#WeMakeEvents has announced a new campaign in a bid to urge the UK Government to provide relief for the struggling live events sector during the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic-enforced shutdown of live music, festivals and events has had a devastating impact on the sector over the past 11 months – a situation that has been exacerbated by the prevailing uncertainty over a potential restart date.
#WeMakeEvents has made their latest appeal to the government today (February 18) by launching their new campaign, ‘The Government Can’t See Us, Can You?’, asking for support for the beleaguered live events sector.
The campaign is aiming to highlight those people who work in the live event supply chain whose livelihoods have been seriously damaged by the shutdown, sharing personal testimonies from people who usually work at festivals, gigs, conferences, award ceremonies, weddings and more.
#WeMakeEvents has called on the government in an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “halt the destruction of the sector by recognising the impact of the pandemic on the live event supply chain, support individuals and businesses to survive while they cannot work and to engage with the sector to develop a plan for reopening, including government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance”.
The UK’s live events industry, which pre-pandemic brought in over £70 billion a year and supported 700,000 jobs, is “on its knees”, say #WeMakeEvents.
A new #WeMakeEvents survey of over 2800 businesses and individuals in the live event supply chain found that 93 per cent of respondents have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic (65 per cent have seen their income drop by over 50 per cent, while 30 per cent of respondents reported a fall of over 90 per cent), while 34 per cent of individuals and businesses have received no government support – either through loans, furlough, or local or national grants. Many of those that have received support, on the other hand, report that it is inadequate.
“As a result, 50 per cent of individuals have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income. A third have been forced to leave – or are considering leaving – the sector,” #WeMakeEvents added of their findings. “On top of that, 43 per cent of live event supply chain businesses say they don’t have the resources to last until the summer.”
The campaign is also asking the public to contribute their voices and opinions through social media, as well as writing to their local MP to further urge the government to address the situation. You can find out more about how to do that and #WeMakeEvents’ new ‘The Government Can’t See Us, Can You?’ campaign here.
Earlier this week, the Music Venue Trust backed calls to implement a rapid coronavirus testing system nationwide in order to permit the safe reopening of gig venues in the UK.