USA - Inspired by efforts in the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa, the US live events industry is set to host its own #WeMakeEvents ‘Red Alert’ day of action on 1 September.
Using the hashtags #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA to gain momentum, the move represents a major call to action on Tuesday, 1 September, imploring the US Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible, offering economic relief to America’s live events industry, which has been shuttered since March, 2020, putting millions of people out of work. Additionally, the movement is to support ExtendPUA.org in their efforts towards continuation and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work due to COVID-19.
#WeMakeEvents North American director, Brad Nelms comments: "The group has managed to gather incredible support for this important movement, signing on more than 30 regional directors to lead the initiative in markets nationally. This team have been so fired up and already have commitments from hundreds of incredible venues and iconic locations nationally who will show support."
On 1 September buildings, structures, and residences across the US will be lit in red from 9pm-12am (local time in each market) as the event rolls across North America. The goal to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on ‘Red Alert’ for its very survival, and to create congressional pressure to act now.
#BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers, reports: "The Arts &
USA - Golden Age Hollywood movie mogul Jack L. Warner called it ‘The Castle of Your Dreams’. The Warner Grand Theatre is the last of a series of classic Southern California Art Deco-Moderne cinema palaces from the 1930s designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca and interior designer Anthony Heinsbergen that retains its original contours.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the theatre was renamed the Warner Grand Theatre in the 1980s, and in 1982 was designated as City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural-Monument #251. In 1996, the theatre was purchased by the Department of Cultural Affairs and has continuously operated this venue since that time.
Now, the 1,525-seat historic film house in San Pedro, California hosts classic and art films as well as concerts and other live performances. It’s doing that with very modern sound thanks to newly installed DiGiCo audio consoles: an SD12-96 at front of house and an SD9T for monitors, as well as an SD-Rack with Stadius 32-bit I/O mic pre’s on an Optocore HMA optical loop. These desks control a new VUE Audiotechnik al-8 line array sound system, all of which were installed there in July by El Segundo, CA-based Bell Event Services (BES) under the direction of audio/operations manager Tim Campbell, who served as the project manager.
“The combination of the new consoles and the new PA system means that this is a world-class destination for touring shows,” states BES president Michael Bell. “That’s why the choice of DiGiCo means so much; any audio engineer in the world would be able to
UK - Lighting control manufacturer Zero 88 stages a product awareness livestream airing on Monday, 24 August, which will be broadcast from The Congress Theatre, Cwmbran - the nearest local theatre venue to the manufacturing facility.
Usually busy with a lively programme of music and performance shows in the centre of Cwmbran, The Congress has been repurposed to function as a virtual studio during the pandemic and for the immediate future.
The Zero 88 team will be highlighting some of the brand’s newest technologies and product releases during the stream and will be joined by local singer-songwriter Tobias Robertson offering live entertainment.
This presentation will last 30 minutes and embrace all three primary Zero 88 product categories - control, data, and power.
The stream will specifically address the new ZerOS Server, the Splitter 8 and Gateway 4 / Gateway 8 DMX / RDM data distribution devices, Betapack 4 combined power distribution and dimmer units and Zero 88’s RigSwitch remote controlled power switching solutions, plus previewing the next exciting ZerOS 7.9.8 software update.
Exact shipping dates and availability for all these will be announced on air.
Interested parties can catch the stream at www.zero88.com/event or on Zero’s social channels - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - and anyone not able to tune in on the day . . . can watch the broadcast later on-demand. The event is live at 10am (GMT+1), Monday, 24 August.
A Q&A session will follow the product presentation for which anyone can submit questio
Financial Guidance - Guidance has been published on how arts organisations can apply for the government’s £270m repayable finance scheme. The repayable finance was announced as part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, which also includes £622m of grants.
Theatres can either apply for grants of up to £3m or for loans for larger amounts. With the repayable finance package, which is geared towards larger organisations, the government aims to "stabilise cultural organisations until they can return to sustainable operations". Applications will be "assessed against rigorous cultural and economic criteria" including efficiencies made to date and ongoing viability for the future.
Organisations will also be asked to demonstrate national or international significance and outline opportunities to engage local communities through education and outreach. Arts Council England will review applications, with input from other bodies including the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Decisions will be taken by the independent Culture Recovery Board.
Applications will open on 21 August, with a deadline of 9 September. Arts Council England aims to notify applicants of the outcome of their application in the week beginning October 19, and says that funding is anticipated to reach organisations by this December.
Employment Crisis - Job opportunities in the arts have disappeared faster than any other sector of the UK economy as a result of the pandemic, new data has revealed, with vacancies dr
Europe - Elation Professional’s European office recently launched The Elation Coffee Break on Facebook Livestream, an online presentation series that takes a up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series.
Elation continues the webinar series on Thursday, 20 August at 11:00 a.m. CEST with Elation technical sales specialist Alistair Smyth and international sales manager Frederik Afif looking at the innovative qualities of the Rayzor 760 and Proteus Rayzor 760 LED luminaires. The presentation will air live on Elation Europe’s Facebook page. No registration is required.
The Rayzor 760 is an LED wash effect with wide zoom and innovative SparkLED pixel effect that offers all new design possibilities. Also available in an IP65 version, the Rayzor 760 projects well-defined beams as well as a wide wash coverage. When not in use as a beam or wash, its SparkLED background illumination system gives designers a new way of creating additional impact, for example as a backdrop in a camera shot.
To view the first Elation Coffee Break webinar, which highlighted Elation’s award-winning Artiste Monet LED profile luminaire, visit www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.
USA - Based in the Metro Detroit area, Allen Audio Systems has offered client- and artist-focused sound reinforcement solutions for indoor and outdoor events in and around the state of Michigan for over 30 years. Now, with the addition of a sizeable E-Series system from Adamson Systems Engineering to its inventory, the company is poised to continue that mission with a wider scope and scale.
“We decided to invest in an Adamson E-Series system based on the overwhelming success of the S-Series system we purchased for the Agora Theatre in Cleveland a couple of years ago,” begins Mark Allen, owner of Allen Audio Systems. “The comments about that system have all been really positive, and many touring artists have raved about it. Given that, we knew the next system we would add to our inventory was definitely going to be Adamson.”
After making that initial decision, operations manager Bill Gleespen and staff audio engineer Jacob Wargo focused their attention on the company’s large-format E-Series loudspeaker solutions. “We’ve noticed more and more tours and festivals relying on the E-Series because of its power, throw, and clarity,” Allen adds. “We needed a solution to handle large theatres, small arenas, and festivals serving touring artists in Southeast Michigan specifically and the greater Michigan area in general, and the E-Series offered everything we needed and more.”
Subsequently, Allen Audio bolstered its inventory with a complement of 24 E12 three-way, full-range array enclosures along with 16 E119 subwoofers. As well, the comp
UK - A webinar designed to unite the live production industry in developing new working practices for a more sustainable approach has shown a “clear willingness” for change, according to The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA).
The panel discussion, broadcast live on social media channels as well as via a Zoom video meeting, brought together many of the leading companies and individuals who are committed to a more sustainable future for live event production.
The webinar was a collaboration between SiPA, the Association of British Technicians (ABTT) and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Top of the agenda was how the industry can use the current hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to create a more sustainable approach to its work.
SiPA’s Carol Scott, principal advocate for sustainability at TAIT and SiPA, was joined by a host of live production industry and environment leaders, including: Jon Bausor - multi-award-winning international stage designer and creative director; Spike Brant - production designer, CEO of Nimblist and advocator of sustainability; Ian Garrett - USITT Memmber and designer with Toasterlab; Huntly Christie - CEO of Christie Lites and Dr Chris Jones, research fellow at University of Manchester who is currently examining the key impact areas of the music industry on the environment.
“The webinar was a great success - the audience engagement was fantastic, with the live stream figures going into the thousands,” says Carol Scott. “There is a clear willingness in our industry to
USA - Clearwing Systems Integration has included Ayrton Diablo profile luminaires in provision of systems design and integration for the LED lighting upgrade at Waterford Union High School’s auditorium and other venues. The school is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Clearwing’s Milwaukee office.
Clearwing was charged with modernising the high school’s outdated lighting inventory from house lights to theatrical instruments as they migrate from conventional and tungsten-based fixtures to an all-LED roster.
“Flexibility and performance were the biggest factors in lighting fixture selection, along with the energy and cost savings that went along with moving to LEDs,” says Mitch Van Dyke, engineering & estimation at Clearwing Systems Integration. “The school trusted us to get the best lighting we could for their budget.”
Clearwing chose Ayrton Diablo fixtures for permanent installation in the school’s auditorium, which is used for student theatrical productions, administrative meetings and a summer theatre camp as well as rented to others in the community in need of a theatrical venue.
Ayrton Diablo is the smallest, lightest, brightest and most efficient profile fixture in its category. Weighing just over 20kg, with a record output of 19,000 lumens from its 300W source, Diablo is versatile and feature-rich, and specially designed for stage applications. Its monochromatic LED light source can generate an ultra-high output and metallic white light calibrated at 6500K, and with a native CRI greater than 90, high TM30 r
USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has appointed AudioPros as its manufacturer’s representative serving Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and both metro and upstate New York. This provides dealers, rental houses and regional production companies with access to EAW’s entire suite of products including its new ADAPTive Anya and Anna speakers, and Otto subwoofer.
“Based on its solid reputation, we know that AudioPros will provide exceptional service to dealers and customers in the region,” says Paul Lamarre, national sales manager, EAW. “The Northeast territory is important for us as that is where our corporate headquarters is based, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with our neighbors at AudioPros.”
Settling into its new greater Hartford County, Connecticut space, AudioPros is a manufacturer’s representative marketing and sales firm. The company services a wide range of dealers including live sound production, independent retailers/e-tailers, integrators, and consultants. AudioPros’ philosophy is that success is achieved through building strong alliances between the dealers, rep, and the manufacturer. As an audio, video and lighting representative, AudioPros strives to offer ‘complimentary lines that are of the greatest value to its dealers’.
“For over 40 years, EAW has been a leading manufacturer of speakers in our own backyard,” says Andrew Shillo, AudioPros principal. “EAW’s innovative approach to professional sound reinforcement has made them an industry leader worldwide.
USA - Thriving and growing Daystar Family Church in Western Alabama hadn’t improved their video and lighting system since moving into their current facility well over a decade ago. That changed this year when AVL integrator Narrow Road Pro supplied and installed a complete new system.
This included a large video wall, constructed from ADJ AV6X LED panels, along with a comprehensive lighting setup of LED-powered fixtures from ADJ as well as sister company Elation Professional.
Founded by Bishop Patrick M. Schatzline and Lady Deborah Schatzline, with a congregation of just 50 people, today Daystar Family Church in Tuscaloosa, AL, has a congregation of over 1,300. Now pastored by Patrick and Deborah’s son Scott and his wife Kristi, it is multi-cultural, multi-generational, non-denominational church with praise and worship that is energetic and passionate. However, this had begun to be hindered by a lighting system that was outdated and costly. For this reason, Nick Campfield of Narrow Road Pro was brought in to advise on a possible solution.
“Coming from both the professional world and the church world puts me in a unique position to take professional practices and bring them into the church,” states Nick. “I started the company primarily to help churches be good stewards of God’s money, to help them work out what they need and then put in the right tools for the job. That’s my passion and our company definitely values serving the church over making money.
At the heart of Daystar’s new video system is a 19’ wide video wall that
USA - The 30 July Under The Skin livestream by the Grammy-nominated band Code Orange combined music from the band’s March 2020 LP Underneath with early songs presented during the Mudbangers Ball pre-show.
Moving in step with this temporal tapestry was a harmoniously balanced Sam Jimenez lighting design that featured Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Star Design Event Services.
“From a lighting standpoint, this show was really a blend of the old and the new,” said Jimenez. “We tried to blend the surreal with reality in a way that flowed naturally. This show was something the band has been leading up to. It’s the product of three months of back and forth with different creative ideas, budgeting, and designing. We ended up doing this at the Trafford Theatre Factory, in Trafford, PA. My friend Chris Robin, who worked as a tech on the successful Last Ones Left stream we did in March, is the TD for this theatre and he offered us the use of it.”
The lighting and set design pulled together a wide range of different influences to reflect the multi-levelled creative scope of the livestream. “We incorporated a lot of elements, whether it was the floating panther heads above the band, or moments when the projections transform into an overlay,” said Jimenez. “The ‘old influences’ of the Fresnels and pars in the ceiling of the theatre, contrasted nicely with the new imagery of the high output LED fixtures and integrating Resolume with high resolution content.”
Jiminez used four Maverick MK2 Spot f
UK - As event professionals took to the streets of every major city across the UK on 11 August, in support of the PLASA-led #WeMakeEvents campaign, TechLED once again bathed Production Park, including the Studio and Rockwell cafe in the companion #LightItInRed campaign’s signature colour, emergency red.
TechLED’s MD, Gordon Addison, once again turned to the power of Prolight’s LEDJ Spectra QX40 Pixel exterior fixtures to illuminate the buildings. While the Production Park team attended the protest demonstration in Leeds, the team at TechLED kept alive the signal of allegiance, with many other theatres and cultural institutions across the country affected by the continued inability to open during the coronavirus pandemic.
Addison comments: “We would like to say a massive thank you to all our customers and everyone who came together on the eve of Tuesday 11 August, to highlight the devastating situation faced by the whole events industry during this crisis we all find ourselves in. It’s of the utmost importance that the government’s proposed care package reaches all aspects of the events industry and the plight of our industry is acknowledged and addressed.”
Production Park’s Jack Scarr, adds: “The #LightItInRed campaign saw hundreds of event landmarks across the UK lit up in red to bring attention to the plight of the live events industry due to the pandemic. Gordon and his team at TechLED made it possible for us to illuminate Studio 001, Backstage Academy and Rockpool Café in red to show our support for the campaign.
Germany - An Allen & Heath dLive system recently mixed a special performance by around 50 musicians from the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra, livestreamed against the backdrop of the Königssaal (Royal Hall), within the walls of the historic Heidelberg Palace.
The performance was the centrepiece of a cultural evening on 10 July, staged by Heidelberg Theatre and Orchestra in partnership with the town’s municipal authority and livestreamed to Facebook and YouTube audiences. Full-service AV rental company, Konferenztechnik Kiel supplied the complete audio, video, lighting and streaming solution for the event.
Freelance audio engineer, Eric Siemens headed up the sound team, ably supported by mic tech, Florian Montabaur, and by Martin Hildebrand, who directed the sound and video via intercom. Eric mixed the performance himself, choosing a dLive C3500 Surface, teamed with a CDM48 MixRack to manage the 59 inputs from the musicians, ambience and wireless mics. The event was also recorded in HD, with multitrack audio captured via a Waves3 card.
Originally planned as an outdoor event in the Palace grounds, a sudden change in the weather necessitated a rapid move to the indoor venue, as Eric recalls, “The dLive’s flexible routing made the move very easy, but we were left with a very short time for soundcheck, which was a challenge. We had to soundcheck around 50 musicians in 15 minutes, but because A&H pre-sets the gain at 27dB I didn’t need to touch the gain for most of them. The DCA Spill function was also very helpful for accessing the indivi
Canada - Despite the current pandemic hitting the AV industry particularly hard, some organisations are making the most of the mandatory downtime by carrying out system upgrades that would have otherwise been challenging during regular event scheduling.
This was certainly the case for The Selwyn Outreach Centre in Peterborough, ON, which recently pushed forward with some much-needed audio system upgrades. A DiGiCo S31 console, plus a KLANG:fabrik immersive in-ear system and KLANG:quelle headphone amps, purchased through DiGiCo’s Canadian distributor GerrAudio, are central to the solution.
The organisation engaged Jason Reynolds, lead installation advisor at AV integrator, Production Service Industries, to design and supply a very capable, yet cost-effective front-end package for the upgrade.
Anchoring the system is a DiGiCo S31 at front-of-house that is equipped with three of DiGiCo’s new A168 stage racks. “The S31 is a very user-friendly console that is packed with features not found on other consoles in the same price bracket,” comments Reynolds. “That value, coupled with the flexibility offered by the new A168 racks, made it an easy decision for the group of volunteer audio technicians at the centre.” Three A168 racks were deployed in various locations around the stage via Cat5 cabling for a total of 64 physical input sockets. “The fact that everything is running at 96kHz was a huge bonus.”
“The S31 is perfect for our space,” comments James McRury, lead audio technician at the facility. “Its three touchscreens make it
France - Over 160 Anolis LED luminaires have been used to illuminate public and connecting areas of the Les Bassins de Lumières, an imposing former World War II U-boat bunker in Bordeaux. Originally known as ‘Betasom’, four of the 11 vast submarine basin areas have been reimagined by private organisation Culturspaces for use as a sanctuary for immersive digital arts and mixed media installations.
Nicolas Valette from lighting design practice 4eleven was asked to create a lighting scheme that highlighted the internal architecture of these impressive 115m long water-filled bays which have a draft of between 9 and 11.40m – with a tidal allowance of 1.5m.
Each of these is separated by a 6m-thick concrete wall. In their former incarnation, each of the four giant basins could accommodate two submarines.
Nicolas found a stark and raw beauty in the functional, brutalist concrete structures, and set out to create a dialogue and interaction between light, shadows, and illuminative texturing.
The walls, ceilings and the water are often used for giant projections of artists’ work, so the internal lighting had to compliment these and also function in a standalone context for visitors to see and appreciate this incredible space with its amazing story when there are no large-format projection exhibitions.
“My starting point was first to visit and feel the ambience and emotion inside, taking into account that while lighting was not the major element, it had to be highly effective,” he explained.
Nicolas and his team do a lot of work
South Africa - The South African entertainment industry joined forces on 5 August for the #LightSARed ‘Code Red’ activation.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the critical state of the country’s live entertainment industry and its support infrastructure. The industry is yet to receive financial support from the government five months since mass gatherings were banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the whole sector out of work and with no cash flow to depend on.
Over 500 buildings, structures, monuments, venues, spaces and places all over the country were lit including the side of Cape Town’s most famous natural landmark Table Mountain. Robe moving lights were used on many of the installations, and the various action was coordinated by project teams in major cities including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Free State, Port Elizabeth, East London and Kimberley. Industry friends and colleagues from neighbouring Namibia also enthusiastically joined the action.
Under a month ago, #LightSAred was initiated by Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution and quickly gained momentum and support from the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA), the Technical Production Services Association (TPSA) and the SA Events Council.
Duncan and Sharif Baker, chair of the TPSA, energised a wide range of industry sectors including rental and production companies, venues, artists, promoters, agents, technicians, producers, directors and creatives working across all disciplines for this hugely successful consciousness-raising even
UK - As part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign, Calrec lit up its historic Nutclough Mill building in red on the night of 11 August to help raise the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector.
Backed by a wide range industry bodies and companies, a series of events was held on Tuesday across the UK to highlight the plight of those struggling for work as a result of the pandemic. The live entertainment sector has been particularly badly hit, with calls to the government to step in and provide more assistance.
Sid Stanley, Calrec’s general manager, comments: “This has affected our customers in every territory, and the impact on live events like sports and entertainment has been devastating. In the UK alone there are over one million people employed in delivering events, 72% of whom are freelance, and many of which have no access to any financial support. We worked with other companies in the valley where we are based, including the Hippodrome, one of the UK’s largest volunteer-run theatres, to bring as much attention as possible. We hope that by coming together to support one another our voices are heard.”
Calrec has worked with A1 craft mixers during this period to help promote their achievements as widely as possible. The company has also worked with customers to create flexible technical solutions to allow as much live coverage to occur as possible.
“But, of course, massive challenges remain and the UK government needs to provide support to allow the sector to return to its former glory,” Calrec says in a statement. “We st
The Netherlands - The UK’s #WeMakeEvents campaign received support in the Netherlands, where local companies took part in a nationwide Red Alert action under the banner of #WijMakenEvents.
More than 250 buildings across the country were lit in red on the evening of 11 August. The original campaign is a PLASA initiative that was adopted by the VTTE (the Association of Technical Event Suppliers) in the Netherlands.
Trussing, staging and hoist supplier Prolyte participated in the protest action on the night. The event industry and sectors have been at a complete standstill since the very beginning of the coronavirus crisis earlier this year. It has been more than five months, which means there are all costs but no turnover. Despite the government’s support during this period, companies are now on the verge of collapsing.
In order to draw attention to this crisis-like-situation in a peaceful and public-friendly manner, the Prolyte building was illuminated in red at 9pm local time and pulled the plug out exactly at five to 12 (11:55pm). “Together, we hope to get the support packages for the event industries extended and a clearer prospect is outlined until we can go back to work normally without the 1.5m restrictions. Without this commitment, a large number of companies will end up going bankrupt and employees will end up on the street,” says Prolyte.
“Politicians need to wake up and understand that if nothing happens, the entire event sector is in danger of disappearing.”
UK - In support of the PLASA-led #WeMakeEvents campaign, which culminated in a day of action coordinated across the UK on 11 August, Martin Audio joined other well-known entertainment technology manufacturers in backing the campaign. Alongside fully supporting the industry with social media - its Facebook posts alone reaching one million people on the day - Martin Audio helped organise a full TV production and livestream of the activities in London, including a helicopter swoop across the city.
These included many of the capital’s major landmarks being lit up in red and people gathering along the banks of the River Thames and bridges, dressed in red t-shirts, wearing red masks and waving their own red lights. Martin Audio also supplied its loudspeakers as the main PA for the boat that took members of the press and industry professionals on a trip along the River Thames past the illuminated landmarks.
Closer to home for Martin Audio, the company also supported the Wycombe Swan Theatre and High Wycombe Town Hall being lit in emergency red, alongside its own headquarters.
“Martin Audio has been extremely lucky to continue to operate during COVID-19 with the amazing support of our worldwide sales partners and end users, but most of our friends in the UK live event industry have had zero revenue since this all began,” reflected Martin Audio managing director, Dom Harter. “Without further funding from the Government the industry is at risk of collapse and we simply wanted to do everything we could to support their plight.”
UK - The UK events industry proudly came together in a show of solidarity under the #WeMakeEvents campaign banner yesterday (11 August) to ask the government to ‘throw us a line’ in the form of on-going and increased financial support.
As part of the movement, over 715 buildings across the UK lit up in red to symbolise the imminent danger over one million people in the live events industry face unless the government provides additional financial support.
20 of the UK’s biggest cities hosted events to raise awareness of the struggling supply chain that facilitates events across the country. From the Minnack Theatre Cornwall to The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Principality Stadium Cardiff and the Millennium Forum Northern Ireland, the message was spread far and wide – the situation is urgent. In Manchester, 200 technicians pushed redundant flightcases through the city centre as part of their protest, observing COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.
The capital’s finale began aboard a boat at 20:30, which made its way down the Thames - passing iconic buildings including the Royal Festival Hall, the London Eye, the National Theatre and the Tate all illuminated in emergency red. Some 4000 socially distanced supporters dressed in red lined the banks of the Thames and bridges including the Millennium Bridge and Jubilee Bridge to further drive the message home.
Level 42 frontman Mark King and folk singer Frank Turner performed on the boat, both expressing the importance of their skilled crews. The call to action focused on raising awareness
UK - With government guidance now emerging for the events industry, Showforce has partnered with industry safety specialist The Event Safety Shop (tess) to develop COVID-19 protocols and risk assessments specifically for the global crewing business.
The new working practices have been written in-conjunction with Showforce’s NEBOSH qualified health, safety and training manager, Laurence Jones and the highly experienced team at tess. They are designed to minimise the risk of infection and ensure the safety of Showforce’s crew, clients and fellow contractors in the working environment, wherever practicably possible.
The protocols and risk assessments consider travel to and from site, additional sanitisation procedures, dedicated welfare areas for crew, social distancing, temperature checks for all crew before commencing work and the development of work bubbles or buddies. All Showforce crew will undergo rigorous in-house training in the practises before arriving onsite and in line with Showforce’s existing exemplary safety record. The policies ensure that its’ crew are well trained and ready to work, along with an additional layer of support and assurance for clients.
Operations director, Chris Martelly comments: “As we emerge from lockdown and take tentative steps back to work, the safety of our crews, clients and fellow industry suppliers is paramount. Whilst this has always been the case, the ‘new normal’ requires considerations and policies dedicated to COVID-19 safe working practises. Partnering with a company of tess’ calibre an
Pantos Postponed - Four of London’s biggest pantomimes have become the latest major productions to postpone their 2020 performances amid ongoing uncertainty from government about reopening.
The Hackney Empire’s annual show will not take place this year, neither will pantomimes at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, which will not be staging a pantomime for the first time in nearly 70 years. Last year, the four pantomimes attracted audiences of more than 145,000 and typically employ over 280 freelancers.
A joint statement from the four venues said: "The production process for such a large-scale show as panto would have begun at the start of August. Without an announced date from the government on when theatre performances can resume without social distancing, making a panto economically viable, these theatres have now had to take the hard decision to postpone to 2021."
High Notes - A new production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is to be staged at the open-air Minack Theatre in Cornwall. It will be directed by Omar F Okai and runs from 15-19 September. Okai said: “We need to start looking to the future of theatre and I am so happy to be directing and working with a brilliant team on creating a fresh new look at The Last Five Years and bringing it to the Minack Theatre. Live theatre will be back and this is the start.”
Minack director Zoë Curnow said: “We were really keen to have a musical in our amended 2020 programme and really look for
UK - Today’s We Make Events day of action has already generated interest from some of the UK’s largest media outlets, helping to promote the wide-spread protest action taking place throughout the day.
At 7.45am, BBC Breakfast featured a segment on the planned event in London. The demonstration will see a boat sail down the Thames from the Westminster Pier, passing by key cultural landmarks including the National Theatre and the Tate, lit in red, whist socially-distanced crowds will line the river’s banks and lower a rope of lights to symbolise the ‘throwing of a line’ to an industry battling for survival.
BBC Breakfast’s arts correspondent Rebecca Jones said in her report on the event: “Those taking part say while livestreams, virtual festivals and some socially distanced events provide an alternative, they are not going to sustain an industry worth £100bn to the economy.”
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Gary White, a technical director and technical production manager, explained the importance of further state support for the sector, which employs over one million event professionals.
Putting further pressure on the government to act, White said many high-profile artists are backing the campaign, including Peter Gabriel, The Cure, New Order, Doves, Captain Sensible, Frank Turner, Paloma Faith, Leona Lewis, Blossoms, Trevor Horn and more. Shown in the report, Peter Gabriel said: “If we want live events
Germany - Berlin-based full service live event and technical production specialist TSE AG has been utilising the unexpected downtime of the pandemic in a number of constructive ways including professional development and launching a new exercise for all their trainee staff and apprentices called The Next.
This is designed to encourage their budding new talent in the fields of event management, production and organisation, lighting, visual, production and audio design to shine through.
The trainees themselves initiated the idea of setting up and creating a lighting, sound, and visual show environment for use as a series of dynamic live streams and recordings.
TSE’s available technologies had to be used inventively, and the set up was built in their warehouse in Berlin’s lively Neukölln area, for which the trainees used some of the large stock of Robe moving lights, including 14 Pointes, two MegaPointes and eight Spiiders.
The installation was in place for 10 days and utilised by a succession of local artists, bands and DJs who either livestreamed shows or recorded videos for later broadcast or use as promotional collateral.
All the current social distancing requirements and hygiene regulations were strictly implemented ensuring that it was a completely COVID-19 compliant space.
The whole project was imagined, planned, and realised by 13 TSE trainees and apprentices working alongside 20 technicians and coordinated by Marcel Kuch, supervising project manager for TSE AG and Henning Grunwald, trainee project manager for TS