An industry body representing live comedy has been launched, described as the first “formal union of its kind” within the sector.
It said it would ensure the sector survives in the “face of Covid-19 and beyond”.
The Live Comedy Association has set itself four main targets, including the creation of a network between venues, promoters, festivals, comics and other stakeholders across the country.
Members will be able to share their concerns, questions and information about the state of industry.
The association will also seek to increase diversity within live comedy, lobby for the sector and fundraise, particularly for freelancers, which it said had “fallen through the cracks” of government support.
“We are also increasingly aware of how many small businesses may close forever as a result of the current pause to live events. The LCA will fundraise to assist those individuals and companies most in need within the industry, as we acknowledge the live sector to be the bedrock of the whole comedy industry,” the LCA said in its launch statement.
Last week, comedians warned that they would be forced to consider their future in the sector if lockdown continued for another three months.
The LCA said it was founded in response to the current challenges facing comedy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As with all industries that predominantly focus on live events, it has seen its revenues plummet over the last six weeks, with no clear end point in sight,” it warned.
For its first six months, a steering group will formalise the association, tasked with “defining its aims and missions, growing and diversifying its membership, and coordinating a cross-industry response to the ongoing Covis-19 crisis”.
The founders are Bríd Kirby, Owen Donovan and Charlie Perkins, who have received support from more than 150 industry professionals.
The LCA has the support of venues and initiatives such as Soho Theatre and Leicester Comedy Festival.
Anyone within the industry who wishes to become a member can find out more and sign up by visiting livecomedyassociation.co.uk.