Venues light up red to raise awareness for COVID-19 impact on local entertainment industry

ROANOKE, Va. – The first industry to shut down in March due to COVID-19 will likely be the last to open back up.

That’s why many venues, from the Berglund Center in Roanoke to the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg, were lit up red Wednesday night.

Multiple spots in downtown Bristol also joined the “Red Alert Movement” to raise awareness about the impact the pandemic has had on the entertainment industry.

According to the campaign, 95% of live events across the U.S. have been canceled, leaving many people unemployed.

“Just in our area, there’s been millions of dollars lost just in our industry. I’m hoping that people can see that we still exist, we’re still around but there’s a lot of people in our industry that really need help and we’re hoping this raises awareness of it,” said Robert Wells, production coordinator with Lee Hartman & Sons.

Industry leaders are pushing for Congress to pass the Re-Start Act, which would offer relief to struggling businesses like live event venues.

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