Australia joins international initiative to highlight the live events sector urgently needs Government support
The Australian live events industry has declared a ‘Red Alert Day’ on Wednesday 30th September to raise awareness of its dire situation in the wake of COVID-19 and lobby for sustained government support.
Part of the international #WeMakeEvents movement that is highlighting how the live events sector urgently needs support to survive the COVID-19 crisis, buildings around Australia will be illuminated in red on 30th September to signify, according to organisers “that the entertainment industry is dying”.
The organisers advise “our industry is important and contributes millions of dollars each year to the Australian economy (but) due to COVID-19 it needs immediate help.
“We want our future to continue to create millions of memories with the stories to match - it’s what we do best.
“The recently announced Prime Minister’s $250 million plan to restart Australia’s creative economy and $400 million incentive for the film and screen industry may sound like good news for the events industry, but in reality, the funding will not reach those hundreds of companies who supply lighting, audio, staging, video and other production services to events.
“We aim to have financial support extended for the people and companies in this sector until they can return to work.
“Many businesses that collectively employ several thousand people have not worked on an event since March 2020, and current government plans make no mention of when live events may be able to return to normal. Frustratingly, while stadiums are allowed to host sports games there are no provisions to host live music, concerts and special events in spaces of any size which makes us unable to operate.
“Ours is a highly skilled and developed industry, with the country and its industry workers renowned across the globe for their expertise. If the industry doesn’t get help, we will lose skilled people and companies across Australia and next year’s possible calendar of tours, theatre shows and festivals will have no one to run them.”
#WeMakeEvents is calling for meaningful support from the Federal Government that, until the industry is allowed to operate in a way that is not limited by social distancing, that would include:
1. Grants - not loans - made available to businesses in the events supply chain
2. JobKeeper scheme extended until the industry is back to work
3. Extension of the self-employment scheme, tailored towards the industry
The organisers go on to explain “we work in an invisible industry but everyone has seen or been involved in the fruits of our labour whether it was watching any show on TV, going to any movie, attending a concert, attending a conference, enjoying a night at the theatre, watching a symphony orchestra or seeing any number of special events from awards shows, sporting events, political conventions; the list goes on and on.
“We do not mind being invisible by any stretch of the imagination. It is what we do, it is what we love and that about which we are fiercely passionate. None of the above-mentioned projects happen without a huge staff of highly talented but unseen people that are willing to work extremely hard, under crushing deadlines, and often for very long work hours merging art and technology.
“(But) now we are going to become visible … 30th September is Red Alert Day for our industry; entertainment professionals will light businesses, homes and other architecture in red. Key buildings and landmarks across Australia will be bathed in red, the colour of crisis.”
The campaign is being run by a large and growing industry collective of trade bodies, businesses and freelancers affected by the shutdown all working together. It spans online and social messaging, video, case studies and legal outdoor events to gain media attention.
The organisers conclude “Australia is regarded as a world leader in delivering complex events and we risk losing it forever. We call on you to stand as one, united in our common cause to save our industry. Join our campaign.”
#WeMakeEvents is also the champion for all the people in the events industry, creating awareness and understanding of their threats and issues.
Lower image shows London's Royal Albert Hall which is backing the #WeMakeEvents initiative.
24th September 2020 - Industry leaders announced as Event Summit 2020 speakers
21st September 2020 - Western Australian Government announces Guidelines and Plans to enable more events
21st September 2020 - Tourism and Events Queensland secures Toowoomba flower festival for another five years
11th September 2020 - Australian business events industry welcomes $50 million funding announcement
10th September 2020 - Applications closing for Tourism Australia’s Business Events Boost Program
9th June 2020 - Industry stakeholders unite to restart sport and entertainment
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