The global events sector is joining forces from 8pm on September 30 for a Global Day of Action amid the hardship it is facing as a result of Covid-19.
The initiative will see event professionals and venues from 25 countries lending their support to mark the start of a new phase of the wider #WeMakeEvents industry campaign. The majority of the industry has had no income since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in March, with the Day Of Action intended to alert governments worldwide to the disastrous situation the sector faces without significant financial support.
The ‘baton’ will be passed across different time zones and feature creative activities, which include:
- Shine a Light - strategically placed shafts of white light will be beamed into the night sky, with each one signifying potential job losses
- #LightItInRed - venues and structures will be illuminated red with the #WeMakeEvents signature expression of Red Alert
- Inside Out - images of what would have been taking place inside a venue will now be projected onto the outside of empty venues
- Creative & Art Installations, illustrating the numbers of event professionals either already out of work or expecting to be soon.
A number of industry leaders have commented on the situation at hand in the run up to the event.
Juan Jose Villa, Spanish trade association, AFIAL, the national association of manufacturers and importers of professional sound, lighting and auxiliary equipment, said: “The situation in Spain is terrible and we’re working very hard to highlight that to our government. Our event on September 17 got coverage on most of Spain’s regional television and radio stations, and we believe that we have shown how important live events are to the Spanish economy.”
Bryan Raven, MD of White Light, which provides entertainment lighting and AV services, said: “In 2019, we turned over between £3 million and £4m in the corporate events market. This year, in the same time period, we have turned over just £8,000. At the beginning of the year, we employed 260 people. It doesn’t take an accountant to do the maths and realise it’s not financially viable to keep a company going under such circumstances. The result is that we have already had to make 67 staff redundant and a further 50 roles are at risk. It’s tragic to see our company go from being highly successful to this in a matter of months.”
Michael T Strickland, chair and founder, Bandit Lites and leading voice in the US Restart campaign (aligned with #WeMakeEvents), added: “What people really don’t understand is what events contribute to the world, financially, spiritually and emotionally. We really are a global industry. The impact to us is devastating right now, with 77% of people in our live events industry having lost 100% of their income due to the inability to work due to social distancing regulations, but the impact on the world if the industry disappears will be equally devastating in many ways.
“It’s incomprehensible that governments do not understand the economic value of the events industry as a whole – from festivals, tours, conventions to corporate events. We are a solid financial investment and will be able to contribute far more to a global recovery than we will cost in the meantime.”
The move comes days after UK music trade bodies said the winter support package announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak failed to address the needs of the live music sector.
To find out how to support the campaign, visit www.wemakeevents.com