Written evidence submitted by Fiona Scott Lockyer

 

Corona Virus effects on my industry

Live Events and entertainment.

I have worked as a production and stage manager in the live events sector for over 20 years. Although in that time there have been moments when parts of the industry have slowed down, we have never before faced a total shut down.

Myself and all of my friends and colleagues no longer have the ability to work and we understand that this situation is likely to continue for at least the next year. We understand why but that does not make it any easier.

I am currently in grief for the profession I love.

I am fortunate enough to be a sole trader rather than a ltd company, and I am grateful for the promised support in June. Although I am also aware of many friends who are ltd cos and currently have been left high and dry. This seems extraordinarily unfair. They took the action to become ltd on the advice of their accountants and indeed some employers will not take on anyone other than a ltd co. I had a call myself yesterday from a recruiter, who will only employ individuals who are ltd.

Of course I am looking into other sectors as many of my skills are transferable, but I only have experience within the events industry. I just have to hope someone will see my potential for their company and employ me based on my merits rather than experience in their sector. Who knows if that will be successful.

But this virus has destroyed my life, the job I love and left me reeling. We will get through this and the unprecedented support my whole industry has shown is incredible, with support groups, industry organisations and unions all coming together to help both on a personal level and officially representing us, not just in the UK but across the world. Essentially most of us are organisers and logistics experts, left with time on our hands, something we never usually have, we are organising and mobilising ourselves.

Quite how we will all survive the next year is another matter, and what we will look like when we come out of this is yet another unknown.

Many companies within the industry have of course offered practical help from the venues now acting as hospitals to the tour buses acting as respite areas for NHS staff and catering companies supplying shops for those staff. But I do feel that the government is missing out on a wealth of talent currently in enforced idleness, who could absolutely help. We organise things in a massively fast paced and demanding industry. And we deliver, no matter what.