In any normal year we would just have had our WOMAD Festival. A few months ago, in March, we just finished a festival in New Zealand and on our way back things were very chaotic as Covid-19 was hitting hard. Glastonbury was cancelled, we were told that we weren’t going to be given a license for our festival so we had to cancel. Live events around the world and across the entire landscape from major festivals to grassroots venues and business events have been devastated.
Millions of pounds worth of supplier contracts had to be withdrawn and cancelled and for every single festival these contractors and crews had exactly the same story. They lost that income, they’re going to lose their jobs. We’ve been dependent on their work and services for over 30 years and many of them have become friends over this time. They’re really suffering hard.
The live events sector employs over 600,000 highly skilled people in the UK – event production, audio, lighting, video, logistics, planning, transportation and technology – over 70% of which are freelancers. All of whom have had no work for the past four months with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021 at the earliest.
A lot of high arts have now been given some support, but people working on the festival side of things and in live events have been forgotten about and I hope they are not forgotten about any longer. Around the UK they’ve created something which I think is the best in the world.
Even though, despite our own losses, we and some others are setting up some small funds for retraining, this industry really urgently needs proper support of the like that has been given to many other businesses. Without this immediate support from government, the entire supply chain is at risk of collapse. Financial support needs to be extended to the people and companies in this sector until they can return to work.
Many of these people are freelancers so don’t fall under furlough schemes, so right now they are feeling the pinch very badly and if we want live events and festivals to stay an important British business then it needs to be supported.
Please help. Thank you.
Resources on how to support the campaign can be found by visiting the #WeMakeEvents website. Watch. Share. Record. Write.