A FREELANCE visible designer from Chester who has labored on among the UK’s greatest reside occasions – together with final 12 months’s Glastonbury Competition – took half in a nationwide protest calling on the Authorities to supply extra assist for the struggling trade.
Alex Douglas, 21, joined round 1,300 colleagues from the reside occasions trade for a current silent, socially distanced protest at Parliament Sq. in London to spotlight the problems they’re dealing with.
The previous Bishop Heber Excessive College pupil, who’s a contract visible designer and lighting operator, has labored on the world well-known Glastonbury competition and for main worldwide stars together with Beyonce.
Nevertheless, the Covid-19 lockdown noticed Alex lose his common revenue in a single day, ensuing him having to maneuver again dwelling as he was unable to afford lease and residing prices.
Alex, who studied technical theatre at West Cheshire School’s Ellesmere Port campus and on the internationally acclaimed Backstage Academy, has since turned his hand to internet designing – which he juggles with a part-time job – however fears for the way forward for the trade he has spent so lengthy coaching for a profession in.
Talking about his assist for the ‘We Make Occasions Marketing campaign’ protest, he mentioned: “The final three years actually have been the craziest years of my life up to now, all as a result of working on this exhilarating and rewarding trade.
“It has additionally made me conscious how large this trade is and the way a lot it contributes to the UK financial system, and the way the UK would not be the identical with out its world-renowned, vibrant arts and occasions tradition.
Alex Douglas from Chester. Picture credit score: professional.joephotography
“The worldwide pandemic has decimated the trade and the Authorities seems to have thrown us to the wolves, offering little or no in the way in which monetary assist for freelancers who make up nearly all of those that work within the sector.
“I needed to take a stand and be a part of my colleagues to assist increase consciousness of the dire scenario dealing with the trade and those that depend on it for a residing.”
Alex is urging the Authorities to introduce measures to assist the trade.
He mentioned: “The ending of the furlough scheme will even have a huge effect on these firms who immediately work within the trade, to not point out suppliers and producers all of whom depend on a thriving occasions trade.
“This sector is price over £100bn to the nationwide financial system, 95% of reside occasions have been cancelled as a result of Covid-19, a staggering 96% of firms have minimize workers and/or wages, and 77% of individuals within the reside occasions trade have misplaced 100% of their revenue.
“The We Make Occasions Marketing campaign is solely asking the Authorities to usher in measures which can assist the trade get again on its ft together with an trade particular assist scheme which might be in place till tips change on social distancing to permit a viable return to work.
“We additionally imagine that Covid-19 testing for occasion attendees will even be important as a part of the secure reopening of venues.”
Alex added: “The one present work within the sector goes to the full-time staff which is comprehensible. Regardless of my expertise, being a current graduate freelancer I’m proper on the backside of the pile for hiring in the intervening time.
“This has resulted in me discovering a part-time job and dealing on the occasional web site design for a small variety of present shoppers whereas I watch mates, co-workers and friends slowly lose their jobs, endure from no work and being pressured to search out options ad infinitum.
“The Authorities has to understand the significance to the financial system of the reside occasions trade and the individuals who work in it.”