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Landmark Cheltenham buildings will run blood red tonight - in support of the events industry

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 30 September 2020 9:00

Landmark Cheltenham buildings will run blood red tonight - in support of the events industry

You would expect nothing less than a show from an industry whose income depends on its ability to stage events – but tonight it hopes a world-wide spectacle will send a serious message to Governments. 

This is the plans for the Cheltenham Town Hall, the Playhouse Theatre, Sandford Parks Lido and Cheltenham College to be lit redat 8pm tonight as part of the global campaign to champion all the people in the events industry. 

The sector is one of the hardest hit by the social restrictions imposed as nation’s fight the covid-19 pandemic, and the campaign seeks to created awareness of thethreats to its future and to raise money to provide immediate support for the individuals, families, and its industry charities.

Pictures: Faces from Gloucestershire's live events industry who collaborated recently as part of 'We are still here' to promote each other and raise awareness of their industry

Working the lights to make it all happen this evening will be Gloucestershire-based family business Oasis Events. 

Oasis Events, like everyone else in the sector, had to stop work in March and we don't expect to resume support of client meetings or celebrations any time before March 2021.That's a year without revenue,” said Dany Fremantle, director and event manager at Oasis Events Limited, which is headquartered in Stow-on-the-Wold. 

We rely on our network of local suppliers - who are all viable, highly seasonal businesses - which will bounce back when restrictions can be loosened if given a bridge to the other side, and which employ thousands in the rural economy. 

Let's remember that behind the shiny and glamorous events you see on social media is an army of ordinary people whose livelihoods are at risk. 

We create experiences and memories for people. We literally bring people’s dreams into reality.  We are on standby waiting to return but not everyone will make it without a helping hand to match that given without hesitation to other sectors.

 
 
 
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Cheltenham #LightItInRed #WeMakeEvents is now at Red Alert to raise awareness of the UK’s 1,000,000 highly skilled industry professionals, all of whom have had no work for the past four months with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021. Our industry includes a huge supply chain ranging from production, audio, lighting and video, to logistics, planning, transportation, and some of the world’s leading technology manufacturers. Without additional support for the supply chain, the UK is in danger of losing its global position as a world leader in world class events. Moreover, all of our incredible creatives and technicians could lose their livelihoods for good. We are calling for meaningful support from the Government until the industry is allowed to operate in a way that is not limited by social distancing policies including: 1. Grants – not loans – made available to businesses in the events supply chain 2. Furlough scheme extended until the industry is back to work 3. Extension of the self-employment scheme, tailored towards the industry #WeMakeEvents #LetTheMusicPlay #LightItInRed #RishiSunak #OliverDowden #CarolineDinenage #SkyNews #BBCNews #festival #festivalseason #livemusic #livemusicrocks #liveevent #supportneeded #glastonbury #festivallove #gigs #livegig #liveeventssector #covid19 #redalert @rishisunakmp @oliverdowdenmp @ukgovofficial@itvnews @guardian @ladbible @glastofest @tpimagazine @headlinerhub @proavlcentral @bbcradio1 @bbcradio1pr @radiox @bbcradiolondon @bbcradioglos @bbconeshow @thisisheart @the.independent @ukgovofficial @uktheatreschool @bbclondon @gloucestershirelive @soglos @channel4news @evening.standard @skynews

A post shared by Live, Virtual & Hybrid Events (@natasharussellevents) on

 

Natasha Russell, of Natasha Russell Event Production and Management, posted this onto Instagram: "#WeMakeEvents is now at Red Alert to raise awareness of the UK’s 1,000,000 highly skilled industry professionals, all of whom have had no work for the past four months with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021.

"Our industry includes a huge supply chain ranging from production, audio, lighting and video, to logistics, planning, transportation, and some of the world’s leading technology manufacturers.

"Without additional support for the supply chain, the UK is in danger of losing its global position as a world leader in world class events. Moreover, all of our incredible creatives and technicians could lose their livelihoods for good.

"We are calling for meaningful support from the Government until the industry is allowed to operate in a way that is not limited by social distancing policies."

Thousands of venues world-wide are expected to join in the #LightItInRed. According to the #WeMakeEvents campaign the events sector employs 30 million people in 25 countries, and few see any possibility of a financially viable return for the foreseeable future. 

The campaign group claims Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s figures state the Cultural Sector is worth £100 billion to the UK economy and was the fastest growing sector in 2017 and in 2018. Outdoor events industry alone attracted a staggering 141.5 million visitors. 

It is a sector which has notreceived any of £1.57 billion arts grant bailout cash.

Key points are... 

1. Government backed COVID – 19 Insurance Scheme 

Why? – To ensure if local lockdowns happen event organisers will recover costs and attendees will receive a refund. 

2. Government support for widespread proactive COVID -19 testing for event attendees 

Why? – To give confidence to attendees and organisers that the event is safe and COVID – 19 Compliant. 

3. A three-year extension to the reduced cultural vat rate on tickets in line with DCMS recommendations 

Why? – To stimulate the return of a viable live entertainment sector. 

Until gathering for events is not restricted by legislation, we are also calling on the Government for: 

4. Grants – not loans – made available to businesses in the events supply chain 

Why? – To give companies the flexibility to allocate financial resources where they need it most, to keep their business afloat and to enable them to keep employees, adding value to the UK economy and culture in the future. 

5. 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 

Why? – To allow employers to retain highly skilled people in preparation for a return to work; to support the freelance community, including single director companies; and to support all those excluded by the current government eligibility criteria. This will help us to be ready to kickstart the industry and hence the UK economy. 

Organisers are hoping as many supports as possible will turn out to share their support at 8pm this evening – with the protest, called Stand As One for the Global Day of Action.