Banks of Thames turned red in support of events industry

Royal Festival Hall: among venues lit up in red
Royal Festival Hall: among venues lit up in red

Sector is calling for immediate financial support from government.

More than 700 buildings across the UK have been lit up in red to draw attention to the crisis faced by the events industry.

Last night (Tuesday), the Royal Festival Hall, London Eye, National Theatre and the Tate Modern were all illuminated red, while hundreds of volunteers dressed in red lined the banks of the Thames.

The collective effort aimed to get the industry's voice heard, calling for sustained immediate financial support from the government. The first #LightItInRed night took place on 6 July.

The government has already pledged £1.57bn to cultural and arts institutions, but this will not reach many freelancers, self-employed people and suppliers, critics say.

Live theatre, concerts, festivals and performances have not yet resumed due to social-distancing guidance and other restrictions. The Professional Lighting and Sound Association predicts that live events may not be able to return until March 2021 as a result of "unviable social-distancing rules and the long-term planning required for many arena tours, festivals and stadium events".

Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, said: "The live-events industry supply chain, essential to every single event in the UK, is set to completely collapse without financial support from the government, due to social distancing prohibiting mass events. Large-scale events are not expected to reopen until spring 2021 at the earliest and the reality is that the sector can't wait that long.

"While the government's commitment to provide £1.57bn to our crown jewels is welcomed, this does not help the companies and freelancers who work in the live events supply chain. We've issued a 'red alert' after using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs and now the whole industry is coming together to ask the government to 'throw us a line'."

The campaign, devised by Clearsound Productions and Backstage Theatre Jobs, was inspired by Germany's #NightOfLight protest that took place in June.

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