Six Months Into Pandemic, Live Events Industry Says It’s Still Struggling Badly

Sep 16, 2020, 12:16 PM | Updated: 12:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Dozens of workers from the live events industry gathered and marched late Tuesday night to draw attention to the fact they are largely still not working six months into the pandemic.

“Salt Lake this month would normally have about 8,000 people working events,” said Peter O’Doherty, president of the Utah Live Events Industry Association. “There’s probably somewhere in the region of 200 – 300 working them at the moment. The rest are out of work.”

O’Doherty said industry groups in September are lighting up buildings in red to remind the public how dire the situation is in the live entertainment events industry.

“The live events industry in some areas won’t come back until there is a vaccine, and even then it’s going to be slow for people to accept the new way and in the meantime we’re having to find other ways of working,” O’Doherty said. “Major concerts, major tours, world tours, world sporting events, gatherings of 100,000 people are probably not going to happen in the next six – nine months and we need to be aware of that.”

O’Doherty said his group, which was formed after the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to share resources and provide mutual support while offering a unified voice on industry issues.

“We’ve had a campaign looking for our four main asks, which are rent, staff, working capital and promotion grants to be built in to allow us work,” O’Doherty said.

Peter Marley, representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees said “the bottom was just jerked out” for workers across the country.

“Virtually overnight 140,000 people were thrown out of work,” Marley said. “Not necessarily here in Salt Lake City, but like down in L.A.—(you) see people that are used to making six-figures all of a sudden in food bank lines, and it terrified a lot of people. It’s just been devastating.”

Marley said he believed the industry would be one of the last to come back and it impacts people well outside of New York and Los Angeles. He said it’s also concerning to the industry that if many of its highly-specialized workers move on, they may not ever come back.

“We’d like to see some help from Washington because I think they’ve got the biggest pockets for that stuff,” Marley said. “I don’t think any of the states on their own can do this.”

After marching, the group held a rally outside of Abravanel Hall.

Reed Fanning said many local workers don’t know when the struggles will end.

“It feels like everybody else is back to work and we don’t have a return-to-work date,” Fanning said. “We’re kind of left in the lurch.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A Davis County teen is home safe, and a man in jail after police believe the man traveled from Cali...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Teen’s secret signal for help leads to hotel rescue and alleged predator arrest in Davis County

A Davis County teen is home safe, and a man in jail after police believe the man traveled from California upon meeting the boy online, causing the 14-year-old to send a secret signal for help to his family.

4 hours ago

This weekend's Academy Awards show has boosted demand for many of its nominated films. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

The added cybersecurity risks of watching free streams of Oscar-nominated movies

This weekend's Academy Awards show has boosted demand for many of its nominated films. The continually increasing prices of streaming services – Apple, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix and others raised their costs last October – is pushing many folks to look for ways to watch these films for free. But cybersecurity experts warn searching for free streams can get way more costly.

5 hours ago

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Daniel Woodruff

‘This is a disgrace’: Bitter fight over district attorney’s job performance marks end of Utah legislative session

The Utah legislative session ended on a fiery note as lawmakers approved a bill that critics say unfairly targets an elected official.

5 hours ago

Members of the Stansbury Park community came together Saturday night to help a pair of stranded far...

Shelby Lofton

Stansbury Park store employees, locals rally together to help stranded farmers

The Tooele County community came to the rescue of a couple of strangers Saturday night.

8 hours ago

Utah State GOP Chair Robert Axson expects turnout to be north of 100,000 people statewide for Super...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Republicans ‘confident’ for caucus night Super Tuesday

Utahns are heading out Tuesday to cast their votes for who they want for President during Super Tuesday. 

9 hours ago

Eagle Mountain homes still cleaning up tumbleweeds, days after the windstorm covered homes....

Garna Mejia

Eagle Mountain residents are still digging themselves out of tumbleweeds

Eagle Mountain residents are still cleaning up thousands of tumbleweeds that blew on their doorsteps during the weekend storm.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Six Months Into Pandemic, Live Events Industry Says It’s Still Struggling Badly