#WeMakeEvents: the movement demanding change [Magazine Editorial]
When COVID-19 began taking away festivals, gigs and other live events, a lot of us admittedly thought that it would be over by the end of the year. With us now moving into November with no end in sight to this pandemic, the music and arts sectors all around the world are in dire need of financial aid from their local governments. The problem, though, is that local governments – especially in the United Kingdom – are refusing to take the cultural sector seriously, putting our music scene as we know it in extreme danger of irreversible collapse. The #WeMakeEvents movement is aiming to see a change in this attitude, and make sure we have any scene at all to come back to once this is all over.
Launched by PLASA – the professional lighting and sound association located in Eastbourne, United Kingdom – back in April of this year as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on their supply chain to events, it has now spread to include everyone who’s involved in the music industry from artists to crew members and beyond. Growing to include over 21 industry bodies along with companies in the UK, the fundraiser movement is more than just people wanting change – they are demanding it.
Their first in-person event was the ‘Red Alert – throw us a line’ day of action on 11th August. On this day in the UK, the live events community stood together in solidarity, with major music venues turning their lights red to symbolise the scene going into a state of red alert. With 70 percent of crew members working as freelancers, it’s a dangerous time to have no jobs or income, and many stood together in a performative protest, lugging their gear through streets to draw much needed attention towards this crisis. The whole event was successful, and it lead to an international movement that we now know as #WeMakeEvents.