Several trade bodies and companies from across the UK have joined forces to bring attention to the critical condition of the live events industry. The collaboration has issued a ‘Red Alert’, urging both industry professionals and the public to join the campaign by posting on social media, writing letters to government, and attending mass outdoor activities on 11 August 2020.
The Red Alert announcement follows the Government’s recent £1.57bn arts rescue package which overlooks the entire industry supply chain, from manufacturing and distribution to lighting design, audio engineering, video programming, stage rigging and much more.
With no government support on the horizon for the event supply chain, redundancies have already begun. Recent research revealed that 10% of businesses are currently making redundancies, with a further 15% in August and a worrying 70% by the end of 2020. A fifth of those surveyed predict losing 70% of their workforce.
The UK is internationally recognised for delivering impressive cultural events which contribute £100 billion to the economy every year. But without government support, this valuable sector is at risk of collapse. As it stands, the furlough and self-employed support schemes are set to end long before the live events industry can re-start. If this continues to be the case, the creative and technical workforce, estimated to reach one million in size, could soon be lost to other sectors and the UK could lose its position as a global leader in live events and entertainment.
Peter Heath, MD of PLASA, comments: “The live events industry supply chain that contributes to every single event in the UK is set to completely collapse. Social distancing prohibits mass events, and even if this stopped now, long- term planning for events won’t enable a return until around March 2021. Now the whole industry is coming together to initiate a Red Alert. We have been campaigning for financial support from the Government using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs.”
James Gordon, CEO of Audiotonix, adds: “As the first industry to stop working back in early March, we will also be the last to get our businesses working again. Ongoing social distancing make it impossible to open up live event venues with capacities that are commercially viable for all. Without an ongoing sector specific furlough scheme, which other European countries have introduced, and other financial measures to help our freelance workers, who make up 72% of this sectors workforce, we cannot secure the long term future of the UK’s leading, internationally respected and commercially contributing events industry.”