#WeMakeEvents takes place tomorrow.
“The live events sector employs over 600,000 highly skilled people in the UK – event production, audio, lighting, video, logistics, planning, transportation, and technology – over 70 per cent of which are freelancers. All of whom have had no work for the past four months, with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021 at the earliest.” – Peter Gabriel, singer, songwriter and activist
On 11th August, the live events industry across the UK will come together in solidarity to host a series of creative action to help save the live events and entertainment sector, which is on the verge of collapsing without financial support from the government.
Hundreds of venues are expected to turn their lights red, along with other creative activities being staged in over 20 cities across the UK to symbolise the industry going into red alert, and a final call to action titled ‘Throw us a line’ will be taking centre stage on London’s South Bank.
The capital’s finale will begin on a boat at 20:30, as it makes it way down the Thames – passing Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the Tate, and more all illuminated red. As the boat reaches key locations, such as Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Bridge, hundreds of volunteers will symbolise the ‘throw us a line’ theme creatively.
The call to action hopes to raise awareness for over a million professionals at risk of losing their jobs, 600,000 of whom deliver outdoor events, around 70 per cent of the workforce are freelance. The imminent closure of the self-employed income support scheme at the end of the month threatens their livelihood.
Unlike other industries, events, festivals, and performances have been unable to safely reopen due to social distancing guidance and may not reopen until early 2021 – and opening times keep being pushed back. With no government support on the horizon for the event supply chain, redundancies have already begun, research indicates that 25 per cent of companies will have served redundancy notices by end of August, this rises to 70 per cent by the end of December.
Over nineteen trade associations from the live events sector are collaborating for the first time to save 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.
The socially distanced call to action will shine a light on the collaborative nature of the industry, showcasing a creative experience and live displays containing messages from established figures. Platinum-selling artists Peter Gabriel, The Cure, and Imogen Heap are a few of the many voices giving their support to this cause, with others expected to join.
“The events sector urgently needs government support to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Without major, immediate support from the government, the entire live events sector supply chain is at risk of collapse.” – Award-winning rock band, The Cure