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“ One promoter I have spoken with has already had to cancel four tours next summer as they can ’ t even get a quote for crew .” – David Keighley

WINTER 21 / 22 | FEATURE

David Keighley Steve Withers Loyd Major Michael Kill weekends back . Our industry is going to suffer because people aren ’ t going to want to come back .”
The domino effect Many senior events professionals believe that the staff shortage is likely to be a longterm problem , with the majority of those who have left being unlikely to return .
Halo Solutions CEO and co-founder Lloyd Major is among them . The security specialist says , “ If you think about someone who leaves events and joins Amazon , they have a lot of advantages . We in events have relied on goodwill , as we have staff travelling for half a day and living in semi-squalid conditions while working . What we need to do is inspire the next generation and really work to improve working conditions .”
Keighley points out that the pandemic has not only changed staff numbers but also the expectations of workers . He says , “ If we look at next summer , we have a Commonwealth Games and a Queen ’ s Jubilee in the middle of festival season , so it was always going to be a nightmare . This has been compounded by the pandemic , which has completely changed the way that people work .”
Among the potential impacts of the supply and demand disparity during the next summer season could

“ One promoter I have spoken with has already had to cancel four tours next summer as they can ’ t even get a quote for crew .” – David Keighley

be event organisers and promoters having to scale back their operations and / or crew and security suppliers having to turn down business . Keighley says he has already heard of such action being taken : “ There is certainly a crew shortage now but it is going to be a massive shortage next summer . One promoter I have spoken with has already had to cancel four tours next summer as they can ’ t even get a quote for crew .”
Insufficient staff will mean a whole host of uncertainties for the supply chain . In the short term , the practical realities of not having the staff legally required could put pressure on all corners of the industry . It will potentially not only mean events being cancelled but for some venues it could mean capping capacities in order to meet security personnel per head requirements .
“ The UK is so heavily regulated in terms of security per head and crew numbers needed during peak business hours that in the night-time market we are seeing many businesses being unable to operate to their full potential due to lack of staff . In some cases we
are seeing events have to be cancelled because of this ,” says Kill .
Security matters Crew supply , generally , looks set to be a tough challenge in 2022 but events security is in the frontline of the issue . Event security has once again felt the heat of the media spotlight following the tragic events at Astroworld , and on a far smaller scale the disturbances at Wizkid ’ s November gig at The O2 arena . Not only have these events raised concerns but they do little to attract people back to the industry .
Halo Solutions ’ Major says , “ No one wants to go to work and feel harassed or threatened , so of course incidents like what happened at The O2 arena with Wizkid are going to impact hearts and minds . It ’ s always going to make some people more hesitant to come to work and it ’ ll make security contractors want to uplift their deployments and all of that has an impact , emotionally and financially .”
With social media awash with images of crowds storming through barriers and pushing past overwhelmed security staff ,
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