COVID-19 restrictions:Will the entertainment industry bounce back?
The continuing COVID-19 crisis is undoubtedly creating enormous uncertainty and change in the running of affairs in the entertainment industry across the world.
For this reason, one of the questions with no clear-cut answer on the minds of stakeholders is, when will the industry return to normal considering the devastating effect of the pandemic?
Some players in the entertainment industry had made significant job cuts and business changes to survive the initial disruption in the COVID-19 crisis, but with the continuing restrictions, recovery will be ‘a hard nut’ to crack.
Following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Ghana somewhere last year after the Ghana Health Service told a good news of drastic reduction in number of people infected it was all Joy for the entertainment industry.
All those in the value chain, ie, musicians, actors, comedians and comediennes, event organisers,movie producers, equipment suppliers, among others were confident that some of the loses made in the past, would be recouped.
As a result, they started mapping up strategies to comeback from a tough time, even though business was not as usual.
This brought some smiles to many stakeholders who were gradually getting onto the right path to take off.
Unfortunately, all of these hopes where dashed last Sunday, January 31,2021, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during his 23rd COVID-19 update announced a ban on some entertainment events.
“So, fellow Ghanaians, until further notice, funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties are banned,” he said.
The President further added that beaches, night clubs, and pubs continued to remain shut.
This had once again caused players in the industry to bite their fingers, as artistes, events organisers, event venue owners, and some traders in the sector would not be able to recoup revenue lost.
Though some stakeholders in the value chain have resorted to new avenues in the digital space, the revenue generation is not quite satisfactory comparable to what they used to rake.
This notwithstanding, it is becoming obvious that for companies and players in the entertainment industry to survive, there is the need to break old models and build new ones that would ensure a return to growth.
It would mean that these players need to research into the changing needs of patrons in this COVID-19 era and satisfy them, but how sustainable it would be, is another question begging for answers.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme