Arts venues illuminated red to symbolise plight of creative industries

Hundreds of arts venues across the UK have been lit up red in a show of solidarity with the ailing creative industries.

London landmarks including the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, Southbank Centre and Waterloo Bridge were illuminated to symbolise the sector going into “red alert” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The action, titled Throw Us A Line, also saw workers from the creative industries line up along the River Thames’ banks and bridges.

Coronavirus – Tue Aug 11, 2020
The Southbank Centre (Yui Mok/PA)

Event organisers encouraged attendees to wear red and use their phone screens as red torches.

Level 42’s Mark King and singer-songwriter Frank Turner were among those musicians who performed on a boat, which set off from Westminster Pier before making its way down the Thames as the buildings were illuminated.

A number of other creative activities are being staged in cities across the UK.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness for the one million jobs, 70% of which are freelance, in the entertainment industry that are at risk of being lost.

Coronavirus – Tue Aug 11, 2020
Frank Turner on board a boat on the River Thames (Yui Mok/PA)

Last month, a report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee warned the UK risks becoming a “cultural wasteland” because of the pandemic.

Artists including Peter Gabriel, The Cure and Imogen Heap have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

The event was part of the #WeMakeEvents series launched by the PLASA lighting and sound association.

The Cure said: “The events sector urgently needs Government support to survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Coronavirus – Tue Aug 11, 2020
Waterloo Bridge (Yui Mok/PA)

“Without major, immediate support from Government, the entire live events sector supply chain is at risk of collapse.

“The aim is to have financial support extended for the people and companies in this sector, until they can return to work.”

Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, said: “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.

“We’ve issued a red alert after using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs, and now the whole industry is coming together to ask the Government to ‘throw us a line’.”

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