Britannia Row Productions Director, Bryan Grant, has penned an open letter to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson as the live events industry gears up for a global action day in support of the ongoing #WeMakeEvents, #LightItInRed and #StandAsOne campaign.
In the open letter, Grant writes the following [sic]:
I’m a Director of Britannia Row Productions, an audio supply company.
During the past 40 years, we have been privileged to have provided equipment and technicians to many major concert artistes including Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams, Simply Red, Mumford and Sons and Harry Styles.
And, live events such as Her Majesty’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, Live 8, the Barcelona and London Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and FA cup finals.
We currently employ around 70 staff and 100 freelance people, with most of our staff currently on furlough.
As well as providing the most state-of-the-art equipment, we supply audio engineers and technicians, and over the years, both our company and many of our people have gained an international reputation for excellence in our field.
I, like most of my colleagues who provide these services, prefer to be in the background and have never sought or received assistance from Government in the past, but the current crisis in our industry has compelled me to step forward and make a direct and public plea for you to help the hundreds of thousands of people who work in our industry.
Boris, when you and your colleagues go to a concert, you expect a visual and audio experience to enhance the performance of your favourite performer, but perhaps don’t give much thought as to how all of these amazing visuals and stirring sounds are achieved. Quite rightly; you simply enjoy the moment.
Well, the reality is that behind the scenes, hundreds of people will have made that show possible. The artistes, their managers and production crew have worked for months, with lighting video and audio designers to produce shows that will thrill their fans and ensure concert spend is boosting the economy.
Promoters have been appointed to provide the venues to accommodate these performances. Service companies have been chosen to provide the production expertise, the equipment, technicians, stagehands, security, catering etc, etc. to make these events happen safely and seamlessly, every night, and on time.
The skills involved don’t just happen; they take years of training and experience to acquire. British technicians are famed throughout the world. These skills will be lost if people leave our industry in desperation as they seek other work in order to feed themselves and their families.
I often hear you and your colleagues talk of the ‘hard-working’ people in the UK. Well, the people in my industry do work hard and are essential to a sector which contributes literally billions to our economy.
Please, don’t let them down, support them until we can find a way to bring back our live concerts and events. We don’t live by bread alone, as the old saying goes.
Please don’t lay waste to an industry that brings enormous enjoyment to simply being alive.