Mainstream media highlights #WeMakeEvents day of action
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
red-alert-instagram-facebook-square-blackDemonstrations will take place in London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Tunbridge Wells and beyond
UK - Today’s We Make Events day of action has already generated interest from some of the UK’s largest media outlets, helping to promote the wide-spread protest action taking place throughout the day.
At 7.45am, BBC Breakfast featured a segment on the planned event in London. The demonstration will see a boat sail down the Thames from the Westminster Pier, passing by key cultural landmarks including the National Theatre and the Tate, lit in red, whist socially-distanced crowds will line the river’s banks and lower a rope of lights to symbolise the ‘throwing of a line’ to an industry battling for survival.
BBC Breakfast’s arts correspondent Rebecca Jones said in her report on the event: “Those taking part say while livestreams, virtual festivals and some socially distanced events provide an alternative, they are not going to sustain an industry worth £100bn to the economy.”
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Gary White, a technical director and technical production manager, explained the importance of further state support for the sector, which employs over one million event professionals.
Putting further pressure on the government to act, White said many high-profile artists are backing the campaign, including Peter Gabriel, The Cure, New Order, Doves, Captain Sensible, Frank Turner, Paloma Faith, Leona Lewis, Blossoms, Trevor Horn and more. Shown in the report, Peter Gabriel said: “If we want live events and festivals to stay important British businesses, then it needs to be supported.”
Asked who was affected by the crisis, White said: “The whole supply chain is affected, right from venue staff. Although the government has offered support to venues, fundamentally that funding is to allow that venue to stand still really - 50% of most venue staff have already been made redundant. Then following on from that it’s the supply chain through to those venues, whether it be a caterer, a truck driver, a rigger, a lighting or sound person, the manufacturers of the equipment into that sector - the list goes on. It’s a disastrous situation for us as an industry. We’ve spent the best part of 40 years making the UK a leader in this and now we’re slowly watching it fall apart in front of our eyes.”
The We Make Events campaign, alongside Light It In Red, is uniting live events professionals and the supply chain from across the UK in protest action to highlight the industry’s dire need for financial resources as it continues to be crippled by the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign demands grants for industry businesses who have been ineligible for existing schemes and wants the job retention and self-employment income support schemes to be extended.
Alongside the London action, events are organised to take place in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Tunbridge Wells throughout the day, plus some 400-odd venues and companies will light up red tonight in solidarity with the cause.
Follow LSi’s social media channels for up-to-date information on the protest action.

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