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Stagehand launches prize draw to provide more support to COVID-hit live event workers

By | Published on Friday 27 November 2020

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Stagehand – the charity that provides hardship funding to live event workers – has launched a prize draw seeking to raise money that will allow it to continue to financially support production staff and crew that have been without work for much of the year as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.

A stack of artists have donated prizes for the campaign. They include handwritten lyrics from Robbie Williams, Florence Welch and Years And Years; clothing worn on stage by FKA Twigs and Royal Blood; the mixing desk that Craig David used for his third album; and the Roland 303 synth that The Chemical Brothers toured with.

Plus there’s a wide range of guitars donated by Nile Rogers, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Liam Gallagher and Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, the latter of which he played at Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985. Oh, and John Otway is also offering a gig in your front room.

Basically, you pick whichever of those you’d like to win and enter that specific prize draw for just £5 a time. Monies will support live event workers who have faced huge challenges during the COVID pandemic, and especially those freelancers who – for one reason or another – have been unable to access the government’s COVID support schemes.

The fundraising campaign was initiated by artist manager and promoter David Stopps and Stagehand’s Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe, with support from manager Ian McAndrew and agent Tom Schroeder. It’s being powered by Crowdfunder, which is waiving its fees on this initiative.

Commenting on the prize draw, Stopps said: “When I heard about the tenth suicide among stage crew in late August I knew I had to do something. Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but nearly all are saying they are also suffering with mental health issues. Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives”.

Meanwhile, Mike Lowe, Chair of Stagehand’s board of trustees, added: “We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy. Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are hungry to see live entertainment again”.

“No live show of any kind can happen without the skills and expertise of the army of live events workers”, he went on. “I am sure that the live events industry workers who we can help, will join me and my fellow trustees in expressing our massive appreciation for making all of this happen in the most difficult and unprecedented of times”.

You can find out more about the campaign and enter the various prize draws here.