Transam Trucking left in limbo over live music shutdown
PUBLISHED: 11:28 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:28 26 June 2020
A company whose trucks have been synonymous with live music for over 40 years is facing more months of uncertainty after seeing cancellation of its entire summer workload and no sign of the return of mass events.
Transam Trucking should have been transporting the live shows of everyone from Westlife to Guns ‘N’ Roses, Paul McCartney to Iron Maiden to gigs and festivals across Europe.
Instead its fleet of iconic black and gold trucks are parked up at its base on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, and the company has had to furlough more than 60 staff.
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Company director Natasha Highcroft said: “Almost overnight all our work went away. The summer is usually our busiest time of the year. We would have all of our trucks out, plus subcontractors, so for the summer to go is a massive loss to our entire year.
“We have had to take almost all our trucks off the road and untax them. We have also had to furlough 18 office staff and 51 of our drivers.”
The company, which formed in 1978 with one truck to transport Bob Marley for a live show in Ibiza, is based near Eye, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, where it has a state-of-the-art workshop for its fleet of 150 trucks and 160 trailers.
Over the years it has transported tours for a who’s who of music stars, everyone from the Rolling Stones to AC/DC, U2 to Taylor Swift.
With summer and autumn tours by artists ranging from JLS to Judas Priest, 21 Pilots and Westlife shows that included a date at Carrow Road in Norwich all cancelled or postponed, the company is left in limbo until live music can restart.
Ms Highcroft said: “We are looking towards 2021, that is all we can do. No-one knows when it might return to normal. It all depends on social distancing guidelines.
“There is no date to work towards for live music to reopen. We are seeing some sectors returning on July 4, but there is no date for when mass gatherings can take place.
“It is all very well saying you could do a show socially distanced with 500 people in a 2,000 capacity venue, but how does that make it financially viable?”
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The company has managed to switch to some alternative haulage work but its specialist trucks mean this cannot make up for an otherwise empty order book.
It fears the end of the government furlough scheme may come before the live music sector returns.
“All the help that came through the furlough scheme could be taken away but we are still not going to have any work by the looks of things,” added Ms Highcroft.
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