The Twickenham Green HQ of audio rental company Britannia Row Productions was lit red this evening as part of a global action day involving 25 countries.
Across the globe from 8pm local time, the #LightItInRed movement in support of the #WeMakeEvents campaign saw thousands of venues and places of work turn red, alongside unique shafts of light, projections, art installations and outreach to government officials and media in order to raise awareness and drive change.
As long as it’s deemed unsafe for large crowds to gather, the revenue stream for live event businesses is non-existent. This sector remains unable to move forwards in a financially viable way.
Britannia Row Productions employees 70 staff and has 100 freelancers on its books, with most currently on furlough or unable to qualify.
In the UK’s latest Government aid announcement, the Chancellor stated that employers should bring staff back to work for at least 33% of their ‘normal’ hours. However, for the employers that have no current income, no consistent work and for an industry that has had seen almost zero revenue since March, paying any percentage of wages is simply not possible.
In an open letter to PM Boris Johnson, Britannia Row Productions Director, Bryan Grant said: “As well as providing the most state-of-the-art equipment, we supply audio engineers and technicians and over the years both our company and many of our people have gained an international reputation for excellence in our field. The skills involved don’t just happen; they take years of training and experience to acquire. British technicians are famed throughout the world...
“Please, don’t let them down, support them until we can find a way to bring back our live concerts and events - don’t lay waste to an industry that brings enormous enjoyment to simply being alive.”
The 2019 Business and Events Partnership report states that festivals, fairs and event shows generated £6bn while music events saw a £17.6bn total revenue spend for the UK economy. Without local support and political recognition, the local businesses responsible for this economic boost will cease to exist.
The global action day asked for:
▪️ Government-backed COVID – 19 Insurance Scheme to ensure if local lockdowns happen event organisers will recover costs and attendees will receive a refund.
▪️ Government support for widespread proactive COVID -19 testing for event attendees
▪️ A three-year extension to the reduced cultural VAT rate on tickets in line with DCMS recommendations
▪️ Grants - not loans - made available to businesses in the events supply chain
▪️ A specific job support scheme for live events supply chain until the government guidelines change on social distancing to allow a commercially viable return to work.