Image by Dan Billinghurst
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on June 14th that the reopening of the live music and events actor would be delayed until mid-July, many nightlife establishments and workers in the UK have been calling out the government for failing to support their struggling industry. Save our Scene, or SOS, is a London based protest group whose mission to save the UK’s nightlife industry has been at the forefront of this motion. They have announced a rave planned to take place in London as an act of protest against what they believe to be the government’s disregard for their sector over the course of the pandemic.
Named the #FreedomToDance march, the rave will take place on Sunday, June 27th as is being described as “the largest demonstration the music industry has ever seen.” The protest will feature a lineup of DJs including Eats Everything and Alan Fitzpatrick. SOS announced that the protest is being staged in demand that “the Government ends all restrictions on the hospitality sector without any further delay”
SOS have previously staged mass demonstrations to bring awareness to their cause. In late 2020, nearly 200 protestors rode bicycles through the streets of London, an act spurred by the government’s failure to financially assist their struggling industry while paying people grants to get out and ride their bicycles during lockdown. George Fleming, founder of SOS, begged the question, “Whilst it’s great to see waves of football fans partying in London, it really asks us a question, why is the music industry still being suffocated by the Government?”
A major influence in this new wave of action also has to do with the recent mass gathering pilot events hosted by the UK government. Speaking on this, Fleming said: “We have proven that we can open responsibly, and 58,000 people took part in the pilot events, of which only 15 people tested positive (5 of which were home related). This has proven the industry can successfully carry out safe events without adding to the spread of the virus.”
You can find out more about Save Our Scene and donate towards their fund for live music venues here.
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