On September 1, over 1,500 businesses across the country illuminated their buildings with red lights to draw attention to the devastation that the live events and performance art industries have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Venues and attractions such as Navy Pier's Centennial Wheel, Fiserv Forum, The Breakers Palm Beach, and Gilley's Dallas are a few examples of venues that participated in the event. Many participants posted photos on social media and tagged #WeMakeEvents, so that buildings were not only lit up in awareness, but social media was flooded with images drawing attention to the issue as well.
Another hashtag many of the same businesses included on September 1 was #RedAlertRestart. Many businesses in the live events industry are urging Congress to pass the Restart Act, which provides small businesses with financial assistance to combat the effects of the pandemic. According to wemakeevents.org, the live events industry contributes $1 trilliion to the U.S. economy each year, and even provides 12 million jobs.
CEO of The Breakers Palm Beach, one of the businesses participating on September 1, spoke about how the hotel industry and live events industry go hand in hand in a press release.
“Performance art and live events contribute to the culture and allure of so many destinations,” said Paul Leone, Chief Executive Officer of The Breakers Palm Beach. “There is a strong partnership between hospitality and the live events industry, and The Breakers is compelled to show our support and help create awareness for an important cause during these challenging times.”