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114,000 jobs at risk in events industry, says We Make Events

The We Make Events campaign says up to 60 per cent of job could be lost unless action is taken

The UK’s touring and events industry could be facing job losses of up to 60 per cent unless action isn’t taken by government to support the sector, according to the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

Comprised of trade bodies, manufacturers, artists and various other key figures and companies from across the live events industry, #WeMakeEvents is calling for the sector to come together and lobby government for urgent support in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The events market has been hit severely by the outbreak, with jobs being lost, events being cancelled and venues closing for business at an alarming rate.

According to #WeMakeEvents, unless swift action is taken, up to 114,000 jobs are now at risk. A major concern being that only 50 per cent of companies have capital to get them through the next four months, meaning that by the end of the year these businesses will not be in a position to open.

#WeMakeEvents has organised a day of action cross the UK on August 11 to help raise awareness of the plight of the sector. In London, journalists and politicians have been invited to board a boat at Westminster Pier, from where they will sail through a series of ‘arenas’ which will feature many of the capital’s iconic landmarks, all lit up red in solidarity. Industry members are also being encouraged to line up, socially distanced, on river banks and bridges to create a Red Alert route. In key locations supporters will lower down red rope lights to the boat as it passes, to symbolise ‘throwing us a line’.

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Meanwhile, Greater Manchester production and events industry companies and freelancers have come together to hold a march to support the campaign and show this is an issue across the UK. The Manchester music community is also pledging its support, with New Order, Doves, Stone Roses and Primal Scream bassist Mani and Blossoms helping raise awareness for the initiative and the march.

The Manchester Music & Events industry march will start at 12:00 (midday) on Tuesday, August 11. The march will include a flight case push across a designated route through the city – from Manchester Academy through to St. Peters Square – that will pass iconic venues that are currently shuttered. The protestors will be from all areas of industry from sound engineers to security, truck drivers to tour managers, cleaners to crew, box office to finance staff, and anyone else that plays a part in a concert, event or festival.

The march will be compliant with Covid-19 safety regulations. This will include strict social distancing and hygiene procedures, showcasing the discipline and professionalism of the industry.

Blossoms said: “Our industry is in need of urgent action. Due to the Covid-19 crisis the whole music & live events sector has been devastated. So many skilled people are at risk of being lost to the whole industry if government support doesn’t come soon. Millions of talented people, including many people close to us, need help now. Please join together to support the campaign and call for the government to act now!”

Julie Cotton, production co-ordinator for artists such as Massive Attack, Nile Rodgers and Chic, and Elbow commented: “We are making our voices heard for the UK live music, touring, festival and events industry. We are currently facing the potential decimation of the UK live music and events industry; the UK’s culture and entertainment sector is the envy of the world.

“We need continued government support in order for us to survive. The industry by nature is unseen. Thousands of people were working every day to give the general public cultural experiences and moments they will never forget. This is no more. On Tuesday 11th August the ‘behind the scenes’ backbone of the industry in Manchester are coming together, making themselves visible to ensure that UNTIL concerts, festivals and events are safe to resume they have the support they need from the government.”

The march will be compliant with Covid-19 safety regulations. This will include strict social distancing and hygiene procedures, showcasing the discipline and professionalism of the industry.

Elsewhere across the country, a series of regional events will also take place.