Festival firm gets vital culture grant to keep virtual event space afloat


A SOUND and lighting provider for live events and festivals such as Truck and Glastonbury has received a vital culture recovery grant. Event Production Services (EPS) usually provide the sound and lighting for big events and festivals, but after the pandemic, everything came to a halt and all live music events were cancelled. To keep live events going, the production company created the Oxfordshire Broadcast Barn in Wallingford, which is a temporary space for online streaming of virtual events such as meetings, conferences, live music, and product launches.

The Broadcast Barn gives customers a broadcast-style studio space, control gallery and a green-screen room. Read also: Blenheim Palace plays a starring role in new short film EPS have managed to repurpose one of their warehouses to create a space with a large stage, a lighting rig, in-house sound equipment and a high definition video wall all in a 2,000 sq ft building.

However, EPS put the majority of their staff on furlough and the company is still struggling as live events are still cancelled, but the grant could help change that. Now the production company has received a grant of GBP182,500 from the Government’s GBP1.57 billion culture recovery fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. Managing director Robert Nisbet said: “After a long hard year seeing over a 75 per cent drop in income, this is incredibly welcome news.

Without this essential cash injection at this time, we really would have struggled to do more than limp through to when restrictions lift and events return. Instead, we’re able to plan for the future and there is a sense of excitement among our team. Read also: Gigs go ahead as events company launches ‘Broadcast Barn’

“I’m massively proud of my staff for how they have dealt with the last twelve months, and hopefully this is the reward they deserve for their loyalty and positivity.” More than GBP300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including EPS, in the latest round of support from the culture recovery fund. The award is designed to provide the company with its overheads covered for the next three months from April, providing a buffer and allowing other income to be used to drive the company forwards – for example in recruiting additional staff ahead of an expected busy summer season.

Over GBP800 million in grants and loans have been issued in total, to 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Sir Nicholas Serota, chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

For all EPS enquiries please ring 01844 278446 or email info@epsoxford.com