 at a time when the supply of personnel has significantly diminished .

With more events due to take place across the sector and less hands on deck to deliver them , there are fears a lack of security personnel , in particular , could become a nightmare .
While it ’ s easy to blame all the world ’ s ills on the pandemic , it ’ s difficult to escape the reality that many events workers have left the industry due to its closure at the height of Covid ’ s powers .
For many , the pandemic revealed the fragility of the live events industry . Uncertainties around lockdowns , changing regulations and capacity caps have meant that other , less impacted , industries have become increasingly appealing for many freelancers .
Night Time Industries Association ( NTIA ) CEO Michael Kill says the problem the events industry faces is that those who have left the industry are reluctant to return , with confidence being a major factor : “ No one wants to leave a role which has security to one that could still be impacted by the pandemic .
“ For me , there ’ s a clear public safety issue here . There ’ s a perfect storm where we know that requirement for

“ Requirement for staff will be up in 2022 yet we are only going to be operating at 80 % of pre-Covid staff capacities .” – Michael Kill

staff will be up in 2022 , public health is going to be a bigger issue in 2022 , yet we are only going to be operating at 80 % of pre-Covid staff capacities .” It ’ s not just the realities of the pandemic keeping staff away from working festivals . With crew members leaving to join more stable industries , sometimes the grass is greener in a role that allows ex-crew members more time off , higher rates of pay and less challenging working conditions .
Production Services Association ( PSA ) chairman David Keighley is also concerned about the way the situation is shaping up . He says , “ In events we are used to working 12-18- hour days and being on tour while getting one day off every 10 days to two weeks . Now people have moved to other sectors and are getting paid more money while having their
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