Last chance to enter all-star prize draw to provide “life-saving” support for live crew

Win instruments signed by the likes of The Cure's Robert Smith, Foals, Royal Blood, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Elbow, Liam Gallagher, Placebo, The xx and many more

Today (December 17) is the last chance to enter the ‘I Love Live’ prize draw to win items from the likes of The Cure, Foals and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and help provide “life-saving” money for struggling live crew.

Having repeatedly called for better government help and support to weather the storm of COVID-19 and declaring that they’re facing their “biggest crisis since the 1920s“, many within the live music sector continue to warn of potential bankruptcy and long-term industry damage unless urgent action is taken to mothball crew workers until it is safe for live music to return next year.

To help raise much-needed money for out-of-work and struggling live crew and roadies, the charity Stagehand have launched the #ILoveLive memorabilia prize draw to support the unsung heroes of the live music industry. Prizes include tickets to Glastonbury and Reading Festival and instruments played and signed by the likes of The Cure’s Robert Smith, Foals, Royal Blood, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Elbow, Liam Gallagher, Placebo, The xx and many more.

The draw has raised over £476,000 so far, and closes at 6pm this evening. See the full list of prizes and how to enter here.

Speaking about the plight of many live crew members, Stagehand founder Andy Lenthall told NME: “There are people who have been able to get alternative work, and there are people who can survive on self-employment income support, and there are people who have been furloughed – but we’ve lost a lot of people due to redundancies and 20% of our self-employed crew have fallen through the cracks and have had nothing.

“There are people registered as limited companies who can’t furlough themselves. Some people have savings or a partner who’s working and have been turned down for Universal Credit as a result, and now their savings are dwindling. We’ve got to be grateful that Rishi Sunak’s Winter Plan saw self-employment income support back at 80%, because we were planning for a winter without that and the coffers would have been empty.”

He continued: “We’re giving grants of £500. We’re not funding any lifestyles here, we’re saving people’s bacon. Far too many people are calling this a life-saver. The need is still growing, especially as we head into January. This is about keeping the lights on and putting food on the table and a roof over these people’s heads. These are the basic things we’re trying to cover. Loads of managers and artists are saying: ‘We hear our crew are suffering – how can we help?’”

Back in October, it was predicted that 170,000 jobs from the live music sector could be lost by the end of 2020. Lenthall said that a great many of them were still at risk.

“They’re still under great threat,” he said. “I think that’s been delayed a little beyond the end of the year, but we’ll see. It all depends on if we’ve got a market to come back to. Shows can only really start to come back at capacity in the spring if we’re lucky. Unless there’s a government-backed insurance scheme, then there won’t be any shows planned.

“People have been selling their possessions on eBay to pay the bills and borrowing on the credit card to pay the mortgage. It really is sobering to hear these stories. It’s a grim thought that these people have carved themselves a very worthwhile living and just have to forget about it and start again.”

With the hope of raising £1 million, Lenthall said that StageHand have so far dished out hundreds of £500 grants to provide essential financial assistance to struggling live crew workers – with much more needed.

“This is bigger than I ever could have imagined it would be,” he added. “There’s nothing better than being able to help so many people.”

See the full list of prizes in the #ILoveLive draw here, and for more info on Stagehand visit here.

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