The global coronavirus pandemic has all but wiped-out the concert industry for the time being. But that isn’t stopping one concert staging company from keeping hard at work.
Upstaging Inc., an Illinois-based company that carries out theatrical lighting and production services for major events, is now shifting gears to the manufacturing of medical equipment. Rather than building stages for top musical artists coming to the area, Upstaging staff are now building protective masks, generators and more for medical professionals working overtime in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“[Upstaging Inc. is] strangely well-equipped to do emergency services here and that’s what we’re going to do until we can get together and do live events again,” John Huddleston, Director of Live Events at Upstaging Inc., told local news outlet WGN9. “We’re pivoting quickly for the need.”
Huddleston explained that the company is currently working to deliver 7,200 protective masks throughout the state of Illinois following an order from Governor J.B. Pritzker. They are also providing room dividers for easier isolation of patients and generators to set up in temporary buildings. Additionally, Upstaging’s expertise in preparing concert productions also provides them with the ability to transform empty spaces into make-shift hospitals complete with walls, lighting and power.
With high-profile clients like Billie Eilish, the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam all postponing their tour schedules in a virus-caused domino effect, Upstaging could have easily been like so many companies facing temporary closure. But Huddleston maintained that if they have the resources to stay in business, they’re going to do so.
“The bottom line is, let’s keep people working here in Illinois and at our company,” Huddleston said.