A roadmap out of lockdown and things start to wake up from a near 12 month slumber. Our series of what Gallowglass Event Crew were doing (or trying to do) during the year of lockdowns continues.
Boris Johnson announces a timetable to coming out of lockdown. Starting March 8th with schools re-opening and some sense of normalcy starting to return around 21st June (hopefully, IF everything goes according to plan).
There is talk of some events kicking off again. Still tentative and the uncertainty from the powers that be make putting concrete plans in place almost impossible. It looks like everything is going to be more last minute that normal, possibly last second!
View from the top
Paul Grecian – Chairman of the Gallowglass Group
Trading is a little better than last month and I mean a little! Our Sybil has materialised which has eased our pain but means that I am now on the hook financially for more even than Donald Trump. Notwithstanding that, there must be cause for renewed hope. Recent restrictions and the vaccine roll out are significant factors, our H&S colleagues have secured a couple of sensational contracts which will keep them at full stretch for another 18 months and we have other great plans and initiatives to introduce to the industry as soon as everyone is circulating again!
On the front line
Stephen Bridgewater – Senior Crew Chief – Wales and South West
With a small amount of talk about easing restrictions and events being whispered about, I feel very cautious about it all. I would really like this last lockdown to be the final lockdown and I fear talk of returning to normality too quickly could be leading down a path we have been down before. I hope our lessons have been learned and even if we feel like it is safe to start doing these things it should be with extreme caution. If that means a much more tentative and slower attitude towards getting some normality in events then so be it. I would much rather that than being in and out of lockdowns for who knows how long?
Scott Young – Senior Crew Chief – Scotland
Whoop, whoop, time to move. New house, big garden here we come!
Mark Visser – Crew Chief – London
There seems to be more work coming in, especially in the film and TV sector, but along with it comes regular COVID tests, and I feel appreciated that we are being paid to go and be tested. Five tests - all Negative.
The Government’s road map brings hope to the nation and to the events industry. Leeds and Reading festivals announce they will be happening – hope on the horizon!
What has been great during this period of working with a reduced crew is that every crew member wants to be working and gives their best every time. As a Crew Chief it has made shifts a lot easier as you are not constantly looking out for the PBC’s and making sure they are working alongside a more experienced crew member. On some of the shifts I have been on, there have been more Crew Chiefs than other rankings. The clients are getting great value for their money on those shifts.
Marwan Zeghbib – Crew Chief – London
Still a waiting game, with priority groups being vaccinated. The process seems to be meticulous and faster than that of the rest of Europe.
More rest, in anticipation of a surge in shifts from May 17th onwards.
What happened in BD
Antony Cook – Head of Business Development
I continue to work for local community projects, although my duties have now expanded to local deliveries and food collection from nearby supermarkets and producers, it’s both a fulfilling and humbling experience.
Working with local volunteer groups and charities we heard more and more horror stories of domestic violence which have escalated beyond belief during lockdown and my wife and I were able to support a local women’s refuge to help in some small way. When I’m feeling sorry for myself that I can’t go out for a meal with my wife, pop down the pub with mates or attending a cigar/whisky tasting I am soon jolted back to the reality of other people’s lives and the hardships they are going through and realise what a fortunate position I am in.
What happened in HR
Chris Parry-Jones – Director of Human Resources
It snowed and it was freezing cold. Heating full on. Taking the dog out to play in the snow was great fun – snowball fights are completely different when you catch and eat! BJ gave his roadmap out so fingers crossed (again) we will be able to get back to some form of normality in June. Although lots of things have been cancelled, many more have not and there is an air of optimism around now. We will still need support so the next thing to wait for is the budget – come on Rishi a few billion more will not make a difference in the long term but a huge difference in the short term.
What happened in IT
Darren Thorley – Head of IT
For the first time in a while we talk about starting up some of the things that we had put to one side at the start of this crisis to allow us to prioritise mission critical matters over marketing and the like e.g. the group websites, social media, etc are all on the list.
I am also tasked with preparing for a quick ramp up if our H&S team win a couple of large contracts that may start in March/April.
It feels good to be focussing on something other than the day to day IT operations.
On a personal note, my wife and parents and myself finally get our vaccine first shots! Hugely relieved.