#WeMakeEvents issues a call to arms after worrying findings
Thursday, 18 February 2021
wme-gcsuJoin the conversation by using #GovCantSeeUs on social media
UK - The UK government is being urged to recognise the “human and economic devastation” inflicted by the pandemic on the live events supply chain as part of a new awareness campaign launched by #WeMakeEvents this morning.
The Government Can’t See Us, Can You? unveils the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the live event supply chain as told through the stories of industry professionals. The movement has issued an open letter to Rishi Sunak asking the government to support out-of-work individuals and businesses and engage with the sector to develop a re-opening plan and a government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance.
The initiative is also calling on the public to join the conversation on social media by using #GovCantSeeUs and by writing to their MP.
Alongside The Government Can’t See Us, Can You?, #WeMakeEvents has published worrying findings from its latest survey carried out among 2,800 businesses and individuals in the live events supply chain.
It revealed that nearly half (43%) said they didn’t have the resources to survive until the summer, and more than a third of respondents (34%) had not received any government support throughout the crisis.
In addition, 50% of those surveyed have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income, whilst a third have been forced to or are considering to leave the sector. The majority (93%) of respondents have said that their income has fallen dramatically, with 30% stating that it has been slashed by more than 90%.
Peter Heath, #WeMakeEvents steering committee member and MD of PLASA, comments: “The live event supply chain has been all but unable to work for almost a year – we have been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Yet, we have received no targeted assistance and been excluded from much of the support said to be for businesses that are unable to open. As a result, the live event supply chain is on the brink of collapse.
“This can be stopped if the government sees the human and economic devastation being inflicted on the live events supply chain, extends the whole sector the lifelines we need to survive until it is safe for live events to reopen, and works with us to build a practical roadmap for reopening. We hope this campaign moves the government to take these vital steps.”
Julian Knight MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, adds: “It’s hugely disappointing that almost a year since stages went dark, the skilled professionals making up our world leading creative sector are still falling through the cracks of government support. The DCMS committee continues to hear evidence on the severe impact the pandemic has had on those in live event supply chains, in our inquiry into the support needed to save the 2021 season of festivals. I hope this serves as a catalyst to the government taking the steps it so urgently needs to, including backing COVID-19 cancellation insurance.”
Neil Hunt, founder of ZigZag Lighting, says: “Our industry came to an abrupt halt in March last year. We were mid-way through a tour and it had to be cancelled. Trying to survive without work has put immense pressure on us as a business and on me personally.
“Initially, there was some optimism as we thought we could return to work last year. That didn’t happen, and now it has been almost a year without work. We really need support from the government to help us keep our heads above water. Otherwise, there won’t be an industry for us to go back to.”

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