UK - The Web3 Music Association (W3M), a new music industry trade body facilitating industry-wide research and development, has announced its official launch and manifesto. 

W3M brings together entities from the music, finance and technology sectors to ‘collaborate, explore and harness advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and mixed reality’.

Leading W3M are president & CEO Sergio Mottola, a business leader with expertise in finance, advanced technologies, and international regulation frameworks, and Charlie Rapino, record industry veteran and currently VP of A&R and communications at Artist First, who has been appointed vice president. W3M’s executive vice president of music, Giulia Maresca, chief of staff and Katy Campbell, EVP of ecosystem, are also joining the leadership team.

W3M’s advisory bo

New Zealand - TES (Technical Event Solutions) is a full production service and rental company based in Christchurch and they were the first such enterprise to invest in Robe Esprite moving lights.

TES prides itself on delivering quality streamlined event solutions and technical services including broadcast, all from one proactive and busy facility in Woolston.

The company was started in 2017 by Alex Wilson, initially working from a 12 x 6m storage unit, and now occupies a 1000sq,m warehouse with 15 full time staff.

Alex’s background is in stage lighting while his business partner Brett Armstrong comes from the world of broadcast AV and IT.

TES grew throughout the covid period partly by being open minded and pivoting to embrace new technologies and services including streaming. “I have a brilliant team here, and we can all multitas

UK - boxxtoff is a new flightcase design and manufacturing company based in Manchester and part of the tube uk community. It is a fully autonomous operation producing ‘practical bespoke casing solutions for all types of production related kit’.

Dave Peacock – well-known on the Manchester flightcase scene – heads up the new enterprise, bringing around 35 years industry experience, contacts and an inventive approach to case making.

After a successful career and running several businesses, Dave took a break from the world of flightcasing and joined the team at tube uk two years ago.

Dave initially offered to make a couple of ingenious cases for tube’s Pioneer CDJ kits as a bit of a side hustle, which proved to be “simply fantastic products designed by someone who knows exactly what those using them need to make life simple and keep e

UK - The Profile Awards theatre category shortlist in association with the ABTT and the ALPD and sponsored by Chauvet, Elation, ETC, Fix8group, GLP, SLX, TSL and Vari-Lite, has been confirmed.

The shortlisted lighting designers for theatre are:

Robbie Butler for Death in Venice, Welsh National Opera and tour

Emma Chapman for The Third Man, Menier Chocolate Factory

Jon Clark for Dear England, and The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre & West End; The Effect, National Theatre; Stranger Things – The First Shadow, West End

Paule Constable for Guys and Dolls, The Bridge

Lee Curran for Romeo and Juliet, The Almeida and King Lear, The Almeida

Jon Driscoll for Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, English National Opera

Oli

UK - Entec Live has extended its long-term partnership with d&b audiotechnik by making a substantial investment in its large format three-way GSL line array system.

Entec head of sound, Dan Scantlebury, a long-term advocate of the brand, authorised the purchase of a significant system to complement their existing, smaller footprint KSL system. They have boosted their hire fleet with the addition of 32 GSL8 enclosures and eight GSL12, while at the same time adding a further 14 SL Subwoofers. Completing the purchase is an additional 28 D80s, taking their inventory of these powerful four-channel amplifiers into the hundreds.

Explaining the rationale, Scantlebury said the decision became axiomatic once he was convinced that the rental company would have the workflow to support such a level of investment. In the event, the new system was shipped out i

The Netherlands - In late April, CAS Exhibition Partners took delivery of 250 KL PAR FC LED PAR lights from Elation for use in the leading exhibition contractor’s many stand builds across Europe.

Useful in setting the ambiance of an exhibition stand, reinforcing a theme, and adding depth and dimension to enhance the overall visual appeal of a space, the new full-colour-spectrum lights can also play more functional roles like highlighting products, signage and displays. Either way, the KL PAR FC’s high colour quality and adaptability will serve to captivate visitors and reinforce brand imaging for CAS customers.

CAS Exhibition Partners offers full-service exhibition build services and takes pride in their commitment to innovation and improvement. That dedication includes ensuring the overall quality of stand lighting by maintaining their own high-

UK - The Production Futures mission to create opportunities for young people to learn, train, network and develop real careers in production, was brought into focus recently when Peter Bird, last year’s winner of its Breakthrough Award for Lighting Newcomer, took charge of designing the lighting for the organisation’s PF Talks stage at its Manchester On Tour event.

Peter, who is studying theatre and performance technology at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, collaborated by invitation with supplier Lights Control Rigging (LCR) to deliver lights for the focal point of the event which took place at the AO Arena. Steve Bliss led the LCR project team and takes up the story:

“We were approached by Production Futures to provide the main stage lighting package for their biggest show yet at the AO Arena in Manchester. We had an initial video

Technical Academy - Producers of West End musical Moulin Rouge! have launched a technical academy for 15-25-year-olds as they open the door to the show’s backstage world for the second year running. Both initiatives respond to concerns from arts organisations about skills shortages in the industry, particularly in offstage roles.

The inaugural Get Technical! Academy, a free 10-week "immersive technical programme" beginning on 2 July, will allow young participants hands-on training in lighting, sound, automation, stage management and working as part of a backstage crew. Participants aged 18 plus will also be offered an additional extra week to meet members of the company management team to "explore the soft skills needed to launch their technical theatre career".

Meanwhile, the Get Technical! event, piloted last August, will be reprised on

UK - Neumann has announced An Evening's Conversation Around Spatial Audio, hosted in partnership with Dolby at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). Taking place on Monday, 3 June, this event promises an engaging exploration into the future of sound, bringing together top industry professionals for a night of insights and networking.

Guests will hear from leading experts in the field, including Mike Hillier, Dolby Atmos & mastering engineer at Metropolis Studios, Kurt Martinez, head Dolby Atmos mix engineer at Dean St Studios, and Myles Clarke, senior music engineer at Dolby Laboratories. Their interactive sessions will help you understand how spatial audio is evolving and keep you at the forefront of the technology.

Attendees will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of spatial audio through interactive Q&

Denmark - Motor Stage Automation (MSA), has made a substantial investment – over 100 pieces – in equipment from industry leading brand Moveket, comprising 125 Kg and 500 Kg Moveket VMK-S C1 variable speed silent hoists, 125 Kilo Moveket VMW-S high speed winches, Moveket I-Motion Expert-T III and I-Motion Basic control consoles, together with Moveket V-Motion Drives – both E40 and E75 units.

This was supplied to MSA via Danish distributor Matrix Sales and has been added to MSA’s rental stock to help meet current trends and demands in the busy and wonderful world of performance automation.

“Moveket is a premium name in automation, their products are known for their quality and versatility, and as MSA is a truly independent business dedicated to delivering the very best and most innovative solutions for our clients, it is important to have thi

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 £5.2bn in 2022 and the summer of 2023 showcased a post-pandemic resurgence for much of the sector, despit

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

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

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

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.”

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

UK - Cardiff-based Magnum PA and SR Productions enjoy an ongoing strategic partnership, with Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision series line array at the heart of it. While Magnum PA carries the flagship WPL in its inventory, SR supports the versatile WPC in its hire fleet - so that between the two companies, the Martin Audio box count exceeds 150.

To further strengthen the offering, both companies frequently partner with Bristol-based SWG Events, offering a formidable collective inventory. Long-standing SR Productions client Orchard Media and Events Group recently required a solution to cover delegates for Admiral Group’s annual staff general meeting at Utilita Arena Cardiff.

A main hang of 12 WPL per side was supported by an out-fill of eight WPC per side, while centre-fill duties were carried out by four TORUS T820 and monitors by four LE200s.

Damage Limitation - The UK risks "self-inflicted economic and diplomatic damage" if it does not take action to strengthen its creative industries, a new report has warned. To combat this, the report has made a series of recommendations, including the creation of a ‘soft-power council’ representing "the diversity of British talent" in government and "making requisite changes across the visa system to ensure it is fit for purpose for the creative industries".

The report has been produced by University of the Arts London and Erskine Analysis and is designed to "examine the critical role of the creative industries as a source of economic growth".

Entitled Keeping the UK’s Creative Industries Globally Competitive: a Playbook to Protect Our Future Prosperity and Security, the report calls the creative industries "both a huge strength and in

Sweden - Standard Audio Systems AB has been appointed Renkus-Heinz distributor for Sweden.

Karl Kahlau, CEO of Standard Audio Systems AB, comments, "We are honoured to be appointed as Renkus-Heinz's exclusive distributor in Sweden. The brand’s reputation for excellence aligns perfectly with our mission to provide our customers with cutting-edge audio solutions. With the ICONYX Series among the other exceptional product ranges from Renkus-Heinz, we are confident in our ability to meet the diverse audio needs of our clients."    

Standard Audio Systems AB distributes a portfolio of professional audio products across Sweden, offering technical support and services where necessary. This new partnership with Renkus-Heinz expands Standard Audio Systems’ portfolio with a selection of innovative products, including the renowned ICONYX Series.   

Poland - Void Acoustics has announced a partnership with Phono Media as its distributor in Poland, the latest addition to Void’s rapidly expanding network of professional AV dealers.

Founded in 2010, Phono Media delivers visual and sound solutions across a wide range of commercial sectors, including hotels, restaurants and multipurpose venues. Void chose Phono Media as its regional distributor to help grow its business opportunities in the emerging Eastern European market and raise Void’s profile in the wider hospitality market in the region.

Phono Media has already begun installing Void’s products in venues in Poland. As Void’s Polish distributor, the company’s showrooms are equipped with Void Acoustics’ speaker range, enabling prospective buyers to experience the products up close.

Jacek Stanisławski, CEO at Phono Media, said:

UK - Vision: 2025 has launched a crowdfunder to create the third edition of the Show Must Go On report and ‘shape a new climate strategy and practices towards 2030’. Research and authoring by an inclusive industry-wide collaboration is underway to collate a comprehensive free-to-access resource.

The initiative supported by Festival Republic, The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Arts Council England, Earth Percent, aims to raise £50,000 from organisations working in the festival and outdoor events space to be matched with grant funds.

This collaborative project is being hosted by Julie’s Bicycle, chaired by Jon Collins, (LIVE) and convenes a working group of organisations and specialists from across the sector.

The Show Must Go On state of the industry reports (edition #1 & #2) provided early benchmarks and a 10-

India - Smato Technologies has been appointed 1 Sound distributor for India. Smato Technologies, an AV distribution company with full engineering and technology design services, is based in Kolkata, West Bengal.

“We're thrilled to bring 1 Sound to India. This partnership goes beyond brand expansion; it's about broadening horizons,” says Shreyans Chowdhary, director and CEO of Smato Technologies. “It means offering our dealers and customers an exceptional experience, not just through outstanding professional audio products, but also through superior pre-sales design and post-sales service support.

“With premium materials, customisable options, and cutting-edge technology, 1 Sound offers a compelling package tailored for the Indian market. We're eager to embark on this journey of lasting success together.”

Smato Technologies recently

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