West Country venues lit up red to highlight ‘forgotten industry’

Venues across the West Country have been lit up red to highlight the challenges facing the events industry.

The iconic Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, the ‘Nearly Home Trees’ in Cornwall, Truro Cathedral, the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and the newly-named Bristol Beacon were just some of the places that took part in the ‘We Make Events’ campaign last night.

The idea behind it was to shine a light on the industry, which is struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Credit: Glastonbury Festival

A Theatre Royal Plymouth spokesperson said: “Our industry is important and contributes billions of pounds each year to the UK economy.

“We call on you to stand as one, united in our common cause to save our industry.”

Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis, who is the daughter of founder Michael Eavis, said the arts and entertainment industry was in a “crisis”.

She called on the Government not only to offer financial support to venues, but also the crews and production staff who make performances possible.

Truro Cathedral in Cornwall. Credit: Sharon Randall

“We need the Government to recognise what the performing arts bring to the fabric of this country, and how much it adds to the well-being of so many,” she said in a statement on social media.

As well as venues, a number of artists and bands also backed the campaign on social media - including Coldplay, who are fronted by Exeter’s Chris Martin.

“The live music and events industry has been devastated,” the band posted on Twitter.

“We urge the UK government to support all crew and staff who have lost their livelihoods.”

In July, the Government announced £1.57billion worth of support for cultural and heritage organisations, including museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas and music venues.

The funding, which represents the biggest one-off investment in UK culture ever, is intended to support venues hit hardest by the pandemic - including their staff and freelancers.

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