What 100 days of lockdown looks like in the entertainment industry

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

- #excludeduk is 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.

 

 

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'The show must go on' - virtual and socially distanced entertainment is the new 'normal'

The events world as we know it, is changing.

For 15 years we've been creating and supplying live entertainment, and we will of course continue once restrictions are lifted. For now, we've turned our focus to virtual and socially distanced solutions which work across a variety of platforms and sectors. So whether you're looking for ways to celebrate a birthday, entertain colleagues on a Zoom call, create personalised content for a special person or occasion, or launch a product or service, we've got you covered.

As they say in the entertainment world, 'the show must go on'. So get in touch today to discuss your virtual entertainment spec.
 

Personalised messages

From musicians and magicians, to freakshow, dancers, princesses and children's characters, our pool of talent have been busy creating personalised messages for adults and children celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.

 
Workshops and education
Let us connect you with our talented pool of artists so that you can learn to play an instrument, dance, act, hone your circus skills, apply henna, crafting, learn life drawing or even make cocktails. We can use WhatsApp or Zoom, or conferencing software for larger audiences, along with personalised packages which can be delivered to the doors of each participant prior to the event. Branding, backgrounds and content can of course be tailored for corporate clients.
 
Quiz and conference hosts
Are you bored of lockdown quizzes yet? Let our amazing hosts and drag acts add humour and fun to your session, be it a family quiz night, a conference call or even a makeshift work party. They will make sure the event runs smoothly and encourage participation from all guests, guaranteeing a morale boost for everyone involved.
 
 Special occasions
Our artists have been busy performing Spiderman walk-by entertainment for children's birthdays; balloon sculptures delivered to the party host's front garden to mark their baby shower; virtual palm and tarot readings for hen parties; life drawing sessions (we will even send all the materials to each participant ahead of the big day), or live illustrators who beautifully paint every webchat participant and create a unique memento of the special day, which can be later be displayed in the home of the party host.
 
 
Corporate entertainment
Video conferencing is the new Christmas party! Video hosts and talent can bring magic, mindreading, Burlesque, caricatures, silhouette cutting, music, technology and more to your event, lifting morale, adding humour, and getting participants engaging with them and eachother. 
 
 
Nightlife services
We can supply costumed dancers, wax or UV paint pouring shows, circus acts, improvisational musicians and nightclub style entertainment to accompany your DJ during your live streams. Nightclubs may be closed for now, but we appreciate the importance of maintaining engagement with your client base during the downtime.
 

Business networking
The online business networking community is set to grow exponentially, as businesses endeavour to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again. Any there are so many ways that we can contribute engaging, interactive content to set your networking group apart from the competition. Our Director is available to speak, and an array of acts can be supplied as ice breakers, topical speakers, or for performances.
 
Wakes
With the over 70's isolating and social distancing rules enforced for everyone else, non attendance funerals have become common and families are choosing to host virtual wakes. We can provide a musician, singer or band to perform your loved one's favourite songs, professional speakers to present poems or readings, or dancers to create bespoke pieces to mark the passing.
 
 
Care home entertainment
At a time when our elderly aren't able to have visitors, our musicians can join a video conference with the home and project their live music onto a TV screen for all the residents to enjoy.  Or where space permits, they can even set up and perform 'in person' in a garden or car park, whilst adhering to all social distancing regulations of course.
 
 
Special projects
Whether you're looking for a small scale commission, or you need an out of this world, high-tech solution to compliment your brand or product launch, get in touch to see what we can do for you.
 
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The biggest event themes of 2020

What a whirlwind of a year 2020 has turned out to be. Events which were scheduled for Spring and Summer are now on hold, and clients are crossing fingers for warm outdoor events in September, and a party explosion this Christmas. But what are the biggest event themes of 2020?

1. The Great Gatsby

'A Little Party Never Killed Nobody', and with it being 100 years since the original Great Gatsby, 2020 is the perfect excuse to dress fancy, book a Speakeasy band, perfect your Charleston dancing and hire a giant martini glass prop. It's a really inclusive theme that appeals to all age groups and genders. Some favourite entertainment solutions for this are a Lindy Hopping hula hooper, our Gatsby aerial hoop show, Charleston dancers, Speakeasy foot juggler, and 1920's acro juggling duo.

2. The Greatest Showman

This continues to be hugely popular across both adult and children's events. Contact us today for your Greatest Showman entertainment brochure, which includes everything from animatronic elephants to bearded lady singers, acrobats, snake handlers, ringmasters and of course a myriad of circus acts.

3. Disco

We've noticed a real spike in demand for anything 70's, 80's, Boogie Wonderland and Disco, with a fresh demand for mirrorballs (which of course we love, because our logo is a glitterball), mirror characters, mirror aerial and contortiondance across the eras, lookalikes such as our awesome Austin Powers, tribute bands and fitness freaks.

4. Nature/Garden of Eden/Enchanted Garden

We're all striving to be more eco-conscious and environmentally friendly, and with this has come a resurgence in anything woodland, natural, plant or garden themed. Lots of clients want to host parties in their gardens at home, so this theme doesn't even require a huge amount of decor to look authentic. And we have some simply stunning acts to suit: ivy aerial hoop, floral aerial hoop, flower people, themed crafts and face painting and stilt walking trees.

5. Festival

It's unlikely to be a festival-filled summer, so our hot prediction is that party hosts will want to create their own festivals later on in the year, complete with glitter-application, hair braiding, DJ's, robots, food stands, saxophonists, bongo players, stilt walkers and stage dancers. We are in touch with some fabulous marquee and decor companies too, so get in touch if you'd like us to connect you.

Do you think we've missed out any strong contenders for event theme of the year? We'd love to hear your comments.

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