South Africa - It’s a step in the right direction for the live events industry in South Africa as the country is scheduled to move to Level 1 of the risk reduction strategy implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, this week. The eased restrictions will allow up to 500 people for outdoor gatherings, a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings and a max of 100 people for funerals, while the existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place.
The news has been met with mixed emotions. For six months, the live events and technical production industry has been unable to work due to the ban on gatherings made on 15 March. Movements such as #LightSAred and the #Flightcasemovement have organically grown to represent, to government, thousands of people who have had no income during this time. Companies have retrenched or have been forced to let staff go, while many others have had no choice but to shut down.
“We are not celebrating the 250 to 500 people because this does not cover the different market segments within our industry,” said Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini, owner of rental company Blackmotion and founder of #Flightcasemovement. “It means that we will continue into unknown months of struggle in the industry because most people will remain unemployed. Companies right now do not have the capacity to reopen and operate based on the different market segments.”
Not all companies work on conferences and indoor shows, and for those who have bought equipment for large outdoor events, it means their investment is literally shelved and that th
UK - The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the COVID-19 crisis.
Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers; all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.
Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our cause as it finally got people talking.
“There were a few government figures who weren’t particularly listening to our concerns prior to this and didn’t fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are in. That certainly seems to have changed now and, whilst it may appear that the campaign has been slightly quieter for the past few weeks, this is only due to us putting all of our energies into the various meetings and surveys we’ve had to conduct to ensure the campaign continues to gain momentum.”
Activities over the last few weeks include meetings with political advisors, who are helping to formulate precise action points of the campaign’s next steps, as well as coll
Spain - The organisers of Integrated Systems Europe have announced new dates for the recently-postponed tradeshow.
Instead of 2-5 February, ISE 2021 will take place on 1-4 June at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.
“The decision to reschedule the exhibition from early February came after a period of consultation with exhibitors, the venue and local authorities,” comments Mike Blackman, managing director Integrated Systems Events. “In recent weeks we have been working closely with the venue and local suppliers to ensure that the move can take place as smoothly as possible.
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing business face to face and we are committed to delivering an engaging and safe in-person ISE in 2021. The postponement of the event to early June provides additional time for the industry to adapt and restore balance. We look forward to hosting the AV community in our new home in Barcelona.”
Europe - After a period of consultation with the industry and the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Integrated Systems Events has announced that ISE, scheduled for 2-5 February 2021 in Barcelona, has been postponed and will now take place in June (dates to be confirmed), alongside a virtual offering.
Additionally, ISE will launch RISE Digital, a regular programme of content and networking events which will run throughout the year and support the live show.
Integrated Systems Events released the following statement: “We’ve been monitoring the conditions in Europe since the beginning of this year and have worked hard on your behalf to balance health and safety concerns with the need for commerce and F2F interaction. These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the calendar year and although we’ve felt confident and hopeful regarding delivering this show in February, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for all of us is to delay the show edition until June 2021.”
“The health and safety of our team, exhibiting companies, industry partners and attendees is our number one priority,” said Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events. “Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding coronavirus, and the uncertainty regarding travel restrictions and country lockdowns, we have concluded it is not prudent to maintain our original schedule of an in-person February 2021 trade show.
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing bus
USA - High End Systems has announced the finalist teams for the 2020 Hog Factor USA Collegiate Lighting Programming Competition. First held in North America in 2015, Hog Factor has become one of the premier lighting programming contests in the United States and across the globe.
For Phase One, each submitting team provided a performance lighting piece, programmed on a Hog or Hog 4 PC. The collegiate teams were judged by a panel of High End Systems and ETC employees. The three Hog Factor USA finalist teams are The Ghost Lights from Webster University, Bacon Powers from Southern Methodist University, and Hamburglers from Texas State University.
With the LDI 2020 Exhibition now cancelled, this year’s contest will take place online as part of ETC/HES’ Study Hall events in October. Details on the contest date, format and judging will be announced soon.
USA - With the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention coming up in October, newly announced technical programme details showcase a variety of sessions covering both audio science and research, as well as topical discussions of key issues in the audio industry.
Now in its expanded, virtual format, as Audio Engineering Month, the AES Show 2020 ‘offers attendees their own in-house convention’.
Several recently added sessions have been announced to the AES Show Technical Programme. Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell will detail some of his most successful mixing and recording techniques with the session Behind the Mix, hosted by AES recording and production track co-chair Peter Doell.
Doell further delves into the recording workflows taking place in these uncertain times with the session Post-COVID Recording Challenges with guest Warren Huart. While many in the industry have found mounting challenges with online interaction, live streaming, apps, and other technologies, this session aims to examine these issues, while also taking into account the success of those who have found the pandemic has helped streamline their process.
The AES Show will also look into the complexities and opportunities facing much of our industry and beyond, through several topical and current events-related offerings. Unlocking the Control Room: Equity Achievements in Audio will take a look a recent international survey, taken in partn
South Africa - For the South African live events industry, 8 September was an emotional day that will be tattooed in the hearts and souls of the 200 people consisting of business owners, technicians and freelancers, who gathered at the Paul Kruger Statue in Central Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Under the banner of the #Flightcasemovement, this historic event saw the industry standing united, marching and pushing flightcases to represent their cause.
The industry players joined in spirit by those who could not afford the transportation cost to be there. “I felt like I was part of a huge national movement that will never be seen for another hundred years, I was proud to be part of this committee,” said Sizwe Mokoena of Ugozi Entertainment, a member of the #Flightcasemovement and who led the protestors in peaceful songs like Asisanamali, the desperate cry to be able to work and generate an income again.
Since 15 March, the South African government has implemented one of the strictest lockdowns across the globe yet has not financially assisted the events industry besides a small income (for some) from COVID-TERS UIF which has also come to an end. Under the gatherings act, events cannot cater to an audience of more than 50 people. It is estimated that the live events industry contributes millions of Rands to the country’s GDP.
The reality is that the industry is now struggling, its people are battling to survive, and many have moved back with their parents, sold their cars, homes
USA - Around 2,000 venues, places, landmarks, and monuments all over the US were lit in red for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign on 1 September to highlight the critical situation facing the live events and entertainment industry and the need for lawmaker’s support of the Restart Act (S.3814) to offer some sort of relief to the industry.
This latest red day of action was part of a wider industry campaign being led by the #WeMakeEvents movement, a collective of trade organisations including PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
The idea of lighting buildings in ‘emergency red’ started in Germany with #NightofLight in June, and the concept caught on with red days of action organised in many European countries and the UK (initiated by #LightiItInRed on 6th July, followed up by PLASA’s #WeMakeEvents action on 11 August) as well as South Africa (#LightSARed on 5 August) and others.
As the colour red has become synonymous with assisting the vast technical production infrastructure and all those talented individuals working in it who effectively facilitate live performance and the arts, Robe has been involved with all of these various ‘LightItInRed’ campaigns in some capacity.
For this one in the USA, signature Robe installations lit in red included the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco; the Video West HQ, the Hubbard Radio building and the Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix and several landmarks around Reno including the famous Reno Arch, the Believe sculpture and the fascia of the Bruka Theatre.
Germany - On 9 September, the Red Alert Action Alliance - Initiatives & Associations of the Event Industry (Aktionsbündnis AlarmstufeRot - Initiativen & Verbände der Veranstaltungswirtschaft) assembled at a large demonstration in Berlin in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the event industry.
With numerous companies having experienced hardly any sales for six months and a significant drop in revenue, the crisis is now threatening both businesses and jobs.
The demonstration was conceived as a concerted action by all stakeholders in the event industry - from agencies and artists to event technicians and showmen. According to the organisers, up to 15,000 employees in the event industry heeded the call. After countless had already taken off their ‘last shirts’ and laid them down in a symbolic action on the meadow in front of the German Bundestag at noon, the final rally began in the early afternoon at the Brandenburg Gate, and lasted for several hours.
It was primarily those most affected who had their say. After the various convenors and initiators had presented their positions and demands, and Herbert Grönemeyer had moved the crowd with a fiery appeal, a short industry talk took place. During this debate, GLP founder and managing director Udo Künzler joined Dr. Volker Schmidt, general manager of NiedersachsenMetall, as well as Sascha Vollmer and Alec Völkel from The BossHoss.
While Dr. Schmidt described the crisis from the point of view of industrial customers in the event economy and The BossHoss added the per
USA - The Meyer Sound education team has returned with a series of MAPP 3D round table discussions every Thursday in September. Each session will welcome questions from attendees and be answered by a team of panelists. The sessions will also focus on different features of Meyer Sound’s new MAPP 3D system design and prediction tool.
The first round table - which took place on Thursday, 3 September - addressed overall MAPP 3D help, feature requests and bug reports, main graphical user interface (GUI), viewports, importing CAD and SketchUp drawings, and SPL vs. Attenuation in model view.
This Thursday, 10 September, the session will focus on primitives, modifiers, and tweaking SPL range and resolution for quick design.
The third round table, scheduled for 17 September, will teach attendees how to interpret Δ dB and connect to the Galileo Galaxy Network Platform, Compass Control Software, and Compass Go.
The final session on 24 September will dive into MAPP 3D case studies and optimization for faster predictions.
Each MAPP 3D session will begin at 9:00 PDT/18:00 CET and will be moderated by Meyer Sound senior technical support & education specialist Merlijn van Veen. Throughout the round tables, Meyer Sound panellists will be available for Q&A.
USA - As the industry continues to be largely shut down, entertainment industry workers are dealing with increased levels of depression and anxiety and many are struggling to maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing. Joblessness, isolation, and worry about the future are all contributing to the negative impact on mental health. The reality is that many are not coping well and reports of suicide are on the rise.
National Suicide Prevention Week is an opportunity to learn what can you do to help colleagues or family and friends you are concerned about, as well as find resources that may help you today or in the future. Visit btshelp.org/bethe1to see the warning signs of suicide, because the more familiar you are with the signs the more likely you are to recognise them. Then learn about the 5 Steps you can take to help keep someone safe: Ask, Be There, Keep Them Safe, Help Them Connect, and Follow Up. Practical guidance and situational examples are provided for each of the five steps.
Most people want to help if they see someone at risk for suicide but they don’t know what to say or do, or are afraid they will make things worse or damage their relationship with the person, especially in the workplace. Evidence shows this is not the case and it is critical to reach out. Btshelp.org/bethe1to can give you the tools and resources you need to not be afraid to step up and potentially save a life.
Help spread the word across our industry – we can all help save
UK - Following the recent announcement of the expansion of UKickstart Event 2020, the first UK-wide live and virtual gathering of event professionals post-lockdown, it has once again extended its programme to include a Live Performance panel discussion on kickstarting the events industry. The panel discussion will take place at one of White Light’s managed venues, Illuminate at the Science Museum, and will be chaired by managing director Bryan Raven.
The panel is called Working in a Post-COVID World – How to Kick-Start Live Performance and will take place on Tuesday 8 September at 4.30pm. Alongside Bryan, industry experts speaking will include Adam Blackwood, founder and creative director of Private Drama; Jon Drape, director of Engine No 4; Clara Cullen, venue support manager and Nicholas Wells, owner of Power Plan Services.
The panel will discuss issues encountered due to the pandemic, covering small music venues, theatres, indoors/outdoor venues and arenas, as well as the solutions needed to overcome these. Jon Drape will be discussing the challenges and lessons learnt from his recent experience working on the Virgin Money Unity Arena Festival in Newcastle.
Bryan comments: “The Live Events industry is on a cliff-edge, particularly as we approach October and the end of Furlough. There are so many jobs and buildings at risk of simply collapsing that we need to look at safe and practical ways in which we can kick start live performance and work with our clients again; something which this discussion will initiate.”
UK - Acclaimed lighting designer Paule Constable will deliver this year's Trotter Paterson Lecture, the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) has announced.
Taking place on 10 September (Thursday) from 1pm, the event will for the first time be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with free access to those registered. Constable will discuss her award-winning work, motivations, and experience as a lighting designer. Following the lecture, there will be a live Q&A session, where attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions.
Constable is an honorary fellow of Goldsmith’s College, Rose Bruford College and the Central School of Speech and Drama. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy and has been leading the freelance lobbying of the UK government, which contributed to securing the £1.57bn investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
After studying English and Drama at Goldsmith’s University, Paule trained in lighting design, whilst working in the music industry. In 2005, she was the first woman to receive the Olivier Award for Best Lighting. Since then, she has gone on to win it three more times and has been nominated a further ten times. She has won the Tony Award for Best Lighting twice and has received four additional nominations, amongst many other accolades and is an Associate Director of the National Theatre and an Associate of the Lyric Hammersmith. Her shows include Ocean at the end of the Lane, Curious Incident of th
UK - Initially launched by PLASA in response to calls from its membership, the #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live events sector and how it urgently needs financial support in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis. The initial response resulted in a collective Day of Action on 11 August, with creative expressions across the country, including over 700 buildings lit up in red and other activities that culminated with 4,000 socially distanced event professionals lining bridges and the bankside of the Thames, expressing their need for support with the red alert theme. (Read extensive coverage of the Red Alert day of action in LSi September – out now!)
In order to represent all those in the communities that #WeMakeEvents represents, PLASA is now announcing that the campaign has moved into total independence, steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, including PLASA, businesses and freelancers who are all working together to ensure it receives as much awareness as possible. The success of the initial activity has led to a global movement, with organisations from around the world coming together in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity.
This next stage in the campaign will be known as ‘Stand as One’ – taken from the newly released song and now campaign anthem, written and performed by Joe Bygraves, who has generously agreed to do
USA - In an effort ranging from coast to coast - and also taking in the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans - the Red Alert RESTART event, organized by members of the live industry, cast a red glow on the night of 1 September. More than 1,600 buildings, iconic structures, and residences, as theatres, production houses, hotels, casinos, recording studios, opera houses, ballrooms, nightclubs, arenas, and individual homes were part of the event, which also included demonstrations in many cities.
The goal of #RedAlert RESTART is to urge Congress to vote for the RESTART Act and to support the efforts of ExtendPUA.org by pushing for an extension and expansion of PUA benefits for 1099 and freelance workers, i.e. independent contractors; and an extension of the $600 FPUC as part of a comprehensive pandemic relief package.
A four-and-a-half-hour livestream on Facebook, hosted by lighting designer/programmer Christian Jackson, featured reports from many cities. In New York, where the illuminated structures included the Empire State building and the registry at Ellis Island, stagehands massed in Times Square with cases, making a powerful display of solidarity. A report from Buffalo took viewers to the Riviera Theatre, which went red inside and out. The skyline of Rochester, New York also went red.
In Trinidad, technicians used LED battens to spell out "WME," an allusion to the events #WeMakeEvents hashtag. In Boston, following an urgent message of support from Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, technicians staged a moment of silence outside the conven
South Africa - South African technical companies, technical crew and freelance technicians have initiated the Flightcase Movement – a campaign to hand-deliver a memorandum of demands to the country’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) on 8 September (next Tuesday).
The aim of the movement is to enable the resumption of live events whilst maintaining social distancing by following protocols set out by the Event Safety Council.
The action will take place in Pretoria, with business owners, technicians and freelancers in the live events industry meeting at Paul Kruger Statue in church Square at 9am. They will push 250 flight cases to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture building, where a memorandum will be handed over at noon. Campaigners will be dressed in black with full PPE including masks, gloves, safety shoes and hard hats.
The South African live events industry has been shut down since 27 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campaigners say there are at least 700 independent freelancers who have had no government assistance and no work during this period, their only help coming from a single food voucher of R500 donated by Feed Our Crew, an NGO created by technicians working within the industry.
Meanwhile, technical rental companies, of which there are hundreds across the country, have had to either temporarily lay off staff, lay off staff permanently, re-trench or embark on a total shutdown of operation.
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa relaxed some of the restrictions on gatherings in August, but gather
UK - Each Wednesday from 9 to 30 September, a line-up of the West End’s most well-loved singers will perform alongside some of theatre’s top musicians in West End Unplugged (live from L-Acoustics Creations), a series of four 45-minute charity concerts.
Featuring top Olivier Award-winning talent from hit productions like We Will Rock You, Wicked, Beautiful, Come From Away, The Tina Turner Musical, the concerts will feature a mixture of show tunes and some of the performers’ personal favourite songs. The series is presented by choreographer Anthony Van Last and music director Ben Goddard and promises to be a joyful mix of music and relaxed chat.
Guests stars include Mazz Murray, Alice Fearn, Sandra Marvin, Hugh Maynard, Aisha Jawando, Richard Fleeshman and Celinde Schoenmaker, Tim Howar, Siobhan McCarthy, Joe Stilgoe, Hanna Waddingham, David Bedella, Cavin Cornwall and Katie Brayben. Everyone involved, from the performers to all of the technicians and technical equipment suppliers, have come together and given their time for free to mount these concerts.
Bobby Aitken, theatre sound designer and the shows’ producer, comments: “All funds raised on the day will benefit three charities: Backup - The Technical Theatre Charity, Help Musicians UK, Theatre Artists Fund. We feel that between them, these three charities best represent everyone in our theatre family.”
The concerts are free to watch, but donations are wel
China - Prolight+Sound Guangzhou (PLSG) 2020 is taking place from 21-24 August at the China Import and Export Fair Complex.
Organisers Messe Frankfurt and the Guangdong International Science and Technology Exhibition Company say they have put all of the necessary safety precautions in place to provide a safe and effective business platform for the industry.
“Participants will be able to reconnect with industry peers and explore sourcing and networking opportunities to help the industry reboot,” say the organisers, “677 exhibitors will utilise 80,000sq.m across eight halls. The fair will also provide enhanced services including online participation to facilitate interactions between buyers and exhibitors. Furthermore, over 40 seminars, forums and product demonstrations will be featured concurrently, highlighting the latest industry knowledge in the entertainment, media and AV sectors.”
Judy Cheung, deputy general manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) says she is looking forward to a productive week: “For the past 18 years, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou has played an important role in information exchange, marketing, training and education for the industry, but this year in particular the fair has become more valuable than ever.
“On the back of a difficult first half of the year, we are pleased to offer participants the opportunity to benefit from emerging opportunities as the market rebounds. We are grateful to have retained the support of many renowned exhibitors. This demonstrates that the industry places a high level of trust in PLSG.
USA - Inspired by efforts in the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa, the US live events industry is set to host its own #WeMakeEvents ‘Red Alert’ day of action on 1 September.
Using the hashtags #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA to gain momentum, the move represents a major call to action on Tuesday, 1 September, imploring the US Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible, offering economic relief to America’s live events industry, which has been shuttered since March, 2020, putting millions of people out of work. Additionally, the movement is to support ExtendPUA.org in their efforts towards continuation and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work due to COVID-19.
#WeMakeEvents North American director, Brad Nelms comments: "The group has managed to gather incredible support for this important movement, signing on more than 30 regional directors to lead the initiative in markets nationally. This team have been so fired up and already have commitments from hundreds of incredible venues and iconic locations nationally who will show support."
On 1 September buildings, structures, and residences across the US will be lit in red from 9pm-12am (local time in each market) as the event rolls across North America. The goal to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on ‘Red Alert’ for its very survival, and to create congressional pressure to act now.
#BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers, reports: "The Arts &
Europe - Sennheiser’s popular live Crew Calls continue with four members from Ed Sheeran’s live touring crew from the world record-breaking Divide Tour
On 8 September at 8pm CET, Sennheiser hosts Andy Egerton and Tim Moore will welcome Chris Marsh (production manager, FOH sound), Mark Friend (tour manager), Matt Jones (lighting director) and Dave White (guitar/Chewie tech). Organisers are urging those wishing to tune in to register early for the live round table with the touring crew behind Ed Sheeran’s.
During the 90-minute Crew Call, Chris Marsh and Mark Friend will discuss production and tour management and speak about the FOH sound, while Matt Jones will give insights into the tour’s lighting design. Guitar fans will be delighted to see David White on board, who designed and built Ed Sheeran’s Chewie looper pedalboard. As always, all panellists will b e happy to take questions questions from the audience.
For more detail and to register, visit this link.
Canada - Driving over an hour on the highway, headed northeast from Montreal, motorists find themselves at Parc Bellerive, a secluded, peaceful expanse of green on the banks of the River Richelieu.
Time seems to stand still here. Being far enough away from the big city, the clear and fragrant night sky is free of light pollution. This creates an idyllic setting for star gazing. It also provides a beautiful canvas on which to project colourful and dynamic aerial effects.
This attribute was not lost on Érik Nowosielski-Lamoureux when he was called upon to light a two-hour drive-in concert headlined by Québécois recording stars Les Colocs for Canada Day.
“Saint-Ours is a small city about 100km from Montreal, so the sky over the riverside park was completely dark,” said Nowosielski-Lamoureux. “I used this aspect to create interesting looks in the sky. Because the show was a drive-in event, cars could be quite far from stage. The bright output of my Rogue R2 beams made it easy for me to light up almost all the area above the cars. By doing this, I gave the cars in the back of the site some visuals to enjoy, even with the stage being pretty far from them.”
Nowosielski-Lamoureux positioned six Rogue R2 Beams along the upstage deck at various heights. The fixtures on either edge of the stage were raised three feet, while the two units further in were placed four feet high and the two centre units were on 6ft truss totems.
From these positions, the Rogue R2 Beams did more than create interestingly patterned aerial displays, they also
UK - A webinar designed to unite the live production industry in developing new working practices for a more sustainable approach has shown a “clear willingness” for change, according to The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA).
The panel discussion, broadcast live on social media channels as well as via a Zoom video meeting, brought together many of the leading companies and individuals who are committed to a more sustainable future for live event production.
The webinar was a collaboration between SiPA, the Association of British Technicians (ABTT) and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Top of the agenda was how the industry can use the current hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to create a more sustainable approach to its work.
SiPA’s Carol Scott, principal advocate for sustainability at TAIT and SiPA, was joined by a host of live production industry and environment leaders, including: Jon Bausor - multi-award-winning international stage designer and creative director; Spike Brant - production designer, CEO of Nimblist and advocator of sustainability; Ian Garrett - USITT Memmber and designer with Toasterlab; Huntly Christie - CEO of Christie Lites and Dr Chris Jones, research fellow at University of Manchester who is currently examining the key impact areas of the music industry on the environment.
“The webinar was a great success - the audience engagement was fantastic, with the live stream figures going into the thousands,” says Carol Scott. “There is a clear willingness in our industry to
UK - As part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign, Calrec lit up its historic Nutclough Mill building in red on the night of 11 August to help raise the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector.
Backed by a wide range industry bodies and companies, a series of events was held on Tuesday across the UK to highlight the plight of those struggling for work as a result of the pandemic. The live entertainment sector has been particularly badly hit, with calls to the government to step in and provide more assistance.
Sid Stanley, Calrec’s general manager, comments: “This has affected our customers in every territory, and the impact on live events like sports and entertainment has been devastating. In the UK alone there are over one million people employed in delivering events, 72% of whom are freelance, and many of which have no access to any financial support. We worked with other companies in the valley where we are based, including the Hippodrome, one of the UK’s largest volunteer-run theatres, to bring as much attention as possible. We hope that by coming together to support one another our voices are heard.”
Calrec has worked with A1 craft mixers during this period to help promote their achievements as widely as possible. The company has also worked with customers to create flexible technical solutions to allow as much live coverage to occur as possible.
“But, of course, massive challenges remain and the UK government needs to provide support to allow the sector to return to its former glory,” Calrec says in a statement. “We st
The Netherlands - The UK’s #WeMakeEvents campaign received support in the Netherlands, where local companies took part in a nationwide Red Alert action under the banner of #WijMakenEvents.
More than 250 buildings across the country were lit in red on the evening of 11 August. The original campaign is a PLASA initiative that was adopted by the VTTE (the Association of Technical Event Suppliers) in the Netherlands.
Trussing, staging and hoist supplier Prolyte participated in the protest action on the night. The event industry and sectors have been at a complete standstill since the very beginning of the coronavirus crisis earlier this year. It has been more than five months, which means there are all costs but no turnover. Despite the government’s support during this period, companies are now on the verge of collapsing.
In order to draw attention to this crisis-like-situation in a peaceful and public-friendly manner, the Prolyte building was illuminated in red at 9pm local time and pulled the plug out exactly at five to 12 (11:55pm). “Together, we hope to get the support packages for the event industries extended and a clearer prospect is outlined until we can go back to work normally without the 1.5m restrictions. Without this commitment, a large number of companies will end up going bankrupt and employees will end up on the street,” says Prolyte.
“Politicians need to wake up and understand that if nothing happens, the entire event sector is in danger of disappearing.”