Theaters and music halls across the nation sit barren, dimly illuminated by the soft glow of the ghost light. Amphitheaters and clubs lay painstakingly silent, waiting for the next soundcheck. As ticketholders mourn missed concerts and shows, millions of live event staff impatiently wait to return to work.
The live events sector was one of the first industries effected and is likely to be the last to return. To help raise awareness and show support for those in the live events sector, “a coalition of trade bodies, businesses, unions, and live events workers, will light up their venues, homes, and cities red in over 1,500 locations across North America,” states the We Make Events, #RedAlertRESTART event announcement.
Like Broadway, the Auburn Avenue Theater cancelled all shows through the end of 2020. Auburn-based AT Productions, who runs sound and lighting for all shows and rentals at the Auburn Ave Theater and most City of Auburn events, will be lighting the theater red. The AT Production warehouse will also be awash in red.
AT Productions provides sound, lighting, and stage for live events such as concerts, festivals, and theatre. “Just prior to COVID-19, [AT Productions] expanded to a new larger warehouse in Auburn. [The company] employs around 15 skilled technicians and engineers,” said owner Austin Taylor.
“We also design and install sound and lighting systems for various venues,” continued Taylor. “[That] has been the only work that has been able to continue, but has slowed significantly due to the extended closure of these venues.” AT Productions (https://www.facebook.com/ATProSoundLight https://www.instagram.com/atproductionsllc/) will also be illuminating The Liberty Theatre in Puyallup for #RedAlertRestart.
Live Event Facts from We Make Events:
- Live events employ over 12 million people.
- Live events contribute over $1 trillion annually to the US economy.
- 95% of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
- 96% of companies have cut staff and/or wages.
- 77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.
The last show AT Productions worked was February 28. “On March 5, the event cancellations started rolling in, and my staff was effectively laid off at that point. We’re looking at about 90% of our revenue lost this year, and the recovery will likely take until 2022. And that’s provided that events resume by the end of this year,” said Taylor.
The 2019 year in review gives a glimpse at the Auburn Avenue Theater. “In 2019, the City presented or produced a total of 79 performances at the 250-seat Auburn Ave. Theater, selling a total of 12,538 tickets. Performances included touring groups from across the northwest providing music, dance, comedy, tribute shows, and the AveKids series. The Auburn Community Players staged four musical productions. These shows utilize volunteer actors and hire directors and a production team to create live theater in Auburn. Overall, 2019 theater revenue from all sources was $219,160. The theater has served as an economic tool in bringing people from across the region to Auburn. Audience demographics show that 31% of the theater audience comes from Auburn, while 23% travel between 1-10 miles to get to Auburn, and the remaining 46% come from over 11 miles away.”
A 2020 review of the theater will be drastically different. The loss felt by venues ripples out to artists and performers whose shows have been cancelled. If you had tickets to an event that was cancelled, look to see if that artist has other means to support them.
The Auburn Avenue Theater had to cancel the following shows:
Auburn Community Players: Matilda The Musical
Auburn Community Jr. Players: Disney’s Aladdin Jr.
The Modern Gentlemen
Borrowed Time & Third Stage
Vocal Trash & AveKids: Vocal Trash “Think”
Amanda Bacon – Patsy Cline Tribute
Jethro Tull Experience
Comedy at the Ave (various comedians)
Auburn Community Players: Big The Musical
Auburn Community Jr. Players: Disney’s Frozen Jr.
Auburn Community Teen Players: The Drowsy Chaperone
#RedAlertRESTART Take Action
Anyone who loves live events (that includes comedy shows, theater, sports, concerts, festivals, dance, rodeos – just to name a few) can help support the industry by taking action on September 1.
- Please contact your representatives below using the Action network widget
- Please post a red-tinted photo of your favorite live event to your social media with the following caption: #RedAlertRESTART: the live events we love may never recover from the pandemic, we need to take action! Take 2 minutes to contact your representatives here, and post a red photo of you at your favorite event, too: https://wemakeevents.org #WeMakeEvents #ExtendPUA You can turn your photo red here: https://www11.lunapic.com/editor/?action=tint
- Check out the hashtag #RedAlertRESTART and share/RT images of venues and live events workers you love.