I work in the live event industry : clubs, bands, concerts, theater, corporate launches, conferences, trade shows, sports events; anything where large numbers of people come together in the same physical space.

The live industry was one of the first to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and will probably be the longest affected; conservative estimates are at least a year before people feel safe enough to congregate in large groups. That’s a long time to survive without any income. Especially if you’re a freelancer who works in the physical part of the industry and can’t pivot easily to things like ‘virtual production’.

A lot of people (and small companies) in the industry are in financial distress right now. The reality is that if something isn’t done, a lot of those people and companies will be out of funds pretty soon, if they aren’t already. And when that happens, they will have no choice but to find jobs elsewhere.

But here’s the thing : this pandemic will end. At some point, therapies and vaccines will become available, and our basic human need to congregate will reassert itself. I’d be willing to bet that people that have survived isolation and lockdown will be even more hungry to gather than before. So when that happens, there’s going to be a huge demand for the services of these professionals, but they simply won’t be around any more.

So this is a call to action to those companies and individuals (stars, designers, touring professionals) that have been successful in recent years, and have access to liquidity (by which I mean CASH): if we want our industry to rise with the tide when the drought ends, we need to get together to support people in our industry who need help — right now.

I’m not a finance guy, OK ? I’m just a dude who likes mixing metaphors.

So I don’t know how this stuff works. But maybe it works something like this :

‘Donors’ (by which I mean powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations) get together and create a fund to be disbursed to professionals in need. These professionals are identified through a trust network (i.e. people you’ve employed in the past, who you want to employ again, and so on), with a fixed amount (something like a Universal Basic Income) disbursed as a low-or-zero-interest loan.

I don’t know how to make this happen : but I’m willing to bet that there’s people out there who do. If you’re one of them, or if you know someone who is, get in touch.

Edit: for some reason I forgot that Live Nation has set up Crew Nation which seems worth a look.

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