UK-based grassroots campaign initiative #LightItInRed is part of the 11th August ‘Red Alert’ day of action being organised and coordinated by #WeMakeEvents and PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
Red Alert is also being supported by numerous companies, professionals, organisations and other individuals and practitioners working in the entertainment technology industry and performing arts sector.
The Red Alert campaign’s goal is to get the live entertainment and technical production sector in front of politicians, specifically those in the exchequer and at the DCMS (Department of Culture Media & Sport), the latter as the industry’s representatives at parliamentary level.
The reason is to demand urgent financial help for the sector and its substantial support infrastructure … until mass gatherings can return.
The industry is on the brink of collapse following no work or cashflow for 5 months, and no timetable for a re-start.
This is further exacerbated by recent changes to the coronavirus jobs retention scheme (JRS) meaning that already cash-strapped companies will be under further pressure to make redundancies.
On July 6th, #LightItInRed initiated a lighting action that saw nearly 700 buildings, monuments, landmarks, and spaces all over the UK lit in ‘emergency red’ to raise awareness of this dire situation.
#WeMakeEvents Red Alert is the next step.
“The call is even more urgent now – so we are again asking everyone if they can get actively involved and light something red for the 11th August,” says #LightItInRed co-founder Steven Haynes.
Phillip Berryman, the other co-founder of the movement, states, “We are hearing daily about the mental health impact of this crisis on individuals, and ask everyone in our industry to not only show their support for each other, but join together with one united voice and take part in the #WeMakeEvents RED ALERT campaign.”
To register a building / place / space to be lit in red on August 11th, please visit: www.lightitinred.com
Information about other activations being planned on August 11th can be found at www.plasa.org/wemakeevents
The UK’s live entertainment and technical and creative production industry remains vastly undervalued and underappreciated whilst facilitating a massive contribution to the UK’s GDP and exchequer through live events, performance, concert tours, festivals, etc.
It was the country’s fastest growing sector in 2018 and offers a diverse array of employment and careers.
The DCMS has secured £1.57bn for the sector – announced the day before the #LightItInRed event in July – which is fantastic, but it appears that this £1.57bn is predominately for the theatres, venues, institutions and the heritage sector with only a small amount to assist the numerous small venues around the country.
#LightItInRed has also not yet heard of anyone successfully accessing these funds!
Except for the small venues, the sector generally has some form of annual arts funding and at best constitutes around 50% of the live events and technical production industry.
This 50% of the industry that has been missed out … is the part with no existing arts funding. It is normally completely commercially viable, self-sufficient and pays taxes.
The companies and individuals working in it are not only hugely dynamic, talented, and resourceful, they take substantial personal risks borrowing billions for equipment capital purchases, buildings, mortgages, and staff. This sector – live entertainment, festivals, music, comedy, touring, corporate and industrial events, promoters, and manufacturers etc., is enormous and represents at least half of the overall sector represented through the DCMS.
Despite all the recent positive statements by the government … right now the live events and technical production industry cannot work!