BRIT Awards donates £54,000 to Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund

The BPI, music industry trade body and organiser of the BRIT Awards, has donated £54,000 to the Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund.

The donation will go towards supporting live music and events professionals whose livelihoods have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the fund has received approximately £240,000 in contributions.

Earlier this year, the BPI/BRIT Awards donated £1.62 million of BPI-co-ordinated funds to a variety of charities and organisations working to support venues, musicians and managers.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said: “Our industry is deeply interconnected and while everyone is feeling the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic in some way, no sector has felt its force to the same degree as the Live business. This includes, the expert technicians and events professionals who help make great performances happen.

“That’s why it’s right that, in addition to previous donations to charities benefitting artists, managers and venues, we should not overlook this important part of the music family. We rely on their skills every year in staging The BRIT Awards and the Hyundai Mercury Prize, and we’re delighted to assist the important work of Stagehand supporting live production crew.“

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Mike Lowe, Stagehand’s chair of trustees, added: “As the BPI and BRITs donate £54,000 to Stagehand, it is met with our sincerest appreciation. Forming part of our ongoing Covid-19 Crew Relief Campaign, their contribution will be invaluable, and has now enabled the fund to reach the £240,000 mark.

“As time goes on, the crisis worsens, and we continue to see first-hand how the current economic situation is affecting skilled live production crew. This money will reassure those struggling to meet food or housing bills that the industry they love has not forgotten them.”

Last month, royalty collection society PPL donated £100,000 to the Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the live music and events industry. A new report published last week forecast that revenues from the events supply sector (audio, lighting etc) would be down 95 per cent year-on-year by the end of 2020, with around 170,000 jobs lost from across the live events business.

While the government has created a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the arts sector through the pandemic, the report claims this will not be enough to prevent hundreds of thousands from losing their jobs. So far it is thought to have saved around 10,000 full-time jobs.