IN A show of solidarity, venues across the world turned red last night to raise awareness of the impact of the pandemic on the events industry.

The Brickyard in Carlisle has been lit up by red lights – and other colours too – with the help of Everything and Nothing Lasers as part of the global movement that is aiming to raise awareness of how coronavirus has impacted the events industry.

The University of Cumbria turned red last night too.

Mark Gibson, from Everything and Nothing Lasers, said: “It’s an event to raise awareness of how the events industry has been cast adrift in the recent Covid restrictions. Many of us haven’t worked since March.

“It’s not just the artists, it’s the sound engineers, the lighting engineers, door staff, bar staff, the actual venues themselves. All of those people need support somewhere, they can’t just wander off and get a new job, retrain.”

The global event was part of the Red Alert – We Make Events creative actions that have been taking place intermittently for the last couple of months. It symbolises how the events industry is on red alert as a lot of industry professionals in the UK have been unable to work since the pandemic began.

It has received support from artists such as Alice Cooper, Jack Black, Slash, and Paloma Faith.

Andy Bartlett, from the Brickyard, said: “All of our events have been cancelled and rescheduled. They take a long time to programme in and obviously we haven’t made any money since March so financially it has been tough.

“It has impacted all of the people that are working in the industry as well, all of the tech guys, road crews, drivers, and all of the bands.

“Everyone is feeling it right now.”

The hope of these actions is to encourage the government to support the industry by extending the furlough and self-employment schemes, and to make grants accessible to all.

There is also a role that the public can play in all of this, when the events industry is eventually able to re-open.

Andy said: “At some point events are going to start happening, with limitations, having people attending those events in the early stages and getting things happening again is probably the most important thing for the whole industry.”

“If we are going to be operating on smaller capacity, to try and make sure we are getting to those capacities, and people aren’t waiting for everything to go back to normal.”