07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

At 9.00pm on Tuesday 11 August, Off The Wall Entertainment Ltd took part in the ‘Light It Red’ event by lighting our house and unit in red in support of the #WeMakeEvents campaign. This national event is designed to highlight the plight of the millions of people in the entertainment industry who are affected by the closure of large-scale live events. The events sector urgently needs government support to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Without major immediate support from government, the entire live events supply chain is at risk of collapse.

The entertainment industry is a huge eco system and the effects of the pandemic can be felt all the way down the supply chain.

Did you know that for each live performance, there are on average 443 jobs?

They can range from venue security, catering, warehouse, trucking, video techs, lighting techs, sound techs, stage managers, costume designers, set builders, riggers, promoters. The list is huge and far too large for the space I have available here.

The ‘creative sector’ which includes live entertainment, music, events, theatre, performance, and the arts generates around £110 billion annually (based on DCMS figures) for the UK economy. Yet unlike other industries, it has been given no timeline or guidelines for when live events, festivals and performances can restart after the Covid-19 shutdown. The funding for venues will be useless unless the government support the freelancers and companies that supply those venues.

The entertainment industry is used to hiding in the dark, generally if you see a tech on stage it is because something has gone wrong. Last night was the time for the skilled professionals from the industry to step into the light and demand the parity they deserve from the government. They did this by lighting iconic entertainment buildings across the country and staging peaceful marches. In Manchester out of work entertainment staff pushed flight cases down the road to show the scale of the problem facing the industry. In London entertainment staff lit many locations including: The London Eye, Tate Modern and National Theatre. Many regional venues and supply companies showed their support by lighting their venues too.

All aspects of the event were peaceful, powerful and run with the precision and organisation that you would expect from thousands of entertainment’s professionals working in unison to have their voices heard.

Trade association PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association) is asking that the government makes grants — not loans — available to businesses in the events supply chain; extends the furlough scheme that ends in October until the industry is back to work; and extends the self-employment scheme that is tailored towards the industry.

Although we are a small cog in the entertainment industry machine, we are immensely proud to be part of it. Our road to opening Off The Wall Entertainment started with both of us working on live events. Matt for concert touring and Gemma for music festivals. We intend to continue to fight alongside our friends and colleagues for the help and respect the entertainment’s industry needs to survive.

If you’d like to learn more about the #WeMakeEvents campaign, more information can be found HERE.

And if you would like to see more photos from the #LightItInRed event last night, please click HERE.

For more information please contact Gemma Morris on 07809 271164 or email gemma@offthewallentertainment.co.uk