Live events executive warns the industry is in danger of disappearing


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A live events executive is warning that the entertainment industry is in danger of disappearing altogether without more funding from Congress.

“There will be no industry left by November if Congress doesn’t step up and pass The Restart Act — or something like the Restart Act — because another ten weeks of PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) is simply a Band-Aid,” Michael Strickland, CEO of Bandit Lites Inc. told NewsNation on Thursday.

Strickland went on to say that the industry has been operating at zero-income since the middle of March, shortly before numerous statewide stay-at-home orders were recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The warning was echoed on social media by REO Speedwagon, Jackson Browne and Alice Cooper.

“Hi friends, We all want to get back to playing and attending live entertainment events…and we will,” REO Speedwagon said on Facebook. “But our representatives in Congress need to be reminded that the RESTART Act is necessary to help the many people who work behind the scenes to bring us concerts, sporting events, etc. Our people are struggling, and we need our government representatives to hear us. If you have a couple of minutes, please watch this clip.”

Legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne noted how challenging the pandemic has been for gig workers in particular.

‘Bandit Lites provides all of the lighting for Jackson Browne tours. We appreciate Bandit Lites CEO Michael Strickland leading this charge,” said a post on the artist’s Twitter page. “It takes a lot of talented women and men to put together shows and run a tour. This year has been incredibly challenging year for everyone who works behind-the-scenes. We all want to be and plan to be back on tour in 2021!”

To learn more about Bandit Lites click here.

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