‘It is a dramatic situation’ – Suffolk companies unite to help save events industry
PUBLISHED: 13:11 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 11 August 2020
Two Suffolk companies are joining forces to call on the government to make more grants available to rescue the events industry.
Tim Speight, technical manager of Synergy Audio in Rendlesham, will be joining forces with fellow engineers from Snape as part of the national We Make Events campaign – which aims to shine a light on how suppliers to the events industry have struggled during the coronavirus lockdown.
The national campaign, organised by international events association PLASA, aims to achieve three main goals – the extension of the furlough scheme until the industry is back at work, make grants available to businesses throughout the events supply chain, and the extension of the self-employment scheme.
Former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel and The Cure have also backed the campaign, which aims to help 1,000,000 workers.
Mr Speight, who has previously worked at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, said his company – like others nationwide – has struggled greatly.
Mr Speight said: “Simply put, since lockdown was declared on March 23, our diary has been cleared.
“We have done one job since, and I’m not exaggerating to say we were very lucky to get it – that was a small test event organised by the East of England Co-Op.
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“We would normally have been doing Latitude, Maverick Festival, Snape Proms... but there’s nothing. It is a dramatic situation.
“Realistically we will not be back to any level of work until next May.”
Mr Speight had received grants as part of the government’s business support scheme, but added he will shortly receive his final payment.
Today, they will light up Snape Maltings in red to bring attention to the industry’s struggle.
He said: “I’ve had to streamline everything. All the vans are taken off the road,
“The hardest thing is that we’ve had to sit by and watch the rest of the working world go back to work and the pubs and shops reopening, but we are nowhere near that.
“It isn’t a case of going to get other work, our equipment is built to bring sound to large amounts of people – and that just isn’t happening at the minute.
“The truth is there are thousands of people in this industry who are sat at home wondering what the future is for them.”
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