Culture / Entertainment

Cities Light Up in Red, Creating Striking Scenes to Support Struggling Live Events Industry

Coronavirus Shutdowns Put Entire Live Events World in Limbo

BY // 09.02.20

As most of us realize, restaurants and bars are not the only entities suffering from the COVID-19 economic upheaval. Entertainment venues are also suffering tremendously from the necessity of social distancing. In response to that disaster and in support of all those involved in the industry, cities across the world began lighting up in red (#RedAlertRESTART) Tuesday night in support of the “live events industry.”

Houston First, which owns Wortham Theater Center, Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, Miller Outdoor Theatre and the George R. Brown Convention Center, feels the pain of the estimated 12 million people in the live entertainment and special events industry who are currently unemployed. Tuesday night, each of these Houston venues were lighted in bold red.

A national coalition of entertainment industry professionals created the nationwide effort #WeMakeEvents calling on Congress for economic relief. The organization is pushing for passage of the RESTART Act which would offer economic relief to those in the live events industry.

None has expressed it more poignantly than Rachel Volz, owner of The Revaire special events venue, which she put her heart and soul into creating as an offshoot of the highly lauded catering and events concern A Fare Extraordinaire. The versatile event space has hosted myriad events since opening in late 2017.

“The event industry may never recover,” she writes in an Instagram post.

“The entire live events industry is on the brink of collapse. Without financial relief, many businesses stand to permanently close, and families risk bankruptcy and homelessness,” Brad Nelms, director of WeMakeEvents North America, says in a statement. “We want to take this opportunity to show the world the scale of what it takes to make live entertainment events happen and demonstrate how much this crisis has affected our community.

FERN FREEMAN

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“This is a human issue, not a political issue, and it requires immediate action. While we realize there are a lot of issues going on right now, and other organizations will be staging events on other dates, we feel very strongly we must act now to save our industry.”

Once again, our hearts are aching for all of those who have lost their jobs and their businesses due to the horrific pandemic fallout. Let us not forget event planners, caterers, servers, valet parkers, florists, musicians and photographers.

Houston’s entertainment venues turned on the red lighting (perhaps a nod to falling into the red financially) at 9 pm and those lights shone brightly until midnight. As impressive as it was — with the cost of the lighting — it obviously cannot go on forever. But it was certainly an amazing sight while it lasted.

Perhaps if the Houston Rockets win the NBA Championship, this glowing spectacular can be revisited.

Click thru the photo gallery below to see scenes of the red light movement from in Houston and across the country:

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