“It was my daft idea,” laughed Steve Reynolds, Director of Loud Sound, as The Survival Tour rolled into Manchester’s AO Arena as part of their epic 1,500km cycle around England.
Reynolds and his colleague, Mike Trasmundi, along with the team from Proper Productions – Mark Ward, Harry Ford and Tyler Cole-Holmes – had set out from Newcastle, each on two wheels, with the goal of visiting a number of iconic venues across the UK to raise awareness of the plight of the 600,000-plus workers in the UK events industry as part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign, to raise funds for Backup.
“After the other #WeMakeEvents demonstrations we attended in London, I had this urge to get around and see what state the venues were in and meet the people in other parts of the UK,” explained Reynolds. “Sadly, it’s even been hard to meet up with many of the venue owners or operators because so many have been completely mothballed through this time.”
Ward interjected: “It’s an industry in absolute peril. We wanted to focus on the venues because they are so important to the different communities. In each city there are venues that people hold close to their heart and form part of the fabric of our society.”
Along with raising awareness for the industry, the group of riders were also raising money for Backup. “We got involved with #WeMakeEvents months ago, and when they then linked up with Backup, it was the natural decision to raise money for them,” stated Ward. “The money we’re helping generate will be allocated to those struggling during this time.” The money raised will provide help to employees, freelancers and their families suffering in the entertainment sector, and kick off ‘RESTART’ – the next phase of the #WeMakeEvents campaign.
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TPi caught up with the team of The Survival Tour last night as they rolled by Manchester’s AO Arena during their third day of cycling. The crew of Steve Reynolds of Loudsound, and Proper Productions’ Mark Ward, Harry Ford and Tyler Cole-Homes are embarking on a 1,500km ride across England, travelling a circuitous route between Newcastle and London, finishing on the 18 October. Each day the team visit empty live music venues on their journey to raise awareness of the plight of the live events industry and the estimated 600,000 live industry professionals currently unable to work 🚴 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You can find out more and donate via the link in bio 🔗 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #WeMakeEvents
“We’ve met many people who have consistently told us about the dire straits that they and their colleagues are in,” concluded Reynolds. “Most of our friends and colleagues work in this industry; we know their families and they are suffering. In fact, it’s like a big extended family, and we couldn’t stand by and let it just disappear without trying to help, raise awareness for their plight and fundraise.”
Ward added: “While some of the venues have received help from the Culture Recovery Fund, the vast majority of the supply chain has missed out on this. These are the people working in the communities we have passed through. The fact that so many suppliers have missed out shows the size of the industry and the help that is still required. We all want the industry to bounce back quickly once we can reopen, however we need to retain the experience and knowledge inside our industry to allow this to happen.”
Since completing the ride, the team raised over £25,000. The donation link is still active and can be found here.
This article originally appeared in issue #256 of TPi, which you can read here.