Same Storm – Different Boats

Same Storm – Different Boats

As we all go through the COVID 19 situation, a great many sayings have emerged. Most were, at first, clever, uplifting, and catchy. Now, as we enter weeks nine and beyond, some of them do not ring so true to many people. Perhaps the most problematic catch phrase is now “We Are All In This Together.” As many people have now been without any form of income for eight weeks, a clear distinction has come to the forefront. Yes, we are all in this together, but it is deeper than that.

The reopening will be a slow train, by all accounts. Live Entertainment is the caboose of the reopening train, with Live Entertainment Production people and firms sitting in the rear of the caboose. Entertainers can, will, and have come up with new ways to sell their products. Online streaming, live events with no crowds, small socially distanced public events and other events of this nature have and will occur more frequently. This provides some level of income for all of those at the top of the Live Entertainment food chain, but it does nothing for the millions of sound, light, video, staging, pyro, rigging, bussing, trucking, backline and production people and firms in the industry. The entire Live Entertainment Production community will sit at zero income until large crowds are allowed to assemble. That is a fact.

The Live Entertainment Production community has looked at every possible way to “pivot” and “reinvent” themselves. Both of these are also clever terms used in the last eight weeks. Again, the truth is that the billions of dollars of equipment owned by the Live Entertainment Production firms has one function: To deliver large live events. There is no “pivot” that works. None. We all know that. Thus, we are all in the same storm, but in very different boats.

The Live Entertainment industry in the US is estimated to be a 35 billion dollar a year business. There are over 10 million people that work in this industry. Most all of the Live Entertainment Production people and companies are all out of work until large crowds are allowed to gather.
To quote someone I heard speak a few weeks ago, “They do not know we exist”.

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