Bonnie Fimiano, CPCE Live Events Coalition

Bonnie Fimiano, CPCE

Director, Membership Chair, National Board

Live Events Coalition

IG: @LiveEventsCo

What is the Live Events Coalition, and why was it formed?

The Live Events Coalition was formed to create one voice for the twelve million people in the live events industry that are unemployed. It was actually born out of an online petition that went viral in less than a week, and has garnered over 480,000 signatures to date.

Here are the facts: 77% of W-2 live event industry people are out of work. 99% of 1099 gig workers are out of work. Most of us have lost anywhere between 80-99% of our incomes. People started reaching out, saying they couldn’t just sit back and watch. We needed to make a change.

We now have twenty-seven coalitions across the United States, with members in every state across the country, with the exception of three. We’re educating local law makers, state legislators and representatives, all the way to Congress, on who we are. Our goal is to call attention to the catastrophic effects of Covid-19 on the business of live events; and ensure that we’re included in the ongoing National conversation and supplemental Federal relief aid packages.

The Live Events Coalition has pioneered strong initiatives to urge Congress for support in providing economic coronavirus relief to the twelve million of us that have been impacted. For those who aren’t familiar, can you describe the people that comprise the live events industry?

The live events industry is so fragmented and segmented, yet we touch every persons daily life. Our ecosystem consists of not only the people who put together huge concerts, festivals, trade shows, conferences, weddings, every sporting event for MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, but also the gig workers, W-2 workers, and 1099 workers that contribute to a culmination of live events as their livelihood.

We are the least represented industry with one of the hugest economic contributions to the GDP; at over a trillion dollars, which was previously expected to double to more than two trillion dollars over the next 6 years. We support more jobs than oil and gas extraction, telecom, automobile, food, as well as chemical & machinery manufacturing.

On September 1st, thousands of event professionals lit up buildings, empty theaters, and concert venues in red. Instagram has been inundated with these photos, along with the hashtag #RedAlertRestart. What is the mission of this movement?

The Instagram campaign, #RedAlertRestart, strived to shed light on the live events industry, one of the hardest hit sectors since the pandemic took hold. It called attention to the RESTART Act, which would offer economic relief, and urge Congress to expand Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. We’ve also organized empty events to bring awareness to the crisis that the live events industry is currently facing (to see this Instagram campaign, follow the hashtag #WishIWasThere). If we don’t receive this funding, which is imperative, the landscape of events that people have enjoyed for their lifetime, is going to be gone.

Venues are already starting to close. The iconic Vizcaya Museum in Miami, for example, is experiencing more than $3 million in lost revenue; they need “financial aid from the public in order to keep their doors open.” The worlds largest concert promotors have reported losing 98% of their revenue since the start of the pandemic.

We want to work, but it’s mandated that we cannot work. This is why we need government assistance. We are more than capable to reopen safely, carefully and effectively. This is what we do as a profession; our job is to keep our guests safe. We have the ability to contact trace, because we know all of our attendees. We are the most creative and innovative industry, and have already implemented very stringent safeguards through the Event Safety Alliance (ESA), which has partnered with the Live Events Coalition.

How can non-event professionals stand in solidarity with the live events community?

They can go to our website, Live Events Coalition, and make a “financial donation to support our advocacy and lobbying effort.” They DO NOT need to be in our industry. Anyone that has attended a sporting event, a trade show, a wedding, a business meeting, or a social event… those are the people that we need to stand behind us.

We’re also looking for any public figure; a performer, broadway actor, singer, or celebrity, to stand up for us in a marketing capacity, and advocate for the Live Events Coalition, because we are the hundreds of workers behind the scenes, who put together their events. We need these people to step forward and support us. Morgan Freeman just did a PSA for the restaurant industry and it went viral. We need somebody, anybody, that is a performer, that would like to step forward and support the work force that supports them.

What resources are available for additional information?

There are a wide variety of resources available on our website.

If you were to leave us with something to think about, what would it be?

The live events industry was the “first to shut down, and will be the last to reopen,” through no fault of our own. Please don’t sit back and be complacent. Anyone within the live events community can join us, and have a voice. Write a letter to your legislators; we have a form on our website that takes under a minute to complete. Donate to our cause, the funds we raise go directly towards our advocacy and fundraising effort. Any large corporations that want to partner with us, please reach out:

We were initially bundled in with hospitality, and that’s really hotels, but now, after months of lobbying efforts, we are finally being referred to as the live events industry. So we’ve made a lot of progress, but not enough progress to get a seat at the table.

Visit Live Events Coalition to learn more.

Live Events Coalition

#RestartAct #SaveOurStagesAct #RedAlertRestart #EmptyEvent #WishIWasThere #WeMakeEvents #ExtendPUA #SaveLiveEvents #WeAreEvents #LiveEventsCo

View more Spotlight features.