Initially launched by PLASA in response to calls from its membership, the #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live events sector and how it urgently needs financial support in order to survive the Covid-19 crisis. The initial response has been fantastic, including a collective Day of Action on 11th August with creative expressions across the country, including over 700 buildings lit up in red and other activities that culminated with 4,000 socially distanced event professionals lining bridges and the bankside of the Thames, expressing their need for support with the red alert theme.
In order to represent all those in the communities that #WeMakeEvents represents, PLASA is now announcing that the campaign has moved into total independence, steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, including PLASA, businesses and freelancers who are all working together to ensure it receives as much awareness as possible. The success of the initial activity has led to a global movement, with organisations from around the world coming together in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity.
This next stage in the campaign will be known as ‘Stand as One’ –taken from the newly released song and now campaign anthem, written and performed by Joe Bygraves, who has generously agreed to donate 25% of the money made from the track to #MakeItBlue UK to be distributed to relevant mental health organisations. Further action is planned to call for financial support to be extended for the freelancers and companies in this sector until they can safely return to work. The group will be announcing a number of creative activations to be held throughout the month, leading up to a #WeMakeEvents Global day of creative action on 30th September, with countries from New Zealand to Canada and across Europe joining in. More details to follow.
Gary White, from White Productions Limited, is one of those behind the campaign. He comments: “The live events industry is vitally important to this country and contributes billions of pounds each year to the UK economy – something that is an undeniable fact. The UK is regarded as a world leader in delivering complex events and our work is recognised and respected across the globe. However, the complete lack of ongoing support from the government means we now find ourselves at a cliff edge. There are hundreds of thousands now out of a job, through no fault of their own, and it seems that the possibility of returning to work won’t arrive until at least March next year.
He continues: “Now, more than ever, our voices need to be heard. This is why Stand as One is so important; it means we can all work together to ensure that our message reaches as many people as possible, not just in our industry but to all those who enjoy live events. This new collective has been meeting on an almost daily basis, working hard to put plans in place for the next steps of the campaign, whether it’s online and social messaging, videos, case studies or legal outdoor events to gain media attention. We’ve made a commitment to ourselves, our colleagues and our community to not stop until we receive the support we need – and this is a promise we intend to keep”.
Today, the collective is calling on as many individuals who normally work in live events to come together and take part in Stand as One. To kick this off, the group has put together the following incentives:
Write to your MP
Share #WeMakeEvents videos on social media
Call someone you know
Gary concludes: “We’d like to say thanks again for everyone’s support and patience so far. It truly is appreciated. That said, as those of us who’ve been out of work for months now know, the campaign to raise awareness has only really just begun. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we all work together to put forward the same message in order to achieve our main aim of receiving significant and immediate government support. We have to keep building momentum and show just how devastating the obliteration of the live events industry in this country would be, not just to us, but to everyone. We need as many people as possible to get involved, so please reach out and take part in a campaign and let us all Stand as One together”.