The Capital Region to Light Up Red for Live Entertainment Workers
The live entertainment communities of the New York Tri-State area
and across North America, in partnership with WeMakeEvents.org (#WeMakeEvents), will emblazon city skylines in red on Tuesday, September 1 to highlight the dire straits live events workers are in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The live events industry has been particularly hard hit since it was shut down in March and will remain closed well into 2021.
The goal of the campaign (#RedAlertRESTART) is to raise public awareness and to implore the US government to offer industry relief by passing pending Congressional legislation for small businesses, known as the RESTART Act (S. 3814 & H.R. 7481), and to support millions of unemployed workers by requesting extension and expansion of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), providing an additional $600 per week to those on
unemployment and access to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for those generally ineligible, such as 1099 workers.
“The live events industry is on the brink of collapse. Without financial relief, many businesses stand to permanently close, and families risk bankruptcy and homelessness.” said Brad Nelms, Director, WeMakeEvents.org North America. “We want to take this opportunity to show the world the scale of what it takes to make live entertainment events happen and demonstrate how much this crisis has affected our community. This is a human issue, not a political issue, and it requires immediate action.”
From 9pm to midnight, The Capital Region joins vibrant entertainment communities from coast to coast for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign by lighting famous buildings, theatres, landmark venues and architectural icons in red. The continent-wide effort includes more than 50 cities and over 1000 locations, each of which will stand aglow to serve as an urgent beacon to underscore the industry-wide distress. Participating venues include:
• Times Union Center, Albany
• Palace Theatre, Albany
• Proctors Theatre, Schenectady
• Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
• and more…
New York City and Beyond
● Beacon Theatre in New York
● Madison Square Garden
● MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey
● Radio City Music Hall
● Capitol Records Building (Los Angeles)
● Grand Ole Opry (Nashville)
● Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland)
For a complete list of participating venues, please visit: https://wemakeevents.org/participation-list/
The Capital Region also has the support of Creative Stage Lighting in North Creek, New York, as well as John Schaefer Media.
The live event industry in North America directly employs approximately 12 million people and includes hundreds of thousands of businesses with a combined economic impact of $1 trillion USD. However, in March of this year, the industry began a complete shutdown. Since that time, thousands of events have been cancelled, thousands of venues have been forced to shut their doors permanently, and:
● 77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income
● 96% of companies have cut staff
● 97% of 1099 workers have lost their jobs
Under these crushing numbers, businesses are failing in droves, and the supply chain has been completely devastated under the weight of cancellations and unknown futures. The Red Alert is symbolic of the workers and small businesses affected by this pandemic and their need for Congress to act.
The North American “Red Alert” is a follow up to a hugely successful event held in the UK on August 11, 2020 during which more than 700 buildings and structures were lit up in red.
As a broad visibility campaign, participants, allies, and spectators are all encouraged to take to social media with personal photos of the red skyline of buildings and landmarks. Hashtags are:
#WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA
About Congressional Legislation
The RESTART Act (S. 3814 & H.R. 7481), introduced by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Congressional Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), fills the gaps left by the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), to provide much needed relief for businesses whose expenses far exceed the payroll restrictions required by the PPP. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) was a CARES Act provision to provide additional funding for those on Unemployment Insurance (UI) in the form of $600/week. It expired at the end of July. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), also part of the CARES Act, expands UI coverage to include those who are not usually eligible for regular UI benefits. This includes freelancers, self-employed workers and independent contractors.
WeMakeEvents is an international movement for visibility for the Live Events Industry during the COVID19 global pandemic. The North American sector of this movement is an advocacy group for industry visibility and passage of the RESTART Act. www.WeMakeEvents.org