Panto Parade to take place on 30 September to highlight continued need for COVID-19 support

28 September 2020

London, Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 Pantomime dames, creative workers and people excluded from government support during the pandemic are joining together to march, socially distanced, through London.

Panto Parade graphic

The Panto Parade, aims to highlight the lack of panto this year and the wider damage the theatre and live events industry are suffering and will start at Cambridge Circus and end in Parliament Square ahead of PMQs.

People excluded from government support during the pandemic will march from the Southbank to Parliament Square at the same time.

MPs will be invited to come and meet these people who are self-organising into groups of up to five to find out how the pandemic has affected them and what further support is needed.

Once the parade arrives at Richmond Terrace, there will be a number of speakers including: Nica Burns (Nimax Theatres CEO), Philippa Childs (head of Bectu), Paul Fleming (Equity general secretary elect) and more to be confirmed. The parade will then continue and finish at Parliament Square.

We are coming together to call for:

  • Close the gaps in the Self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) to that all self-employed and freelance workers in the creative industries can benefit
  • Introduce a top up to the SEISS for those in the worst affected industries
  • Targeted support to preserve jobs in theatres and other creative venues that cannot afford to access the Job Support Scheme
  • Provide insurance for live events and theatre performances
  • A subsidised theatre ticket scheme while social distancing remains in place

Later in the evening WeMakeEvents will be asking venues to turn red as part of a co-ordinated day of global action to highlight the lack of events taking place across the UK including the Electric ballroom, Scala, West-End’s Garrick Theatre and the Houses of Parliament in London and the Scottish Parliament.

Members who aren’t able to attend the Panto Parade can still support us on the day by sending a letter to their MP highlighting the action being taken. You can also share social media posts that Bectu and Equity will post throughout the day or add your own thoughts about your local theatre or live events venue using the hashtag #PantoParade.


  • The parade starts at 10am at Cambridge Circus, London W1D 5HA (Junction at the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road)
  • Speeches will take place on Richmond Terrace with the parade marching to parliament square in time for PMQs

– The organisers of the parade are closely monitoring COVID-19 transmission developments and will cancel the parade if it appears to be too risky at the time.

– Precautions being taken to protect people from the spread of the virus include: Participants being asked to self-organise into groups of a maximum of five, social distancing, face masks and registration on Eventbrite

– Register for the march here: