As an industry dedicated to delivering entertainment at a rate which reflects our high powered, fast-moving economic activity, we are often entrenched in the bustle meeting demand, often running to and from location to location, event to event, and loadout to loadout. We begin to exist in an almost constant state of flux, as many of us were born into a rat race, and must live from cheque to cheque, chasing the very same paydays that cost-push inflated our economy in the first place to ultra level high housing and food prices, just to survive and live long enough to tell the tale.
However, in the true fashion of the year of 2020, which we may start to know as the year of The Great Pause, many of us have had to pause and smell the flowers, not merely in some luxurious observation of the scenery around us, but because much of our industry has been shut down forcibly by the hand of COVID-19 and the lockdown that has ensued.
Lockdown has meant many consequences for virtually all across the spectrum of our economies, and the impact has been telling, particularly (but not exclusively) for those across the spectrum of the events and hospitality industry. Coming to a complete halt has meant many DJs, promoters, technicians, bar staff, waiters, managers of industry and so on have seen their work curtailed – and this has meant a multitude of varying consequences for many individuals.
Our gig-based economy, whilst allowing easy access to a daily wage, is often underwritten by self-employed work and a lack of benefits, sick pay and the like. Many of our workers also do not unionise which means that a perpetual state of middling wages exists for those lower down the rung of hierarchy.
As a result, many colleagues, unsure of their next payday and without recourse to public funds, have faced states of crisis. Lockdown has created states of isolation…
The bubble-like existence whilst in a state of limbo, spilling out into the streets…
The gaslighting of folks by their peers, frustrated by the dismantling of symbols of white supremacy and the architects of Western privilege – the reliving of the same traumas of previous dehumanisation.
The pushback from those who feel their way of life and sense of pride in their identity is being threatened.
The search for answers or even scapegoats in solving the riddle of economic and job prospect uncertainty.
The worries of parents for their children as the streets run amok with ideological conflict, manifesting in physical conflict and sometimes violence.
The apprehensiveness of the elderly, and immunocompromised; the fear of the unknown, regarding a novel disease. What are the implications for them health-wise in unprecedented circumstances?
These cracks and fissures lay bare the fact that problems exist…problems which may be exacerbated by Covid, but which existed before it and will exist beyond it.
You may now ask, ‘why such a negative article, listing so many societal issues?’…why?…because increased awareness of the problems allows them to be addressed. Without The Great Pause, we may well have muddled on without such a catalyst to look deeper within ourselves and the systems surrounding us.
Once we have identified the issues which such radical change so brightly illuminates, we can then best form creative solutions to bring about change.
In today’s short article, I have not set out to dictate what those changes should be, but instead to hopefully inspire further personal rumination over how we can best ensure The Great Pause’s potential is not missed. The veneer of fervent industry and economic activity has given way and this isn’t over yet…
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