Venues and crew make a show of ‘red alert’ for live music and theatre

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Music industry crew marched with their equipment cases in Manchester on Tuesday

Music venues, theatres and their workforces are taking part in a day of action around the UK to highlight the crisis facing the live events scene.

Out-of-work music industry crew were among those who took part in a march through Manchester on Tuesday.

More than 300 venues including London’s National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall will turn their lights red later as part of the Red Alert campaign.

Peter Gabriel, Imogen Heap and The Cure have voiced support for the initiative.

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The Red Alert movement and #WeMakeEvents marches aim to raise awareness about the threat of job losses in the sector.

Producers, engineers, tour managers, security staff, truck drivers and cleaners also marched past some of Manchester’s closed venues.

Similar protests are taking place in other cities. The Mac in Belfast, the Blackwood Miner’s Institute in south Wales, the Aberdeen Arts Centre and the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow are among the other venues that will be lit up in red.

Virtually all UK venues have been closed for five months, meaning means many are at risk.

Organisers of Tuesday’s protests say around a million people work in the events sector, many of whom are freelancers, and they are at risk of losing their livelihoods without additional government support.


Last month the government announced a £1.57bn support package aimed at protecting theatres, galleries and museums. The government has previously said that will lead to more work for freelancers.

The furlough scheme and support for self-employed people are due to end in the coming months – and many freelancers were eligible for them at all.

“Without major, immediate support from government, the entire live events sector supply chain is at risk of collapse,” said the members of The Cure in a statement.

“The aim [of the campaign] is to have financial support extended for the people and companies in this sector, until they can return to work.”


Originally published by bbc.co.uk on 11th August 2020. Source & extended version