COVID-19 Crisis Support
During these challenging times, we are endeavouring to keep our readers up-to-date with the very latest news, resources and offers of support in relation to the current global COVID-19 pandemic. We will be adding to this page regularly as the situation progresses. If you are aware of any industry-relevant information that you think would be useful to share, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Last Updated : 15:42 24-09-2020]
Following nationwide mass protests on 11 August (see LSi September), the PLASA-initiated #WeMakeEvents campaign is now entering its second phase - Stand as One - with a collective of industry bodies, businesses and individuals now steering the initiative and set to announce new creative activations in the coming weeks. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to join the action:
Write to your MP (find letter templates HERE)
Share #WeMakeEvents videos on social media
Call someone you know and spread the work about the campaign's demands.
For the latest information, visit: www.wemakeevents.com.
PLASA has also called on events industry professionals to spell out the many challenges their sector is facing in a letter to their local MP. The campaign, part of the #EventsForTheFuture which PLASA launched alongside the ABTT, PSA, PLASA, SOLT and UK Theatre, aims to secure better government support for the events industry during the COVID-19 crisis. To make it simple to contact their local representative, the Association has made several templates available for download from plasa.org/coronavirus-mp-letter-templates. Read the full story HERE.
PPE Drive - Working with Medical Supply Drive UK, the National 3D Printing Society has assembled a manufacturing and distribution network to help meet the PPE demand during this national pandemic. Those with printing or cutting capabilities can request to become a supplier HERE. Devon-based Artistic Licence is among the manufacturers taking part in this PPE-production initiative. "The Artistic Licence 3D print lab was free and so has been turned over to the project. The first batch shipped out today [21 April]", said company CEO, Wayne Howell.
Thousands of volunteers have joined 3D Crowd UK's initiative to produce PPE for staff who are treating COVID-19 patients. By 10 April, over 6,000 3D printer owners from across the UK had joined the programme, creating more than 39,000 face shields, which have been dispatched to 90 NHS Trusts. More funding and resources are needed however, as over 500,000 shields have already been requested by hospitals up and down the country. Click HERE for more on how to donate.
Also producing much-needed PPE, Duncan Coombe of DCLX is asking for donations in order to purchase a 3D printer filament to produce face shields. In just 24 hours, the fundraiser had collected around £2,500, enabling Coombe and his team of volunteers to expand their operation, which currently comprises 34 3D printers and two laser cutters. In an update from 11 April, Coombe said: "There is now a team of 14 of us across 10 sites running this kit pretty much 27/4. Literally in bedrooms, kitchens, front rooms, (clean) workshops and so on. The contributions made by the selfless volunteers is breath-taking." Find out how to get involved or to donate, click HERE.
Exeter's Luminous Show Technology is also raising money to manufacture much-needed PPE and hand sanitiser that will be distributed nationally. The fundraiser has already doubled its target from £1,500 to £3,000, with the company having so far delivered over 400 visors and 200 bottles of sanitiser to hospitals and care homes. To get involved, click HERE.
Event freelancers offer NHS support - People Powered, a group of UK entertainment technology freelancers have offered to help the NHS by using their skills to transform NHS facilities or other spaces into places for medical care. "In our industry, we are used to transforming a place used for one purpose into a place that can be used for another purpose. (…) We have engineers, electricians, lifters and shifters. (…) We have the capability to make a difference by using our immense pool of experience and skills to help you."
The full statement can be read HERE
Offer your services to People Powered HERE.
Roadie Rescue Campaign – A coronavirus relief fund has been launched to help raise $250,000 for freelancers. The funds will be distributed to eligible professionals through MusiCares, a US charity organisation ran by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
To find out more or donate, visit: www.roadierescue.com/
Tech Support - A growing number of companies are pooling their resources into the Folding@Home project – a distributed computing scheme for disease research. Creative Technology recently joined the project, with other backers including nVidia, Google, Intel, GitHub, Screenworks, Univate, and Bexel.
To get involved, visit this page
#ThinkOthers Campaign - Edinburgh-based event company 21CC Group Ltd has launched an online campaign #ThinkOthers with the aim of connecting those who need help and those who can offer help during the coming weeks and months as a result of the effects of COVID-19. The campaign includes a Facebook support group.
Freelancers Unite - A Facebook group for UK live event industry freelancers has been set up to bring this unique workforce together during this challenging time. The group was created to be "a kind and cooperative environment to explore the information and feelings around coronavirus, and the impact that that is having, and has had, on the live events industry."
LATEST INFO [24.09.2020] - Winter Economy Plan - The UK's chancellor Rishi Sunak has introduced a set of measures designed to help businesses and workers get by during the next six months of the coronavirus disruption.
Replacing the furlough scheme, the chancellor unveiled the Jobs Support Scheme, which will run for six months from November and see the government pay a portion of the wages of employees who can return to work for just some of the time. This means that if a worker can do a third (or around 33%) of their normal hours, they will be paid for this by their employer whilst the other two thirds of the salary will be split between the government (capped at £697.92) and the employer, allowing the worker to take home up to 77% of their normal pay. For full details, visit the government website.
The Self-Employment Support Scheme has also been extended, but with a cap of 20% of the claimants' average monthly profits up to £1,875. An initial taxable grant will cover the period from November to the end of January next year and a second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to "changing circumstances", will be available for the period from February to the end of April 2021.
Further announcements included the scrapping the VAT rate increase for the hospitality and tourism sectors; a Pay As You Grow scheme, which involves extending bounce-back loan repayments for 10 years (from six years); and allowing businesses to spread their deferred VAT repayments over 11 smaller payments.
Theatre professionals who are in need of urgent and critical financial support are able to apply for the Theatre Artists Fund. If eligible, applicants can be considered for a one-off emergency grant of £1,000, which they can use towards living costs. Applicants will need to meet certain eligibility criteria, provide one form of proof and provide contact details of a theatre professional to act as a referee to verify their information. All applicants will be required to provide a CV demonstrating their professional theatre roles/jobs between January 2019 and March 2020 (a 15-month period). Only certain theatrical freelancer professions are eligible - a list is available on //theatreartists.fund, where those interested in applying can fill in an application form.
How to apply for Culture Recovery Fund grants [30 July 2020]
The UK government has set out the eligibility criteria for cultural organisations wishing to apply for part of the £1.57bn arts rescue fund. The funding includes £622m worth of grants, including £2.25m for grassroot venues, as well as a separate £270m repayable loan scheme. Get the full story HERE.
• £500m worth of grants of between £50,000 to £3m will be administered by Arts Council England (ACE). The body is running a two-round application process during August, but has warned that it expects to allocate around 75% of the funding in round one. Find out more about the eligibility criteria from ACE's website.
• UK-wide, the British Film Institute (BFI) is overseeing £30m of the funding, to be allocated to independent cinemas. Find out about the criteria and how to apply HERE.
• The National Lottery Heritage Fund will distribute £92m to protect heritage sites UK-wide and is accepting applications for grants of between £10,000 and £3m. Applications open on 31 July and close on 17 August. Details are available HERE.
Organisations who require more than £3m of funding can apply for repayable finance on the £270m loans scheme, details of which will be added to this page when they become available.
Sunak extends Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Job Retention Scheme
In a statement on 29 May, the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the continuation of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and announced how he plans to phase out the Job Retention Scheme by October.
From August, self-employed workers will be able to apply for a second and final instalment worth 70% of their monthly profits capped at £6,570 in total. The Treasury reported that 2.3 million people have benefitted from the scheme, with £6.8bn paid out so far.
Meanwhile, the Job Retention Scheme will continue until October, with employers allowed to furlough additional workers until 30 June. The Treasury is also introducing "part-time furloughing" to allow employers to gradually bring back staff part-time.
The scheme will continue unchanged throughout June and July, with 80% of wages, plus national insurance and pension contributions, funded by the taxpayer. From August, employers are required to pay national insurance and pension contributions, whilst 80% of wages are still funded by the taxpayer (up to £2,500). In September, the government pays 70% of wages (up to £2,190) and employers 10% plus ER NICs and pension contributions. In October, the taxpayer-funded portion of the wages is 60% (up to £1,875) with 20% coming from employers plus ER NICs and pension contributions.
UK government launches new web utility
To help businesses navigate the various financial relief schemes available, the UK government has launched a new web utility. The Business Support Finder - shows employers and self-employed workers what financial aid is available to them and how to apply for it in a simple, step-by-step questionnaire.
UK self-employed to be paid 80% of earnings
The chancellor Rishi Sunak has answered repeated calls to introduce further emergency measures to reimburse out-of-work self-employed workers. Until recently, the self-employed could only claim Universal Credit allowance of around £95 per week.
On Thursday evening (26/3), the chancellor announced a new self-employed income support scheme, which will see those eligible receive a taxable grant worth 80% of their earnings from the past three years, capped to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be open until at least June and the amount will be paid as a lump sum.
The scheme will only be open to individuals with average trading profits of up to £50,000 per year who make the majority of their income from self-employment. People will be able to claim whilst continuing to work.
To prevent fraud, only those who have filed a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply. To accommodate those who have missed the January submission deadline, the government will allow people to submit their tax return by the end of April.
See how to claim here.
Petition launched for amendments to UK's sole traders support scheme
Creative professionals trading through limited companies have complained that they are not eligible for the self-employed income support scheme announced by the chancellor Rishi Sunak last week. Under the scheme, self-employed workers with annual profits of less than £50,000 can claim taxable grants worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the past three years, capped to £2,500 per month. But sole traders, who incorporate as limited companies, cannot access the grant. To put pressure on the government to revise the plans, a Charge.org petition has been launched. Accessible here, the petition has so far been backed by nearly 200,000 supporters and calls for new measures to be introduce to cover those workers who are directors of small limited businesses. Parliament is now in recess until 25 April.
Government Support - The UK government offers free advice for businesses and the self-employed via its Business Support Helpline:
England: 0300 456 3565
Wales: 0300 060 3000
Northern Ireland: 0800 181 4422
The government's 'Business Support' advice site can also be found HERE.
Support with Tax: Time to Pay service
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to help support people through the Coronavirus outbreak. Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to discuss your specific circumstances to explore: Agreeing an instalment arrangement; Suspending debt collection proceedings; Cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately.
The helpline number is: 0800 0159 559
Citizens Advice: Struggling with living costs
Citizens Advice is offering advice to anyone on a low income or struggling with living costs. Information includes how to get help from your local council, how to get an interest-free loan from the government, and getting benefits paid early.
Backup - Backup, the technical entertainment industry charity, offers valuable support to those in our industry at times of need: www.backuptech.uk
Music Support, the peer-led music industry charity that provides confidential mental health and addiction services, has partnered with Thrive, the UK's only NHS-approved mental health app. Thrive, available for all Android, iOS and web-based devices, offers 24/7 support for mental health and wellbeing and helps with the early detection, prevention and management of common disorders such as anxiety and depression. Download Thrive app. Music Support also runs a helpline: 0800 030 6789 - www.musicsupport.org
Theatre Helpline - SOLT and UK Theatre operate a free, 24-hour Theatre Helpline phone service supporting theatre professionals with any issue affecting their health and wellbeing: 0800 915 4617 - email@example.com
Behind the Scenes - US entertainment technology charity Behind the Scenes has launched a simple web tool to help industry professionals identify mental and physical health conditions and get help. Visit this page to find out more.
Mental Health support - The Mental Health Foundation has issued some advice on looking after your mental health during the current coronavirus crisis, you can read it HERE
Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £160m emergency response package to help cultural organisations, freelancers and individual artists survive the coronavirus crisis. The money is intended to prevent artists and arts organisations from going into liquidation, but is also designed to help them come up with creative responses "to buoy the public" during the lockdown.
Guidance for applicants, including detailed timetables, will be published on 30 March. Potential applicants will need to register on ACE's application portal Grantium by Friday, 3 April. For more information, visit: www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid-19
Crew Nation Fund - Live Nation is rolling out the Crew Nation fund, a new charitable fund to help support concert crews. The promoter has committed $10m to the fund and will be releasing an application for live music crews across the industry. Over the next week, the company will reach out to crew members from tours across the globe whose income has already been affected due to the cancellation or rescheduling of a Live Nation event. To get involved, visit: www.livenationentertainment.com/crewnation
Small Business Relief Webinars - To help small businesses in the US adapt to the challenging economic environment, NAMM is hosting a series of Small Business Relief webinars. The first session is available in full here and provides information on the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security' (CARES) federal stimulus plan. Further resources from NAMM can be found at www.namm.org/covid-19.
We have collated a list of training resources made available by the industry for the industry during this time of crisis that give those with unexpected down-time the opportunity to focus and learn. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and we will include your training initiatives below . . .
ADJ is launching a series of Stay Connected video broadcasts with educational content and product overviews. Each session will be broadcast live on Facebook and viewers can type their questions directly to the product specialists on camera. All recorded episodes can be viewed on ADJ's YouTube channel.
ARRI has launched an 11-part online course for all levels of lighting and video professionals. Offered through ARRI Academy, Lighting Systems Control with Richard Cadena serves as a guide to get you up and running with digital lighting control, using DMX, RDM, Wireless DMX, and ethernet-based networks. Cadena, LSi's technical editor and columnist, leads the course.
LED lighting solutions manufacturer Astera is offering an online resource of webinars through its Astera Academy. Sessions are dedicated to the company's hardware and software offerings. Visitors can explore the ins and outs of the AsteraApp as well as various lighting fixtures. Each webinar is streaming twice a day and lasts 30-60 minutes.
Avolites regularly carries out Ai and Titan online training and organises a host of other activities for its followers and users on Facebook.
The ChamSys Training Academy offers various resources covering the manufacturer's range of products, including free one-to-one sessions with programmers during business hours. Also offered are daily webinars conducted by LDs and programmers, an expanded menu of video tutorials; and free MagicQ and QuickQ sessions. Live MagicQ sessions will stream every Tuesday at 11am EST (4pm BST).
Chauvet Professional has launched its Thursday Tech Talk series. Streamed every Thursday at 2pm EST (7pm GMT) on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and LinkedIn Live, the series cover a wide-range of lighting and video wall subjects. The recorded sessions will also be available anytime via www.chauvetprofessional.com/training.
Elation Professional's Elation Hour weekly webinars are now available on demand from the lighting manufacturer's website. The series is hosted by Elation's John Dunn and Matthias Hinrichs and feature discussions on the ins and outs of broadcast lighting, lighting for festivals and outdoor events, and more.
ETC's entire catalogue of LearningStage classes are available online from the manufacturer's website.
New episodes of GLP's10 Out of 10 series of video interviews with lighting designers will be released every Wednesday on the company's YouTube channel. Each 15-minute episode will feature an LD answering the same set of questions, making for an "informative, partly inspirational, and partly irreverent and amusing" resource.
Harman Professional Solutions Solutions has extended its e-learning programme, offered free in conjunction with Harman Pro University. The company has added 12 free Live Workshops which will take place throughout August and feautre lighting or audio experts who have worked with artists including 3 Doors Down, Bob Seger, Guns N' Roses, Gwen Stefani, Iron Maiden and many more. Details HERE.
MA Lighting's e-learning platform MA University is also available globally.
Madrix' YouTube channel now features recordings of the company's livestream videos broadcast earlier this year. The sessions are dedicated to Madrix' range of lighting control solutions. These include an overview of Madrix Radar, the RDM tool for automatic device monitoring, and the latest software updates in Madrix 5.
Obsidian Control Systems has collected its Onyx 101 webinars and advanced training videos for on-demand viewing on its YouTube channel.
Lighting control manufacturer Zero 88 has ramped up its available online consultations and training opportunities, releasing a schedule of 42 Zoom training sessions each month, which will run for as long as the crisis lasts. Sessions will cover a wide range of topics related to Zero's award-winning FLX and FLX S series of lighting consoles. For full details, visit zero88.com.
Adamson Systems Engineering has launched The Adamson Education Webinar Series covering topics relevant to Adamson products, technologies and applications, as well as the wider live sound and integration industries. All past sessions are available on the company's Vimeo page.
Audac has extended its online Dante webinar series into the summer, whilst all past sessions are archived on its website. The company's Dante Certification is also running during August. Find out more HERE.
Audinate has extended its online Dante webinar series, offering over 25 free online learning opportunities this month. Topics include Dante Design and Case Studies, Dante Domain Manager, Dante Certification Programme, plus previous webinar recordings. Register HERE.
Audio-Technica has highlighted some of its useful online resources, including blog posts and tutorials educating on best practices and solutions for content creation, live-streaming and developing a home set-up. Available on YouTube, the series includes Basic Audio Techniques for Video, a 13-part series covering the basics of hand-held and lavalier mics, wireless systems, boom mics, and more.
Avid is providing free 90-day software licences for students affected by campus closures. If your university is an Avid Learning Partner, you should have already received instructions from the ALP team directly. Otherwise, you can request a code HERE.
DPA Microphones has released various online training webinars focused on products and techniques. The company is hosting interviews with industry professionals including Whit Norris, Brad Maddox and Eddie Caipo on multiple streaming platforms; there will also be live streamed performances by industry-leading musicians, including symphony and orchestra engineer Mary Mazurek.
DPA is also releasing new Mic University articles, featuring tips for stay-at-home content providers and a cleaning guide that provides ways to ensure proper mic hygiene – these can be found here
Webinars and tutorials dedicated to various pro audio and lighting topics are shared regularly on the public Facebook group of DWR Distribution, available HERE.
Harman Professional Solutions Solutions has extended its e-learning programme into August – for the latest sessions available for registration, click HERE.
All past and present K-array Webinar Series are available HERE.
L-Acoustics is hosting daily webinars covering system design, system calibration, measurement and more. Application engineers are always on-hand to answer any questions live in a range of languages including English, French, German and Spanish. The schedule of upcoming webinars can be found HERE. Meanwhile, past webinars can be viewed HERE.
The company has also made its entire catalogue of AES scientific articles available for download free of charge. See our news story for subject matters and info on how to access the documents.
Lectrosonics has produced Wireless Side Chats, a video series dedicated to wireless audio. Hosted by the Karl Winkler, the series covers the history of wireless equipment; the seven most common wireless microphone problems; Lectrosonics Wireless Designer software; and best practices when using wireless.
Martin Audio has listed all its recorded webinars on its website. Topics are industry and product-related and range from discussions on festival sound to product overviews of the company's loudspeaker series.
After the "overwhelming response" to its daily offering, Meyer Sound has launched an ongoing webinar programme. The courses will offer "a natural progression of subject matter". Attendees can also choose from a separate 'à la carte' menu to create on-demand programming, determined via a weekly poll through the Meyer Sound Users Community Facebook group. Special guests, including Meyer Sound CEO, John Meyer, will be invited to join and lead some of the discussions. The webinars are archived on YouTube.
In partnership with the Sennheiser SoundAcademy, Neumann will offer webinars on the basics of microphone technology. Released over the coming weeks, there will be three one-hour sessions focused on the key aspects of Neumann studio microphones. Interested parties can register HERE.
Out Board, the company behind the TiMax spatial sound technology, has announced a series of online training sessions with TiMax specialists in the UK and USA. Sessions are open to all sound designers, sound engineers and production sound techs worldwide on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply register to download TiMax SoundHub software (Mac or Windows) from the website and enter "1on1" into the About You section. Alternatively contact Out Board direct on email@example.com
Italian loudspeaker manufacturer Outline has launched a webinar series dedicated to Newton, the FPGA processor technology, and OpenArray, the 3D simulation software. Register HERE.
Powersoft, the Italian amplification specialist, has released a series of online tutorials about the T Series and Mezzo. The group sessions are divided by region and available in English and Spanish. Visit this link to book your place.
Ravenna Ravenna is increasing its educational output and is staging a series of educational webinars with partners, all of which are being archived HERE.
RCF has announced a series of webinars focusing on RCF Technologies and best practices in live sound and installed audio. Live-streamed via RCF's website, the seminar programme will be presented by RCF specialists in multiple languages. See all sessions and details on how to register HERE.
Yamaha has highlighted some of its online training videos for audio professionals. Available from Yamaha's YouTube channel, these include:
Teachers' Tips video series
Rivage PM feature Vlog
MRX7-D signal processor training videos
How To Mix Live Music video series
Absen America has announced further Absen Certified Engineers (ACE) courses, to take place during August. Register HERE.
Free one-hour BlackTrax webinars are available from the CAST Software website. There is also an option for private training sessions, subject to trainer availability. For more details, visit: blacktrax.cast-soft.com/training
WYSIWIG Essentials seminar series by CAST are also available from the company's website.
Meanwhile, WYSIWYG tutorials can also be found on the YouTube channel of LSi columnist James Simpson
Green Hippo is offering Hippotizr training through its website, where you can register for upcoming sessions or express your interest in others that are yet to be scheduled. Access all this HERE
Video effects software company Notch has launched a web portal for online courses. Available HERE, the page lists video tutorials and past streams with instructor-led courses, as well as an option to request private training.
PSCo, UK distributor for Absen, is presenting a webinar dedicated to the Chinese LED solutions manufacturer's range of rental and staging panels. The company is updating its schedule weekly, with Absen America having already announced three introductory sessions on LED technology, to take place on 27 April, 30 April, and 6 May. See how to register HERE.
Vectorworks has also extended its online seminars drive into the summer, with free sessions scheduled during August on several languages. See all upcoming events HERE.
RIGGING / STAGING
Area Four Industries' A4.tv video channel hosts a catalogue of training videos.
TAIT has released free iQ training videos, tailored to users of all levels of entertainment automation. The tutorials detail how to operate machines using a variety of methods, add windows to workspaces, create time saving presets, programme a show using various cue lines and organisational helpers, as well as stop and restart cues.
The PLASA-initiated #WeMakeEvents campaign is gathering pace as live events industry professionals are set to unite in a number of protest activities to raise awareness of the plight of the sector and its struggling supply chain. Scheduled for 11 August, the action will include social media drives as well as outdoor events, with other specific activities occurring on the day. Visit www.plasa.org/we-make-events or use #WeMakeEvents on social media to join in the action.
PLASA is also in constant contact with its members, responding to questions and concerns and sending daily emails with useful information and support guidelines. The association has also complied a list of useful resources, available at www.plasa.org
The Association has created closed Facebook and LinkedIn groups for its members to remain connected and share information throughout the coronavirus crisis.
The Production Services Association (PSA) has consulted some of the top professionals in the concert touring circuit to come up with a guidance on COVID-19 risk management for the sector. The document, available HERE, outlines how touring productions can better align with suppliers, venues and promoters to assist risk management relating to COVID-19 transmission. You can offer your feedback HERE.
PERG, the Production Equipment Rental Group, has released a draft of its return-to-work guidance for the safe resumption of camera and lighting rental services. The objective is to provide a unified set of industry-wide guidelines that address health and safety challenges related to the rental of production equipment and ensure that any risks to production companies, studios, and customers are minimised. The paper is up for review until 9 June - Download the draft of the guidelines, public review form, and public review instructions HERE.
The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has compiled a Coronavirus Financial Survival Guide which can be found HERE.
Freelancers Make Theatre Work, a freelance community for freelancers who work in the performing arts sector lists valuable information resources and advice.
BECTU, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union, has also launched a coronavirus-related Q&A section.
SOLT / UK THEATRES have created a web portal with a collection of useful resources. The two bodies have also launched a webinar page, covering topics spanning financial and business planning, leadership and people management, and health, safety and wellbeing. You can access this resource HERE.
The Music Managers Forum (MMF) are gathering evidence on the impact COVID-19 has on the music makers and their representatives via an online survey.
Show Makers Symposium is beginning a series of free online webinars and podcasts to share and discuss various resources available to those challenged by the pandemic. The webinars can be accessed via registration HERE.
The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has launched a support fund aimed at contractors and freelance workers who do not qualify for other hardship funds on offer. The fund opens with £500,000 committed by AIM and its members, with the aim to distribute £1,000 to each of 1,000 workers within two months. Click HERE for the full story.
A fleet of manufacturers and distributors have issued statements regarding their status and business practices during the outbreak . . .
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From 11 May Nexo will gradually begin restarting its manufacturing operations in Plailly and Saint-Pierre-de-Côle, France. The return to normal service, in accordance with the guidelines of the French authorities, will involve adjusted working hours to meet health and safety protocols, and the current demand. Most of the company's key suppliers have now resumed their own activity. Read the full story HERE.
In Windhoek, Namibia, the management of technical production and rental company dB Audio are talking to officials and bureaucrats in an attempt to get the industry recognised as a "most affected" sector - and be eligible for financial assistance from the government. Get the full story HERE.
LED lighting manufacturer Astera has temporarily repurposed its 10,000sq.m factory in Shenzhen to assist with the delivery of essential personal protective equipment (PPE). Astera's CEO Norbert Ernst feels that having the factory working in this capacity will assist a rapid return to full LED lighting manufacture when conventional business starts to resume. Read the full story HERE.
Guangzhou-based lighting manufacturer PR Lighting has reportedly resumed operation after China is starting to lift some of the heavy restrictions it had imposed to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. "PR Lighting is back running 100% as normal," confirmed company president, Dave Liang. "Our technical and marketing departments are fully operational, and production and shipment are back on schedule. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times."
Spain's DAS Audio continues to suspend its operations as the country extended its lockdown into April. "Two weeks ago, at DAS Audio headquarters, we started to take all of the necessary steps against Covid-19 following government recommendations. However, due to the latest measures adopted by the Spanish, we inform you that from 30 March we will continue to work remotely from our homes to support you when you need us. Our operations in Spain are suspended effective immediately from 30 March until 14 April," said the company in a statement.
Clair Global has partnered with Mountain Productions, Inc. to integrate turnkey solutions and custom design into Mountain's temporary hospitals and disaster relief centres. Ricky Rose, CEO at Mountain Productions, comments: "The combined efforts of the companies help to ensure emergency personnel can continue uninterrupted operations while working in temporary or improvised locations. Clair's services include LAN/Wi-Fi-based connectivity, pre-built mobile office set-ups, network security and monitoring, and push-to-talk mobile voice communication."
UK loudspeaker manufacturer EM Acoustics will close its factory and suspend day-to-day business from 6pm on Friday, 27 March. "Without wanting to cast aside the value of our country's economy, the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers has to take priority, as well as a social responsibility to do our part to halt the spread of the virus in these difficult times," says the company in a statement. "Whilst the factory is closed and we will not be despatching any orders after Friday, our phone lines are diverted and emails will still be monitored so urgent communication can still get through to us - both for commercial matters and for technical support. We will endeavour to reopen the factory as soon as possible, once it is deemed safe to do."
As Italy's coronavirus lockdown continues, AEB Industriale - the owner of dBTechnologies - has also suspended its production activities. The organisation's support staff can be reached via phone or email. The statement is available in full here.
Barcelona's Amate Audio has found itself in a similar situation, with disruption to the supply chain and an extension to Spain's lockdown forcing the company to temporary cease production. "We are however continuing to supply our customers' orders from stock, across our international distributor network, and are maintaining the highest possible level of service in these unparalleled circumstances," says the company."Our sales and support staff are already working from home and are contactable via their usual email address. We are still active on our social media networks. Thank you very much for your understanding while #AmateAudioStaysHome."
Swiss pro audio and MI manufacturer Schertler has launched an initiative "to promote music and cohesion". "If you are a Schertler artist, a client, or if you play any instrument and are happy to be a part of this. Please share a video where you play on any social media, use the hashtag #StayAtHomeWithSchertler and tag us!
Italian loudspeaker manufacturer K-array has closed its factory and will offer support remotely until early April due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
"At K-array, with the safety of our staff as the top concern, we have already been taking necessary steps to adapt our operations while remaining committed to driving business by enacting remote smart working for those who can, which has enabled us to interact with our customers and suppliers in a more safe and active way than before," says the company in a statement. "Our next action in respect to the latest restrictions imposed by the Italian government 22 March is to suspend all activity within the factory. K-array will remain engaged and available for support Monday through Thursday only by smart working through 3 April. "We appreciate your flexibility and understanding while we work together to navigate these circumstances. We reiterate our commitment to keep you updated and ask that you do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns."
Elation Professional and the ADJ Group of Companies have issued a statement to its clients and partners, available in full here. The companies' US operations will operate Monday to Thursday only whilst the European facility in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, remains operational but will not be open to customers and vendors; they can instead access free online trainings and product demo webinars.
DWR Distribution has also written a lengthy message of support, which can be read in full here. "Right now, we have fallen on some unprecedented challenges, but we will not be defeated," urges the company. "After every war, there is a respite; after every victory is a celebration. Generations before us have faced greater dangers, and they have survived. We will, too. The sun will come up, the people will go back into the streets, and we will mobilise our forces to throw the biggest celebration that the planet has ever seen."
A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has been "deeply shocked by the immediate and devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on companies' and people's livelihoods". "With our origins going back nearly 50 years, in that time we have never witnessed before such an unprecedented shut down of the industry that we are so hugely passionate about and proud to serve," says the company in a statement. "Although we have made adjustments in response to these unprecedented market conditions, for our customers we remain in operation as normal, and continue to have large stocks available."
Barcelona-based Amate Audio's founder and CEO Juan Amate says the company has implemented "adaptive measures" in this time of unprecedented crisis. "We are taking immediate action to secure the integrity of our supply and distribution chains and our clients' business, as well as our continued financial health and corporate wellbeing, throughout the course of the crisis and beyond. To this end, we are able to guarantee the continued delivery of orders to our clients during any reasonably foreseeable interruption to production, as may be required by the civil authorities. Likewise, our ability to quickly restart and achieve volume production secures our distribution and fulfilment capability as far as is possible. We do this with the utmost attention to the health and safety of our employees, whose wellbeing is always our first concern."
Lighting solutions maker Artistic Licence has also sought to reassure clients. "Our sales and production departments are operating normally and we have good levels of stock available for immediate delivery," the company says in a statement. "As a precaution, the decision has been made that staff who can work from home will do so from today onwards, until further notice. Email and telephone details will remain the same and all staff can be contacted as normal."
Danley Sound Labs has shared a similar statement: "We have now implemented measures to ensure the health and welfare of all our employees. However, as Danley builds its products in low-density production facilities in Georgia and North Carolina, we have the capability of providing many of our products during this unprecedented time. Our OS, GO2 and Nano lines are readily available. Wooden products will take a little longer." Many of Danley's engineers and technical support crew are working from home, and clients are encouraged to use emails to reach their representative.
EM Acoustics' operations director Mike Wheeler has the loudspeaker manufacturer doesn't expect to suffer from supply chain disruption, adding: "At the present time, we have no staffing issues and our manufacturing schedules are operating as normal. We are therefore able to fulfil all orders for the forseeable future without significant delay. However with new government policies being implemented at short notice we will continue to monitor and heed expert advice, and will notify you of any changes to our activities."
The Netherlands' Highlite International has vowed to stand by its clients. "The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to so many entertainment possibilities. This affects everybody who puts their passion for this line of work first. But sometimes you need a bit of dark to appreciate the light and there are always ways to find the right light. (…) The true power of entertainment is you. Your passion is your drive and your motivation is the energy to keep going when everything else tends to stop. And we at Highlite support you all the way."
Neutrik (UK) has also said it has put measures in place to ensure the safety of its employees and is adhering to all site hygiene recommendations issued by the government and the WHO, with some of its staff now working from home. "Having put these measures in place, we are able to fully maintain production, fulfil and ship orders at this time," says the company. "All frontline sales and support team members are contactable on all the usual channels of communication."
Mark Perrins, MD of Neutrik (UK), comments: "As circumstance surrounding Covid-19 changes we will adapt in line with current legislation and guidelines to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. If this involves any operational changes, we will notify our customers and suppliers immediately. In the meantime, on behalf of the entire company I would like to express to everyone our best wishes for their wellbeing, and our hope for a speedy end to the crisis."
More to follow . . .