Peckham demonstration for live events people out of work in coronavirus crisis

Staff Reporter (12 October, 2020)

The event was part of a wider global day of solidarity

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Dozens of people came to a Peckham drama school to share their support and solidarity for live events workers affected by the coronavirus crisis, writes Kit Heren…

The event, held at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts on Peckham Hill Street, saw staff and students come to the school dressed in red as part of a global day of action on September 30. The Mountview lights were also turned red.

A spokesperson for Mountview said in a statement: “We had a great turnout and it was fantastic to be able to raise [awareness] in a peaceful and socially-distanced way.”

As part of the wider campaign, called #WeMakeEvents, events venues and other buildings were lit up in red to highlight the issues facing people who work in performance industries like plays and live music – much of which has been cancelled or greatly reduced amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the UK, organisations including the London Eye, the O2 Arena, Glastonbury Festival, the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Reading Festival were lit in red.

Performers including Fat Boy Slim, Noel Gallagher, Radiohead, Foals, Gorillaz, Skunk Anansie and James Bay also voiced support for the cause.

Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London in Custom House, said: “Before Covid-19, the UK events industry was a world-class sector worth £70bn, employing over 700,000 people, across 25,000 businesses. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our sector. We’re calling on the Government to extend the support available to our industry and provide clarity on when the events sector will be able to reopen.

“We are totally committed to continuing to work with the Government to explore ways of resuming business in a safe, COVID-secure manner and are determined to build confidence around this.”

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