Radiohead t-shirts raise funds for #WeMakeEvents

For a limited time only Radiohead will be making available a Radiohead crew t-shirt — the same original shirts distributed to touring and local crew — with proceeds going to #WeMakeEvents to benefit a range of stage & crew organizations.

The shirts are a remake of an original Stanley Donwood design. Different colour options represent the different jobs on tour – lights, video, audio, riggers, pushers, backline.

Visit the online shop.

Press Release

#WeMakeEvents amplifies support for post-Brexit touring in open letter to Grant Shapps

#WeMakeEvents is joined by over 150 industry players to call for crucial government support for the specialist transport vehicles – carrying artists, crew, and equipment involved in touring productions – which have been rendered inoperable due to Brexit.

Read the open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

An essential component to music, film, and TV tours, passenger transportation relies on operating freely in the EU. Under the current post-Brexit EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) hauliers are restricted, stopping the 30 companies in the sector from returning and UK artists from being able to tour. This is instead opening up opportunities for trucking companies to be set up in the EU and sacrificing specialist jobs. The industry is now writing to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, urging the government to negotiate exemptions or waivers to the TCA and/or provide short term work arounds.

Without freedom of movement to work across the EU, the demise of sleeper bus and splitter van businesses will threaten the UK’s entire creative export ecosystem and position as a recognised global leader in live events. Unless the TCA is negotiated to provide an exception to the cabotage hauliers, the industry faces another competitive disadvantage against EU-based competitors.

To raise awareness, over 50 musicians have co-signed the letter including Frank Turner, Two Door Cinema Club, Maximo Park, Blossoms, Ghostpoet, Public Service Broadcasting, Melanie C and Jamiroquai. Also supporting are the producers and crew involved in music, film, and TV productions that rely on the customised vehicles operated by these live events businesses.

With all but no live events being able to take place in the EU for over a year, the letter follows a recent #WeMakeEvents’ survey further highlighting the complexities of Brexit:

  • Almost a third of respondents generated 30% or more of their revenues from Europe in 2019
  • 62% see the new EU relationship as a problem for business and income
  • 36% are expecting increased EU competition

Duncan Bell, steering committee member of #WeMakeEvents said: The UK is geared up to hold around 85% of Europe’s touring capacity in terms of the live event supply chain and without solutions to the EU Touring obstacles we face, these businesses and individuals are in jeopardy.  Over one year down the line since tours were taken from under our feet, we are witnessing an imminent destruction of the UK’s position as a supplier of skills and technology to touring. Without urgent intervention, we may well see the invisible army of touring staff have to permanently sacrifice their beloved careers and choose more stable jobs.”

Tarrant Anderson, the founder and a Director of Vans For Bands Ltd, said: “What we need the government to recognise is the irreparable damage that will be imposed upon touring production unless counteractive support to new EU laws is made accessible. The Brexit deal means the only work companies like ours can now do in the EU is make one delivery stop, one interior move in that location, then one more movement within the EU before being forced to return to the UK. The pandemic has exacerbated this in taking away all touring work before the law was imposed. In normal circumstances Vans For Bands services over 100 tours per month and transports around 10,000 musicians and crew every year – not being able to do what we do best, even when lockdown restrictions ease, will be devastating.”

Frank Turner, British singer and songwriter, said: “The restrictions which have become apparent in the wake of the Brexit deal are completely restrictive, to the point of negation, of the touring world I know and have worked in for the last two decades. If these restrictions had been in place for the last 20 years, I simply would not have been able to tour, establish my audience, and grow my career on the continent, to the point where I now (in usual times) headline arena shows and festivals across Europe. I have proudly employed many skilled UK crew members and musicians and generated revenue and tax from my business in Europe as much as any other overseas territory. Facing its removal from my touring schedule is unconscionable.”

Two Door Cinema Club, Northern Irish rock band, said: “When we were starting out, cutting our teeth in clubs and broom closets around Europe we struggled to make ends meet. Everything we had, we put into pursuing our dream. We crammed into a van and off we went. After a show in Paris got critics talking, we were asked to join a European tour with a weeks’ notice and the rest is history. Now 12 years and thousands of tickets sold later, we play at European festivals every summer where every single one has talented and brilliant artists from this country. If these restrictions were in place when we were starting out, pursuing our dream, I have no doubt that we wouldn’t be where we are today. This country exports incredible stories, art and pure jubilation, we must protect that otherwise we risk never having the next Adele, Artic Monkeys or Stormzy.”


#WeMakeEvents responds to budget

In response to the Chancellor’s 2021 Budget Speech, Duncan Bell steering committee member of #WeMakeEvents, has said:

“It is good to see the Chancellor recognise some of the challenges the live event supply chain is facing and take steps in the Budget to address these. The extension of furlough and SEISS beyond the end of the roadmap will be vital and we applaud this decision. The additional funding allocated to the Cultural Recovery Fund is also potentially helpful but DCMS and Arts Council England must ensure that the live event supply chain receives a fair proportion of the additional money allocated, which has not been the case in the past.

“But critical barriers to recovery still remain and must be overcome. Most importantly, vast numbers of businesses and individuals in the live event supply chain remain excluded from support schemes and we urge local authorities to address this through the discretionary funds they have been allocated. The continued absence of Government-backed Covid-19 cancellation insurance is also a block to live events getting going again and this must be announced shortly.”


#WeMakeEvents urges local authorities to distribute grant funds

#WeMakeEvents have written to over 350 local authorities urging them to support businesses and individuals throughout the live events supply chain.

Feedback from local authorities is that applications for the Additional Restricted Grant (ARG) have been lower than anticipated and many have substantial amounts still to distribute.

We encourage you to get in touch with your local authority (or your borough council if you are in a two/three tier area) as soon as possible. Grants can be substantial – one supporter received £24,000 – so it is well worth looking in to.

While rules differ from council to council, we have heard that applications are often considered if you are in one of these situations: 

  • You are self-employed and excluded from SEISS.
  • You have received an ARG but need further funding to cover fixed costs whilst unable to operate, such as business rates.
  • You were unsuccessful in your first application and receive guidance from your council on how to adjust your application.

#WeMakeEvents roadmap statement

We welcome the Prime Minister’s statement on a national roadmap to recovery and hope these measures will help plan the return of live events by June.

While the steps are positive, our sector needs more detail and we urge the government to extend financial support in the upcoming budget to stop the current talent drain and ensure that the supply chain to live events can plan to return.

For this to happen we need government-backed insurance for events, financial support for the self-employed, and grants, not loans, along with continued furlough, for all companies in a supply chain that has had little-to-nothing for over a year and will be the last to return to income generation.

Government Can’t See US campaign launch

London, UK – 18.02.21 #WeMakeEvents today launches a hard-hitting campaign, rallying the UK Government to provide urgent relief to a struggling live events sector.

The new The Government Can’t See Us, Can You? microsite shows the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the live event supply chain – told through the stories of the highly-skilled professionals whose livelihoods have been seriously damaged.

#WeMakeEvents is calling on the Government – in an open letter to Rishi Sunak – to halt the destruction of the sector by recognising the impact of the pandemic on the live event supply chain, to support individuals and businesses to survive while they cannot work, and to engage with the sector to develop a plan for reopening, including Government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance.  

The campaign is also asking the public to contribute their voices and opinions through social media and by writing to their MP – urging the Government to address this crippling situation now.

Until Government social distancing restrictions came into effect in March 2020, the UK live events industry brought in over £70 billion a year and supported over 700,000 jobs. The live event supply chain worked across all types of live event, including theatre, music, corporate events, festivals and almost any form of organised gatherings.

However, with all but no live events being able to take place for almost a year, the sector is on its knees – as shown by #WeMakeEvents’ recent survey of over 2,800 businesses and individuals in the live event supply chain:

  • 93% of individuals and businesses in the live event supply chain have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic – 65% have seen a fall of over 50%, and 30% a fall of over 90%
  • Yet, 34% of individuals and businesses have received no Government support – either through loans, furlough, or local or national grants. Many of those that have received support, report it is inadequate
  • As a result, 50% of individuals have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income. A third have been forced to leave – or are considering leaving – the sector
  • On top of that, 43% of live event supply chain businesses say they don’t have the resources to last until the summer

“The live event supply chain has been all but unable to work for almost a year – we have been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Yet, we have received no targeted assistance and been excluded from much of the support said to be for businesses that are unable to open. As a result, the live event supply chain is on the brink of collapse.

“This can be stopped if the Government sees the human and economic devastation being inflicted on the live events supply chain, extends the whole sector the lifelines we need to survive until it is safe for live events to reopen, and works with us to build a practical roadmap for reopening. We hope this campaign moves the Government to take these vital steps.”

Peter Heath, #WeMakeEvents steering committee member and MD of PLASA

“It’s hugely disappointing that almost a year since stages went dark, the skilled professionals making up our world leading creative sector are still falling through the cracks of Government support.

“The DCMS Committee continues to hear evidence on the severe impact the pandemic has had on those in live event supply chains, in our inquiry into the support needed to save the 2021 season of festivals.

“I hope this serves as a catalyst to the Government taking the steps it so urgently needs to, including backing COVID-19 cancellation insurance.”

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

“Our industry came to an abrupt halt in March last year. We were mid-way through a tour and it had to be cancelled. Trying to survive without work has put immense pressure on us as a business and on me personally.

“Initially, there was some optimism as we thought we could return to work last year. That didn’t happen, and now it has been almost a year without work. We really need support from the Government to help us keep our heads above water. Otherwise, there won’t be an industry for us to go back to.”

Neil Hunt, founder of ZigZag Lighting

Statement on Glastonbury festival cancellation

Statement from #WeMakeEvents on the cancellation of Glastonbury festival

‘Everyone has been saying loud and clear that without Government backed insurance, the 2021 festival season won’t happen. Despite this, the government has not acted and now Glastonbury has been cancelled, which will likely trigger a domino effect leading to a wave of cancellations and delays throughout all types of live events.

Our sector is collapsing. We have been unable to work for almost a year, but have been excluded in many ways from vital support. To survive, we have to be able to start working as soon as it is safe to do so – which means Government backed insurance must be put in place urgently – as well as additional financial support.’

Press Release

Over 100 organisations and figures ask for insurance support

#WeMakeEvents along with over 100 organisations, MPs and key figures have signed a letter calling on the Government to urgently back cancellation insurance for live events. The letter warns that organisers will be unable to risk financial losses unless events can be insured against cancellation.


PLASA launches #WeMakeEvents

PLASA has launched #WeMakeEvents, a new campaign with the aim of amplifying the industry’s voice and gaining meaningful Government support. Central to the campaign is a video highlighting the vital role of supply chain companies along with the freelance community and the devastating impact of the pandemic upon the live events sector. 

PLASA is calling for people from across the industry to share the video across social media to give much needed exposure to the supply chain to events including production and rental companies, manufacturers and freelancers, to raise awareness of the need for longer term financial support.

In addition to sharing the video, PLASA has published two infographics illustrating the complexity of the live events supply chain and the typical arena show – which requires an average of 443 professionals spanning design, planning, preparation, warehousing, and venue staff. The graphics also show how valuable the sector is, collectively delivering £100 billion to the UK economy.

PLASA also encourages everyone to add their name to the campaign, and to send a letter to their local MP using the customisable letter samples which were created by a collective of PLASA, ABTT, PSA, SOLT and UK Theatre.

PLASA’s Managing Director Peter Heath comments: “We all know that the events industry has been devastated due to Covid-19, and we expect that the road to recovery will be a long one. PLASA is part of an incredibly robust community and it’s times like this we have seen us all working together. Through this campaign we are trying to boost awareness of the massively diverse and talented supply chain, in order to get the financial support and recognition needed.  We really need everyone to get involved and share our new campaign and video with all those you know.”

Thank you to everyone who took the time share the post, if you are yet to please use these links to share the video on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube.