A LIVE venue in Warrington was lit up red last night, Wednesday, in recognition of the huge challenges the events industry is facing due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Pyramid in Palmyra Square was one of hundreds of event spaces across the country that was illuminated as part of the #LightItInRed campaign.

A message on Twitter said: "Our stages maybe dark, our doors closed temporarily but tonight we lit our buildings in red to show our solidarity for our colleagues and fellow venues who are struggling to work across the industry."

Warrington Guardian:

Pyramid reopened in early September but its sister venue Parr Hall, which has just marked its 125th birthday, has been closed since March.

The venue was originally set to open this Saturday with a reduced capacity Comedy Store night but it was cancelled due to the new Covid-19 restrictions in Warrington such as the curfew and households being advised not to mix.

Parr Hall, run by the charity Culture Warrington, originally closed for two weeks when the national lockdown was announced – reflective of how the pandemic took many people by surprise.

Since then, manager Chris Persoglio has had the constant logistical challenge of trying to reschedule shows and book in new ones while rules around social distancing continue to change.

He said: “It was quite tricky because at the start of it we had shows still taking place and we could see the pace at which the coronavirus measures were moving.

“When we eventually closed and the team went to work from home the hardest thing was rescheduling all the shows very quickly and letting all the customers know as soon as we could.

Warrington Guardian:

“It was so difficult to plan anything. We were thinking: ‘Do you reschedule for in two months? Six months? Two years?’ Some of this was dictated by the promoters because they were having to reorganise whole tours.

“A lot of expense goes into that such as accommodation, production vehicles, tour manager and crew and equipment hire as well as artist fees.

“So when you’re moving a whole tour if you can only get a handful of venues in that period it’s just not worth financially doing it so it could be rescheduled for a year or 18 months later.

Warrington Guardian:

“With a few of the events, we’ve ended up having to reschedule them twice.

“The other big thing was our buildings still needed to be looked after. We had to ensure they were safe, secure and maintained throughout the whole period.

“It’s been difficult but we’ve had a small core team who have worked really well. That’s also been true of the events industry as a whole. We’ve all been supporting each other in trying to work out what we can and can’t do.

“About 90 per cent of our team was furloughed and we’re gradually bringing them back now.

“It’s frustrating as we know the customers really want to see things back on stage again. It’s been so difficult.

“With social distancing, it’s just not financially viable to do a lot of our events with a quarter or a third of the normal capacity.”