Red Alert Day: Where Next for the Arts?

On 11th August 2020, hundreds of venues up and down the country drenched their buildings, stages and social media in red visuals and lighting, in a plea for help and highlight the issues they are facing due to the coronavirus fallout.

‘Red Alert Day’ comes as the industry struggles to fight off more redundancies, more cutbacks and, for all too many live venues, permanent closure.

The government announced a £1.57bn emergency fund for the arts industry back at the beginning of July, which was warmly welcomed by the likes of the Arts Council and theatre unions. But now, as we are in mid August, there is still no clear decision as to no who exactly is going to be eligible for what slice of the pie, despite theatre data analysts suggesting 70% of arts jobs are now at risk.

Things are clearly tough all over as a result of lockdown and the pandemic. But for a sector that brings in £1.28bn in annual ticket revenue alone, the announcement of support isn’t enough. The arts needs the money now if it is going to have any chance of surviving and for many reputable venues and companies, it’s already too late. Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the year that Cirque de Soleil would have filed for bankruptcy, for example?

It’s for this reason that Roynon Performing Arts are counting their blessings and thank client support and for enabling the school to keep functioning. A key passion of the school is to help our arts community and support the physical and mental wellbeing of those in it. But without the stay power and effort of students and their families, none of this would be possible… As an arts education and performance / events provider, 2020 has meant uncertainty, fallout, reductions and unprecedented – often peculiar – strains. But we are thankful of the fact we could supply 50+ of our 60+ classes and that, above anything, those we’ve taught have been understanding of the pressures we’ve faced.

Roynon are in solidarity with the arts industry. We recognise just how crucial live venues are – without this, the heart of many cities would stop. On a local level, our students wouldn’t have a purposeful end goal to aim for at the end of a grade of learning, whether it’s the whole school show, charity fundraising events or performances at festivals.

So, let’s all do what we can to show support and help the arts. A lot of venues, for example, have upped the stakes in merchandise and therefore made it easy for you to promote them and part with a little cash.

Everyone can sense the crash that is soon to follow lockdown and the pandemic. But this shouldn’t mean that the affects are prolonged.

We’ve all had to do a lot of things to protect one another. But now the arts industry, the very industry which brings us together and heightens our raw emotions, is now the very thing we need to come together for and protect.