Bristol, Va./Tenn. (Sept 1, 2020) – Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), along with other local venues, are joining a national campaign with #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA in an initiative imploring Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible.
“We’re seeing the entire events industry be severely impacted by COVID-19,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “Longstanding, popular music and arts venues across the country are closing, and it’s devastating. We hope to raise awareness of the impact COVID-19 is having on the Arts & Culture industry in Bristol so we can all keep going.”
On September 1, 2020 the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, BCM business office, Paramount Bristol, Theatre Bristol, and Bristol Ballet will illuminate their buildings in red from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. EDT as the event rolls across North America. Express AV, a local production company, will supply the lighting at no cost to the venues. The goal is to raise public awareness that the Live Events Industry is on Red Alert for its very survival – and asking Congress to act now.
The RESTART Act offers economic relief to the Live Events Industry, which has been shuttered since March 2020, putting millions of people out of work. Additionally, the movement is to support ExtendPUA.org in their efforts towards continuation and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work due to COVID-19.
BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers, reports:
“The Arts & Culture sector employs 5.1 million people and provides $877 billion in added value to the U.S. economy. It adds more value to the economy than transportation, agriculture, or tourism. The Arts & Culture sector is a cornerstone of the larger U.S. economy, making up to 4.5% of GDP. Despite their out-sized cultural and economic contribution, the Arts & Culture sector of the U.S. economy is in grave danger.
Due to COVID-19, 62% of Arts Workers are fully unemployed, 94% of Arts Workers report income loss. The average Arts Worker reports $23,500 in lost revenue this year. Due to the pandemic, 19.66% of Arts Workers report they are unable to access the spaces, staff, resources, or supplies needed to perform their work.”
The targeted list of cities for the #WeMakeEvents #redAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA event on September 1 across North America includes Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Huntsville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Boulder, Fayetteville, Lexington, Louisville, and Canadian neighbors including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The North American event comes on the heels of the August 11 #WeMakeEvents Red Alert Day of Action when over 700 buildings were lit across the U.K., calling attention to the same plight facing the Live Events industry there.
As theaters, concert tours, festivals, opera houses, trade shows, and other live events, as well as film and television production, remain closed or only open on a very limited basis, the entire industry is impacted, from designers, technicians, programmers, and stagehands to rental shops, manufacturers, and distributors of entertainment technology. The first industry to close last March, Live Events could be the last sector to re-open due to the COVID-19 crisis.