ILLUMINATIONS of red shined bright in Stroud last night as two local businesses highlighted the importance of the arts and music industries.
The Sub Rooms in Stroud and the Prince Albert in Rodborough took part in the national campaign to highlight the importance of the arts, music and entertainment industries across the country which are struggling due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Many of those who live in Stroud work in the entertainment industry, and with the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other events for the foreseeable future there are concerns that cancelled contracts could leave businesses struggling and threaten some of the organisations with job losses.
All over the country hundreds of venues were lit up part of the national ‘Light It In Red’ campaign – and dozens of organisations and businesses from Stroud who work in the industry lended their support to the campaign to highlight the precarious position of the industry.
The Light It In Red action was inspired by an event in Germany last month which saw more than 9000 buildings illuminated red to raise awareness and get the attention of the public and the government.
Hugh Phillimore, volunteer director of the Sub Rooms, who also runs Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire said: “The events industry in the UK generates an estimated £7.7 billion each year for the UK economy, but since COVID-19 hit in March the industry, its workers and those who supply it, have laid almost dormant – it’s a desperately worrying time for us all.
“Stroud plays a pivotal role in the UK’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage sector – but Covid-19 has left our industry teetering on the brink of collapse.
“Industry professionals from our wonderfully creative town are coming together to highlight the current situation, and to work together to tackle the challenges ahead of us.”
In the last 48 hours the government has pledged a £1.57 billion support to help protect the futures of UK cultural venues, it comes after months of pressure from leaders within the industry who have said that the collapse of the industry could result in the loss of over half a million jobs.
The announcement has been warmly welcomed across Stroud, as well as nationally.
Hugh Phillimore said: “It’s a much needed boost for the industry, but we will all need the support of our loyal audience members and customers too just as soon as we are able to start welcoming people back into our venues.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson said the money ‘will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat’.
The government described the package as ‘the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture’.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday morning, Music Venue Trust chief executive Mark Davyd said the trust ‘warmly welcomes this unprecedented intervention into Britain’s world class live music scene’.