On Tuesday, the events industry came together up and down the UK to highlight the extent of the difficulties our industry finds itself in. Thousands of people came together (in a socially distanced fashion, of course) in cities across the country to show solidarity with their colleagues. Hundreds of buildings were lit red to symbolise the red alert state we are in.
Then, yesterday, the government announced that indoor performances can resume from this weekend.
We won!, you might think. But no, we didn’t win.
First, yesterday’s announcement referred to the reopening that was previously planned for 1st August but was postponed because numbers were too high.
Secondly, social distancing still applies. For the luckiest venues, this means they can operate at a capacity of 50-60%. For the unluckiest, that percentage is more like 30-40%. Imagine asking a business to maintain all its costs but limit itself to half its income. It doesn’t work, does it? A restaurant can order less food and rota fewer chefs to work. A gig can’t do the same. Imagine buying a ticket to see U2 and then getting there and finding the only person on stage is Larry.
And that’s before we even get into the fact that – in contrast to restaurants – limiting the number of people in a space fundamentally changes the audience experience.
I could go on.
Tuesday’s action was great but we must continue to talk about these issues.
We Make Events. And we’re not going away.