July 28 2020: Many of the leading live events trade bodies and businesses across the UK have joined together to bring attention to the dire straits the live events industry, and its entire supply chain is facing; the sector includes manufacturers, audio, lighting and video specialists, logistics, transportation, rigging and many more.
The industry is now issuing a ‘Red Alert’ with many organisations, businesses and live events staff coming together on the 11th of August to shed light on an industry set to collapse, unless the government provides the right support.
Redundancies have started with research conducted last week indicating 10% of companies planning issuing notices by the end of July, with an additional 15% in August, and 70% plan to make redundancies by end of 2020 with a fifth expecting to lose 70% of staff.
The UK is regarded as a global leader in delivering large, complex events and without financial support from the government, the UK’s art and culture sector is at risk of closing for good and potentially losing over £100Bn contribution to the UK GDP to European and US production companies, some of whom are receiving government support. Over a million estimated members of staff, freelancers and businesses will experience unachievable loan repayments, loss of furlough payments, and bailout funding will go directly to venues instead of the staff.
Peter Heath, CEO of leading trade body 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, the UK’s largest Pro Audio manufacturer and a key supplier to the events industry, adds: “As the first industry to stop working back in early March, we will also be the last to get our businesses working again, with ongoing social distancing making it impossible to open up live event venues to allow capacities that are commercially viable for all. Without an ongoing sector specific furlough scheme which other European countries have introduced, and other financial measures that will 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.”