The South African technical production and live events industry, under the LightSARed movement on 5 August 2020 from 18:00–20:00, will light various parts of South Africa red under the hashtag #LightSAred to highlight the implications the lockdown has had on the industry after five months of no work or income.
The #LightSAred campaign will see the South African technical production and live events industry standing together to make their voices heard. The industry, comprising of freelancers, venues, theatres, companies and businesses have been unable to work since the blanket ban on all events, due to the Coronavirus, implemented in South Africa on 15 March 2020.
Similar initiatives have successfully taken place across the world where buildings, monuments, landmarks, structures and empty theatres have been illuminated in ‘Emergency Red’ to highlight the enormous challenges facing live events, music and performing arts sectors. In the UK, #LightItinRed saw over 670 buildings lit, while in Germany, the #NightofLight2020 had an incredible 9 000 sites lit to mention a few.
The South African events industry is dying, and we are being ignored. Our aim is for government and financial institutions to extend financial relief to those who earn a living in the technical production and live events industry until we are permitted to resume work. In addition we need the South African government to engage with elected leaders within SACIA and the SA Events Council, and provide a platform for our voices to be heard. Lastly, #LightSAred demands that the government recognize and support the Non-Profit Organisations that are trying to sustain destitute members of the technical production and live events industry.
The movements stated that SA is only a small nation, hanging out on the tip of Africa, but there are a few things that make South Africans unique. Most notably, our ability to sing and dance in the face of tragedy, struggle and adversity defines us as a nation. When the HIV/AIDS pandemic threatened to wipe out millions, we gathered under the banner of Nelson Mandela’s prison number at the 46664 Concerts to make our voices heard. When the FIFA World Cup finally came to our continent, we showed the world what it means to celebrate life. When our beloved Madiba passed on, we raised our voices in song, together, and celebrated his legacy. Every defining moment in our history has been marked by our ability to gather, embrace, sing and dance – and we are about to turn off the lights, cut the sound and strike the stage forever.
Currently, members of the technical production workforce have no way to make a living. The companies that hire them are going out of business. The people that supply equipment are shutting up shop. The production companies that bring artists to our shores are silenced. The venues that host gigs are closing their doors. If something is not done to help the industry survive during lockdown, when we are allowed to go out again – there will be nowhere to go!
They need a voice! While we have not been able to work for five months, the Government has not engaged with us. We need to tell our story to decision-makers, so that we can come up with a plan to survive the lockdown and open up events safely and responsibly when it’s safe to do so. We are running out of time to claim UIF TERS – even though we are still under level 5 lockdown as an industry. We are not able to feed our crew. Our crew are not able to feed their families. We need help to stay alive while the party is on hold.
How to get involved and your voice be heard and join the #LightSAred movement.
1. This is a non-violent campaign. Let’s stand in solidarity and be noticed for all the right reasons.
2. If you are part of the Live Events Industry, including freelancers, venues, theatres, artists and performers, companies and businesses, and have been affected by the blanket ban on all events, we would love you to participate.
3. Please also participate in our survey conducted by Sun Circle Publishers which will enable us to have information to present to government.
4. Download the Media Pack from our website. You will find the #LightSAred Press Release, logo, social media posts and graphics to share on your social media platforms. Share as far and wide as possible including your media contacts.
5. Use media pack content to get creative and build up to the campaign prior to 5 August. Be sure to include #LightSAred. You are welcome to make videos, posts or messages to bring attention to our cause. Let’s leave a positive footprint for the world to see.
6. Social media links for #LightSAred include: Facebook, Events, Instagram and Twitter.
7. Visit www.lightsared.org.za to add your details on the Get Involved Page. You may want to work alone or join an existing company.
8. On 5 August, ensure your crew follow the social distancing guidelines, wear masks, apply sanitizer and adhere to the safety guidelines.
9. Have a Plan B should there be load shedding in your area.
10. Lights go on from 6pm to 8pm on 5 August. PLEASE take photos, flood social media and include #LightSAred.
11. Our aim is to have a LIVE stream on the evening. Any home live streams are also welcomed.
12. Please remember that it does not matter if you light a famous monument, an empty theatre stage, encourage a television studio to have a live broadcast using red mood lighting, or light a wall in your home with a red light, candle or mobile phone. Every photo and hashtag will help make a difference – thank you for being part of this movement.
13. Feel welcome to add other trending hashtags to boost your posts such as #Events #SouthAfrica #Covid19. Let’s stand in solidarity and #LightSAred.
14. Should you need more info, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To stream live visit: https://www.lightsared.org.za/stream