As the economic effect of COVID-19 unfolds, the live events and entertainment industry will be among the hardest hit; the first to be affected and the last to recover.
Even after the lockdown ends, the ban on mass gatherings is unlikely to be lifted for some time. This has a direct impact on tens of thousands of people, with more than 500 local events already cancelled or postponed over the next few months.
Recognising the need for a united effort to raise funds and support the hard-hit industry and its most vulnerable, companies and individuals across the live events, nightclubs, festivals and the like have come together to launch SAFE (South African Fund 4 Entertainment).
We’ve heard about the devastating effect COVID-19 has had on DJ’s, artists, bands, musicians and event organisers – but what about the support teams and event crews—the unsung heroes that make events possible?
In the short-term, the hardest hit will be hourly workers, technical set-up crews, security officers, cleaners, fencing staff, décor companies’ set-up crews, barmen, waiters, and more. The list is exhaustive, and the effect potentially catastrophic.
Many thousands of these individuals are the main breadwinners in their households and will find themselves with no income; they cannot simply switch things up and take the show online. But we can.
SAFE has been created to fill this gap.
As its first initiative to raise funds via donations, SAFE has partnered with Pick ‘n Pay Feed The Nation and a number of event industry leaders to support these hourly workers with food vouchers. These vouchers will allow them to go to their nearest Pick ‘n Pay for a hamper of essentials.
How will donations work?
Fundraising will be done via different methods organised by members of the entertainment community. From online streaming events to heartfelt messages calling for support of various causes. All organisers, DJs, artists and performers are encouraged to create and host their own initiatives, pledging support to SAFE.
Events and initiatives hosted on the SAFE events platform can accept donations online, or via ticket/voucher sales. A SAFE donation QR code or weblink can also be issued to support initiatives hosted on other platforms. Donations can be made online at https://safefund.org.za/ or by direct EFT.
It’s important to note that SAFE itself is not the organiser of these initiatives, it is the NPO used to raise funds from the various initiatives and channel those funds to where they are needed most. All initiatives supporting SAFE will be listed on a central initiative/events platform.
Where exactly will donations from events go?
SAFE will work with nightlife and event supply chain companies to identify those most in need and deliver the vouchers via their employers or former employers. SAFE funds will be distributed to applicants by a diverse panel of people who represent at-risk groups and various stakeholders in our entertainment industry. The selection process is quick and simple and aims to prioritise the most vulnerable and unable to access other financial support.
In due course different initiatives and distributions will be determined based on the needs of the industry.
Each Pick ‘n Pay Feed The Nation hamper is a basket of specific items at a cost to SAFE of R600. It can feed a family of five for a month or longer and includes essential items like maize, rice, oil and sugar.
Why does this matter?
In our survey of just 220 companies in the events industry, we discovered that 10,000 jobs are at immediate risk, with most companies risking closure within only two months under nationwide lockdown. And, with no events in the pipeline for at least six months, our industry—one of the world’s best, with all of your favourite events, festivals, bars and clubs—runs the risk of never recovering.
Germany has set aside €50-billion for its creative and cultural industries. Switzerland has pledged €264-million. The French government has dedicated €22-million to support freelancers working in the entertainment industry, and the UK has made available £160-million.
Here at home, losses in the entertainment sector are estimated to top R3 billion in revenue over the next six months.
While R150-million has been set aside by the arts and tourism departments, this will not touch sides, especially given the needs of the tourism industry. And, while there may be business relief funds in place, these are already over-subscribed and not dedicated to the entertainment industry specifically.
How can you help? We’re calling on you!
We’re calling on you, event organisers, festival promoters, concert promoters, MC’s DJs, bands, industry sponsors, suppliers, agencies, exhibitors, platforms, labels, publishers and venues. Dream big and create your own initiative, streaming event or call to action.
To get your unique SAFE ticket link so your community can support the voucher campaign or to setup your own initiative right away or Get a SAFE DonateQR Register on http://safefund.org.za
We’re calling on you, the party and festival goers, concert attendees, conference delegates, You the music-lover. You, the life and soul of the jol, who fuels our industry. If you attend events of any kind, you can help! Support any initiative on the SAFE platform. Whether hosted by your favourite DJ, Band, event or tenting company even. Any donation will be accepted and your donation can make a big difference! Check out SAFE here: https://safefund.org.za/
We’re calling on all the brands and sponsors who have helped us to build this amazing industry. Engage with SAFEhere: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re calling on Government and corporates to step up and match donations. Commit to SAFE here: email@example.com
And, if you’re a business that has been affected or crippled by COVID-19 and you have many affected workers please apply on our website for support. Register on http://safefund.org.za to find out how SAFE can help you.
SAFE is an industry-wide initiative and proudly administered by E.L.E NPO (IT021941/2014(6)).