UK - LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), which represents 16 live music industry organisations has launched a comprehensive survey of freelance professionals working in the UK live music sector.

Produced in partnership with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum, Powered by Freelancers - The Live Music Edition 2024 was commissioned to help understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of the freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.

Over 1,280 live music freelancers contributed to this survey with 87% of respondents stating that “freelance work provides my primary income”.

The UK’s live music industry generated £5.2b

UK - It is 10 years since Backup headed to Daytona Sandown Park for the first ever KartFest, and every year it got bigger and better. Last year the event was re-named and re-imagined as the Backup Village Fete. Fun and games for everyone abounded and a record amount of money was raised for Backup to continue its good work.

This year’s village Fete takes place on 11 July at Daytona and is proving very popular with more and more companies getting involved and joining the biggest industry day out there is. With the focus on the fete, there are many options for companies and individuals attending. You can buy single day passes through to fete stall pitches or, for the ultimate in turn up and go, a VIP ‘Manor house’ package with everything already built including a VIP bar, DJ and located right in the middle of the action. 

The Backup Parish Counci

China - UK-based Linea Research has strengthened its global presence with a series of key, strategic distribution appointments.

As Prolight + Sound Guangzhou prepares to open its doors, Linea Research has announced Guangzhou Guidance as its distributor for China. Guangzhou Guidance will manage the Linea Research product ranges across mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The team at Guangzhou Guidance, headed by Rico Xu, will take responsibility for the full spectrum of Linea Research products in the region, from the M Series amplifiers for touring to the C Series for installation, through the XiB4 range of four-channel DSP amplifiers to Linea’s Advanced System Controller, the ASC48.

Guangzhou Guidance’s Rico Xu, said, “We are very pleased to begin the sales and technical service partnership with Linea Research with exhibition of the pro

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ETC Ministar

ETC introduces the High End Systems Ministar, a game-changer in our automated lighting product line. Ministar brings exceptional versatility and performance at an affordable price point; with a compact footprint, punchy output, and a professional feature set, Ministar fits the spec and budget for small to medium-sized venues.

USA - Renkus-Heinz has announced two new team members. Joe Kaveney assumes the role of industrial engineering manager and Andrew Gizara joins as electrical engineer. 

Kaveney’s career spans from earning a US patent in the solar industry to implementing approved processes in the aerospace sector. Alongside his professional accomplishments, Kaveney's lifelong passion for music includes playing instruments, producing live events, and building interactive art installations. 

“I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to leverage my passion for music and sound with my professional experience in process design and efficiency,” says Kaveney. “It is my pleasure to assist with the industrialization of our business by establishing a robust fabrication process with an optimized supply chain – ultimately resulting in a truly lossless pro-aud

USA - City Theatrical now offers three standard beam control accessories designed to fit Martin Lighting’s MAC Viper XIP lighting fixture, which includes the MAC Viper XIP Follow Spot Handle, MAC Viper XIP Concentric Ring, and MAC Viper XIP Hexcel Louver.

These three beam control accessories were developed based on City Theatrical’s understanding of the unique accessory needs of lighting professionals, and the high demand for this moving light fixture in the market. City Theatrical currently offers 40+ styles of beam control accessories for 15 different Martin Lighting moving light fixtures, which are available through the City Theatrical dealer network.

City Theatrical’s engineers and craftspeople design and create lighting accessories, like the new MAC Viper XIP Follow Spot Handle (P/N 2815), based on working with designers and manufacturers

USA - K-array will return to InfoComm this year in Las Vegas. The K-array group, which encompasses the brands of K-array, KGEAR and KSCAPE will be represented by the K-array USA team at the show. This year, the addition of a dedicated K-array sound room, running in parallel to the existing on-booth demo room, will allow visitors to experience the brand’s larger installation solutions and those for live events.

“We’re excited to turn up the volume at this year’s InfoComm and allow the public to experience a great range of products from across the K-array ecosystem,” says Rusty Waite, president of K-array USA. “It’s been a few years since we had a larger sound room separate from the booth at the show, so we’re looking forward to guiding the demos and highlighting some of the larger K-array products whilst receiving real-time feedback from liste

USA - Obsidian Control Systems has introduced a comprehensive range of data distribution products under the Netron series, tailored for system integrators and fixed installations. These products prioritise reliability and performance and help in the management of complex networked lighting systems.

The Netron Integration Series has been created to integrate flawlessly with the ONYX lighting control platform yet is compatible with all other manufacturers’ lighting control systems, making it a universal solution for a multitude of setups.

The initial products in the series are available now, with more solutions set to debut soon.

Netron EP1 This compact device functions as an Ethernet to DMX gateway, featuring a single RDM-compatible port. Designed for effortless integration into single-gang wall mounts, trusses, or standalone setups, it offe

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Strictly FX Highlights

Strictly FX was founded in 1996 by industry veterans Mark Grega and Ted Maccabee. Our expertise and knowledge of the world’s leading pyrotechnic, laser, and flame manufacturers allows us to curate astonishing live events. With over 500+ shows performed a year, there’s good chance you’ve seen some of our work!

UK - Distortion Studios, specialists in virtual production, recently opened the doors of its new Bristol-based studio, backed by an in-house team of immersive digital arts specialists. The space, home to a cutting-edge studio stage complete with the latest and most trusted virtual production technology, can be utilised by anyone looking to shoot virtual production content, as well as serving as a training and community hub.

 “At Distortion Studios, we want to play a part in upskilling the next generation of industry professionals locally,” remarks Nick Diacre, technical director at Distortion Studios. “So, we’re looking to invite technical people in and run training in the space, alongside the usual studio hire. Remaining technologically agnostic was therefore important to us.”  

Diacre first encountered SP by Stage Precision in the soft

The Netherlands - Located in a former Amsterdam bicycle workshop that’s been transformed into a nightclub as well as a record label and agency representing DJs and producers, The Other Side has put itself squarely at the forefront of European nightlife with its new L‑ISA spatial audio system.

The world’s first nightclub to offer an L-ISA immersive experience, The Other Side’s main, 900-capacity room boasts a fully immersive 14.1.5 L-ISA configuration designed to wrap the audience in a 360-degree auditory experience.

“If you start a club like this, the main product has to be sound.” Doeshka Vrede and Jasper Löwik, the multi-hyphenate duo behind The Other Side – in addition to owning and managing the club, both are producers, musicians, and artist managers as well - explained that from the outset, optimum audio quality was at the forefro

Portugal - Event provider Europalco has once again leveraged Christie integrated solutions for a spectacular synchronised multi-projection display for the annual meeting of Millennium BCP, Portugal’s largest private bank, held at Lisbon’s Carlos Lopes Pavilion.

DCE Loving Brands agency organised and created the employee recognition-themed event, which was integrated into all levels of production for the approximately 1,600 people in attendance. Europalco provided a wide range of services, which included sound, lighting, video, cameras, automation, kinetic elements, stage set-up, and furniture.

A gigantic 60 x 8m main screen divided into three sections (each 20 x 8m) served as the focal point of the stage. Supported by 12 Christie 30,000 lumen, 4K 3DLP projectors, a Christie Spyder X80video processor, and Christie Pandoras Box Servers for show con

Denmark - Regan Vest is a new museum in Skørping, exploring the geopolitical tensions of the Cold War. A detailed and informative look at a conflict that lasted over four decades, Regan Vest tells the story in a newly-built exhibition space that’s equipped with a comprehensive audio solution from Genelec.

"We wanted to create an exhibition in which the audio-visual elements supported the storytelling in very subtle ways," begins Taintec’s Tue Selmer Friborg, the audio-visual consultant that worked on the project. "The sound had to offer guests an immersive element, whilst being unobtrusive, and at the same time we wanted to make an exhibition which – though complex – would require as little maintenance as possible."

The museum is made up of three parts; a 5,500sq.m secret bunker hidden 60m underground, which takes guests to the centre of the

UK - PLASA Focus Leeds returned to its home at the Royal Armouries on 14 and 15 May, with two packed show halls, a bigger-than-ever seminar programme, and record-breaking attendance figures.

This year’s PLASA Focus Leeds saw a 19% increase in attendance, with a strong visitor profile on par with previous shows. 1/5 were company directors, owners or chairs, equally representing audio, AV, lighting and staging tech. This year saw 1/5 students too, over double last year’s figures, signalling a strong future for the industry.

Matt Wiseman from MDG Fog UK says: “As a company, we’re now 10 years into the journey with PLASA Focus Leeds being a key date in our UK diary. Each year we have experienced more footfall to our stand and especially this year. The quality of visitor was again noticeably higher and we expect to see another re

UK - Duncan Bell (formerly of Autograph) has just completed a fundraising trip for industry charity Backup, cycling off road from Appleby, Cumbria to Middleton, Derbyshire and covering 185 miles of the Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District.

Friday brought the last 37 miles from Hayfield to Middleton Top, nr Matlock. “This final stage marks not only the end of this week’s endeavours, but also the end of the Great North Trail, an 800-mile route that started in Cape Wrath, NW Scotland that we started in 2021 and completed in three stages,” says Duncan.

“I’d like to raise anything we can for Backup Tech to helps those in the entertainment world who need help at any difficulty stage in their lives, career or family. We have a modest goal of £2k that I’m sure we can exceed. Please give what you can.”

Donations can be made

Brazil - Ayrton has announced Newart Iluminação Ltda as its exclusive distributor for Brazil. The appointment takes place with immediate effect.

“We chose to become an Ayrton distributor because of the brand’s industry-wide reputation for innovation, quality and reliability, and because Ayrton products are highly recognized for their performance, versatility and design,” says Newart Iluminacao owner and managing director, Francisco Pinheiro. “We are excited to become part of the Ayrton network and look forward to contributing to the brand's success by providing a high level of service to our customers.”

Established in 2001, Newart Iluminacao is an established lighting distribution company with more than two decades of experience in the industry. It specialises in the distribution of high-quality professional lighting to rental companies

South Africa - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) recently returned to the stage on a Greatest Hits Live World Tour, which saw the return of the band to South Africa for the first time in 12 years. The first performance took place at Cape Town’s Greenpoint A-Track, with another following event in Johannesburg two nights later.

The South African tour, organised by Breakout Events with the Cape Town leg managed by Rogue Entertainment, required a sound system that would do justice to the band’s electronic anthems. Ultra Events were responsible for supplying and implementing the technical solutions for this much-anticipated show, including a V-Series sound system from d&b audiotechnik.

“The A-Track comes with challenges that need to be navigated with care when setting up a concert system,” explains Patrick Dudgeon, audio HOD at Ultra Eve

USA - UK audio design firm Union Audio, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, has announced the appointment of Sweetwater to manage distribution of its audio products across the Americas.

Effective immediately, Sweetwater will manage the sales and distribution of the orbit and elara mixers and accessories, as well as any future product releases, to customers in the USA, Canada and South America.

"The Union Audio brand is about bespoke analogue audio products, meticulously engineered and hand built. We're thrilled to be able to partner with the leading retailer in such a major territory,” says Union founder Andy Rigby-Jones. “The new partnership will enable us to bring this excellence to a wider customer base, whilst maintaining our manufacturing quality and values.”

USA - Magic Reinvented Nightly, magician Mat Franco’s current Las Vegas residency, is staged at the Mat Franco Arena at the LINQ Hotel+Experience.

Production lighting designer Scott Chmielewski from design studio DMDS7UDIOS was first asked to create a lighting environment for this show in 2020 when it launched. Scott has worked with creative director / producer Brian Burke on top TV shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent and has crafted his own multidisciplinary lighting aesthetic blending the theatrical with the televisual.

The Mat Franco show – under the artistic direction of scenic designer Joe O’Neill was initially planned to run for five years – and received a quick refresh during the COVID period, followed by a full production and room re-design in February 2023. This last update brought large qua

UK - The first day of the ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace on 5 June will be open from 10am until 5.30pm but activities will not stop then.

For 2024, the ABTT Award Presentations will be kicking off from 5.30pm with drinks served outside the Londesborough Room as visitors and exhibitors join together to take their seat to celebrate the recipients of the awards for products and people making advances in our world.

The Products Awards include Sound Product, Lighting Product, Engineering Product and Widget of the Year plus Stand of the Year for 2024. The People Awards include Technician of the Year, Emerging Excellence, Environmental Sustainability, Costume plus the Award for WHAM Design.

Following these celebrations, will be a new innovation for 2024, the ABTT Social on the Terrace.

Attendees and exhibitors are invited to continue

Spain - Home of Zarzuela - a form of Spanish traditional musical comedy – central Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela was restored to its historic beauty in 1913 after a fire destroyed the original 1856 building. Now owned by the Ministry of Culture and a designated Asset of General Interest with Monument status since 1994, the Teatro is Spain’s first and only Spanish lyric theatre.

The most famous Zarzuela performances have premiered here and the best works of its repertoire are still sung and heard here to this day to audiences in excess of 1,200.

Theatre, television and event rental company, CityLight Iluminación, has supplied 32 Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Cyclorama lights to the opulent venue, procured from Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Spain, EarPro & EES.

Teatro de la Zarzuela’s technical team carried out some in dept

USA - Il Divo are currently on their 20th anniversary global tour, which is animated by a vibrant Ignacio (Iggy) Rosenberg lighting design that represents a dramatic departure from previous shows.

“This being the group’s 20th anniversary tour, we wanted to give them a refreshed, modern look,” said Rosenberg. “It was the best time for them to get a total revamp.  Some of the band members had ideas they wanted (including lasers and video), and I wanted to minimize the orchestra to express the individual identities of the four singers more dramatically.”

As part of new design, Rosenberg revamped the production’s audience lighting. To accomplish this, he added eight Chauvet Professional Color STRIKE M fixtures, supplied by The Lighting Design Group, to his rig.

“The band loves seeing their audience,” he said. “I wanted to push

China - Colombian singer-songwriter Juan Gomez’s concert at Beijing’s Zhongshan ‘Forbidden’ City Concert Hall has used the ethernet-based Green-GO digital solution to improve efficiency.

The Concert Hall is known as the ‘pearl of music in China’s royal garden’ as it is situated inside one of Beijing's most beautiful parks, Zhongshan Park, and surrounded by historic gardens and landmarks. Its main stage measures 23m wide and 14m tall, offering more than 1,400 seats on two floors. The venue hosts both international tours, the Beijing International Music Festival and concerts by the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

China Green-GO dealer and AV expert EZPro was tasked to provide a high-quality intercom system for sound engineers and stage staff for the show. “The technical team had no previous awareness of the

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