Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund: Round One Now Open

Stagehand, the original industry welfare and benevolent fund, founded by PSA members over two decades ago, recently launched a COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund, which aims to keep a roof over the head and put food on the table of live production crew during this trying time. After a successful initial round of fundraising, the first application window for the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund is now open.

Applications for grants of up to £500 will be invited from those in most need; this round is aimed at those needing help to keep a roof over their head or food on the table.

Applications are open until Tuesday 27 October, Stagehand anticipate over-subscription and will work hard to contact applicants by mid-November.

 Stagehand Trustee, Andy Lenthall said: “We intend to continue fundraising to enable further rounds, once all successful claims in round 1 have been settled.”

Since March, live production crew have seen their careers on pause due to the almost complete closure of the live events industry. One FOH and Monitor Engineer stated: “I have been working in the industry for over 20 years.

On 6 March 2020 I lost my first European tour which was due to start mid March and from there in a matter of weeks I subsequently lost every single piece of work I had well into 2021. I was also in discussions with artist management about working with a very high profile artist for the rest of 2020 and all of 2021 which also disappeared as soon as the lockdown restrictions came in. Currently, I have no work whatsoever in my diary and have no prospect of any work for the foreseeable future. The financial strain is terrifying having lived and budgeted on the income I’ve had for the last 20 years to suddenly have to live, and pay the same bills on a quarter of my normal income is crippling, not to mention the strain on my mental and emotional health.”

A Drum and Keys Tech stated: “Since losing work in the music industry due to COVID  I have struggled to find work elsewhere, which has led to severe money worries. This incidentally has led to me being unable to pay the bills to support me and my family. I have tried to explore every avenue, to fulfil these basic needs. This has left me feeling extremely concerned and has certainly impacted my mental health. Fingers crossed for a brighter future.”

A Lighting Designer and Technician stated: “I feel as if live events/touring crew have been completely forgotten about. Whilst the arts as a whole has struggled, I have seen a lot more financial support for theatre and television professionals. Thankfully the US Live Nation fund generously offered me a grant ($1000), but it was just a scratch on the income I have lost for the past 6 months and the expensive cost of living in London. I have not just been under financial strain, but mentally I have seen a change in myself. It’s been really difficult to stay positive and motivated; I wake up each morning and struggle to find a sense of purpose.  Not knowing when I will be able to return to the work and lifestyle I have worked hard towards and been used to for so long has left me feeling anxious and quite frankly depressed. The end is still not in sight, and we will be the very last to go back to work. We need supporting, urgently.”

The COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund would not exist without the generous financial support of individuals and companies including: PPL, BPI and the BRITs, Sony Music, Harvey Goldsmith, ATC Management, Alacran Group, Everybody’s Management, Quietus Management, Neg Earth, Britannia Row Productions and Britannia Row Productions Training, Stagehand Trustees and David Stopps.