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Spanish protesters declare ‘alerta roja’

Thursday 17 September saw 16,000 people take to the streets to demand “firm, solid and durable foundations” for the future of live events in Spain

By IQ on 18 Sep 2020

WiZink Center Madrid during the Alerta Roja protest in 2020

WiZink Center Madrid staff on 'red alert'

image © WiZink Center

The Spanish production sector has become the latest to take to the streets as part of the increasingly international #WeMakeEvents/Red Alert protest movement.

According to the Spanish Association of Music Promoters (APM), yesterday (17 September) saw some 16,000 live entertainment professionals hold protests – while prominent buildings and venues were illuminated red – in 28 cities to raise awareness of the state’s perceived lack of support for the sector during the coronavirus crisis.

The demonstrations, plans for which were announced earlier this month, follow similar protests in France, the US, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Germany. As in Belgium, the Spanish demonstrators flooded the streets with empty flight cases symbolising widespread unemployment among production crews and staff.

Protesters also called for the creation of a pan-industry working group to build “firm, solid and durable foundations for the sector, which needs laws adapted to its special circumstances and particularities”, reports APM, “allowing all those involved to have legal certainty” about the future.

The Alerta Roja (Red Alert) campaign had previously declined a meeting with the minister of culture and sports, noting that: “We need a meeting with all the ministries involved: culture and sports, labour, industry, tourism, economic affairs and the treasury.”

“We, along with everyone who works in the live events sector, are on red alert”

Posting on Twitter, a spokesperson said yesterday had been a historic day for the Spanish live events business.

UK entertainment technology association Plasa, one of the driving forces behind the UK-born #WeMakeEvents campaign, thanked the “global industry community for stepping out of the shadows and calling for further support”.

A statement from the 16,000-capacity WiZink Center in Madrid – normally Spain’s most-visited indoor arena – explained: “Today our facade is lit up red to support the Alerta Roja campaign. Because we, and everyone who works in the live events sector, are on red alert.”

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