Various concert venues, government buildings, landmarks, and structures around the city were lit red on Tuesday night in part of #WeMakeEvents effort to bring media and public awareness to local live event venues. Locations including Warehouse Live, White Oak Music Hall, Jones Hall Theater, City Hall, and more were all illuminated between the hours of 9 p.m. and midnight. Local production companies such as Dream Light Productions, BrightStar, Deep South Productions and more, brought out their equipment to help the efforts.
"It's kind of sad," explains Jack Spittler of JTIII Productions, "it really seems like not many people care about the venues, so this is our way of trying to get their attention."
Music venues and live event areas employ over 12 million people in the US alone and over 75 percent of those employees have lost 10 percent of their income. On June 18, NIVA (National Independent Venues Association) reported that 90 percent of music venues state that they would have to close permanently if the shut down continues for more than six months with no federal assistance. With concert venues at the very bottom of the reopening list, locations big and small are struggling to make ends meet.
During the reopening phases in early June, venues were allowed to open with limited capacity and strict social distancing rules but, due to a rapid spike in Covid-19 cases, the venues were forced to close once again.
"I've been in this business my whole life." Tells Spittler. "My first job was in the live music industry, it's all I know. What am I supposed to do now? Take an $8/hr job and watch the thing I love fizzle and die? No way."
While we all wait for the reopening of venues and return of live music, you can help by writing to Congress and local representatives, post and share pictures of venues with the hashtags #WeMakeEvents, #RedAlertRestart, and #SaveOurStages, and by donating.
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