I am sure you are aware of the Saving Stage Lighting Campaign run by the ALD with regards to the European Union Eco-Design regulations over the past year.
The ALD acted as a catalyst to bring awareness of this danger to the widest possible audience, highlighting the potential effect to the tools our members use to create their work and therefore the quality of lighting presentation in live performance.
The website www.savestage.lighting
stands testament to the work undertaken and the progress made over the last nine months. It continues to be updated as the issue unfolds further.
We can all agree that this campaign has been enormously successful, and some major exemptions have been secured, but it has come at a cost to those most directly involved in compiling submissions, meeting with industry bodies, and publicising the potential damage and destruction to stage lighting as we know it.
The ALD campaign has taken many forms:
• An online petition
that recorded circa 85,000 signatures
• Increase awareness of ALD membership & industry companies
• Highly visual ‘Light Up’ campaign where the #SaveStageLighting message was projected onto the exteriors and interiors of theatre buildings across Europe
• Representatives meeting with the Cultural directorate of EU in Brussels
• An overview of the various papers, technical specifications and consultation documents to track and assess developments.
• Briefing of wider performance industry managements, funders and Government
• Documents and briefing papers written to inform and enable wider understanding of the issues
• Media interviews undertaken, print articles created and public meetings held to explain the potential damage of proposed legislation.
This has all been achieved thanks to an extraordinary group of volunteers who have given months of their time to this campaign and continue to do so. None have formal lobbying or campaigning training or experience but were mobilised by their desire to protect the performance lighting industry. These freelance lighting individuals should be compensated for all the hard work and their continued commitment, often putting paid work on hold and certainly giving up much precious family time.
The ALD has only limited reserves and the majority of its income is received from membership subscriptions. We have always tried to ensure these are an affordable cost to members in order to help keep the ALD as an inclusive association. From this it assigned £5000 to help with expenses, mainly travel, and we've managed to pay a few people for a small portion of their time. But the real cost of the campaign has been much greater!
We are hoping to raise at least a further £35,000 to add to these initially committed funds.
This will allow us to compensate the team for some of the work they have already done and provide for a reserve to help educate and support others in the Eco-Design challenges in the future. Had a professional lobbying or campaigning firm created the SSL Campaign, it would have no doubt cost many times this amount and might not have been as successful.
With the final decision being taken in Brussels this month, I would like to end the year by asking for your help in funding to pay our very dedicated team and to establish funds for the future campaigning that will no doubt be needed.
The entire entertainment lighting industry has benefited from the work of a very few tireless freelance Lighting Designers and practitioners that have put careers and paid work on hold in order the safeguard performance lighting. Can we count on your help?