#RedAlertRESTART Minnesota

By Kiki
Special thanks to Monkey Wrench Productions for organizing this event.

Published October 2020

#RedAlertRESTART, a nationwide event on September 1, 2020 was to raise visibility of the live events industry in order to encourage the US Senate to pass the RESTART Act and to extend Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Hundreds of Minnesotans came together to light up nearly 100 buildings in the state with red lights and event-specific gobos. 

Photos from around Minnesota

The RESTART Act (Senate 3814; House 7481) would help keep entertainment venues from shutting down forever by providing additional and flexible Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. Extending PUA would allow many freelancers in our industry to continue to be eligible to apply for unemployment.

The largest gathering of resources was at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. It was made possible by the efforts of about four-dozen technicians from a variety of backgrounds: corporate production, theater, IATSE, and more. Many haven’t been able to work in months. A whole industry in the same sinking boat, even competing production companies were coming together to donate their skills and equipment for the evening.

The atmosphere on the bridge was amazing. To walk across the bridge and see people you haven’t seen in months was so invigorating! The solidarity was so strong. Everyone was there for the same reasons: we miss doing what we love; we miss seeing our colleagues, working hard, and making events happen; we miss our income and want to use our skills; we miss live events more than we could have ever imagined.

Lighting The Stone Arch Bridge

Being on the bridge and feeling the excitement and camaraderie was bittersweet. We loved being together again, even if just for one night and at a safe distance. We were excited for what may come of this, yet scared that it may not be enough. We loved putting on a live event and looked forward to doing it again, but we have no idea how much longer that will be, or how we will be able to make ends meet until we are allowed to work in the industry again. 

We need as many voices as possible to pressure our representatives to pass the RESTART Act: save the live events industry and support all the people who make events happen. 

You can still contact your politicians using the easy link at WeMakeEvents.org and you can flood Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the next round of photos TAGGING Senators’ and Representatives’ Social Media Accounts.

Put up a photo of yourself at an event (or a photo from your favorite event) – whether it be at a concert, a theatrical performance, a bar show, a wedding!  Tell the story of the photo – Did they get engaged?  First Broadway show?  Best concert ever? Got to meet the performers?  Post the photo, tell the story, use the hashtag, tag your local rep, and tag WeMakeEvents North America.

What you can do right now:

  1. Find your picture
  2. Tell your story
  3. Tag your politicians – Find their social media handles using:
    1. GovTrack’s Congressional Districts Map, or
    2. National Kidney Foundation’s Congressional Social Media Accounts 
  4. Add the hashtags:  #TheTimeIsNow #WeMakeEvents  #RedAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA #DoNotAbandonUs
  5. Tag WeMakeEvents North America
  6. Ask everyone you know to do the same – individuals, companies, venues, etc.

For more photos of the event go to the Google Drive Folder

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