ABTT celebrates diamond jubilee
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
abtt-60-years‘There will be more seminars, new awards and innovative events throughout the year’
UK - 2021 sees the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) celebrate the diamond jubilee of its foundation. The Association will be marking this milestone with a year of online activities, and a resumption of the popular face to face in-person events when restrictions allow. It will also take the opportunity to dip into the rich depths of the ABTT Archive in order to share videos and interviews. Plus there will be more seminars, new awards, and events throughout the year.
“It is a privilege to be part of the ABTT in its 60th year and to participate in its diamond jubilee,” says Robin Townley, CEO of the ABTT. “It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the role it has played throughout its existence in supporting those engaged in the design and construction of places of entertainment as well as those delivering technical and production support to live performance.
“It is a significant milestone and must be seen as a tribute to the Association’s membership, volunteers, trustees, supporters, and officers, all of whom have served the ABTT, and consequently their industry, so willingly and well over the last 60 years. It is an institution which with its experience and resilience is fundamental to sustaining the technical and production disciplines within live performance. By so doing it will enable them to continue with confidence despite the huge challenges presented by the current pandemic.”
The ABTT continues to provide technical advice, consultations, training, publications, and vital resources while providing members with networking opportunities through events, seminars, and exhibitions. Its aim is to keep its industry, especially in the current challenging circumstances, up-to-date, informed and safe through supporting best practice.
Since 1961, the ABTT has been collecting, creating and sharing information with members, which it continues to do to this day. In 2020, during the pandemic, the ABTT quickly altered its approach and embraced working online, even curating and producing 10 seminars which ran in the absence of the postponed 2020 ABTT Theatre Show. The popularity of these initial conversations prompted follow on seminars through 2020 covering topics including reopening theatres, sustainability, diversity, live streaming and more.
Over the years the ABTT has evolved to meet the needs of its members and its industry. This continues today, with the new Apprenticeship Network recently founded by ABTT Young Associate Representative Tamykha Patterson to help build a community around individuals who have been particularly impacted by the recent lockdowns.
Patterson adds: “As young professionals, we are the future of our industry, so it is extremely important that there is a platform that provides a high standard of industry recognised training, courses and events, offers safety and technical advice and is always improving technical standards to support better working environments.”
The ABTT Safety Committee has been an important feature of the Association since the early 1960s and throughout 2020 the group more than doubled in size to represent a much broader group serving the needs of theatre and the wider regulated entertainment industry. Covid-safe guidance and resources have been made available for free and work continues with other organisations to help develop health and safety regulations to allow theatres to reopen.
Current ABTT chairman Richard Bunn comments: “For 60 years the ABTT has been an important part of the theatre community and has always striven to be a vibrant hub for training, advice, safety information and mutual support. I am immensely grateful to my predecessors for creating, building, and sustaining our organisation. I thank all our trustees, members and supporters who give up their time freely to enable the ABTT to continue to support and promote technical excellence.
“The current times are challenging our industry and people like never before and I am proud that our Association has been able to continue to support the sector with vitality and relevance.”

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