Festival organisers, event suppliers, promoters, performers, venues, conference organisers and many more parts of Bristol’s event industry came together to highlight the 40,000 people in our city who make events.
As part of the latest We Make Events protest, they greeted The Survival Tour: five event professionals who are cycling more than 50 miles a day across the UK to visit venues which have been closed since lockdown.
Bristol Beacon was lit up on Monday evening to welcome the riders, with Utopium and Evans Audio and Staging providing a light installation for the protest.
Bristol Beacon artistic director, Todd Wills, said: “As a city, Bristol is full of creatives, musicians, producers, organisers and venues, responsible for many of the UK’s flagship events.
“This crisis has affected everyone but disproportionately the industry which makes it such an amazing place to live and work. The #WeMakeEvents fundraising is critical to raise funds for individuals in crisis and we’re proud to play our part and stand with every part of the industry today.”
Organisations including Upfest, St Paul’s Carnival, Crosstown Concerts and Bristol Sounds joined the protest in solidarity with the hundreds of other businesses and freelancers affected by the crisis.
The current state of the UK event industry has been under scrutiny since the start of lockdown, with the We Make Events protests and The Survival Tour seeking to bring these struggles into sharp focus.
The Survival Tour visited the Louisiana, O2 Academy, Ashton Gate Stadium, Motion, Thekla and the Hippodrome before ending up at the Bristol Beacon.
One of the riders, Steve Reynolds, said: “Having worked in the entertainment and events business for so many years, we all felt we had to do something, both to raise awareness to the public, who rarely see us behind the scenes, and inform the Government of the impending collapse of this sector, one that has grown year-on-year and is regarded as the best in the world, and is on the brink of collapse.”
Main photo by Paul Box