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Michael T. Strickland Awarded Inaugural Pandemic Pivot Prize

PLSN Staff • News • January 18, 2021


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Bandit Lites is pleased to announce Michael T. Strickland has been awarded Live Design’s Pandemic Pivot Prize, which recognizes an individual for their actions in managing a business or aiding the industry during the COVID-19 crisis. The prizes were announced alongside the winners of the 2020 Design Achievement Awards in three virtual ceremonies from January 13-15, 2021.

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Bandit Lites Chair and founder did not anticipate finding himself as the intercessor for the live events industry, but when COVID-19 halted productions indefinitely, Strickland knew he could not simply wait for someone else to act. Thousands of emails, phone calls, Zoom sessions and interviews culminated in Strickland mobilizing the industry to action. He not only used his own connections to government representatives to share the struggles and needs of millions, but he also rallied those very same millions to contact their own members of Congress.

His efforts focused on informing the entire industry of the minutia of federal aid, breaking down applications and forms that entire companies and individuals hinged their survival on, and on raising awareness to the public with appearances on MSNBC and WGN America so as to keep the focus on this vital industry.

Strickland then testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection on December 15 about the effect of COVID-19 on the Live Event Industry. This testimony led to the passage of the COVID Relief bill providing Save Our Stages, additional PPP and additional PUA to the industry. Strickland continues the work in 2021 to obtain even broader relief for the entire industry

“I’d like to thank the readers and the staff for Live Design for this Pandemic Pivot Award,” said Strickland. “I’d be remiss to say that I deserved it, because it isn’t me, it is you; the hundreds of thousands of people in this great live events industry that have made this possible. You did the case pushes. You did the empty stages. You made the hundreds of thousands of phone calls to senators and to House of Representative members. You did all the phenomenal work to make sure that Congress heard us, and that we got the much-needed relief that our industry so sorely had to have to survive. I thank you very much for all that you did and look forward to a brighter 2021.”

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