George Akins talks to Night Time Industries Association

Our MD George Akins recently spoke to the Night Time Industries Association to share his thoughts on the challenges brought on by COVID-19 to the event industry and his hopes for a seismic recovery. Read his full statement below.

George Akins

“There’s no doubt we are facing the biggest challenge of our generation – and although the impact may be brief and greater than anything since the great depression, the hope for us all is the recovery will be as swift and as seismic as the lockdown has been. We know that our industry is innovative, fast to action and always evolving – which means that we have the attributes to be successful once we are allowed to open again. What many don’t have is deep pockets to sustain a long closure where landlords and other suppliers are not prepared to take on some of the burden we have to bear. But for some landlords we know that behind them – their banks are not prepared to share the burden either, if they continue to insist on interest payments on property loans, then landlords will insist on rent. The phrase “we’re all in this together” sounds pretty hollow at times.

The big question if obviously – when we will be allowed to trade again? And just as importantly – will there be any restrictions put in place when we do. We cannot open our businesses unless social distancing is over – it is not possible for us to police customers in maintaining distances – and it’s against the whole reason our customers want to be in our venues – for socialising and being entertained together (whether that’s dancing or watching bands and DJ’s). We also need our customers to be confident that by going out to venues they are not risking their health or the health of their families. The worst scenario would be the government ending the lockdown, ending their financial support to us and our employees but with no public confidence in resuming their pre-lockdown activities.

When we do get the go ahead to open – lets open with a bang not a whimper, fight for the right to party.”

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