Right now, the live music and events sector, far and wide, faces collapse. It’s something that workers right across the island are painfully aware of, not least in more recent weeks.
In the north, a new initiative is calling for support through the launch of #WeMakeEventsNI. Comprising lighting designers, tour caterers, truck drivers, tour managers, riggers, backline techs, video directors and festival promoters, the team has set out to shine a searing light on the imminent collapse of the industry.
At the heart of the drive is a call to the UK Government to support the myriad workers within the sector. As they put it themselves, “the crisis is real. 58% of live music businesses staff have been furloughed, with 87% of that figure needing an essential extension. It is understood that 45% of affected companies are expecting to make further redundancies after the end of the Government furlough period, unless it is extended. Meanwhile some of the freelance staff that make up a huge portion of this workforce have received zero Governmental aid.”
Countless workers from across the sector have lent their support and voice to the campaign, which is rapidly – and rightly – gaining traction. Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody said, “There are so many vital roles in this eco system; the tech crews, roadies, transport companies, riggers, promoters and many more that cannot be forgotten. With no start date for their livelihoods, these jobs are all under threat. This is a community that comes together, not only to create live events and soundtracks for the general public to enjoy enormously, but in this – a very real time of need for the industry we all love.”
The #WeMakeEventsNI campaign is building towards a global day of action on Wednesday 30th September, which will see the Northern Ireland events industry join a worldwide call for support. Mark it in your calendars and show your support via social media, using the hashtag #WeMakeEventsNI