“WITHOUT US THERE ARE NO EVENTS”#WeMakeEvents, 2020
From mass marches to an array of venues being lit in red, awareness has been raised further for our live music and entertainment industries.
It’s time for those in authority to step up and think about those forgotten during the pandemic.
A plethora of music venues, theatres and their workforces have actively stood and taken part in a day of action across the UK to highlight the true crisis facing the live events scene.
It has been over 5 months now since our favourite entertainment and live music venues were forced to close.
With many being informed it would be merely a temporary thing, a lot of venues are starting to see, that it isn’t going to be anything like that at all.
Permanent closures look to be on the cards for many grass-root music venues as they simply cannot keep up with the lack of financial income entering their doors each day. With venues closing their doors for the last time, what will become of the venue workers?
The Forgotten Employees in the Live Music Industry
2,000 industry workers – who have been out of work since the beginning of March – from the arts and entertainment industry showed their under-dying and touching support by holding silent march protests for The Red Alert Movement and #WeMakeEvents campaign to truly showcase how imperative and important we are as individuals, to an industry that amasses such importance to the economy each year.
The march rather aptly took place from Manchester Academy to St. Peter’s Square, where many of the protestors even walked past some of Manchester’s closed venues, truly demonstrating the colossal impact this has had on their employees, enough impact for them to walk the city streets.
It was in an effort to call on the Government for continued support during these times as we see 114,000 job losses and 50% of companies facing permanent closure by end of 2020.
Although it should have never got to this moment, with marches like these set to continue, it makes you truly realise that live music is not just the artist on an empty stage.
There’s lighting, graphics, sound, video, rigging, staging to make the artist sound impeccable.
Then there’s the other side of things – venue maintenance.
There is also security present to ensure everyone’s safety within the venue.
There is cleaners providing cleanliness to facilities and even helpers – many freelance, mind – providing support with ticketing, crowd direction and food/drink stations.
All to provide for the millions who venture out to enjoy live music every day, every month and every year.
What help is there?
Last month the government announced a £1.57bn support package aimed at protecting theatres, galleries and museums.
While this is all well and good, it seems that a majority of our favoured grass-root and independent venues are not applicable to receiving parts of this and are lot of are slipping through the cracks.
The Government has also previously stated that that will lead to more work for freelancers. But, with the furlough scheme and support for employed people set to end in the coming months, with it also not actually being eligible for freelancers, what is the future for our hard workers and freelancers who construct the live music industry what it is today?
“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.”Peter Gabriel – singer-songwriter
Plasa – one of the organisations in charge of RED ALERT events that took place in London outside many city venues – stated that more meaningful support from the Government is needed, until the industry is allowed to operate in a way that is not limited by social distancing policies:
1. Grants – not loans – made available to businesses in the events supply chain
2. Furlough scheme extended until the industry is back to work
3. Extension of the self-employment scheme, tailored towards the industry
For further information and to find out what YOU can do to help: