Local buildings shine red to call attention to pandemic’s impact on live events

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida landmarks ranging from performance venues to sports stadiums and office buildings were lit up red on Tuesday as part of a national awareness campaign.

We Make Events North America, a coalition of trade bodies, businesses, unions and live events workers, encouraged buildings be lit in red to call attention to the impact of COVID-19 on the live event industry.

“The goal is to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on red alert for its very survival, and create congressional pressure to act now,” organizers said.


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Ten buildings in Orlando were set to participate alongside as many as 1,500 building nationwide from 9 p.m. to midnight.

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“We are so grateful to the building owners in Orlando who have committed to participating and we are in active discussions with many others who have expressed interest,” said Cosmo Wilson, national director of special projects and an Orlando-based lighting designer and director who has worked with more than 40 acts including AC/DC, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. “It’s our goal to light up as many buildings as possible to help raise awareness about the Restart Act.”

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Just between Amway Center and Camping World Stadium, officials estimate between 500 and 1,000 employees are out of work, and that doesn’t include all the smaller venues spread out through the downtown area.

They’re our colleagues, they’re our friends, our co-workers and we’re here to remind you about them and to urge our Congress and governments to take action and support them,” said Allen Johnson, chief venues officer for the city of Orlando. “The Plaza, the Abby, Social, Beacham -- all the places that are even small, we’re the big dogs in town, but I’m also thinking about all of those people.”

The buildings set to participate in Orlando included:

  • Amway Center
  • Camping World Stadium
  • CCR Solutions
  • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  • Empire Building
  • Exploria Stadium/Orlando City Soccer Club
  • Solaire at the Plaza
  • The Abbey
  • The Waverly on Lake Eola
  • 200 South Orange Avenue (former SunTrust Tower)

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.