Those who work in events are currently like greyhounds in traps waiting for the off; venues, musicians, caterers, florists, magicians, comedians, MCs, photographers, dress makers, cake makers, decor, sound, lighting, set makers, dancers, cleaners, waiting staff, managers, designers, security, riggers, crew, show teams etc. are all chomping at the bit after being in an enforced stasis for over a year. Most of the self-employed who regularly invest their profit back into their business have also been without any monetary recompense, falling through the gaping cracks in the government compensation scheme while their industry was made illegal.
Now there are signs events will soon be allowed again, firstly outdoors and hopefully indoors by the end of June, people are tentatively starting to rebook. There is still a threatening storm cloud of possible extended restrictions because of new variants like the latest from India, but we recognise that while risk can and should be mitigated as much as possible it is unlikely ever to be eliminated and we need to start living our lives again, albeit cautiously.
We have spoken to some event professionals about how things are looking for them:
Jeanie Barton, singer, pianist and bandleader is starting to see functions appear in her diary. “It’s been an exhausting period of uncertainty wherein all of us have questioned our career, identity and purpose. While the last year has been a deeply unnerving experience it was also strangely settling (having so much family and home time, when I’m normally travelling hundreds of miles a week and rarely had a weekend off). I don’t think this year will become anything like a normal summer, autumn or Christmas season but there are signs that there is an appetite for at least small-scale events. They say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and I really hope that is true when it comes to live music – there is no beating it atmospherically.”
Photographer Inna Schutts commented, “It was certainly a year of shocking adjustment, re-evaluation and rediscovery. As a travel and event photographer with a blog, the sudden realisation of what to do if you cannot travel or attend any events was quite sad. The events and tourism industry had the hardest time during the past year with every spectrum of it being against the government measures. Going through old photo archives was like a nice dive into the past, yet to write about experiences with no fresh memories of, was uninspiring and frankly hard. And yet it gave me time to think about things I always wanted to do, like finally to learn Photoshop or to try acrylic pouring...
The 'stay at home' order made all these things possible and gave me a purpose. I started experimenting with different styles of photography and fine art editing as well.
In the events industry we also experienced a great deal of artists, performers and musicians finding new ways to be live in front of the audience even if only digitally. With life slowly going back to some form of normality and the events industry reopening, it will be great to get back into travel/events photography, and now I can also incorporate my new skills of fine art editing.”
Idalberto Alcala-Rodriguez at ACT Cultures Crossing 8, April 2019, Bennetts,
Photo credit: Inna Schutts
Are you looking forward to booking or attending an event this year? We would like to hear from you.
Jeanie Barton https://jeaniebarton.com/
Inna Schutts https://4curiousadventurers.wordpress.com/ https://www.instagram.com/ischuttsphotography/
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Photos below by Inna Schutts - (Top) Local festival reenactments (Middle) St Edward's Church, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds, pretty house & lavenders, Stanton Moor, Peak District National Park. (Lower) Cultures Crossing 7, March 2019 at Minor Oak, Sneinton, Nottingham & Cultures Crossing 8, April 2019 at Bennetts, Long Eaton.
All the ACT artists and management team contribute to this blog. Press Releases, Reviews, Events and Calls to Participate are posted here too.