Thousands of event professionals gathered along Southbank in London, UK on Tuesday 11 August, to demonstrate the critical condition of the UK events industry.
Eventprofs in red shirts lined the entire Southbank from Westminster to the Tate Modern, as part of the #WeMakeEvents ‘Red Alert’ campaign. They came from all corners of the events industry, including the live music, festival, exhibition and conference sectors.
A barge bearing a bright red #WeMakeEvents logo sailed down the Thames, ahead of a boat filled with politicians and journalists who had been invited to attend by the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA), which organised the day of action.
The aim was to draw mainstream media and government attention to the crisis being faced by the event industry. Last night’s day of action has already drawn media coverage from the BBC and the Evening Standard.
At the same time across the UK, event venues and landmarks were lit up in red, while marches and demonstrations saw eventprofs coming out in full force. In Manchester, production staff marched their flight cases through city centre streets while wearing red.
The mood at the London event was one of togetherness and celebration, although it underscored the financial difficulties and struggles being faced by the events sector. Eventprofs waved their phones, lit with red lights, while cheering and chatting to each other. Many brought speakers and played music – one on Waterloo bridge played ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen, which drew some ironic appreciation from those nearby.
Social media was flooded with messages of support, too.
— Alistair Smith (@smithalistair) August 11, 2020
i find this extremely powerful and emotional #WeMakeEvents – seeking government support from one of the industries forgotten by government – skilled freelancers marching from the UKs touring, festival and event industry on the edge pic.twitter.com/kZhO1Uv80g
— Neil MacInnes OBE (@macinnes_neil) August 11, 2020