Over the last five months, the #WeMakeEvents campaign has been tirelessly raising awareness around the current plight facing the live entertainment sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to survive the Covid-19 crisis. With the introduction of tier systems and the continued local lockdowns, returning to work has been made increasingly difficult for over one million people in the live events industry.
#WeMakeEvents is continuing to make its voice heard and asking the government to help the industry get back on its feet through creative activations called ‘Survival in the Square’. Taking place w/c October 26th, a series of performances are expected to occur throughout London with six socially-distanced pieces taking place each day in Parliament Square. The activations will cover a variety of genres across the performing arts spectrum, including: Ballet, Comedy, Song, Actors, and Opera
The movement follows a busy few weeks after #WeMakeEvents organised a range of high-profile activations that have made headlines across the globe. Following on from the initial #LightItInRed day back in July, the first Day of Action took place on 11th August which saw some of London’s most iconic landmarks lit up in red along with those across the regions to highlight the crisis. Similarly, last month’s Global Day of Action saw more than 25 countries across the globe light their buildings in red to show solidarity, as well as other creative activations emphasising how the industry is being impacted on a global scale.
Gary White, Lead Producer of #WeMakeEvents, comments: “The latest government support packages, although welcome, are not reaching the majority of those who need them the most and will only benefit a small group. Larger, more meaningful action needs to be taken.
“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 within live events. These cross over into the hospitality sector, yet aren’t eligible for any of the hospitality funds recently announced by the Government.
“We need to ensure the Government realises what we bring to the UK economically and culturally. We will be a good return on investment for the future, and that we will continue to campaign until there is sufficient support for everyone involved in our industry.”
Arlene Phillips CBE, Laurence Olivier award-winner and former Strictly Come Dancing judge, comments: “Everyone in the performing arts is suffering from a loss of income, loss of respect, loss of performing, and most of all, the loss of the understanding that dance is a passion turned into a career only by years of punishing study harder than most athletes. Members from the industry are now being advised to change careers. Dance is my life, and it’s hard to watch as sharp, intelligent dancers are being rejected for a number of retail or support jobs as they are not considered to have the right skills. Dancers are everything.”