Events Industry affected by London riots though positive attitude prevails.

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09 August 2011

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The extraordinary scenes of violence and chaos witnessed throughout many parts of London and which quickly spread throughout the country have already had a demonstrable effect on the venues & events industry.

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However, whilst these appalling events have affected businesses, many venues have chosen to remain open xand are marching ahead with their planned events in true testimony to British resilience and community spirit.

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Many planned inner-city events had been cancelled due to the London Riots but reports today paint a dramatically different picture. The events community is particularly prevalent on social media site Twitter and accounts of more cancellations, closures and so on were yesterday being reported by the hour. Today however an entirely more optimistic spirit reigns with many organisers and venue managers quickening to announce that they remain fully ready for welcoming guests and events at their premises.

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A spokesperson for the Mayor�s office added:

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�London has a proud history of resilience as well as hospitality and the city remains open for business. It is important to note that recent incidents have occurred away from the capital's major visitor attractions, which continue to operate as normal and attract thousands of people from across the world. The UK has a very strong reputation internationally and remains one of the greatest cities to live, work, visit and invest in. London is also one of the safest cities and the Mayor himself has made it clear that Londoners can and will recover from what has happened over the past few days."

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Economically, these disruptions could prove to be a damning blow to what is already a fragile events economy. Insurers have made initial announcements that the resulting criminal damage is likely to cost in the tens of millions of pounds. (There are no current projections for how the events industry has been affected directly).

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Yesterday, restaurants in particular were confirming that they would be closed and would take a view of reopening based on how events unfold in due course.

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One particularly shocking and saddening account of unprovoked violence was the attack on 2 Michelin star restaurant, The Ledbury, in Notting Hill. Diners were surrounded and attacked and subsequently robbed of watches, wallets and so on. One poor woman reported having her wedding ring stolen. Special commendation should be offered in recognition of the bravery of the kitchen staff who according to early reports chased off the rioters armed with kitchen knives and other cooking implements.

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Trendy Shoreditch cocktail bar Callooh Calley which was due to hold a tasting event in partnership with Plymouth Gin confirmed that the beverages company had pulled out of the event but that the venue intended to remain open in defiance of the climate of fear.

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The Football Association is perhaps one of the largest examples of planned events being abandoned with several high profile football matches, including England vs Holland friendly being cancelled due to the strains being placed on the police teams around the capital.

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There are initial reports of events also being cancelled in the medium term such as the Notting Hill Carnival, Further afield in Suffolk, music festival Brandon Buzz, due to take place on 28-29 August, has been shelved.

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Whilst some initial comments raised concerns about the effect of the London riots on the 2012 London Olympic games; in contrast, some scheduled Olympic events such as the woman�s beach volleyball championships managed to take place without incident in London yesterday.

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Officials have announced that they are happy with London's security and readiness for the Olympic Games and fully expect all planned events to go ahead without incident.

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London & Partners commented:

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"We continue to work closely with the tourism industry to understand the effects of the past few days. The majority of London attractions have remained open and the capital has continued to host major events such as the Yonex BWF Badminton World Championships which have all demonstrated the capital�s resilience.�

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In summary, whilst an initial shake in confidence was evident across the events industry, a more positive attitude has very quickly become evident and businesses on the whole remain determined to prove that recent events committed by an unwelcomed minority will not affect the industry going forwards.

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