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#WeMakeEvents - UK live industry unites for ‘RED ALERT’ day of action
Nile Rodgers, The Cure and The Courteeners back campaign to save £100bn industry
Last updated: 12th Aug 2020
On Tuesday 11th August, the UK's live music and events industry came together for the #WeMakeEvents RED ALERT campaign, with thousands taking part in a socially-distanced 'day of action' across the UK.
With hundreds of thousands of jobs in the events industry under threat, and only 50% of companies possessing the capital to survive until 2021, organisers say the entire supply chain is at risk of collapse.
The campaign has drawn backing from artists, industry figures and politicians, including The Cure, New Order, Nile Rodgers, The Courteeners, Peter Gabriel, Blossoms, Paul Heaton, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Labour Shadow Minister for Business, Lucy Powell.
Campaign organisers PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association) are aiming to raise awareness and lobby the government for more support, including making grants – not loans – available to businesses in the events supply chain; extending the furlough scheme until the industry is back to work; and an extension of the self-employment scheme, tailored towards the industry.
A campaign statement reads: "Our industry includes a huge supply chain ranging from production, audio, lighting and video, to logistics, planning, transportation, and some of the world’s leading technology manufacturers. Without additional support for the supply chain, the UK is in danger of losing its global position as a world leader in world class events. Moreover, all of our incredible creatives and technicians could lose their livelihoods for good."
The day of action saw an estimated 2000 people take part in socially-distanced ‘flight case push’ across Manchester, including workers from all sections of the live industry, from tour managers and sound engineers to box office staff, drivers, cleaners and security.
Speaking ahead of the march, Lucy Powell MP said the government had "simply ignored calls of help" from the events industry.
“In Manchester, we have one of the largest, flourishing events and festivals scenes in the UK. We have one of the largest event spaces, one of the most used indoor arenas in Europe and one of the largest municipal parks in the UK. Presently, they lay dormant, with the consequence being many freelancers and event staff left penniless since March, with no hope or guidance.
"I'm supporting this Tuesday’s march, to highlight the plight of the events industry and supply chain, to not only raise awareness of this lost industry, but again to call on the Government to recognise this sector.”
Liam Fray, frontman of The Courteeners, said: “This year has been devastating for everyone working in the live music and event industry. There are so many highly skilled people that have given their entire lives to the live sector, talented people essential to the whole infrastructure of the industry who now, due to the current Covid-19 crisis, face financial disaster. The time is now for the government to take action or we risk losing these people forever."
The campaign has also seen world famous buildings like the London Eye, Eden Project, Tate Modern and Blackpool Tower lit up in red to draw attention to the plight of the wider culture sector.