The #WeMakeEvents campaign is continuing to champion the cause for appropriate governmental support for professionals and businesses in the live events supply chain through its latest activation, Survival in the Square.
The new campaign will take the form of a series of socially distanced “creative activations” that will take place each day this week in Parliament Square, Westminster.
Commenting on the support packages introduced to date by the UK government, which has seemingly laboured to acknowledge the depth of struggle for those industries yet to meaningfully reopen due to restrictions, Gary White, lead producer of #WeMakeEvents, said, “The latest government support packages, although welcome, are not reaching those who need them the most and will only benefit a small group. Larger, more meaningful action needs to be taken and, until it does, we will still be here campaigning.”
The #WeMakeEvents campaign has organised a number of high profile events during the lockdown period to raise awareness of the plight facing the live entertainment sector. These have included the first #LightItInRed day back in July, and two global days of action most recently in September which saw more than 25 countries across the world light their buildings in red to show solidarity.
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The Survival in the Square event will be supported by the West End Waiting group, which brings together events and performing arts industry professionals who have been affected by Covid-19 and its effect on the UK industry. Founder Lee Durnford said, “The original idea was for us to be able to discuss relevant topics and give each other support. The group has grown to just over 12,000 members and we have a collective of West End musical directors, stage managers and choreographers who meet on a regular basis to place and create peaceful activations to create awareness of the plight of the performing arts.”
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White continued, “With Survival in the Square, we truly want to showcase the diversity of performance and just how far the live events industry stretches. We want to display to parliament the spectrum of skills and talent involved with live events, which cross over into the hospitality sector yet aren’t eligible for any of the hospitality funds recently announced by the Government.”
The campaign is pressing the UK government to acknowledge the economic and cultural contribution of the sector to the country, saying “We will be a good return on investment for the future, and we will continue to campaign until there is sufficient support for everyone involved in our industry”.
In the absence of central support from the government, a new hardship fund has been launched by the the technical entertainment charity Backup, which will 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. Applications for the hardship fund will close at 20:00 on 30th October 2020. More information can be found here.
For more information about the #WeMakeEvents campaign, visit www.wemakeevents.com.