SLEN – Scotland

SLEN’s projection onto the Scottish Parliament Building

The Scottish Live Events Network (SLEN) is a recently formed branch of BECTU operating as a part of the national Live Events Network Sub-Division. The branch has been set up to provide better representation for everyone who works in the live events industry in Scotland.

The branch intends to further the rights and opportunities of all people in the live events supply chain in Scotland, whether an employee, self-employed or a company director. This will be done through modern unionisation; working collaboratively with companies, venues and other industry bodies to effect real change for all involved in the industry. 

Formative History:

During the COVID-19 lockdown a working committee was formed to look into better levels of representation for people working in the live events supply chain in Scotland. After discussion with freelancers and business owners it was decided that forming a branch of BECTU would be the best way to get better representation at a national level for members. 

BECTU represents over 40,000 staff, contract and freelance workers in the media industries. After a number of meetings the committee decided that BECTU would be the best fit for SLEN as their experience in other parts of the events industry, along with established access to the government’s cultural and media departments, would enable us to make an immediate impact.


Better representation both at Scottish Government and Westminster level, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that members of SLEN can gain access to fair and reasonable financial help during the crisis and beyond. 

Better working practices where employers and contractors recognise the need for more realistic working hours, better conditions and more consideration for members’ general health and mental wellbeing.

Working towards a standard rate card for live events staff across the events industry. This allows people to know their monetary worth, and what to charge as a fair minimum rate for their skills.

Actively improve diversity and equality across the live events sector.

Work with BECTU to help them understand our sector and to gain experience from them on how to better negotiate and address concerns and issues within our industry.

Provide members with legal advice and representation where required. 

Provide high quality training on business matters, including relating to company setups and taxation. 

Provide various training and networking opportunities to allow members to increase their knowledge and skill set.

Working Goals:

SLEN feels that proper, organised, collective representation in the live events industry is long overdue. After looking at various options, BECTU is the best placed to help us achieve this. In the short time since it has been formed the SLEN committee has been speaking directly to Event Scotland, Visit Scotland and is already part of a number of Scottish Event Industry committees handling the COVID-19 crisis. With a good member base this influence can only grow stronger. Committee members have been able to enact changes to both the EISF and COVRF criteria to try to help as many applicants as possible who have been affected during the COVID pandemic. SLEN has undertaken a survey to help identify those who have been left without any financial help since March, and how much further help is needed, so the remaining funds can be properly targeted towards them. 

The Scottish Live Events Network branch, like all unions, will only work by strength in numbers. SLEN believes strongly that it has real potential to make many positive changes for the events industry in Scotland and would be proud to be the voice of the community and strive to bring many positive changes to our working lives.


Photography – Lewis Milne

Projection – Funktioncreep and Warpro