You might have noticed we have a new video on our homepage!
Our previous showreel was ace - it was filmed at a 007 themed corporate event in Portsmouth - but it showcased lots of close-up acts in a dark, indoor setting which is everything we don't expect to happen right away in 2021. When things start opening up again, people are likely to want to enjoy outdoor space and socially-distanced performances, at more intimate events which will be small but mighty.
So it was out with the old and in with the new....which in fact is a collection of snippets from live events we performed pre-Covid, and virtual events we've performed during lockdown. Since we have no live events to film at right now, you'll have to settle for a slightly lower resolution video than you've come to expect from us. But in these webcam times we feel that our customers are much more forgiving of the odd pixel out of place!
For now we're tinkering away at the website, collating a brochure of virtual entertainment, and readying our package of socially-distanced performers ahead of Bojo's next announcement. Watch this space!
When it comes to planning Christmas events in 2020, it's been a bit of a non starter, hasn't it?
Companies which have weathered the Covid-19 storm, have opted for Zoom parties, enlisting virtual entertainers to lead the fun. Shopping centres have used distanced walkabout acts to add some Christmas magic to the shopping experience. Doorstep entertainment and virtual children's parties continue to be popular, with distanced elf and Santa visits bringing much-needed joy to children's faces.
Sadly communities haven't been able to enjoy Christmas light switch on ceremonies which would have attracted crowds, and private parties have been impossible due to the government's ever-changing rules and guidelines. Hospitality venues have suffered terribly, and we hope and pray that support is coming for them, as they've really tried their best to stay afloat in these tough times. We've also had lots of cancellations from bookers who have had to pull the plug due to Covid outbreaks on their premises. So to say it's been a quiet December for us, is a true understatement. And we will never again complain about Christmas being too busy...we promise!
Rest assured we haven't been sat around twiddling our thumbs. We're ready for 2021, and have been:
- completely redecorating the Daze Entertainment office - regularly updating risk assessments each time a new guideline comes in - customising live acts for virtual platforms - keeping in touch with our amazing bookers and artists - working on brand new shows ready for 2021 events - and updating our YouTube page which has surpassed 10,000 SUBCRIBERS - give us a Like if you haven't already, to keep up to date with our latest acts and shows.
Daze Entertainment director Abi has been managing all of the above plus call handling work for a well-known NHS campaign (see picture below), and teaching English online to students in China, which she loves. Our performers have kept themselves busy doing all manner of side hustles from delivery driving to care work, floristry, crafting, supermarket roles, retail, courses and training, and administrative roles. But sorry Boris, we won't be retraining, and we're still very much here, doing our thing, and looking forward to a busier events diary in 2021.
So Happy Covid Christmas to all our friends and followers. Drink ALL the wine!
Today marks 100 days since the UK government imposed lockdown, and the events industry as we know it came crashing to the ground. In fact the effects of the COVID-19 crisis were being felt months before lockdown, as the corporate sector in particular took a pause on event planning, uncertain about the impending viral doom spreading around the world.
We followed the guidance and closed our business; our private customers postponed indefinitely, and our corporate events cancelled and were refunded - since we are a solvent business this was possible for us, but for many small businesses the plethora of refunds has been devastating. We figured out which acts would work well on a virtual platform, and later added acts which could be enjoyed with social distancing. Stay-at-home birthday celebrations are now all the rage, so that's a nice string to our bow.
This time of year would usually be packed out with summer gigs and with Christmas party planning, but with no imminent plans to reinstate live events, this is all on hold and the future is bleak for the events and arts worlds. At a time when many have spent hours, days, weeks and months soaking up the beauty of the arts via platforms such as Netflix and radio, you would think that society would embrace the value of the arts. But the truth is that many businesses like ours have been completely excluded from government support:
- we work from a residence so we don't qualify for a Premises Grant - we are a Ltd Company so we can only claim up to £500/month furlough, and this is dependent on us not operating the business at all during this time, so no fee generating work at all - we do not qualify for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), as we are suppliers - we do not qualify for Universal Credit (UC), as we have savings - we do not qualify for Jobseekers Allowance, as Ltd Co directors pay an alternative type of National Insurance Contributions
We were the first industry to be hit by COVID-19, and we will be the last to return. So we need your help to survive.
- #excludedukis fighting our cause: please share, re-tweet and support this campaign in ANY WAY YOU CAN so that the government is forced to listen to us. We don't begrudge anyone the support they've received, we are simply asking for parity with them.
- Equity has emphasised that 'without financial support for workers and their workplaces, such efforts to develop return to work guidance will be meaningless'. They've paid out thousands in charitable grants to now-unemployed performers, so if you have means to contribute to their benevolent fund, you will literally be putting food in the mouths of artists.
- Support local arts businesses - ask musicians to record personalised birthday messages for your loved ones; if you're planning an event in 2021 and have means to pay your deposit now then please do that as it will keep that small business alive; consider giving the gift of art on special occasions - this could be a doorstep singer surprise or a caricaturist to join your family Zoom quiz; and share, share, share the work and brands of artists who have found themselves having to pivot into alternative work such as mask manufacturing or online teaching.
- Share this blog to help all the above causes, and to help Daze Entertainment to show up in search engines. We want to be here in 2021 if and when things return to some level of normality. In the meantime, we're here for all your virtual and distanced entertainment needs. Thanks for reading.