Live events industry workers create awareness campaign as COVID-19 quarantine hits livelihood

May 18, 2020 - 6:32 PM
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The 1975 concert
Undated photo of the English band The 1975 performing in a concert. (Photo from Angel Onrubia)

Different workers under several events and activities involving public gatherings formed a coalition to support the people working “behind the scenes” in the live events industry in response to the long-running economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Live Events Coalition Philippines (NLECPH) was formed on April 29, 2020 by people working in various sectors of the industry in theaters, weddings, social events, AVL (audio-video and lights), staging suppliers, concerts, festivals, gigs and the like.

The alliance also comprises of freelance production workers whose work and sources of income have been largely affected due to the impact of the pandemic wherein public gatherings have been called off.

NLECPH aims to support people working in the live events industry under various sectors and help them cope with the effects of the global health crisis on their livelihood, which usually falls under a “no-work-no-pay” scheme.

“The Live Event industry is not just a temporary shutdown of businesses – it is an entire year of income, trade and jobs essentially wiped out,” the alliance said in a statement.

PRESS RELEASE:NATIONAL LIVE EVENTS COALITION PH (NLEC PH) — AN ALLIANCE OF VARIOUS SECTORS OF THE LIVE EVENTS…

Posted by Sherwin John Secusana Zabate on Sunday, May 17, 2020

 

NLECPH added that unlike a retail industry that can reopen, mobilize and bring its staff back in eventually, people working in live events cannot necessarily get back on track immediately.

“LIVE EVENTS was the first to feel the impact of the crisis when events were cancelled as early as January 2020 when news of the pandemic broke out. Live Events is now deemed the last to recover,” the alliance said, stressing that it seeks to create awareness campaign that the industry is a “large sector.”

“What many don’t realize is how large this ecosystem is and the impact on this industry is far, wide, and deep,” it added.

The alliance stressed that the majority of people in the live event industry work on delivering “one single large event across the entire year.”

Such opportunity, which has become their livelihood, is now impossible under circumstances.

This prompted the creation of NLECPH which aims “to provide advocacy, resources and a network that connects and supports all of the businesses, contractors and our workforce – the lifeblood of every event.”

It aims to work with the government in “creating realistic plans and strategies for safety precautions” for audiences and the people in the industry, as well as ensure that every sector in the industry is included in the national conversation.

The alliance created hashtags to make known its cause which has since gained support from different Filipinos, including singer and theater actress Lea Salonga, singers Martin Nievera and Luke Mejares, among others.

Some of them customized their profile pictures with Facebook frame bearing the hashtags #LiveEventsPH and #NLECPH.

“Like all others here in the Philippines, our industry has been affected by the pandemic as early as January 2020, yet it is now deemed the last to recover after this crisis,” Salonga wrote on Facebook.

“I am one with NLECPH in giving our industry a voice to be heard, and for giving our most vulnerable members a good shot at survival,” She added.

I am a singer and theater actor, and I belong to the #LiveEventsPH industry. Like all others here in the Philippines,…

Posted by Lea Salonga on Sunday, May 17, 2020

 

Several local and international events have been canceled in the country since January, following the Taal Volcano eruption and the COVID-19 scare.

READ: One canceled event after another in Philippines, no thanks to COVID-19 scare

‘Work at Home’

Last month, an organization of Filipino artists launched an online talent marketplace for artists and freelancers whose livelihoods were greatly affected by the pandemic.

Called the “Work at Home” platform, it aims to give people such as those involved in the live events industry work amid the community quarantine imposed over the country.

It caters to sectors including the performing arts, film and music production, literary arts and even digital marketing, among others.

Ban on non-essential public gatherings 

Under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the modified enhanced community quarantine, public gatherings considered non-essential are prohibited.

These include—but are not limited to—movie screenings, concerts and sporting events.

Such gatherings are prohibited to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease which has an extremely high transmission rate.

People are urged to consistently practice physical distancing measures to ensure a low to zero risk of contracting the deadly pathogen which can be transmitted through respiratory droplets or through contaminated objects or surfaces.

As of May 18, the Philippines recorded a total of 12,718 novel coronavirus cases, with 831 deaths and 2,729 recoveries. Majority of them were reported to be from Metro Manila, which is currently under a modified enhanced community quarantine.