The Association of Lighting Designers today held its 2020 Annual General Meeting via video conference. As an inclusive association with widespread UK membership the ALD is ahead of the curve having previously held a Manchester-based satellite meeting to its 2019 AGM via video conference. The move, now timely, was introduced to enable ALD members from all parts of the country to contribute without the need to travel considerable distances to London.
This year over 120 members attended individually. The AGM aims to inform and educate ALD members on a range of subjects relating directly to their professional career and to the further development of the ALD as an organisation.
The full-day agenda opened with the meeting itself. Follow on sessions comprised a series of smaller working groups open to all members, including ‘Digital Networking in an entertainment environment’: a discussion on sustainable practice, and specific sessions looking at the issues affecting specific categories of membership.
Importantly, several of the groups discussed the issues that have been raised by the global pandemic and the effect on working practices in live production.
One such discussion centred around how the industry gets back on its feet with specific reference to those working in live entertainment lighting. An open letter to producers, written by Johanna Town, Chair of the ALD sent out the call for a joint endeavour to combine creative minds across the production industry, to find solutions to the situation ALD members and other production workers find themselves in.
The letter included a survey conducted with its members in May 2020 which shows that:
• 63% classed themselves as freelance/self-employed over the last 4 years.
• 77% had their work through to September 2020 cancelled in the first month of lockdown
• 46% had lost three quarters of their annual income by May 2020.
• 87% are not confident that their confirmed work for the rest of 2020 will take place.
The ALD continues to work consistently through the lockdown period to highlight the plight of its members and those working in the entertainment industry. The ALD has raised awareness to various bodies in the UK, of the impact of the continuing closure of theatres and arts institutions on its members who are largely freelance and self-employed.