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Hardship fund launched for live events professionals

Technical entertainment charity Backup has raised up to £200,000 in funds to offer support to those in the live events supply chain

The technical entertainment charity Backup has announced the creation of a ‘hardship fund’ to provide limited financial assistance to crew/production personnel, and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including those from live events, theatre and TV and film.

Backup chairman John Simpson explained, “The technicians and their families in our industry, particularly freelancers, are experiencing incredible hardship at the moment and, with the lack of ongoing financial support from the government, there are many people who are in desperate need of help. As an industry, we are trying to help ourselves, and Backup is now in a position to be able to offer a small measure of assistance. We still need more donations to help many more of our colleagues in distress.”

The charity has amassed funds to the tune of £100,000 to date with support from partners including the #WeMakeEvents campaign, with lighting charity Light Relief matching the amount with a further £100,000 to help support the lighting community.

“Whilst we know this is not a perfect solution, and that there are so many technicians in need of assistance, we are ensuring that we help people who have had no financial support whatsoever first,” Simpson added. “If funds are available after this first application period, we will look to help people who have received limited government support or other charitable support.”

The charity stated that the during the first application period, from 19th October 2020 (08:00) to 30th October 2020 (20:00), it will be targeting resources to those who have yet to receive any governmental support (e.g. from the furlough scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)) or grants from other charitable funds such as the Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council, etc. All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date.

For details on the hardship fund, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit