ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A group of live event professionals—actors, musicians, event planners, caterers, and producers—will gather for a demonstration at 11 a.m. on Friday. They’re out of work, and rallying to raise awareness about their industry, which was the first to close and will be the last to open.
The demonstration will take place in the West Park of the New York State Capitol Building, and is coordinated to coincide in solidarity with the same event in Times Square Friday morning. Organizers say additional events will take place around the country.
The peaceful gathering will feature supporters on the ground and others on a “drive by march” around the Capitol Building. In recognition of the 12 million people they count as now out of work, organizers will display 20 empty chairs, symbolizing the industry shutdown.
There will also be speakers addressing the impact of having to cancel so many live events. Event organizers want stronger financial support from the government, particularly in the form of paycheck protection program loans.
Fifty or more professions fall under the live events industry umbrella, and events that have moved online generally account for 70% to 80% less staff and crew positions. Many events scheduled for early 2021 have already been postponed, which draws out the effect on the industry’s labor force.
During Phase 4 in New York, public gatherings—potential audiences—are limited to groups of 50.