SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The last live event at INTRUST Bank Arena was the March 11 Blake Shelton concert.
Since then, the space has been void of fans and concert-goers, athletes, and performers. The same can be said for many live entertainment venues across the nation.
Earlier this week, INTRUST Bank Arena lit up red for a movement dubbed Red Alert Restart. It’s in support of the live event industry which was one of the first to be shut down in the pandemic and industry leaders allege will be one of the last to reopen.
“We’ve all been affected in some capacity, but we’re definitely not running full-steam right now,” Christine Pileckas, director of booking and marketing for INTRUST Bank Arena said.
Because the arena is county-owned, workers are currently engaged in a PPE project for Sedgwick County.
Entertainment venues, including INTRUST Bank Arena, are urging people to contact Congress in support of the Restart (Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards A Recovery in Twenty-twenty) Act, which would offer economic relief to the industry, as well as potentially expand pandemic unemployment benefits.
The Restart Act was introduced in July and was referred to the House Small Business Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee for further review.
The red-lit arena on Tuesday was a visible reminder of what is at stake for many industry workers.
“It’s really urging the general public to take notice of how it’s impacted our industry and to write your local representatives and write Congress,” Pileckas said.
According to WeMakeEvents.Org:
- Live events employ over 12 million people.
- Live events contributes over $1 trillion annually to the US economy.
- 95% of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
- 96% of companies have cut staff and/or wages.
- 77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.
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