Theatres and venues across the West Country lit up in red to highlight the plight of the industry due to Covid-19

On red alert - theatre workers join a protest outside City Hall in Bristol to highlight the crisis in their industry. Credit: ITV West Country

Music venues, theatres and workers across the West Country have taken part in a day of action to highlight the crisis facing the live events scene due to Covid-19.

In Bristol more than 100 event workers stood spaced out across College Green to reinforce their situation.

They were dressed in black with red masks to show their industry is on red alert and could cease to exist if help is not given.


Theatres ranging from the Minack in Cornwall to the Theatre Royal in Bath were lit up in red on Tuesday 11 August to raise awareness of the plight of more than a million workers who are unable to work because of the coronavirus restrictions.

Scorrier House - a popular wedding venue in Redruth went red for the campaign. Credit: Lewis Williams
The Theatre Royal Plymouth lit up in red to highlight the crisis faced by the industry due to Covid-19. Credit: ITV West Country
Sandy Park is not only the home of Exeter Chiefs - it also hosts a number of events and lit up for the day of action. Credit: @sandyparkexeter

Even Glastonbury Tor was illuminated in red to support the campaign.

The event was organised by the PLASA lighting and sound association. Its Managing Director, Peter Heath, says: “The live events industry supply chain, essential to every single event in the UK, is set to completely collapse without financial support from the government, due to social distancing prohibiting mass events.

“Large scale events are not expected to reopen until spring 2021 at the earliest, and the reality is that the sector can’t wait that long."


The organisation is calling for Government support until the industry can work in a way that is not limited by social distancing policies. It is asking for:

  • Grants – not loans – for businesses in the events supply chain

  • Furlough scheme to be extended until the industry is back to work

  • Extension of the self-employment scheme, tailored towards the industry


The Palace Theatre in Paignton is one of many across the West Country backing the red alert campaign. Credit: ITV West Country

The Palace Theatre in Paignton has joined the campaign to raise awareness of the problems that performing arts and theatre venues have been having.

Operations Manager, Maureen McAllister says, "It's essential that we raise the profile of all of the people involved with theatre, people that haven't had any work.

"All theatres are struggling and all the people that bring the magic to the theatre are struggling too and that's what we really want to make people aware of and we want to support as much as we can. We want to get our theatres alive again."

There is a feeling that you get both in the theatre and working in a theatre that you cannot replicate anywhere else and that's what we really need to bring back quickly and we need to support the people who normally bring that to us.

Maureen McAllister, Palace Theatre, Paignton
The Palace Theatre in Paignton was decorated with red bows and was also lit up in red for the day of action. Credit: ITV West Country

After months of empty seats, The Palace Theatre is hoping to put on Chicago in October - although things are still up in the air.

Maureen McAllister is adamant that the shows must go on. She says "One thing that I'm very sure of is that we'll have panto. We are having a panto. We've had a panto here for 65 years and we will make it work. I don't know what it will be like but we are definitely going to have a panto."

  • Watch Bob Cruwys' report on the plight of The Palace Theatre