UK - Event industry professionals are taking part in a 1,500km bike ride across England to raise awareness of the issues faced by the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed The Survival Tour, the ride will take place 3-18 October and take a circuitous route from Newcastle to London, passing more than 50 UK venues and festival sites along the way.
Money raised will go to the charity Backup, supporting entertainment technology professionals in need of support - find out how to donate via JustGiving.
Respectful of the UK government’s ‘rule of six’, the ride bubble is comprised of Steve Reynolds and Mike Trasmundi, who work at Loudsound, along with Mark Ward, Harry Ford and Tyler Cole-Homes of Proper Productions. They are inviting other industry professionals to join them along the route - strictly maintaining their distance and riding in their own bubbles of six.
The cyclists will be followed by a tour bus sponsored by Crossland Bussing, in which the team will sleep. Full details can be found at www.wemakeevents.com/the-survival-tour whilst details on joining the ride are available here.
Reynolds states: “The thought of how the people and companies in industry we all love and work in is
New Zealand - When the COVID-19 pandemic began to go global, the organisers of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, scheduled for late July in Wellington, New Zealand, were searching for an alternative to cancellation. Division head for technology services, John Maizels, was already assembling a suite of publicly available tools like Zoom video and Discord chat rooms. But to stage a full virtual convention, they had to find a way to manage it with a globally distributed tech team.
“The key to operating as a team when you can’t see anybody is good communications,” says Maizels. “That meant finding an effective virtual intercom system. Looking at its flexibility and especially the fact that there is no limit to the number of users, VLink quickly became a critical element of the project.”
Maizels, a freelance broadcast engineer based in Sydney, Australia, consulted with Magna Systems & Engineering (Chatswood, NSW), which was already heavily involved in virtualized broadcast events. “When John asked about RTS VLink, we could confirm it was the best online intercom on the market,” says Lucas Böhm, product manager at Magna Group Australia. “It’s perfect for global applications because it’s platform agnostic and infinitely scalable. It’s a very powerful tool.”
RTS and CoNZealand agreed on a 30-seat VLink licence. With it, Maizels developed a new concept called Mission Control, a virtual control room. Key elements included RTS VLink for backstage and production intercoms, along with a virtual production switch
World - The #WeMakeEvents campaign has been ramping up activity in order to highlight how the global live events industry urgently needs to get back to work. Over 30 million people in 25 countries would usually work in the events industry, but with social distancing measures in place, there is no possibility of a financially viable return for the foreseeable future.
Over the past weeks, events have happened around the world - including in the US, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Spain and the UK - to raise awareness of those impacted in the event supply chain, from manufacturers, production companies, catering, transport, security and others, to the huge freelance community that works within the industry.
The majority of the industry has had no income since the beginning of the crisis in March, and with a global second wave of COVID-19 imminent, a date to return to work has become impossible to predict, leaving many companies and individuals devastated, both financially and personally.
The industry is now joining together as a worldwide force on 30 September for a Global Day of Action. This marks the start of a new phase of the #WeMakeEvents campaign which will continue to alert governments to the disastrous situation the sector faces.
“The situation in Spain is terrible and we’re working very hard to highlight that to our government,” says Juan Jose Villa, from Spanish trade association, AFIAL. “Our event on 17th September got coverage on most of Spain’s regional television and radio stations, and we believe that we have shown ho
UK - PLASA, the lead association for the events and entertainment technology industry, has announced PLASA Online 2020, a programme of free online content running from 12 to 16 October. Designed to provide industry professionals with the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the COVID-crisis and prepare for what’s next in live events and entertainment, the week-long online event will consist of a curated selection of keynote talks, panel discussions, product presentations and technical sessions. Thought-leaders and business experts will address the most pertinent issues such as the COVID crisis, Brexit, technological innovations, and safety regulations.
Additionally, leading brands from audio, lighting and AV will present their latest products and solutions, including: Adam Hall, DiGiCo, ETC, Highlite, Signify, Sound Technology and Vectorworks. “These sessions offer a fantastic opportunity to discover the latest technology in preparation for when live events resume,” says PLASA.
James Simpson, LSi journalist and lighting visualiser for Copper Candle, will present the best in virtual theatre and live event experiences. He will explain how you can use your existing skills in this emerging sector and will demonstrate his new virtual theatre platforms which he hopes will become the future of virtual theatre.
Award-winning speaker Marcus Child will address how industry professionals can build resilience and lead in times of challenges. Marcus’s impressive reputation as a speaker spans 18 years in which he has helped thousands of CEOs
South Africa - Known for working together as technical director and supplier on popular art and music festivals across South Africa like Innibos, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) and Aarkloop, Pieter Jan-Kapp (Kappie) from PJK Management and Christiaan Ballot of technical supplier Blond Productions took the road less travelled over the COVID-19 lockdown and established their own online platform, Platform ZA which went live last Friday.
Platform ZA, a digital pay-per-view channel, has opened doors and created work for over 200 people, ranging from actors, musicians, cameramen and technical crew. Kappie and Christiaan did not only create Platform ZA, but even the content thereof such as Stroom, a music programme featuring some of South Africa’s finest artists, cooking and lifestyle programmes, a fishing show and spectacularly, produced and filmed sitcoms and comedy shows.
Very soon, like-minded players within the live events industry, facing the same dilemma, jumped at the opportunity to be part of the project. Together they have produced over 2,000 minutes of quality content, and it's very likely that Platform ZA will reach a new audience and continue running even once the world returns to normal. Filming took place at Blond’s warehouse in Midrand as well as shooting at various locations.
“We are absolutely delighted that the content is proudly South African, even though we have received assistance from an Australian financial investor,” comments Christiaan. “It is such a privileged to present our showcase to the world, feat
USA - With the recent increase in online and broadcast delivery of a near limitless array of information, entertainment, and social information, the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention’s Broadcast and Online Delivery Track will examine key technologies and applications while taking a look back at broadcast history and a look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
The session Practical Tips for Using Digital Audio in a 2110 Facility will offer in-depth expertise on IP Architecture and the SMPTE ST 2110 media networking protocol, of which the Audio Engineering Society’s AES3 and AES67 standards are key components, as well as related technologies and workflows.
Track sessions of historical importance include Pass the Mic which will celebrate this year’s 100th anniversary of radio broadcasting and its innovations with host John Holt, and A Century of Radio: What You May Not Know About the History of Broadcasting, in which presenters Donna Halper and Barry Mishkind will share surprising facts about broadcast history and dispel some of the myths perpetuated throughout the industry.
Microphone hygiene and podcast production are timely topics to be closely examined in the presentations: Stay Safe: Disinfecting Microphones in the time of Covid-19 with presenter David Prentice and Podcasts: Telling Stories with Sound with Rob Byers of American Public Media.
In addition, two compelling virtual tours will be conducted in the sessions A Virtual Tour and Discussion: BBC Broadcasting House Studio led by Jamie L
UK - The We Make Events campaign has said that the economic relief actions announced by the UK chancellor Rishi Sunak are set to provide “a measure of relief” for the live events industry, but increased restrictions would likely mean that few businesses will be able to trade viably during the next half a year.
The chancellor launched the much-anticipated replacement of the furlough scheme - the Job Support Scheme - which will see the government pay 22% of the wages of workers who are able to return to work for at least a third of their normal hours, in a drive to prevent mass redundancies. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was also extended, as were several loan schemes and the VAT holiday for hospitality and tourism.
The campaign organisers say in a statement: “We welcome the announcement of the new job support schemes in the UK, which will provide a measure of relief for our industry. However, with the increased restrictions that have been announced, it looks unlikely that we will be able to return to work in a financially viable way within the next six months.
“This means that the majority of businesses in our sector will not be able to generate sufficient revenue to support their contribution towards employees’ salaries, nor will they be able to contract in the huge self-employed community within the industry.
“Therefore, the We Make Events campaign will continue with its program of activity until the detail of the announcement is fully clear and how that impacts on our industry.”
We Make Events is planning a
Germany - Restart-19 is an evidence-based scientific study conducted by the University Medical Center, Halle, in conjunction with regional government, aimed at investigating the coronavirus risks associated with staging major cultural or sporting events in indoor arenas. The project has received almost a million euros in funding, a measure of just how desperate the situation facing the future of such events has become. The principle aim of the study was to determine which technical and organisational actions can most effectively minimise the risk of infection.
Comprising several sub-projects, the most visible element of Restart-19 was a large experiment conducted in the Leipzig Arena, featuring singer Tim Bendzko and his band, where 1,800 audience members attended to participate in different real-life simulations of the concert experience. Every measure was taken to ensure that no-one taking part in the experiment or in the local population was put at risk, and it is hoped that the data gathered will assist the authorities in finding ways to reopen sports and concert facilities.
Coda Audio user Schalldruck Audio of Chemnitz, Saxony, tendered for the event and was awarded the contract to supply audio. Deploying a combination of AiRAY and ViRAY, Schalldruck invited Coda Audio’s Sebastian Baehr to deliver technical support for the preparation of the project, and to act as onsite system engineer to set and tune the system. Powered by Linus14D amplifiers, the system comprised 12 x AiRAY plus three ViRAY (down-fill) per side, combined with eight ViRAY (out-h
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