Devastating impact of covid shutdown on the hidden army of workers at London's famous music venues

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The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on the hidden army of technical workers at London's famous music venues.

From lighting and sound engineers to rigging and catering, most are self employed and many have not worked since March.

With no clear end in sight to the covid pandemic there are stark warnings the whole supply chain could collapse and put an end to big live events.

Thousands of jobs would be lost nationwide and with work drying up many would have to switch careers.

Every year 1.7 million people watch around 400 performances at London's Royal Albert Hall. Each show needs hundreds of staff and freelancers working behind the scenes.

Empty seats at the Royal Albert Hall in lockdown

The Royal Albert Hall says without suppliers there will be no more big concerts, award ceremonies or conferences.

It's a view shared by the stars of the shows, including singer Leona Lewis.

The government has announced a £1.57 billion arts bailout but critics say it won't save the live arts industry.

For five months the seats have been empty and with the furlough scheme ending in October thousands face losing their jobs and live events may never recover.