It’s a dire time for live entertainment in Toronto. With a second lockdown looming, it might get worse before it gets better.
Theatre, dance and comedy productions are mostly relegated to YouTube and Zoom, while concerts are adapting to livestreams. Music venues – which were already in a precarious situation before the COVID-19 pandemic – are sitting dark and empty. Or at least those that haven’t pulled the plug already.
Rather than sit and wait, there are things that venues and artists can do to get ready.
Enter #Lights-On, a new guide to rebuilding the live event scene.
“The reality is, we’re less in control of our destiny than ever as an industry,” says Chris Gibbs, chair of Ryerson University’s Creative Industries program in the Faculty of Community & Design. “But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do. If anyone has the structure and capacity to return safely, it’s us.”
Gibbs launched #Lights-On along with Ryerson FCAD professor Louis-Etienne Dubois and Shawn Newman from the Toronto Arts Council. It’s an industry-wide project, which also includes people from TO Live, SOCAN, the City of Toronto, Canadian Stage, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Harbourfront Centre, Terragon Theatre and more.