29 September 2020

Lighting up in support of our entertainment and events industry

Hamilton will be one of the first cities in the world to recognise the impact of COVID-19 on the entertainment and events sector, as part of a global day of action on Wednesday 30 September (#WeMakeEventsNZ Day of Action).

Tomorrow, venues all over the world will light up red in support of the thousands of people who work in an industry hit hard by lockdowns and mass gathering limits. In Hamilton, it is estimated there are thousands of people involved in the events sector who have seen their jobs impacted.

The wave of red will start in New Zealand at 8pm and slowly move around the globe.

“Here in Hamilton, our own local performers, venues and the events industry have all felt the impact of the pandemic. We’re not immune and our own people are hurting,” Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said.

“Lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions have had a huge impact on the industry and its people. While many of us have been able to work from home or adapt, people who work in events and hospitality simply haven’t had that option.

“As a city, we’re doing our very best to keep events happening in our city and while the challenges aren’t over, I’m optimistic. But I really feel for people who, through no fault of their own, have had the rug pulled out from underneath them.”

To show its support, Council’s H3 events arm has organised three Hamilton locations to light up in red on Wednesday night. A number of city performance and entertainment businesses are also getting behind the global initiative.

“We hope it will remind everyone about our performers, venues and events and how important it is that those of us who can support the local industry, do so,” said Mayor Southgate.

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says it’s important as a region we collectively acknowledge the importance of our events industry and show our support to all those who have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

“Hamilton and Waikato are the fourth largest region in New Zealand for hosting business events, conferences and exhibitions which provide educational and professional benefit. Major events help drive domestic visitation into the region and are crucial to leading our social and economic recovery.”

“Events make people feel proud of where they live, provide connection in a social or business setting, deliver entertainment, plus inspire us when we need it most,” said Dawson.

The following locations will light up from 8pm:

  • Claudelands Events Centre – Heaphy Rd frontage will be lit in up in red.
  • FMG Stadium Waikato – the #WeMakeEvents logo will be displayed on the outdoor screens at the back of the Wel Networks stand and the stand will be lit up in red.
  • Victoria Street Bridge – the city bridge on Anzac Parade will be lit up in red.

Hamilton City Council has registered its activities with the #WeMakeEventsNZ Day of Action so the city’s support has a chance of being included in global coverage of the worldwide #wemakeevents movement.