As Congress prepares to return to session after the traditional August recess, venues across the country are tonight turning their buildings red to show that they are on ‘red alert’ and in urgent need of federal relief.
The event will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight local time across the U.S. Live industry professionals seeking to participate in the Red Alert Day Of Action can contact #WeMakeEvents at WeMakeEventsNorthAmerica@Gmail.com.
The event is being organized by the North American arm of the U.K.-born #WeMakeEvents, which organized an event in the U.K. in August which saw 700 buildings lit in red. More than 1,500 venues are expected to participate in the North American day of action and it has been co-sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants.
“The live event industry in North America directly employs more than 12 million people and includes hundreds of thousands of businesses with a combined economic impact of over $1 trillion USD,” organizers wrote in a statement. “This likely includes someone you know, are close to, or it may even include you. If WE do not receive government assistance the live events industry will literally collapse, including all of the people involved.”
Sourcespreviously told Pollstar
that while negotiations have been ongoing between Republican and Democrat leaders behind closed doors, political posturing and gamesmanship have dominated discussions thus far, and the two parties remain in disagreement primarily over how much money should be provided by the federal government to state and local governments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that any aid package from Congress will contain language from a number of previously proposed bills, and the live industry has rallied around the language and ideas contained in the RESTART Act, the Save Our Stages Act and the Encores Act as legislation that would greatly help the live entertainment industry.
Senator Todd Young (R-IN ), one of the authors of the RESTART Act, recently met with production specialist Tyler Truss in Indiana.
Audrey Fix Shaefer, spokesperson for the National Independent Venue Association and a number of Washington, D.C. venueswrote in Pollstar in August
that unless federal assistance was provided promptly there was potential that thousands of independent venues across the country would soon fold.
“We have absolutely no revenue, yet enormous fixed overhead of rent, utilities, insurance and a host of taxes. In addition, we’re paying premiums for our employees that were on our insurance, even those 95% of whom we’ve been forced to furlough.” Shaefer wrote. “We have negative revenue. That’s when you have no revenue but have to cancel or postpone 222 shows (so far), representing refunds of up to a quarter-of-a-million tickets. It’s like a vacuum cleaner to your bank account. We cannot last like this.”
To advocate for federal relief for the live entertainment industry NAMM recommends contacting local representatives throughthis link