Last night, over 1,500 venues across the country were illuminated red. And no, it wasn't for aesthetics—it was for #RedAlertRESTART, a nationwide initiative to encourage Congress to pass the RESTART Act and ultimately support any events industry in need.
Since March, 77% of event industry workers have lost 100% of their income, 96% of companies have cut staff, and 97% of 1099 workers have lost their jobs, per PLSN—making economic relief for wedding and event professionals essential.
"Two weeks ago, we set a crazy goal," shared We Make Events North America chair Marcel Fairbairn in a press release on Sept. 1. "To light 1,500 locations in red to bring awareness to our industry’s cause, and to help all small businesses by pushing the RESTART Act."
What is the RESTART Act?
The RESTART Act was introduced to the Senate Finance Committee in May to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) put in place because of COVID-19. It is a much-needed lifeline for small businesses, especially the live events industry, who have been crushed by the pandemic.
"The entire live events industry is on the brink of collapse," revealed Brad Nelms, director of We Make Events North America. "Without financial relief, many businesses stand to permanently close, and families risk bankruptcy and homelessness." Action on the bill hasn't been taken by Congress since June 3, however.
The #RedAlertRESTART initiative was inspired by a similar event held in the U.K. The goal was to two-fold: Spread awareness for the RESTART ACT and to urge Congress to pass the bill.
"We want to take this opportunity to show the world the scale of what it takes to make live entertainment events happen and demonstrate how much this crisis has affected our community," added Nelms. "This is a human issue, not a political issue, and it requires immediate action. While we realize there are a lot of issues going on right now, and other organizations will be staging events on other dates, we feel very strongly we must act now to save our industry."
From Madison Square Garden in New York City to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, thousands of venues nationwide glowed in red last night.
How Can You Help?
While the nationwide #RedAlertRESTART event has passed, it is not too late to get involved in the movement and show support for the events industry. Organizers of We Make Events are encouraging fans of live events to contact their representatives and encourage Congress to pass the Restart Act, which can be done here.