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The Sound of 2,000 Voices

By Bob Priest-Heck

As the events industry frames the plan about how and when we all start gathering again, will your voice be heard? There’s a better alternative to just whistling in the dark or having a shouting contest with people who disagree with you politically. Join a choir. Amplify the strength of your voice by singing with others who share your convictions.

Last month, Freeman united with business leaders from across the industry to launch Go LIVE Together. This movement, which began with 84 founding members, has grown to over 2,000 representing thousands of businesses. We add to our numbers every day. I am personally gratified and humbled by this response, and I know the other organizers of our coalition feel the same way. It means that our intentions and our course of action have been validated by the people who know best what must be done.

We are bound together by the belief that nothing in the world will ever replace the power and need for live events. To that end, we have joined forces to:

  • Enable events and trade shows to open safely, once stay-at-home orders are lifted, by following common guidelines. These standards will adhere to the best medically backed scientific practices for protecting workers and attendees at live events;
  • Raise awareness with government officials, so that they understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation. We will illustrate the benefits that a safe start-up will have on healing the U.S. economy;
  • Seek relief by supporting legislation to rebuild the industry in a way that serves to accelerate economic recovery.

There’s a beautiful holiday tradition in Japan in which people come together to form a massive choir, 10,000 people strong, for Daiku concerts in which they sing the choral section of Beethoven’s jubilant Ninth Symphony, the “Ode to Joy.” Of course, the choral arrangement is written for different vocal parts — soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. There are soloists leading some sections. But 10,000 people come together and sing one song and it is amazing. Powerful. Joyful.

Let’s raise our voices in that spirit. Let’s share our message as if we are a vast choir, singing one song in unison.

It’s been estimated that 6.6 million jobs in the live events industry have been affected by the pandemic. If only a fraction of these people work together, we will be a mighty force. Imagine what we can accomplish. Imagine how far we can be heard.

You can add the strength of your voice to ours — bringing your ideas and convictions — by joining the movement at GoLIVETogether.com. Use the facts we’ve gathered and the tools we offer to spread the word through social media. When it’s time, reach out to your elected representatives.

By all means, join the chorus. Who knows what music we can create when we raise our voices as one.

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