– Selina Emeny
IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
Is Excited About 2022: ‘We’ve All Come So Far’
Unprecedented must be one of the most overused words of 2021 and Selina Emeny, Live Nation Entertainment’s International Group Counsel, is well aware of that. Yet, how else would one describe going from “watching tennis with colleagues in Melbourne” are suddenly impossible things to do? Thankfully, the UK is opening back up. “We’ve all come so far,” says Emeny. “It’s incredibly heartwarming to see crowds at Latitude, the first full-capacity festival to take place in the UK in nearly two years. It’s a reminder of why we’re all in this business. Institutional learning from this time will make our industry better able to respond to any ‘what nexts?’”
Aside from “the mammoth task of rescheduling more than a year’s worth of shows,” Emeny and her team succeeded in “getting the UK Government-backed insurance scheme over the line,” which is something the events sector has been fighting for since the beginning of the pandemic. “Then there is the huge job of reopening and the period that we’re entering into now, which whilst being a much more positive experience than last year, will inevitably be just as intense,” she explains.
To get to this point, the whole industry had to “move quickly” and grow “new muscles to jump new obstacles,” according to Emeny, who says 2020 presented everyone with a steep learning curve and brought the business closer together. “In the UK a new LIVE group was created to engage with government. In Australia LEIF was similarly formed. It was clear across all markets that the live sector needed representation to drive home to government our sector requirements whilst proving the enormous economic value we drive back,” says Emeny.
When she left the office mid-March 2020, she had no idea that “working from home” would last this long. She could also not have known that the Christine and the Queens concert at the Moth Club in Hackney, London, on March 7, 2020, would be her last gig in a while, although she remembers that the anxiety of being about to enter something big could already be felt.
What remains 18 months later is the realization that “under extraordinarily difficult circumstances people have worked hard and adapted to change. In our global company, in some ways, we are more connected now than we’ve ever been.” Which will be especially important in the coming months, as European markets are bringing back shows. “There is excitement about 2022,” says Emeny. “It’s going to be busy!”