Live Events Network inception and history
In 2017 a number of London venue techs banded together and formed a union branch. Based in Bectu this branch – The London Union of Venue Technicians – was created to provide a rallying point for venue technicians to work within the industry to improve rates of pay, conditions and opportunities within the live events sector in London. This branch was joined by other London branches the London Union of crew and the London Live Events Network Branch.
From these initial beginnings the Live Events Network has expanded to encompass much more of the UK. We now have the following branches under the LEN banner:
Scottish Live Events Network (SLEN)
Northern Live Events Network (NLEN)
National Live Event Riggers (NLER)
London Live Events Network (LLEN)
London Union of Venue Technicians (LUVT)
London Union of Crew (LUC)
King’s Place (London)
Royal Albert Hall (London)
We aim to build on this excellent start and want to be in a position to represent live events workers and sole traders from all sections of the live events industry, whatever role people fulfill.
With the arrival of COVID-19 and the complete shut down of the live events industry in March 2020 the Live Events Network has been striving to make our members issues and concerns heard by all UK Governments. Bectu has been instrumental in the campaigns for furlough and SEISS and meets weekly with the DCMS, treasury and other government departments and civil servants. LEN has taken a major role in the many industry protests that have taken place during the pandemic disruptions. In Scotland SLEN has been in constant discussion with its own government and funding bodies and has been helping form balanced criteria for Scottish funds.
Moving forward we want to help to start new branches to cover the rest of the UK and to meet the needs of live events workers that operate in specific regional areas.
It is clear that the road to recovery post COVID (if there is ever a truly ‘post’ COVID scenario) will be long and difficult. Live Events Network will continue to pressure governments for funding and grants to be made available to ease the industry back to sustainability however long it takes. We will also look at the need of our members for future training that may be required as well as many of the other incoming problems the industry is facing or preparing to face, such as Brexit and IR35.
The Live Events Network is not only wanting to represent those in the technical side of live events. As many Bectu sectors already do, we want to be in a position to represent all workers in this sector of the industry. Not only is the Live Events Network here to represent the sector’s technical staff, we want to be able to provide support for all areas. Technicians, riggers, venue staff, production staff, festival workers, corporate event staff, catering…if you have a role in live events then it is the goal of the Live Events Network to be able to give you a voice in the industry.
What is BECTU?
Bectu is a Sector of Prospect, an independent union, not affiliated to any political party. Its objectives are set out in its rules.
It exists to:
· protect and promote members’ interests
· maintain and improve their conditions of employment and relations between them and their employer
· provide and maintain services for the benefit of members.
Bectu is composed by seven divisions: Arts and Entertainment (A&E), BBC, Communication and Digital (C&D), Independent Broadcasting (IB), London Production Division (LPD) and Regional Production Division (RPD).
Live Events Network is a sub-division of the Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Division.