Live music and event industry on 'red alert' due to pandemic canceling concerts

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:10:06-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- When artists like Taylor Swift need a stage built, they call Brett Rumore.

“We tour and we set up Stageco roofs in stadiums for Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones," Rumore said.

But when the concert industry shut down in March because of the pandemic, Brett’s source of income disappeared.

“I’ve been doing small jobs here and there. Flipping things. Whatever I can to get by. I have a family to feed,” Rumore said.

Bay Stage Live has been a fixture at events in Tampa for decades. But its warehouse is now quiet.

Its future is now uncertain.

“We are all just sitting around waiting for the next step," said Adam Mataya.

PLSN, a live event industry publication, says nearly all independent contractors lost their jobs and most companies have laid off staff too.

“It’s been a drastic change to the industry. It’s been dramatic in every sense of the word," said wedding DJ Cory Barron.

To get help for those struggling, the #WeMakeEvents Coalition started the #RedAlertRESTART campaign, highlighting an industry "that’s on red alert for its survival."

The goal is to encourage Congress to pass the Restart Act and give help to millions who have lost income.

All over the Tampa Bay area Tuesday evening, you’ll see the red lights from big venues like Amalie Arena to smaller clubs, restaurants and even peoples’ homes.

“Every production that goes on, whether it’s a Broadway show or a country concert, there are hundreds of people behind the scenes, moving racks, running microphones, running lighting system," said Barron.

And it’s those people the RedAlertRESTART campaign is supporting.

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