UK - Britannia Row Productions has supplied a varied array of projects in theatre, TV and radio while utilising COVID-safe procedures.
From a high-profile fashion event in a socially distanced venue with an army of masked crew, to working in sparse TV studios and on-air radio broadcasts, sound rental company Britannia Row Productions has maintained COVID-safe working practices during the pandemic.
Freelance sound engineer Scott Maxwell was touring with deep house DJ and producer Jax Jones when COVID cancellations saw his calendar fall apart. After months without pushing his faders, Autumn finally kicked off a run of new shows. A theatre production in Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre was his first foray into socially distant events.
The theatre partnered with Stage2View to present a selection of West End and Broadway musicals and plays, allowing for a cinematic experience in the atmosphere of a real theatre. Productions screened included The King and I and 42nd Street in 5.1 surround sound. Using an L-Acoustics Kara, KS28 and SB18 subwoofers spec, the show was heard perfectly throughout the venue’s 200 socially distanced, seated attendees.
At a COVID-safe high-end fashion show for Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta, the stage was built out into the auditorium to ensure strict social distancing was in place. Here, Brit Row’s Tom Brown designed the audio system using L-Acoustics 112P self-powered coaxial cabinets, with Maxwell on site for show day. “There were acoustic challenges at this venue as the performance an
USA - Zach Williams was out on a solo, headlining tour when the COVID pandemic began to peak. Though the remaining shows for the year were cancelled, Williams still yearned for the live stage and delivering his gift of song to fans. The Christian country/rock star, together with Big Daddy Weave, organised the Drive-In Theater Tour.
Though social distancing protocols required smaller crews, which also meant less gear on stage, Williams’ FOH and monitor engineers were in agreement that the DPA d:facto and 2028 Vocal Microphones were key to the performances.
“We had one 20x24 SL100 mobile stage, definitely smaller than what we’re used to, and all of the attendees would park and stay in or near their car,” explains Carson Brannock, monitor engineer for Zach Williams. “I didn’t even realise there were this many drive-in theatres still operating in the country, but we did about 30 separate tour stops.”
“From an operational perspective, the biggest difference on our end was that we didn’t advance any local stagehands in order to keep the crew consistent throughout,” he continues. “No one was allowed backstage, not even family, so we did everything on our own. It was a bit of an adjustment, but we got into a flow that worked fairly well. It was definitely different than the normal setup and atmosphere than we’re used to, but it was really cool.”
One thing that didn’t change between Williams’ headline tour and the Drive-In Tour was his use of the DPA d:facto 4018 VL Vocal Microphone. “What I really love about the 4018
UK - The We Make Events campaign has launched the short film The Show Can’t Go On in recognition of all events and creative arts people, and those who support and work in the industry.
Created by Sam Bradford of production company Praxima, the video, available to view here, offers a stark reminder of the harrowing consequences of the pandemic for arts and events professionals, many of whom have had to take on different jobs to survive financially in a year that saw their work calendar wiped out.
The video is also an apparent rebuttal of the controversial 'Fatima' advert that depicted a young ballet dancer as part of the UK government's reskilling campaign.
“At this time of year, we should be working hard and enjoying the best live events and entertainment in the world,” comments lead producer of #WeMakeEvents, Gary White. “This is a season that can be challenging for many. It is now made harder by the lack of work. We wanted to create a film that is heartfelt, to show our industry that, as an organisation, ‘we have your back’ and to remind the public that we still need support.”
Bradford adds: “This has been a hard year for our industry, and I recognise that they are still fighting for a return to normality, to be able to do what they love. We wanted to create a touching and honest film that everyone can connect to.”
White continues: “As we know, it takes an extensive supply chain of businesses and freelancers to put on a
UK - Shure and Curtain Call have announced a series of networking evenings for industry professionals during a time of great need. The virtual gatherings will be an opportunity for people to have open discussions about any issues they may be dealing with and seek advice from professionals, as well as staying engaged with their fellow professionals, ensuring they are work ready as and when the world begins to resume to normality.
Shure and Curtain Call share the sentiment of supporting and championing those that are behind the scenes and Shure’s previous ‘This is the Moment’ campaign was launched to celebrate the tremendous efforts that make theatre productions possible.
Keen to continue supporting industry professionals, whether there is anyone on or off the stage, the sessions are designed to allow people to seek advice or make new connections.
Marc Henshall, senior marketing specialist, Pro Audio, comments: “As an extension of our partnership with Curtain Call, we are committed to supporting the industry during a challenging period. With the hope that 2021 brings a return to normal work, now is the time to prepare. There is no better time to encourage people to support each other. We are proud to play a part in delivering a series of events to help ensure the year ahead gets off to the best possible start.”
John Schwab, Curtain Call, adds: “Shure are one of the premier brands that span multiple creative industries. We are excited to be joining forces again with Shure to help support those industries by engaging in wide-ranging co
UK - PLASA is hosting two sessions on Brexit during December to help PLASA members prepare for the new trading rules which will come into play from Friday 1 January 2021.
The first session on Friday 11 December at 2pm is a 30-minute introductory Q&A which will allow members to ask questions on the new rules and how they should prepare. This session is free, but numbers are limited to 20 to allow everyone to ask their questions. Pre-registration is required via the link below.
The next session will take place on Thursday 17 December and will run from 2pm to 4:30pm, allowing for a detailed look at exporting and importing post-Brexit. This workshop will help you prepare for the new rules of moving goods between the UK and Europe and will consider the process and cost obligations of navigating through new borders and the implications of procedures for both seller and buyer. This session is again limited to 20 people to allow for a more personalised approach.
Both sessions will be hosted by Business Training Ltd who have provided export-import training for public and private companies, Chambers of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment since 1975. The host will be owner Peter Thompson who has 20 years commercial experience in the logistics and financial aspects of international trade in the building services, civil engineering and energy sectors.
Find out more and register for the events via the links below:
11 December Q&A: https://plasa_brexit_qa.eventbrite.co.uk/
UK - Industry campaigns #WeMakeEvents and #ExcludedUK have joined forces with homelessness charity Crisis to stage Silent Nights, a protest movement that encourages people to spend a night at their workplace.
Organisers hope the action will highlight the plight of around three million workers, who remain excluded from the state’s economic relief measures related to the pandemic.
Silent Nights will start at 7pm on 18 December (Friday) and end at 7am on 19 December. Organisers are inviting those whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic to participate by sleeping out at their place of work. This could include venues (if permitted), homes, shops, offices or salons.
Organiser Tom Branston comments: “This is even more urgent following the prime minister’s refusal yesterday to meet with #ExcludedUK following a plea from Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the House of Commons, Rt. Hon Ian Blackford MP. He laid bare the fact that so many have still not received a penny from the government and advised the PM that many were in such a desperate situation they are losing their homes, and very sadly, eight people have already taken their own lives.”
“Our goal is to raise as much as possible to help those who really need it," he adds. "We need to pull together more than ever and support each other at this time of year.”
The event is COVID-secure with the activity devised to fit within current guidelines. Participants are encouraged to grab their Christmas jumper and dress up warm at permissible outdoor spaces with th
UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup has announced Round 2 of applications for its Hardship Fund is now open.
The fund was launched in October with the aim to provide limited financial assistance to production crew and those working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector. Set up just ahead of the then-concluding Self-Employment Income Support and Job Retention schemes, it originally targeted those in the community who had been unable to receive any state or charitable assistance.
But Round 2 will be open to workers who have been awarded up to £5,000 in funding between 1 April and 30 November.
“The application uptake for Round 1 of the Hardship Fund reaffirmed to us how dire it is financially and that this help could not come soon enough for many or our colleagues,” comments Backup chairman John Simpson. “It has been heartbreaking to read the messages applicants included and we are thankful that Backup has been able to provide some small level of financial support to help keep our colleagues afloat.”
He adds: “With Round 1, the Hardship Fund was able to help over 100 colleagues that have not previously had any help. However, we are also aware that there is another larger group of people that have had some form of small support from government grants, but this is not enough to meet their day-to-day basic requirements and thus also find themselves in financial difficulty. This is why Backup is opening the Hardship Fund to for a Round 2, targeting these individuals with a widening of the criteria.”
UK - #WeMakeEvents, the campaign to support the live entertainment sector during the COVID crisis, is hosting an online Speakeasy from Monday 30 November to Friday 8 January. This new virtual space will deliver skills workshops, support sessions for finance and wellbeing, ‘fireside chats’ with some of the industry’s greats, and plenty of entertainment. All industry professionals are invited to join in and connect with colleagues during what will likely be a difficult festive period for many.
The Speakeasy will run regular quizzes, webinars, Q&A clinics and training sessions, and will host a forum on Discord which will be open at all hours for people to seek and share advice.
On the agenda is a highly anticipated live conversation between former Cirque du Soleil artists Laura-Ann Chong and Andy Buchanan, advice on motivation through these difficult times, plus industry technical sessions coving topics such as COVID health and safety for events, temporary power and site electrics, and an introduction to noise management for events,.
Coming up throughout December you can look forward to a quiz night held every Monday, weekly yoga classes with Becky Pell of Rock ‘n’ Roll Yogi and regular live music sets - including DJ sets with Martin Audio’s Dom Harter. There will also be plenty of programme highlights from PLASA Online, PLASA’s recent online programme, which will cover the most pertinent topics across, technical, business and industry.
More sessions and events will be added throughout the coming weeks, so you are encouraged t
Germany - Top executives from d&b audiotechnik, the Royal Albert Hall, Audiotonix and Live Nation recently came together to address the future of shared entertainment experiences at the ‘Horizons Summit: Entertainment, Technology and Beyond.’
The virtual panel discussed the effect the pandemic has had on the live events industry and how shared entertainment experiences might look in the future.
The discussion, led by journalist and author, Dan Daley, included Amnon Harman, Group CEO d&b audiotechnik; Jackie Wilgar, senior vice-president Live Nation; Craig Hassall, CEO Royal Albert Hall, and James Gordon, CEO Audiotonix.
The Summit addressed common partner and customer concerns as well as industry trends including: the pivots required to keep live entertainment companies alive; the future of drive-in and virtual concerts; government support during the pandemic; and the indicators of industry recovery.
“2020 has brought incredible challenges for everyone in this industry. While many of these conversations have been taking place behind closed doors over the last few months, this Summit gives the industry the opportunity to openly address challenges and to discuss what we believe will be the future of live entertainment,” commented d&b’s Amnon Harman. “Community matters, strength in numbers matters and we need to bring everyone together to navigate these challenging times.”
To watch the Summit please click here.
UK - The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is hosting development project Creating Theatre in a COVID Landscape.
Developed alongside FUSE ARTS, Creation Theatre and Fray Studio, the project has created four COVID-compliant theatrical events, which will be livestreamed as part of two seminars to be held on 20 and 27 November.
Working with GSA’s technical theatre students and partnering them with professional creatives, the project explores how challenging and provocative theatre can be produced whilst maintaining a COVID-secure environment. It also provides an opportunity for GSA’s students to collaborate with industry professionals in exploring and developing viable contemporary theatre practices in the COVID era.
The seminars will discuss the challenges and possibilities of producing theatre within the context of the global pandemic with the insight and expertise of the next generation of technicians and actors, asking the following questions:
• How can we collaborate as an industry to produce live theatre against the context of the global pandemic?
• How can we retain the “magic” of a live theatre show through the power of theatre technology?
• How can we produce innovative and viable shows that minimise financial exposure and encourage venues to risk showing Covid compliant work?
Mig Burgess, project creator and programme leader for BA Theatre Production at GSA, says:
“We want to do our part to help get the lights back on in theatres across the country in any way we
UK - The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Events has now been re-established as an official group in Parliament following the appointment of a new chair and vice-chair.
Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, will be the chair of the group. Theresa takes over from James Heappey MP, who was chair for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces prevented him from serving in that role. Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, will serve as vice-chair.
The APPG will continue to act as the industry’s voice in Parliament and has been credited with establishing stronger links between the events industry, Parliament and government in recent years. Villiers is an experienced MP having served her constituency since 2005, and having previously held the positions of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Minister of State for Transport.
Commenting on the APPG, she says: “I am delighted that the APPG for Events is being re-established. At a time when the conference and events sector has been devastated by the COVID outbreak, it is more important than ever that we have this group working in Parliament to speak up for this crucial part of our economy.”
The APPG are in the process of inviting members from both Houses of Parliament, and from all parties, to join the group, and are targeting over 250 MPs and peers, in particular those who have either event venues or major events within their constituencies.
A series of industry briefings are being scheduled ov
UK - To facilitate BDO’s first ever fully virtual global conference, creative consultancy Fusion Comms produced a new digital delivery format. The BDO Rethink Festival, which is traditionally held as a bi-annual face-to-face leadership event, was instead broadcast to a global audience on 2 and 4 November.
Fusion Comms partnered with White Light (WL) to create a virtual world for the event, within its SmartStage broadcast facility at London’s Science Museum.
WL collaborated with Fusion Comms and their digital creators MalfMedia to design a flexible xR solution to facilitate three festival broadcasts to BDO’s managing partners from across the world. The visual identity for the xR world was conceptualised around the Rethink Festival’s existing logo and branding.
An entire virtual infrastructure of festival stages was built with the use of digital assets created in a media server system that for the first time incorporated teleportation, remote callers, in studio presenters and XR and AR graphics.
The use of Augmented Reality enabled multiple cameras to track the presenter, whilst the AR festival environment worked in sync with the cameras so the presenters could ‘walk’ from one stage to another.
Delivery of the plenary sessions included the live, full-body teleportation of five presenters directly into the xR environment. Three presenters were transported from studios in Canada Washington DC and Israel, with two more from their homes in Scandinavia.
The whole conference was streamed to a worldwide audience of over 2,500 de
USA - Elections for the ESTA board of directors concluded at midnight on Saturday, 31 October. An outstanding number of ballots were submitted this year, the organisation reports.
There were four positions up for election to the board. Tracey Cosgrove will fill the office of vice president; Elmer Veith of Reliable Design Services will serve as secretary; Evan Williams of Riverview Systems Group is the new production services director, and Mark Wofford of PC&E was elected to serve as rental company director. All will begin their three-year term of office on 1 January 2021.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Orestes Mihaly (PRG) and John Cini (High Output) for their dedicated service.
UK - Members of the events industry lit up part of Scotland’s Nevis Range – including the summit - on 16 October. Say the organisers, “This is part of our campaign to highlight our presence to the Government and that we need assistance to keep business surviving. Scotland's events artists, technicians and crew are fighting to resurrect the industry.
“We are looking for better grants as opposed to loans and a date to begin working towards reopening our sector safely. The present financial support schemes are limiting and many freelancers in particular are not eligible due to the criteria set out on the forms. Many people are falling through the gaps.
“We are representing live events and all of those people and businesses who are affected in the supply chain. We are also here in solidarity for everyone who has been affected greatly by COVID -19 - from tourism, hospitality, festivals and beyond. The artists, technicians and everyone whom work so hard behind the scenes to help create Scotland's diverse arts culture.
“We would also like to directly appeal to members of the public and our audiences to stand with us and help bring our industry back. We can work safely with the guidelines being issued, but many companies and venues are now closing since they were the first groups out of work and therefore the last to come back. Many feel they have been forgotten about or that what they do is deemed now non-viable by our Government. This sector is worth over one billion to the UK economy.
“On a grass roots level, we need arts and cultu
South Africa - Viral video footage of an African National Congress (ANC) rally held at the Luthuli 9L Sports Grounds in Polokwane on Sunday, 8 November, attended by thousands not adhering to the social distancing regulations, has infuriated the region’s live events industry who have not been able to work for over eight months.
“We as the TPSA, SACIA and SA Events Council have lodged a complaint with the South African Police, in particular with the Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba,” said Sharif Baker, chairman of the TPSA. “We are absolutely disgusted at what has happened. It’s a smack in the face for the lives at stake, and literally a smack in the face of us in events who are abiding by the law.”
The Siyanqoba Rally in Ward 14 in Pokowane and issued by the ANC Peter Mokaba Region, included live entertainment and was attended by a massive crowd, with most attendees not wearing masks. The event disregarded the 500 outdoor capacity restrictions as dictated by the ANC government. The current Level 1 risk reduction strategy implemented to slow the spread of Covid-19, allows up to 500 people for outdoor gatherings and a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings.
“This event has taken place where thousands of people did not follow a protocol whatsoever while the live events industry starve,” said Baker. “We have not left this alone and have been in communication with Nkosinathi Emmanuel 'Nathi' Mthethwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture while copying in Khumbudzo Phophi Silence Ntshavheni, th
USA - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the winners of this year’s AES Awards for distinguished achievement in the field of audio and service to the Society, presented during the Opening Ceremonies of the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention on 27 October.
The awards were presented in the online ceremony by AES president Agnieszka Roginska. The AES Show opening ceremonies are available on-demand for AES Show attendees at AESShow.com.
The AES Board of Governors Award, given to members rendering exceptional service to the Audio Engineering Society, was presented to Jorge Azama, for chairing the successful AES Latin American Conference in September 2019 in Lima, Perú.
The AES Honorary Membership Award was given to Imogen Heap, for outstanding contributions to the world of music and technology and to Karrie Keyes, for her leadership in creating opportunities for girls and women in the field of live sound.
The AES Fellowship Award went to Peter Graham Craven, for ‘decades of commitment to the growth and ongoing health of the professional audio industry and for unflagging advocacy for, and dedication to, the Audio Engineering Society’.
Also receiving this award was Jackie Green, for ‘contributions to the sciences of microphone design and manufacture, microphone performance measurement and to microphone and wireless mic system education’.
Other winners includes Thomas Miller, for ‘valuable contributions to the development of miniature transducer design’ and Umberto Zanghieri, for his work ‘advancing the application of
UK - Event business based in England are likely to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant, which will be issued by local authorities in light of tightening restrictions across the country.
Local authorities remain in power over how much of the £1.1bn funding is administered and to which businesses, but the guidance encourages them “to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.”
The explicit mention of the events sector is a big win for campaigners, who have argued for months that the industry should have been included among the worst-hit sectors eligible for funding.
The guidance also says that when deciding how much funding a business can receive, local authorities “may want to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they are unable to trade online and the consequent scale of coronavirus losses.”
Reflecting on the news, PLASA says in a statement: “The UK government recently announced new business support measures, including £1.1bn
South Africa - Capetonians Alex Van Dyk from Solid Group and Alan Muller created Solid Studios that ran from April to the start of October this year.
When the South African lockdown was first implemented, Alex and Alan initially started chatting over the phone about PPE, hoping to generate an alternative income. The conversation turned to how many people were now streaming, and they smiled, talking about newbies to the platform showing up with coffee in hand and dressed in slippers! It dawned on them that if they paired up, created a studio and ran it as if it were a tv paying client, they would achieve broadcast quality.
Alex is the owner of technical supply company Solid Group and had the space to facilitate a studio and the necessary quality gear, including a Green Hippo Amba+ media server. Alan, in turn, is a lighting designer for EDM and Dance Around the World type festivals. In the industry for close to 30 years, he cut his teeth in the television market, particularly from a lighting point of view, and has gained knowledge and skill for both TV lighting and set design.
“Alex and I met in person for the very first time over the Covid-19 period," said Alan. "We looked at the Solid Group warehouse and decided to design a 10m x 10m studio. Being a television studio, we didn't need a stage.” Based on the studio’s LED design, the Hippotizer was critical in how they expanded the set. With content playing a major role, they were also able to create abstract shapes and designs with the powerful tool.
“James Rogers, a passionate AV technic
UK - The BPI/BRIT Awards have announced the donation of £54,000 to the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund administered by Stagehand, the Production Services Association (PSA) Welfare and Benevolent Fund. The money will help Stagehand’s relief fund to approach £240,000, which will be invested in supporting live music and events professionals affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
The contribution from the BPI and BRIT Awards comes on top of £1.62m of BPI-co-ordinated funds donated earlier this year by the recorded music sector to charities and organisations supporting artists, managers and venues through the pandemic - bringing the total distributed to date to £1.67m.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, comments: “Our industry is deeply interconnected and while everyone is feeling the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic in some way, no sector has felt its force to the same degree as the live business. This includes, the expert technicians and events professionals who help make great performances happen.
“That’s why it’s right that, in addition to previous donations to charities benefitting artists, managers and venues, we should not overlook this important part of the music family. We rely on their skills every year in staging The BRIT Awards and the Hyundai Mercury Prize, and we’re delighted to assist the important work of Stagehand supporting live production crew.”
Mike Lowe, Stagehand’s chair of trustees, adds: “As the BPI and BRITs donate £54,000 to Stagehand, it is met with our sincerest appreciation. F
UAE - Creative Technology (CT) was this year's official communications partner for the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon, which took place Friday 23 October at Dubai International Financial District. The event which saw more than 400 runners from over 40 countries take part was the first mass-running event to take place in the UAE since the start of the pandemic in March.
With a range of measures in place to ensure the safety of all participants, this year's marathon was able to have three different race categories ranging from 5km, 10km and 21km.
Adding to the event’s safety protocols, CT provided site-wide communication to support the event organisers across the 21km site. This enabled seamless communication between the event organisers and their teams while adhering to all social distancing parameters and guidelines.
The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon organisers received support from Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Police and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in organising the event.
CT's Middle East integrated networks technical manager, Rob Turner comments, "As physical events start back up we are seeing an increase in demand for communication systems. What once was an afterthought on an event is now at the forefront of everyone's mind as people become more conscious to carefully manage people's movements. Our communication systems are helping clients provide a safe solution for event crew and delegates to communicate while adhering to socially distancing guidelines."
"Promoseven sports marketing (PSM) extend an acknowledgement of o
USA - ETC has postponed any participation in traditional trade shows until July next year. “Out of concern for the safety of its employees and global community, ETC has announced that it will not participate in traditional trade show exhibitions until July 2021,” says a statement. “With the pandemic affecting many people’s ability and desire to travel, the company has instead decided to focus its resources on remote demos and online events.”
The statement continues, “A major part of the trade show experience is the chance to see the latest gear and get one-on-one face time with product experts. With this in mind, ETC has been hard at work converting in-house demo spaces throughout the company’s offices into studios for online product demonstrations. Customers may now use an online portal to schedule live, one-on-one demos of some of the company’s newest fixtures – ColorSource Spot jr, Source 4WRD Color, and the fos/4 Panel and fos/4 Fresnel studio products – from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces.
“With plans in the works to expand these online offerings, ETC hopes to make online demos a permanent resource for customers looking for the latest in lighting technology.”
Until live events can safely return, ETC is also turning its focus to online events and programmes. The company’s online Study Hall seminars – ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown – continue to provide remote learning and Q&A opportunities, with past sessions posted to an ever-growing YouTube library. Having held a successful
UK - Five event professionals encapsulated the trials and tribulation of the UK’s events sector on the Survival Tour, 3-18 October. Their 1,700km ride traversed over a hundred venues closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the riders met the people who would have normally produced all kinds of events (insights into their journey can be seen here).
It was a bitter-sweet experience for the riders, both physically and psychologically, as Proper Productions’ Mark Ward explains: “Without any events to work on, we clipped our barely trained legs into our pedals, to highlight the dire plight of our industry. It was inspiring to bring together the venues and people along our route and hear tales of their personal circumstances and battles first hand. The support has been fantastic, raising awareness through local and national media coverage and fundraising over £30,000 for the Backup charity, which is still open for donations.
He adds: “This week’s Cliff Edge Report has been widely reported, it highlighted that the forced closure of events will have cost 170,000 jobs in the live music industry, that’s 100 jobs for each kilometre cycled, which is a very humbling thought.”
UK - Over the last five months, the #WeMakeEvents campaign has been raising awareness around the current plight facing the live entertainment sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to survive the COVID-19 crisis.
With the introduction of tier systems and the continued local lockdowns, hosting live events has become even more difficult than before. The campaign is therefore continuing to make its voice heard with the next stage of its protest action - Survival in the Square.
Gary White, lead producer of #WeMakeEvents, comments: “The latest government support packages, although welcome, are not reaching those who need them the most and will only benefit a small group. Larger, more meaningful action needs to be taken and, until it does, we will still be here campaigning.”
From 26 October (Monday), Survival in the Square will comprise a series of creative activities set to take place each day in Parliament Square. The activations will be socially distanced and COVID-compliant and will engage a variety of genres from across the performing arts spectrum.
Supporting the Survival in the Square initiative will be West End Waiting. “The West End Waiting Facebook group was created to bring people in the performing arts and events industry together,” says Lee Durnford, founder of the group. “The original idea was for us to be able to discuss relevant topics and give each other support. The group has grown to just over 12,000 members and we have a collective of West End musical directors, stage managers and choreographers who
USA - Foo Fighters recently played the #SOSFest livestream with Brit Row providing the virtual remote mixing solution. Performing at West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the gig was streamed to fans on 18 October as part of a collective action weekend in support of independent US-based music venues.
A total of 35 artists - including Miley Cyrus, The Roots, Major Lazer and Leon Bridges - played in multiple venues in cities across the US and joined the Foo Fighters in raising awareness and funds to keep North America’s cherished independent concert venues from closing indefinitely.
Named #SOSFest, the three-day virtual music festival was created to support the Save Our Stages initiative and America’s National Independent Venues Association’s (NIVA) Emergency Relief Fund. NIVA’s YouTube hosted the festival, with individual sets also aired on artist channels.
Prior to the gig, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told Forbes why raising awareness is vital: “The smaller music venues are the ones that are really struggling and are not only culturally important, they are emotionally important.”
The LA-based rock band’s production team had just five days to produce an unforgettable show for the cause. With the pressure on to deliver a clear message, the long-time clients of Britannia Row Productions were in capable hands when travel restrictions called for a creative approach to their traditional monitor set up.
Monitor engineer Ian Beverage - the band’s longest serving crew member - was unable to travel from his home in Canada t