#WeMakeEvents has made its latest appeal to the UK government today (Thursday) by launching its new campaign asking for support for the struggling live events sector amid COVID-19.
The campaign, ‘The Government Can’t See Us, Can You?’, is looking to underscore the individual struggles people within the live events ecosystem are facing due to the shutdown.
The testimonies come from people who usually work at festivals, venues, gigs, conferences, award ceremonies, weddings and more.
In an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, #WeMakeEvents, which says the industry is “on its knees”, has called on the government 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”.
A new survey by the campaign found that 93 per cent of the over 2,800 businesses and individuals in the live event supply chain have seen their income plummet as a result of the pandemic, with 65 per cent seeing their income drop by over 50 per cent, while 30 per cent of respondents reported a fall of over 90 per cent.
In addition, 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 report that it is inadequate.
#WeMakeEvents said: “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.
“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 urging people to speak up on the issue through social media, as well as writing to their local MP to further call on the government to address the situation.
Today (Thursday) UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to include live music in his roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions.
The call comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected announcement next week (Monday) on how the Government plans to ease lockdown and reopen the economy in the weeks ahead.
Njoku-Goodwin said: “We are fast reaching a critical point for the live music industry. If festivals and large events are forced to cancel for another year, many will go under and thousands of jobs are at risk of being lost forever.
“We are not asking to reopen a moment before it is safe to do so, but if our sector is to survive through this pandemic then we require urgent clarity about the months ahead and some indication of when live music will be able to return.
“A restart date for live music would be hugely welcome. The long lead time involved in planning festivals and other events makes this crucial. At the very least, we need clarity about the conditions under which we would be allowed to get live events under way again.”