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Why was the Orwell Bridge lit up in red?

PUBLISHED: 10:13 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 15 August 2020

The Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTD

The Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTD

COPYRIGHT GREEN SPARK LTD

An eye-catching stunt saw the Orwell Bridge brightly illuminated in red – but why?

The Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTDThe Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTD

The display late on Tuesday (August 11) night certainly caught people’s attention, with Alex Suttenwood saying on Twitter: “I have literally no idea what’s going on, but it’s cool!”

Ipswich-based companies Green Spark and Gofer said they were behind the stunt, which was designed to highlight the huge challenges facing the events industry following the coronavirus pandemic.

Firms have called it a “dramatic situation”, with social distancing rules meaning many events are unable to be held.

MORE: ‘It is a dramatic situation’ – Suffolk companies unite to help save events industry

Adam Clark, managing director of Green Spark - which provides stages, screens, lighting and sounds for events - said the stunt to light up the 1.2km bridge was part of the national Red Alert campaign.

The campaign aims to illuminate prominent landmarks in a bid to draw attention to the challenges.

“In March we saw a whole year’s worth of work get cancelled,” he said.

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“We provide production services for business events and the likelihood is that it will be some time before we see face to face events happening again.

“The industry won’t survive if it doesn’t receive help soon.”

Nic Forsdike, managing director of Gofer, added: “It is not just large high-profile events that are affected.

MORE: Venues light up in red to fight for arts industry

The Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTDThe Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTD

“There are thousands of small companies involved in the events supply chain with a highly skilled workforce that we are in danger of losing.”

Events industry firms are asking for the government to provide extra support to help it survive the Covid-19 crisis – saying: “The entire live events sector supply chain is at risk of collapse.”

Tim Speight, technical manager of Synergy Audio in Rendlesham, said: “Simply put, since lockdown was declared on March 23, our diary has been cleared.

“We have done one job since, and I’m not exaggerating to say we were very lucky to get it.”

The Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTDThe Orwell Bridge was illuminated in red to highlight the challenges faced by the events industry. Picture: GREEN SPARK PRODUCTION LTD

Firms say it is unlikely people in the sector will be able to restart until spring 2021, so have called for financial help for people and companies in the sector to be extended.


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