BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On Tuesday night, buildings and venues across the country lit up in red to raise awareness about the devastation COVID-19 has brought to the live event industry.
It’s called the Red Alert Restart, started by workers in the industry, to show the world how much they’re hurting.
Venues like Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Stifel Theater in St. Louis and Baltimore’s Center Stage and Royal Farms Arena all joined the campaign by lighting their venues up in red.
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“Danger! We’re in trouble,” said Justin Lang, a lighting designer who is part of the Red Alert Restart movement.
Lang has been working as a designer for over 20 years at venues across the country, including Baltimore’s Hippodrome. But these venues are now dark and have been for months.
“We’ve been out of work since the middle of March…and we’re gonna be the last ones to return,” Lang told WJZ Wednesday.
Since COVID, over 90 percent of live events have been canceled, causing cuts in wages and staff.
“It’s catastrophic,” described Robyn Murphy, director of Communications for Baltimore’s Center Stage.
Pearl Jam’s concert scheduled for March was canceled at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. The band tweeted they are on red alert “for the 12 million people in their industry out of work.”
Jack Black from Tenacious D added his support via Facebook as well, for “the bus drivers, the truck drivers, the lighting designers, the sound engineers…incredibly professional who are hurting right now.”
As Maryland moves to Phase 3, allowing venues to re-open at 50% capacity or up to 100 people, many venues like Royal Farms Arena said those changes don’t help them much.
“It’s just not worth me opening the doors for a hundred people,” said Frank Ramesch, the General Manager of Royal Farms Arena.
The restart campaign is trying to push legislation through Congress to provide relief funding for this industry – to send a letter to congress and learn others ways to lend your support, click here.