#WeMakeEvents Red Alert

Yesterday’s #WeMakeEvents call to action focused on raising awareness for more than a million professionals working in the technical side of the entertainment industry who have either lost, or are at imminent risk of losing their jobs - 600,000 of whom deliver live events, and around 70 per cent of the workforce are freelance. The government’s £1.57bn investment to the cultural and arts institutions will not reach the key workers from the industry, and the imminent closure of the self-employed income support scheme at the end of the month further threatens their livelihood.

The event saw more than 715 buildings across the UK lit up in red to symbolise the current danger that over one million people in the live events industry face unless the government provides immediate financial support.

Twenty of the UK’s biggest cities hosted events to raise awareness of the struggling supply chain that facilitate events across the country – from theatre to concerts. From Minnack Theatre Cornwall to The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Principality Stadium Cardiff and the Millennium Forum Northern Ireland. In Manchester, two hundred technicians pushed redundant flight cases through the city centre as they observed Covid-19 protocols.

The capital’s finale began on a boat at 20:30, as it made its way down the Thames – passing Royal Festival Hall, the London Eye, the National Theatre and the Tate all illuminated red. As the boat reached key locations, such as Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Bridge - hundreds of volunteers dressed in red and 4,000 socially distanced supporters lined up on the banks of the Thames in the capital to ask the government to ‘throw us a line’.

#WeMakeEvents Red AlertTo facilitate this event, over nineteen trade associations from the live events sector collaborated for the first time to help save their industry. The initial #WeMakeEvents campaign by Plasa issued a Red Alert last week, to symbolise the imminent danger the industry is in.

International support from celebrities such as Nile Rodgers, Peter Gabriel, New Order, Frank Skinner, Leona Lewis, The Cure, Frank Turner, Paloma Faith, Imogen Heap, Doc Brown, and Trevor Horn all helped to raise awareness, in the hope the UK’s world-renowned live events industry can stay afloat. Performances from Level 42 frontman Mark King and Folk singer Frank Turner were also hosted on the boat as it made its way to a lit Tate Modern displaying ‘Throw Us a Line’. 

‘A lot of high arts have now been given some support, but people working on the festival side of things and in live events have been forgotten about, and I hope they are not forgotten about any longer,’ said singer, songwriter and activist, Peter Gabriel. ‘Around the UK they’ve created something which I think is the best in the world.

‘Many of these people are freelancers, so don’t fall under furlough schemes. Rght now, they are feeling the pinch very badly and if we want live events and festivals to stay an important British business then it needs to be supported.’

‘The aim is to have financial support extended for the people and companies in this sector, until they can return to work,’ said Plasa MD, Peter Heath. ‘The live events industry supply chain, essential to every single event in the UK, is set to completely collapse without financial support from the government, due to social distancing prohibiting mass events. Large scale events are not expected to reopen until Spring 2021 at the earliest, and the reality is that the sector can’t wait that long. While the Government’s commitment to provide £1.57bn to our crown jewels is welcomed, this does not help the companies and freelancers who work in the live events supply chain. We’ve issued a ‘Red Alert’ for #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs, and now the whole industry is coming together to ask the government to ‘throw us a line.’

Red light for Tate ModernMartin Audio helped organise a full TV production and livestream of the activities in London, including a helicopter swoop across the city. These included many of the capital’s major landmarks being lit up in red and people gathering along the banks of the River Thames and bridges, dressed in red T-shirts, wearing red masks and waving their own red lights. Martin Audio also supplied its loudspeakers as the main PA for the boat that took members of the press and industry professionals on a trip along the River Thames past the illuminated landmarks.

Closer to home for Martin Audio, the company also supported the Wycombe Swan Theatre and High Wycombe Town Hall being lit in Emergency Red, alongside its own headquarters. ‘Martin Audio has been extremely lucky to continue to operate during Covid-19 with the amazing support of our worldwide sales partners and end users, but most of our friends in the UK live event industry have had zero revenue since this all began,’ sais Martin Audio MD, Dom Harter. ‘Without further funding from the Government the industry is at risk of collapse and we simply wanted to do everything we could to support their plight.’

‘The events sector has been absolutely devastated by the Covid-19 crisis, and there are few signs of any significant restart in the near future,’ said Adlib MD, Andy Dockerty. ‘Without immediate support, the entire live events supply chain is at risk of collapse, and some 1 million highly skilled professionals face many more months of financial uncertainty. We need the government to understand the urgency of the situation, and so we call on industry members to make their voices heard and join us on the evening of 11 August.’

‘The #WeMakeEvents day of action lived up to its name,’ said Paul Ricketts, comedian and theatre stagehand. ‘It was humbling to see so many live performance workers thronging both sides of the Thames and the bridges that cross it. So to read today of Rishi Sunak warning of “hard times ahead” makes last night’s trip more poignant, as I can assure the Chancellor that for stand-up comics the “hard times” are already here. Live other freelancers, causal or self-employed workers in the live performance sector, comedians were among the first to lose work and see their industry decimated from the effects of lockdown.

‘We know we will be the last to return and not only are we worrying if we will have an industry to return to post lock down, but we are also struggling to make ends meet in the here and now. That’s why the Government repeatedly pointing to the £1.57bn given to the Arts Council gives no comfort to professional stand-up comics. We urgently need an extension of the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme beyond October and into 2021. For comedians our highest earning period of the year starts just as SEISS ends. That is madness and Rishi Sunak must act to help comedians and other self-employed workers in the live performance sector.’

‘Events at the Royal Albert Hall rely on countless suppliers, manufacturers and freelancers, and we will all need to work together to make the shows of the future.,’ said Ollie Jeffery, Head of Production and Technical at the Royal Albert Hall. ‘Many livelihoods across the industry are now at stake and it was both heart-breaking and heart-warming to be part of the industry coming together yesterday to call for support.’

‘It was great to see the industry coming together in a controlled way,’ said James Gordon Managing Director of DiGiCo. ‘The aim was to demonstrate the plight of the skilled freelancers working within our industry and the companies in the supply chain that put on the best shows in the world. I think we achieved that, but there’s more work to do.’

‘It is just overwhelming to witness the professionalism and dedication of everyone that was involved in producing this and those people who registered and responsibly came out to be seen and heard peacefully in London and in all regions across the UK,’ added Gary White, Producer of the Activities for the Campaign #WeMakeEvents.

More: www.plasa.org/we-make-events

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It

Fast Moves

  • Al McKinna: Optimal Audio Al McKinna: Optimal Audio
    Optimal Audio has appointed Al McKinna as Head of Product, responsible for creating a future product development strategy that follows the brand’s original ambition of ‘removing the often unnecessarily...
    Read More...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100

Fast News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Fast-and-Wide.com An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, Fast-and-Wide.com provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting