Editor’s Letter – Issue #254

TPi Editor, Stew Hume recaps another month in the live events industry, recalling those pushing for innovation and making the plight of the industry known...

For those that allow us to rock (we salute you)

It’s the first time in almost half a year, I’m sitting down to write a leader with some travel stories to tell. It may be baby steps, but this month, both Jacob and I ventured out to witness events in the flesh, rather than what has now become our ‘new normal’ of Zoom and phone interviews. While earlier this month, I made the trip to Newcastle to meet the team powering the Virgin Money Unity Arena, Jacob headed to Liverpool to witness Liverpool Digital Music Festival 2020.

After our respective trips, we both had the same reaction – ‘It’s so good to hear live music again.’ Attending a show after so long really made us appreciate the importance of keeping this industry alive to ensure that others can once again have the hairs on the backs of their necks stand up with the first ring of a guitar through a PA system. You have to applaud any production that manages to pull together the pieces of a show in these trying times. No one is kidding themselves that any of these projects offer a solution to the current state of the live events industry, but the work they are doing is vital to offer a solution to how a gig could possibly exist in 2020 – to both the industry and the government at large.

“There is no way of sugar-coating the fact that with yet more regulations coming into play, specifically in the UK, we are facing an incredibly trying time, but what this month has proved is that our industry is one that truly lives up to the mantra – never say die.”

It would be easy to say that nothing is possible, but as the stories in these pages show, there are crew out there who are continuing to find a way to keep live music in the world. Take our cover story, for example, where Hot Chip and their loyal crew presented a hybrid show, inviting 300 of their fans to enjoy a socially distant event, which was simultaneously streamed across the globe.

This month, we’ve examined those offering solutions to the events market by giving organisers the tools to keep venues COVID-19 secure. AnyBrand’s chemically treated material which kills the virus, to MovementPass – an app that can verify ticketholders’ COVID-19 status.

Away from innovation in the face of adversity, this month has once again seen the global network of touring personnel take to the streets for the #WeMakeEvents campaign’s Global Day of Action, bringing awareness to the plight of the entertainment sector, who still are unable to work. The PSA is also working tirelessly – launching an effort to gather a COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund, which recently claimed a grand total of £100,000 for the PPL Performer Board, all of which will be put back into our industry to aid the worst affected by the global pandemic.

To those still pushing for innovation and to those making the plight of the industry known – you have TPi’s respect and we’ll continue to tell your stories.

Till then, stay safe out there.

Stew Hume