Perspectives is a series of first-person accounts documenting how Liverpool’s creative and independent industry has been affected by the ongoing pandemic. Read more here.
Luke Avery – Tour Lighting Designer & Operator
I’ve been working in event lighting for the last seven years. I got my first proper break covering for a friend on lighting for The Kooks back in 2015. Since then I’ve been lucky to work with a whole variety of artists, including Michael Kiwanuka, The Vaccines, Anna Calvi, Sea Girls and many more. I work predominantly as a lighting designer and operator for concerts and tours, with Sam Fender being my main client at the moment.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus has worsened in the UK my work has come to a complete standstill. I was supposed to be starting out on a three-week UK tour with Sam just as the social distancing guidelines came in. The tour has now been postponed.
At this stage I’m not expecting for anything to start up again until July, although I am preparing myself for a hiatus into the autumn, depending on how long the pandemic goes on for. As touring is often international, it will also depend on how other countries are affected by and dealing with Covid-19, so it could take a very long time for things to get back to normal – whatever ‘normal’ looks like by that point.
With some luck, all of the touring work should be rescheduled. However, festivals and one-off event cancellations are total losses this summer. Unlike some other creatives, there’s not really a whole lot that can be done from home until we know for definite when things will be resuming. I’m trying to use this period to learn some new skills, such as different software packages.
The entire situation is still all very surreal. I’m used to having periods of time off between tours, so on a daily level this is still roughly within the bounds of normal. That said, looking towards months without work is a worrying prospect, but one that’s totally out of my control. I’m trying not to dwell on it too much.
In terms of support during the pandemic while work is on hiatus, the devil is very much in the detail. As a long term self-employed worker, it was distressing at first to be left out of the government’s support scheme. Thankfully that seems to have been sorted out. It’s a really tough time for the live music and event industry, since it’s all about bringing groups of people together to jointly experience something. So far, it’s been very gratifying to see how the live events industry as a whole has banded together to get through this. Going forward I hope that this period will give people a chance to work out what is actually meaningful to them.
Words: Luke Avery / @lukeavery
Read more Perspectives here.