Another summer without feeling the euphoria that comes with walking through the entrance gates at a festival, the bass heavy in your chest and a sense of anticipatory wonder at the days to come. No waking up full of hangover and fighting it away with another beer, no laughing at the sound of a complete stranger falling over your tent guylines in the middle of the night.
Certainly no “ALAN?” or “STEVE!” (although, hopefully that one died in 2019), and absolutely no purchasing of your favourite band or artist’s merchandise from an outdoors market stall. No more lost wellies in an abyss of mud, no drunken “where you?” texts to your mates after losing them in the crowd (obviously met with instant rage at their relatively useless “by the stage” reply). No more bonding over your shared need for a lighter in a crowd. No music. No dancing. No sense of sheer content screaming your favourite song as the sun sets (or the rain pours, UK, am I right?).
Dead and gone are the questionable henna tattoos, the obnoxious amounts of biodegradable glitter, and the sense of “did that really happen?” the following morning. Distant are the memories of sitting in a circle with a group of your nearest and dearest, laughing, chain-smoking and exchanging stories after having lost each member of the group at least three times the night prior. No more contributions to your story arsenal, arming the lining of your experience-pockets for years to come. Goodbye to the calculated risk that follows the question “is this water or vodka?”, and the consequent regret, too.
No more 3-5 working-days to recover after returning home on Monday - although the true professionals can’t afford such luxuries. No more nominating of ‘campsite landmarks’ to ensure you can find your tent in an alcohol-induced haze at 5am. The likes of Alex from Glasto, of memories shared by the nation whether in attendance or watching from the comfort of their living room, are just that. Memories.
None of these are possible without the industry, without the countless members of staff behind the scenes that make it all possible: the stage hands, the sales managers, box office, lighting, sound, ticketing staff. None of it is possible without them - and how are they expected to pour their heart and souls into creating lifelong memories for the public with the continued neglect from the government?
If, like us, the thought of another year without these experiences makes the tears flow as intensely as the rain at Glastonbury 2005, join us in putting some much needed pressure on the UK Government. This Friday 30th October between 6am and 7am, members of the events industry and, now, supporters of the industry will be taking part in a mass email to Good Morning Britain and BBC Breakfast to address the consistent lack of support we have had since March.
To take part, use the template below and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and GMB@ITV.com, including your own personal story highlighting how you have been affected by the governments lack of support. If 6am - 7am is simply not a part of your conscious hours (it definitely isn’t for me, so no offense taken), write this whenever you get a moment today and schedule it ready to send automatically at 6am tomorrow morning.
I am writing to share with you my worries and frustrations with the Government’s continued disregard for the events industry.
We want the Government to allow us to run events again, safely, under the rules of their own Covid-secure guidance.
The mental effects of limiting human face-to-face interaction has never been more evident. The events world is an industry full of skilled and creative people who create and deliver real conversations and experiences.
Without the events industry, we risk becoming a soulless society of online calls and webinars.
While pubs, restaurants, cinemas and bingo halls can reopen, the events industry may not, despite organised events being easier environments to manage safely. The combined value of conferences, exhibitions, and outdoor events such as festivals, cultural events and weddings is worth £84bn to the UK economy each year and, at the start of 2020, employed 1,563,020 people across a broad range of businesses.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has already approved the All Secure Standard Covid-19 guidance and was even satisfied with the pilot events that took place in September. Yet we are still not allowed to operate and continue to earn zero income.
Event organisers, those working in venues, supplying hire equipment such as audio-visual, caterers, technology companies, specialist event agencies, and of course freelancers, are at the moment deeply concerned about their jobs and businesses. Many have already had to close.
Health and safety must come first, but thousands of us risk losing our jobs, and we must have the media help raise awareness.
[ADD YOUR PERSONAL STORY HERE, 150 WORDS MAX]
We are experts in risk mitigation and people management, but right now we are handing our event business to our international rivals. The UK is the only major European country which has failed to at least partially reopen its events industry.
We urgently need a restart date, like other European countries. As every week passes, more jobs are lost.
If events are not allowed to return until 2021, and with new Job Support Scheme of little use to save events businesses, then there won’t be anyone left to run events.
I feel the media are duty-bound to address this major issue.
I look forward to your reply.