UK - As part of the Let Music Live initiative, 400 freelance professional musicians from all parts of the industry will perform in Parliament Square and Centenary Square, Birmingham today, shining a light on the need for targeted support for freelance musicians and all those who work in the arts and entertainment sector.
They are also joined in solidarity by the Musicians’ Union, The Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Musicians’ Answering Service, Emily Eavis, Jools Holland, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dan Smith of Bastille and more.
Conducted by renowned director David Hill in Parliament Square, the freelance musicians will perform a short section of Mars from Holst’s The Planets before standing in silence for two minutes. The 20% of the piece that they will perform represents the maximum 20% support that freelancers receive from the government through the SEISS grant. The two-minute silence represents the 33% of musicians currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU). The event will be Covid-safe, adhering strictly to social distancing regulations, facilitated by support from #WeMakeEvents.
Covid restrictions have disproportionately impacted the music and events industries, resulting in an almost total loss of opportunity to work. Investment is essential so that freelance musicians can continue to support the intricate network of businesses that rely on arts and events for their footfall.
Jools Holland commented, “I fully support these wonderful musicians in their actions. They are part of an industry devastated by this c
UK - Prominent live events industry campaigns and trade bodies have formed a taskforce to better communicate the demands of the UK events industry to the government.
Three campaigns have aligned to form the new body: the PLASA-initiated We Make Events along with Let the Music Play and We Create Experiences. They are joined by three trade organisations - the Business Visits and Events Partnerships (BVEP) which represents the conference, exhibition and outdoor events sector and is hoped to liaise directly with government; the UK Live Music Group which represents the UK’s live music industry, and PLASA.
Simon Hughes, chair of the BVEP comments: “Many different industry sectors will be looking to government for additional help and assistance in the next few weeks, alongside the more public/corporate targeting with the narrative of confidence and expertise. So it will be critical to ensure that messaging with the various target audiences are aligned across the extended ecosystem that comprises the whole of the event industry in the UK and the extensive supply chain that supports many thousands of livelihoods and enriches the lives of millions of people from all parts of society.”
Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music Group, adds: “With a long dark winter ahead for many in the arts, culture and events spaces, it’s imperative that we work closely together. Bringing the campaigns under one collective cross group addresses the need to communicate both short and medium-term tactics as well as the longer term plans required to support the industry.”
World - In a collective show of solidarity, live events professionals from all corners of the world held peaceful demonstrations to once again raise awareness of the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector and its workforce.
The #WeMakeEvents #StandAsOne Global Day of Action held yesterday, 30 September, was the single largest coordinated global event to take place since the campaign launched in the summer.
Just as with the regional events that preceded it, the demo saw thousands of cultural buildings being lit up in red, whilst the #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed hashtags trended on social media.
Campaigners have continued to push for state support for an industry that’s been unable to resume sustainably due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. After more than six months of uncertainty, the future of a once-thriving sector and its workforce has been further threatened as a second spike in cases has seen restrictive measures being re-introduced by governments.
A raft of celebrities and artists endorsed the campaign, including Coldplay, Radiohead, Elbow, Mumford & Sons, Melanie C, Noel Gallagher and His High Flying Birds, James Bay, Frank Turner, Keane, The Libertines, Faithless, Massive Attack, The Happy Mondays, Biffy Clyro, Madness, Fatboy Slim, Skunk Anansie, and many more.
Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis also shared a message of support: "Right now, tens of thousands of people who carry the UK's hugely successful live music and events industry are out of work, through absolutely no fault of their own. The m
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
Restart Act - Bandit Lites’ Michael T. Strickland has called for action to save the live events industry. Strickland writes: “We are an $877bn industry with over 10m people, and we are 100% shut down. We are not the stars, but we are the 10m people behind the scenes. Many of the companies we worked for are gone. More go under every day. Something must be done now.
“The live event industry has been pushing to pass the Restart Act for months. Most national media have not carried our story and we are unsure why. We pray they carry this story. The Restart Act as part of the next relief bill is the only thing that will save all of the live events industry. No other Act will save us all. If the Restart Act is not passed by 1 October, over 70% of our industry will face extinction. That means when you want a concert, movie, play, trade show, conference, special event, wedding, birthday party and all of the other events that make our lives great, most of us will simply not be there to deliver a service for you. Our companies will be bankrupt and our people in other industries.
“The live event industry is begging the Congress, the media, and you the people to realize we are here and in need. We love what we do, and we love all of you that make our lives possible. Please help us. Time is short, we only have this week. Please pass Restart. It is time the live event industry has some Live Aid Too.”
Freelance Grants - A £7m fund has been set up to provide grants to creative freelancers in Wales who have been affected by COVID-19. They will be
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 - If you have seen recent Olympics Ceremonies, Super Bowl Half Time shows, The Academy or Brit Awards broadcasts, concerts by artists from Beyonce to the Rolling Stones, or limitless other technically driven live performances and events around the world, you will have witnessed TMB’s ProPlex Ethernet cables in action.
In an industry where stakes are high, failure cannot be tolerated, and technical performance must be flawless, ProPlex is the default standard for portable network cabling. In entertainment staging and live production, where cables are handled every day and are routinely subject to abuses of all kinds, ProPlex Ethernet cables have earned a reputation for durability.
Now, engineers and technicians in a variety of other fields are recognizing the unique capabilities and many benefits of ProPlex Ethernet cables. They provide the assurance of unsurpassed data transmission integrity, even after years of heavy use, indoors and outdoors, says TMB.
“Anywhere high quality, reliable portable network cabling is required; from portable testing and exploration to research, from communications systems to automation control, aerospace, municipal and military applications, proven ProPlex Ethernet cables deliver your critical data without worry. When your reputation and livelihood are on the line, trust the best,” notes Colin Waters, TMB co-founder, CEO, cable pioneer and inventor.
Unlike solid and bonded conductor Ethernet cables, ProPlex’s Kevlar reinforced, stranded conductor design provides flexibility with a very low risk of m
Ireland - With restaurants, hotels, businesses and public amenities beginning to reopen across the EU, temperature testing has become a mandatory requirement to protect against COVID-19. In an effort to support the protection of our customers and reopen safely, Mountain Productions’ global e-commerce platform MTN Shop EMEA has introduced a new temperature screening technology.
The Xenon Fever Defence is a standalone facial temperature screening solution that can screen users in less than one second, helping to avoid congestion at busy entrances. This system can capture early signs of fever and provides an accurate reading to +/- 0.3°C. Upon reading of the temperature, this stop-go system alerts an individual of their result via a red or green light. Should a user have an elevated temperature, an audible message and warning alarm will sound.
With its sleek and unobtrusive build, along with its ability to operate without the use of internet connection, this device can be installed in almost any public setting, says the company.
To date, the Xenon Fever Defence has been installed at companies and organisations across a number of different industries in the Irish, European and US markets in industries including construction, hospitality, office, retail and education. To learn more, visit Shopmtn.eu.
Urgent Call - A third of musicians are thinking about leaving the industry altogether, as the sector’s union makes an urgent call on government to protect its talent. One in three professional musicians are set to quit and find work elsewhere as a result of the pandemic, a newly published survey from the Musicians’ Union has revealed.
With the majority of live venues still closed and both the furlough scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme entering their final months, the MU is warning the pandemic could spell the end for many professional musicians’ careers. Its research found the majority (88%) believe the government has not done enough to support musicians during the COVID-19 crisis.
Of those musicians covered by furlough and SEISS, 87% will face financial hardship when support stops next month. A third did not qualify for government assistance at all. Nearly half (47%) have been forced to seek work outside of the industry to weather the difficulties, with 34% admitting they are considering leaving music completely.
The MU is calling for a seat-matching scheme - where government subsidises the cost of a second ticket whenever one is bought - as well as tailored support for the music industry.
Courts Conversion - Two theatres in The Lowry arts centre in Salford are being converted into makeshift courtrooms to help clear the current backlog of cases. It's one of the latest venues to be taken over as a so-called Nightingale Court by the Ministry of Justice. The arts venue will host trials in three temporary courtrooms du
USA - Take1 Insurance has announced a new strategic underwriting partnership with OneBeacon Entertainment, a member of OneBeacon Insurance Group.
According to Take1 Insurance executive vice president, programme director and lead underwriter Scott Carroll, the new partnership enables Take1 to offer its customers a greater range of rental and staging insurance options for event service firms, event planners, producers, promoters, along with options for film and television production, short term or annual special events, those who tour and even the insurance needs for loan-out corporations.
“Take1 will do everything within our power to make sure that our customers never have to take their chances by offering the very best available coverages and our new partnership with OneBeacon enables us to do that with a specialty solutions carrier focused on entertainment customers,” Carroll said today.
Commenting on the partnership, OneBeacon Entertainment president Joe Fitzgerald said, “At OneBeacon, expertise and value-added service sets us apart. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Take1, a premier industry leader in the Entertainment market, and a company as committed to superior service and creative, comprehensive solutions as OneBeacon.”
Take1’s Scott Carroll noted that in the entertainment industry multi-million-dollar decisions are made each day and the insurance requirements are as varied as the productions and people seeking coverage. “OneBeacon Entertainment provides comprehensive commercial insurance solutions for touring e
West End Revival - Six and Everybody's Talking About Jamie will become the first musicals back in the West End in mid-November, eight months after the curtain came down. They will hit the stage three weeks after a string of non-musical shows reopen London's theatre district. The Play That Goes Wrong, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap and Adam Kay's This Is Going To Hurt will all admit socially distant audiences in October.
Venue heads said "robust risk mitigation" would be in place. They include reduced capacities, contactless tickets, temperature tests and deep cleans, as well as hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace.
The producers of Six, the hit show about Henry VIII's wives, will take a separate cast to The Lowry in Salford from late November. The musical had been due to be staged in the Greater Manchester venue's 450-capacity Quays theatre over Christmas, but will move into the complex's 1,700-seater Lyric in order to accommodate all ticket holders while ensuring social distancing.
Producers hope Everybody's Talking About Jamie will resume at the Apollo in November, but the group's biggest production - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace - will not return until at least February.
Lifeline - Actor Liam Neeson has told the Northern Ireland Executive that £33m in support funding for theatres and venues is a "lifeline". In July, NI received £33m as part of a UK government package for theatres, arts and music venues and museums. However, the executive has
Furlough Extension - The chancellor is facing renewed calls to extend the furlough scheme specifically for the arts and leisure sectors, with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee warning that the entire industry’s future is at risk without it. Julian Knight, chair of the cross-party committee, has written to Rishi Sunak claiming that the government’s current approach - whereby the job retention scheme will be wound down next month - renders its support for culture "highly inflexible".
"Moreover, ending the scheme for all industries alike in October does not reflect the unique situation faced by the arts and leisure sectors. These high-value sectors have become hostages to fortune; they are among the hardest hit by the COVID crisis, with 51% of workers still reliant on furlough, compared with 13% across all industries. However, while restrictions on activity and audiences remain, employees of empty theatres and closed leisure centres face no immediate prospect of returning to work," Knight said.
He claims the government must take responsibility for supporting sectors such as the arts, on which it has imposed restrictions, until they are able to reopen. The letter argues that without an extension to the furlough scheme, "we can expect large-scale redundancies in the creative industries over late-2020 and into 2021".
Careers Boost - Liverpool John Moores University is opening a new faculty for media students at a forthcoming film and television studios in the city. Twickenham Studios is opening a base at the former Littlewoods h
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 - Technological Innovations Group (TIG) has appointed Courtney Hercules to the UK team, as regional sales manager.
Reporting to TIG's regional director UK & Ireland, Phil Breitschadel, Courtney will focus primarily on the Crestron range of solutions and will support integrators by advising on the most suitable tailored solution for their clients' specific needs - in any commercial, corporate and collaborative setting.
Phil Breitschadel comments, "Courtney clearly understands TIG's vision, which is to provide a fully compatible suite of premium AV, UC and control solutions that integrate harmoniously with Crestron to create superior smart spaces. He is a talented and knowledgable salesman, having developed his technical expertise in the AV and technology industries. We look forward to having him join the team."
Courtney adds: "Working for TIG and representing Crestron has been a dream of mine for many years! I'm excited to meet all of my colleagues and customers, and contribute to TIG's success story. As we share this opportunity to grow together in these uncertain times, I look forward to bringing drive, expertise and assisting as best I can."
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
UK - On 11 August, as part of the PLASA-initiated UK-wide #WeMakeEvents day of action, the live events and production community in Manchester organised a silent and socially distanced flight case march across the city which culminated in a dramatic red flare exhibit.
Over 1,000 freelancers and supply companies attended the regional protest which collectively asked the Government to extend its furlough scheme and allow access to grants in order to help save an estimated 114,000 jobs.
The protest implemented the Tour Production Group (TPG) COVID-19 Working Guidance.
Acknowledging that tour-specific guidelines will become the norm in order for live production professionals to work and interact safely, the working guidance outlines how crews can better align through consistency and consultation to assist risk management relating to COVID-19 transmission.
Production manager Nick Gosling, who works with Nile Rodgers & Chic is part of TPG’s committee and helped manage the event from his home in New Jersey.
On the ground in Manchester was production manager Nick Robinson, together with Ben Dawson as crew chief and flight case manager, and Event Trucking Services’ Alex Webster as transport coordinator. The core team were joined on the day by Tom Sheals-Barrett as comms and co-production manager.
Robinson says: “We brought in Go For Show mobile production offices which were used by the production, media and creative management teams as on-site communication and planning hubs. dbnAudile and Tube supplied flight cases with STS Tour
Island Music - While most music festivals over the bank holiday weekend switched to online streams one had a sell-out crowd. Guernsey has been Covid-19 free since 27 May and ended social distancing in June. It meant the Vale Earth Fair was able to continue to provide 12 hours of live music as it has done for 44 years.
The event proved so popular that some people who hadn't purchased a ticket were turned away later as the site was at capacity. About 3,500 islanders enjoyed bands, choirs, acoustic sets, DJs and spoken word across six stages in the grounds of the 600-year-old Vale Castle. Due to pandemic border restrictions all the performers were from the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Profits from the event will benefit Burma Campaign UK, Free Tibet, and Safer Guernsey.
Recovery Fund - Scottish theatres and comedy venues will be able to access a share of a £15m emergency recovery fund, under long-awaited plans about how the country’s government will allocate funding granted by Westminster in last month’s cultural rescue package.
The Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund was announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon as part of a £59m package for culture and heritage that also includes a £5m grant programme for freelancers. Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said, "We want to reach as many people as possible and I do believe these funds will make a marked difference in ensuring our culture and heritage sectors not only survive the pandemic but thrive in future.”
Dramatic Downturn - The arts and entertainment industr
UK - Resource management software provider Xytech continues to innovate its MediaPulse resource management system, this time with the release of a new, fully featured graphical user interface for the Media Orchestrator.
Seamlessly incorporated to the workflow software, the new graphical UI merges asset management, operations and resource management, allowing game-changing media services companies to monitor the people, facilities or equipment needed to complete a given task.
“All too often, companies are adversely effected by a lack of efficiency in their workflows, and this can have a direct impact on profit margins,” said Greg Dolan, Xytech CCO. “The media software industry demands intelligent solutions with the ability to dynamically adapt to customers’ constantly evolving needs. With offices in Los Angeles, London, France, Germany, Belgium, Canada and China, Xytech is uniquely positioned to meet customers at their point of need with unmatched technical service. Also, with regular, yearly upgrades and quarterly updates to the MediaPulse platform, we are not leaning on decades-old software like our competitors.”
The new graphical UI takes the complication out of the workflow process by offering users an easily digestible and totally intuitive interface. Users can move an entire block of functionality instead of choosing from a menu item. A user can grab a visual block, plot out the appropriate steps and link it graphically through Visio.
The new UI also allows users to define, configure and monitor any media service workflow while
Risk Research - Scientists in Germany held three pop concerts in a single day to investigate the risks posed by mass indoor events during the pandemic. About 1,500 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 50 - only a third of the expected number - took part. But the head of the study, which was carried out in Leipzig by Halle University, said he was "very satisfied" with how the event unfolded. Singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko agreed to perform at all three successive gigs.
The concert study, called Restart-19, was created "to investigate the conditions under which such events can be carried out despite the pandemic", researchers said. The first of Saturday's three concerts aimed to simulate an event before the pandemic, with no safety measures in place. The second involved greater hygiene and some social distancing, while the third involved half the numbers and each person standing 1.5m apart. All participants were tested for Covid-19 before taking part, and given face masks and tracking devices to measure their distancing. Researchers reportedly also used fluorescent disinfectants to track which surfaces audience members touched the most.
"The data collection is going very well, so we have good quality data, the mood is great and we are extremely satisfied with the discipline in wearing masks and using disinfectant," lead researcher Dr Stefan Moritz said.
Emergency Funding - Small music venues in England have welcomed the announcement of a further £1.1m emergency government funding. Last month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden rolled out his pla
USA - PSAV has announced that Ben Erwin has been named chief executive officer, effective immediately, and will maintain his current title as president. In his new role, Erwin will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the company and overseeing the execution of its business plan.
Says the company, “This leadership transition occurs as PSAV continues to take a leading role in helping its customers adjust to the current environment of the meeting and events industry. Erwin succeeds Mike Mcllwain, who has served as CEO since 2011.”
“I am honoured to assume the role of CEO during this pivotal time,” Erwin said. “We are focused on positioning PSAV for a return to growth and long-term success as we continue to provide creative solutions to our customers and venue partners.”
Erwin continued, “On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank Mike for all he has done for PSAV during his tenure and, personally, for his mentorship and guidance to help me prepare for this role. His impact will continue to be felt by our organization long after his formal departure from the business.”
“Ben has been an important partner in supporting PSAV’s growth over the last five years, and he has the right combination of leadership skills and financial and operational acumen to guide the company well into the future,” Mcllwain added. “Along with our full board, and Blackstone as our owners, I am confident in his ability to step seamlessly into the CEO role and build on our more than 80-year history of helping to bring unforgettable
UK - Singer-songwriter Joe Bygraves has produced the single, Stand As One in support of charities helping the live entertainment and events industry. Its official release on Spotify, iTunes and all streaming services is today, 21 August at 12.00pm.
The 24-year-old from Bedfordshire has written and performed the song, which aims to reach out to people struggling with issues surrounding mental health during and looking past the COVID-19 pandemic, especially focusing on the behind-the-scenes professionals who, in any other year, would be pulling together to create the infrastructure for world-class live performances.
Joe was challenged to write the song by the organisers of the #MakeItBlue campaign started by the UK the events and entertainment industry to support colleagues in need, and to promote public mental health awareness through arts, culture and entertainment projects.
#MakeItBlue co-founder Gary White said: “We asked Joe for a track that would resonate with our collective experience and send out a message of hope and support. Joe is donating 25 per cent of its proceeds to MAKEITBLUE CIC for charitable use in the events industry.”
For Stand As One, Joe is backed by a collective of pedigree musicians, including Tom McRae (background vocal arrangements), Richard Hammond (bass), Simon Johnson (guitars and backing vocals) and Mark Pusey (drums and percussion). Piano and background vocals are by Olli Cunningham, who also produced and mixed the song. It was mastered at Abbey Road Studios London by Simon Gibson.
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 &
UK - AnyBrand is introducing face coverings treated with HeiQ Viroblock technology, a “tested and proven COVID-19 barrier” that counteracts the airborne transmission of the virus.
HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 Swiss technology has been tested to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the laboratory and the ISO-tested 18184, which is added to the fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process.
AnyBrand founder Colin Graham states: “The new every-day problems we face need high tech and sustainable solutions. Partnering with HeiQ allows us to do this with a unique and invaluable edge.
“We don’t have the cure all solution, but we do have a ‘silver bullet’ that could make the all-important difference to minimise the social distancing requirement that has decimated the live events sector.
“We believe our brandable face coverings present live events with a better chance of accelerating the reopening of its doors with higher capacity audiences, when used alongside other COVID-19 safety measures.”
Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ Group, said: “We are pleased to partner with AnyBrand in the UK to develop life-saving products and applications for our technology.”
The first face coverings have arrived in the UK this week and AnyBrand is geared up to deliver large quantities of a variety of specifically branded, reusable face coverings within weeks.
Financial Guidance - Guidance has been published on how arts organisations can apply for the government’s £270m repayable finance scheme. The repayable finance was announced as part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, which also includes £622m of grants.
Theatres can either apply for grants of up to £3m or for loans for larger amounts. With the repayable finance package, which is geared towards larger organisations, the government aims to "stabilise cultural organisations until they can return to sustainable operations". Applications will be "assessed against rigorous cultural and economic criteria" including efficiencies made to date and ongoing viability for the future.
Organisations will also be asked to demonstrate national or international significance and outline opportunities to engage local communities through education and outreach. Arts Council England will review applications, with input from other bodies including the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Decisions will be taken by the independent Culture Recovery Board.
Applications will open on 21 August, with a deadline of 9 September. Arts Council England aims to notify applicants of the outcome of their application in the week beginning October 19, and says that funding is anticipated to reach organisations by this December.
Employment Crisis - Job opportunities in the arts have disappeared faster than any other sector of the UK economy as a result of the pandemic, new data has revealed, with vacancies dr