Entertainment industry plan to paint SA red to highlight artists' plight
Durban - South Africa’s live entertainment industry has called on supporters to light up buildings in red in a show of “symbolic resistance” to the plight of artists and technicians as the sector has been shut for the past five months during the lockdown.
Sharif Baker, chairperson of the Southern African Communications Industry Association, said the aim of the #LightSAred protest today was to get the attention of the government to engage with it regarding the eventual reopening of the sector.
Baker said South Africans had been invited to light up their homes and buildings with red lights to show their support for the technical production and live events industry sector.
He said the industry was also producing an anthem with the voices of local artists.
The campaign demands include that the government and financial institutions should extend financial relief to those who earn a living in the technical production and live events industry until they are permitted to resume work.
Prominent buildings that will be among more than 320 participating include the Kyalami Conference Centre, Monte Casino, the Cape Town City Hall and stadium, The Big Hole in Kimberley, Coastlands Musgrave, DLI Hall, the Umhlanga lighthouse, Durban City Hall and the Sydenham Water Tower.
Durban industry professionals are collaborating as part of the campaign by shooting a seven-minute performance – Notice Us – to highlight their plight.
Rigology co-owner Roy Wood, who during his technical career has worked as a head rigger on shows for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond and Rod Stewart, said businesses providing rigging and lighting for the sector had been forced to close, sell their equipment and retrench staff.
“We have not worked on a live event or live show in five months and so have had no income.”
Wood has collaborated with local actors and performers, including Bryan Hiles, Jena Woodroffe, Kerry Wood, Cara Roberts, Kirsty Ndawo, Veranda Panda and Stephen Woodroffe, to produce the seven-minute online film which was shot outdoors in Umbilo.
“The message is ‘notice us’ because a lot of people don’t know what goes into putting on a show.
“No one really knows about us technicians because we are behind the scenes and in black.
“We would like everyone to acknowledge us and look at us for some support because after Covid-19 we would still like to be alive in entertainment,” he said.
The film can be viewed online at www.lightsared.org.za