Trending in Twitter’s top 3 on the night, the #LightItInRed campaign saw over 670 buildings, monuments, landmarks and structures all over the UK illuminated in “Emergency Red” on Monday 6th July to highlight the vast challenges facing the live events, music and performing arts sectors.The action was organised – in under a week – by Steven Haynes from Clearsound Productions and Phillip Berryman from The Backstage Theatre Jobs Forum and was a massive success. It energized theatres, arts centres, live music venues, technical production and rental companies and associated individuals and freelancers everywhere, who were able to enjoy the camaraderie of working together once again on a massive national event with real purpose … after many months of the industry being closed and shuttered.
On the eve of the event the government announced a 1.57 billion financial assistance package for arts and culture including live music venues, independent cinemas and heritage sites which has been widely welcomed by everyone.
However it’s still far from clear exactly who will benefit from this, and there has still been no mention of help for live events and the vast infrastructure of companies, services and people involved in serving this and the music industry that is so vital to the sector becoming the unique and successful powerhouse of the national economy that it has.
“Shows and events stopped abruptly in March and we have yet to receive any kind of roadmap or timeline for restarting,” explained Steven Haynes, “making it near impossible for businesses to plan their survival with no expectation of when they can expect cashflow.”
He concludes, “It was very ambitious to organise a nationwide event in such a short space of time, and we were very fortunate to be working with the Backstage theatre Jobs community which spread the message far and wide and definitely contributed to the take up among theatres and arts venues! The overall response has been amazing. We want to thank each and every company, organisation and person who lit up, did, said and / or posted something in support! We hope that this has an impact and helps make politicians realise the importance of live events, music and performing arts, and the need for specialist sector-specific assistance for an industry that produces so much creativity, positive energy, thought provocation, entertainment, employment and commerce.”
For this one – inspired by a similar lighting action in Germany at the end of June – he and Phillip Berryman gave themselves a week to organise, and momentum built rapidly and organically via social media and through word of mouth, reaching a massive crescendo on the night.