The UK turned into a beacon of blue at 20:00 on Thursday 26 March 2020 when over 100 major sporting and entertainment venues, national landmarks and historic buildings across the country were illuminated as a salute to the NHS and those risking their own health to help others. #lightitblue sites included Tower Bridge, the Royal Albert Hall, the Belfast Titanic Signature Building, Lincoln Cathedral, The National Theatre, Metro Radio in Newcastle.
All participating venues used existing LED technology to illuminate facades and screens – to ensure the campaign adhered to the critical message from the British Government for people to stay at home.
The #lightitblue campaign has been organised by a collective of leaders from the events and entertainment industry to show a simultaneous display of gratitude for those working tirelessly to look after Britons who are ill with COVID-19.
The campaign was started by Gary White, Managing Director of White Productions and freelance Production Manager, Chuck Crampton.
Gary commented: “The events and entertainment industry finds itself in an unprecedented state of enforced inaction. The best thing we can do – apart from staying at home – is to use our skills and networks to say thank you to the healthcare professionals risking their own health to help others during this pandemic.”
He continued: “We also feel a huge sense of responsibility for the mental wellbeing of many people within our industry who, having lost their jobs, are feeling anxious and confused about the future. We believe the #lightitblue campaign, inspired by the existing #clapforourcarers initiative, will galvanize their enthusiasm and pride in a mass gesture of solidarity.”
The campaign also invites Britons to join in at home by creating blue-themed images and videos and sharing them online with #makeitblue and challenging others to follow suit. People can take part while staying safe indoors, by painting their bodies blue, wearing blue accessories or turning their social media backgrounds blue. Music legends Liam Gallagher, Toyah Wilcox, Robert Fripp and all three British Superbike brothers: Andrew, Glenn and Graeme Irwin will be among the celebrities who will be interpreting the challenge from their homes.
Chuck concluded: “Over 100 venues throughout the UK have shown great enthusiasm in taking part during Thursday’s round of applause, and we understand some will be continuing their illuminations for days or weeks to come.”
All organisations involved in the #lightitblue campaign have acted on a pro bono basis.