Digitalising live performance: a pathway for post-pandemic recovery in the performing arts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many crises. The economic and so-cial crises were largely a direct consequence of world governments taking ac-tions to limit the spread of the deadly virus and protect the lives and health of their populations (ILO 2021). Instalments of lockdowns, and other virus spread control measures introduced in 2020, focused on limiting social interactions but forced many businesses and organisations to suspend their operations and put work on hold. The cumulative impacts of multiple waves of lockdown-induced closures have been felt across the global economy, with national economies such as the UK’s shrinking by 20 per cent in April 2020 and recovering slowly while challenged by ongoing restrictions and lockdowns (ONS 2021a). According to initial results from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey, over one in ten (12 per cent) currently trading UK businesses said that their turnover had decreased by more than 50 per cent compared with what is nor-mally expected for this time of year (ONS 2021a). Since February 2020, the number of payroll employees has also fallen by 828,000 (ONS 2021b).This chapter aims to, firstly, summarise the extent to which the sector of “live performance” in the UK has been affected by the pandemic, specifically in Scot-land, and secondly, to suggest a strategic approach to digital skills development for post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery of the performing arts. Particular atten-tion is placed on the analysis of capacity building for “Digital Performance”, which includes development of relevant digital skills supply, and formation of new strategic partnerships across the labour market with other creative pro-fessionals and stakeholders. The chapter closes with recommendations which prioritise multi-partner committed, coordinated, and investment-driven efforts in creating pathways for achieving a digital competence (and a new area of ex-pertise), in preparation for a shift towards a more resilient hybrid (live and digi-tal) performance model. These insights might be valuable for many other ser-vice organisations that are preparing for a future with an increased level of digi-talisation, as a core practice, or in other modalities sufficient to mitigate risk of possible new waves of the pandemic, or in preparation for any other major type of crisis in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransformations of Regional and Local Labour Markets across Europe in Pandemic and Post-pandemic Times.
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges for Regional and Local Observatories
EditorsChrista Larsen, Jenny Kipper, Alfons Schmid, Ciprian Panzanu
PublisherRainer Hampp Verlag
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783957104007
ISBN (Print)9783985420131
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameEN RLMM Anthology


  • digital performance
  • post covid-19 recovery
  • pandemic
  • performing arts sectors
  • covid-19 impact


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