UK - Global event specialist, The Spendlove Group has announced the launch of THE Production TEAM. The new company will combine the skills and expertise that exist within the group to deliver a global event recruitment business.
Launched as the event industry makes a welcome return, THE Production TEAM will offer ‘a myriad of recruitment services to event management companies, venues and production houses operating within film & TV, events and theatre’. Offering complete transparency for both clients and freelancers with competitive rates of pay, all candidates will be vetted, pre-qualified and selected to fill job vacancies globally.
For UK clients interested in its contract recruitment services THE Production TEAM will renumerate employees, including sickness and holiday payments. This will also be the case in the Middle East, but the company will also facilitate visas for people out of country, whilst providing medical cover and insurance removing all the hassle from the employer. As a global operation THE Production TEAM will also be able to navigate the bureaucracy now attached to working in Europe following Brexit.
Spendlove Group founder and CEO, Ian Spendlove said: “This business is almost two years in the making, Covid-19 actually pushed back our original plans for the launch. We’ve subsequently had more time to build the foundations and as it turns out that, there’s now more demand than we were originally anticipating. We’re operating in a world where a senior production manager can be working from home and located anywhe
UK - Having enjoyed a friendly business relationship for some time, Artistic Licence and Global Design Solutions (GDS) have announced that they will be working together more closely following the appointment of GDS as VAR for Artistic Licence products in the UK.
Bristol based lighting solutions provider, GDS, has over 15 years of experience working with architectural buildings and venues. With a focus on the use of innovative products to bring the best of LED lighting to new spaces, the company's interests are closely aligned with those of Artistic Licence.
GDS managing director Richard Cuthbert comments, "We find ourselves increasingly specifying Artistic Licence products. We are working through a lot of commercial projects where the AL range is really helping us provide some great solutions. It's pleasing that we can continue our support for Artistic Licence as a value-added reseller of their products going forward.”
Wayne Howell, founder and CEO of Artistic Licence adds, "It’s great to be working with GDS and we’re very pleased to see them using our sunDial dimmers in a wide range of applications.”
*Pix (2) GDS, Artistic
Caption: Artistic Licence and GDS will be working together more closely
Hardest Hit - Music, performing and visual arts has been the creative sector hardest hit by the pandemic – losing 80,000 jobs and an estimated £4bn in gross value added for the UK economy, according to new data.
Before the pandemic, music, performing and visual arts contributed £10.6bn in GVA and employed 314,000 people. However, new data from Oxford Economics, published in a report by the Creative UK Group, estimates that these sectors have lost 39% of GVA, equating to a loss of £4bn to the UK economy. According to the report, music, performing and visual arts have also lost 26% of jobs – 80,000 – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The creative industries as a whole – made up of nine sub-sectors also including film, tv, video, radio and photography; design; architecture; and museums, galleries and libraries – are estimated to have lost nearly £12bn in GVA, with job losses expected to reach more than 110,000 by the end of the year.
The report argues that the sector has the potential to recover faster than the UK economy as a whole, growing by more than 26% by 2025 and contributing £132.1bn to the economy in GVA – £28bn more than in 2020 and more than the financial services, insurance and pension industries combined. However, the research warns that the government must act immediately to support the creative industries to “avoid deep divisions, with key parts of the UK at risk of being left behind”.
Full-Capacity - The BBC Proms will welcome full-capacity audiences this summer, after initially making just 1,000 tickets a
Europe - ISE @ London marked the final stop for ISE Live and Online, a series of events created to ‘bring the AV community together and look towards building a brighter future’.
Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, said: “It’s been an incredibly challenging 18 months for events. Thankfully, at ISE, we have an amazing team and like so many in our industry, we wanted to keep pushing forward. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved with ISE Live & Online – 3,000 in-person visitors to the live events and the debut of ISE Digital a rich content resource which will remain accessible for months to come – it’s not been an easy ride, but we did it and we did it for the right reasons.”
ISE @ London welcomed visitors across two days to experience in-person networking in a safe environment and feedback has been positive.
“We wanted to take part in ISE London predominantly for the opportunity to meet in-person and the ability to physically introduce products to customers, the best way for our customers to understand our products is to see and experience it in person. For me personally, the highlight was re-connecting with old friends and meeting new industry contacts,” commented Christopher Kmiec, director of performance screens, an AudioTek Company.
“It’s been an incredibly tough eighteen months not only for our industry but for every single person that has a place in it. For us it was really important to be here not just to show products but to show ISE and the wider industry support. It’s
UK - On Saturday 4 September, a group of industry professionals will band together for BikeFest, a fundraising bike ride from SFL’s headquarters in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London. BikeFest aims to raise funds for industry charities and mark the return of live events and entertainment following 18 months of unparalled challenge.
The organisers of BikeFest are calling for fellow cyclists to sign up and follow them on one of two routes: a relaxed 40-mile ride direct to London via flat roads and cycle paths, or a more strenuous 80-mile ride traversing the Surrey Hills. The two routes will cater for all levels of cyclists, from casual and commuting cyclists to serious road bikers. London-based cyclists are also invited to join for the last leg through the capital.
All money raised will go to Backup, the technical entertainment charity. Backup will then channel the funds to Stagehand, Music Support, Acting For Others and #MakeItBlue. Each charity has been a dependable source throughout the pandemic, ensuring the industry’s workforce is recognised and supported.
To join BikeFest you’ll need to make a one-off donation at least £50 which is payable upon booking your place. Places are limited to 24 cyclists per route, so it is recommended to book your place as soon as you can.
BikeFest follows in the tracks of several fundraising bike rides to cross the finish line at PLASA Show. In 2019, ten cyclists covered 100 miles
UK - Amplifier manufacturer Marshall has built a recording studio next to their Milton Keynes factory in the UK. “This has been a passion project for the Marshall crew,” said commercial director Alex Coombes, “our ambition was to build a versatile and flexible commercial multimedia facility to serve the modern entertainment market, and at the same time to promote young talent and give something back to the artist and producer community.”
The spacious new-build facility is on the site of an old theatre, adjacent to the Marshall factory. The live room has a stage with lighting and PA, along with an artist green room, bar and reception area – with the large recording control room featuring a 40-channel vintage Neve 8048 console. The self-contained studio has the benefit of ample parking in front and a ready supply of Marshall amps and Natal drums.
Producer Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder, Therapy?) has already been in the studio recording rockers Bad Touch. “I love the new Marshall Studio – a fantastic live room big enough to track a band – in fact, big enough to track a decent-sized orchestra comfortably. The vintage Neve desk sounds glorious… anything coming through those mic pres sounds, well, better! A great microphone selection to cover all eventualities and if you can’t see something you like, lots of equipment is pretty much two minutes away in the factory.”
A loading bay with ramp leads directly to the stage in the 273m2. Marshall live room, with a reduced ceiling-height area for more intimate recording located in fro
France - Gaetan Byk is now the principal and majority shareholder in charge of Amadeus, the Paris-based manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Michel Deluc, who co-founded the original Amadeus brand with Bernard Byk 30 years ago, has created many of the company’s speaker designs and remains at Amadeus to lead specific design and manufacturing projects.
“For many years, my mission has been to find a space for Amadeus, a unique place where technological innovations with arts and crafts, combine and complement each other,” states Gaetan Byk. “I think we need to go where our main competitors cannot, do not know how to, or do not want to go. Designing tailor-made solutions, responding to existing architectural, acoustic, and technical constraints have been our areas of expression for a long time. Over the past few years, some rather out-of-the-norm products were born this way."
Over the past 10 years, Gaetan Byk has guided the company and its products to new heights. Many products were created, including the hi-fi Philharmonia reference monitor, designed with world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel for the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall recording studios; the stone-clad speakers made for the Panthéon; the unique speakers designed for Krug Champagne House made of corten steel - cut and then laser welded - and today, the nearly 40m-long bespoke sound ramp designed for the Festival d’Avignon, the largest performing arts theatre festival in the world.
Collaborating with IRCAM and several other key French institutions, Amadeus also figures
UK - The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has voted to change its name to the ALPD - the Association for Lighting Production and Design.
The new title “demonstrates both the association’s breadth of membership and its appreciation of every lighting role in the design and production process”. The change is effective immediately and comes after ALD members voted in favour of it during a general meeting held on 17 July.
Johanna Town, chair of the organisation, explains: “While the ALD, which was founded 60 years ago for lighting designers, has for some time included production electricians, programmers, lighting managers, assistant electricians, associate designers, lighting educators and students, hire companies and manufacturers, we never acknowledged it in our name. It’s a real celebration of the association’s 60th year that our name now fully respects those we represent.
“Recent years have shown us the strength we can pull on as an association. Whilst Saving Stage Lighting or working to offer support to the whole lighting industry through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have played an integral role in mobilising everyone. We know we are stronger together as an association to support everyone in the lighting team and now we have a name that says that.”
Richard Pilbrow, the association president and Founder member no. 1, adds: “The ALD has had an amazingly successful run, in large part thanks to some brilliant leadership and passionate support. When we started the Association 60 years ago, we had no idea what it wo
Blunt Instrument - Future performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella have been cancelled, with the composer blaming the “blunt instrument that is the government’s isolation guidance”. Lloyd Webber said “Freedom Day has turned into closure day” as he announced the decision not to open the musical, which was due to have its press night on 19 July and a gala performance on 20 July. It follows the cancellation of two shows at the weekend, which Lloyd Webber said had been a "precautionary measure".
Producers have not yet indicated when Cinderella will return, however a spokeswoman for the show said: "It’s hard to see a route forward under current rules, but we will do everything else we can to come back as soon as possible."
Lloyd Webber said that, despite negative test results following one cast member testing positive, he had been forced to cancel the show. “Today, on this ‘Freedom Day’, I have been forced to take the heart-breaking decision not to open my Cinderella. With Cinderella, from the outset, we have employed a rigorous testing system for all the cast and backstage crew before they begin work. On Saturday, as part of this process, we identified one positive case in a member of our cast who has a cameo role in the show,” he said, adding that the two shows were cancelled on Saturday while further tests were carried out on everyone backstage, which were negative.
He concluded, “The impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the government’s isolation guidance, mean tha
UK - The Scottish events industry is appealing to the Scottish government to provide a further financial boost and additional support to secure a safe and sustainable return of the sector devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) is recommending an extra £40m in re-start funding be made available along with a raft of other initiatives including continuation of the Job Retention Scheme on a flexible basis from this September to March next year.
The group warns that failure to act could cost the country its status as a world-class event destination and the sector’s associated £6bn annual visitor spend within the Scottish economy.
The EIAG, which represents the events and festivals sector, has been lobbying Holyrood through pandemic and earlier this year presented Scottish Government ministers with a submission detailing A Route Back to Scotland the Perfect Stage.
Now, following the proposed lifting of restrictions from August, the group has outlined detailed proposals in a white paper, Event Sector Stimulus Initiatives, aimed at creating a suitable environment to allow the safe return of the country’s globally-renowned sector.
Geoff Crow, director of events company 21CC Group, who leads the EIAG sector stimulus sub-group explains: “The sector has endured a devastating period of shutdown since March 2020. It has cost billions in lost revenue and many millions in hardship support, it has threatened the country’s entire event infrastructure, including Scotland’s vi
Europe - The pre-launch presentation of the PixlDrive Pro 8 from Lucenti has resulted in an immediate order from Tom Pardon’s AV rental company Screenit.
In recent years, Tom Pardon and his crew have been creating and installing eye-catching lighting setups with over 1,000 Blackwave LED bars in the Kara Savi stage on TML, Amelie Lens’ All Night Long events and Exhale livestreams.
“The advanced technology that puts these controllers ahead of every other alternative on the market is created by KLSTR and natively integrated into the device,” says Lucenti. “We are convinced KLSTR will revolutionise the lighting industry and we are proud to be the first manufacturer that is pushing this cutting-edge technology to market.”
Tom Pardon adds: “We are very excited to start using this technology, it is a huge leap forward in the implementation of pixel control and our video setups in lighting design. It will simplify the installation process, save us time, reduce human error and it will enable even more creative possibilities.”
Those who want to experience the technology are invited to visit the showcase setup in Boom, Belgium before 2 August.
The Netherlands - Full production company Events Light has made a major new investment in Robe’s latest T2 moving lights - among the first to be delivered in Europe.
The 32 x T2s together with 60 x Spiiders also from Events Light are being used for lighting Zodiac, a new musical production which is being lit by Marc Heinz. The show is staged at the Koepelgevangenis, a former prison in the same city. It is set to open next month in this domed venue, a heritage protected architectural masterwork designed by Johan Frederik Metzelaar that opened in 1886 and is based on the panopticon model.
Due to the pandemic, Zodiac’s production schedule has been somewhat fluid, but everyone has been equally determined to make it happen.
Towards the end of 2020, Robe’s Benelux distributor Controllux and other manufacturers conducted several tests and shoot-outs - one of them on-site at the venue - so that Heinz could evaluate all options and choose his optimal luminaires for the show.
The T2, a larger and brighter version of Robe’s very successful T1, was a prototype at the time of the demo but was nevertheless impressive enough to be selected for its power and for its colour mixing plus additional refined theatrical features.
Zodiac’s producers - the Zodiac Foundation - had worked with Events Light on previous projects and when they pitched to be a technical supplier on this, instead of substituting a fixture to make Marc’s design fit their existing stock, they agreed to supply the T2s he wanted and were subsequently a
UK - Woolwich Works is set to open in September, bringing a new creative district to southeast London.
Led by Royal Borough of Greenwich, the £31.6m project - which is transforming the historic Royal Arsenal site into a cultural hub that will include a concert venue, studios and other event spaces - will be the home for local performing arts collectives including immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, Europe's first majority black and minority ethnic orchestra Chineke! Orchestra, as well as National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Greenwich-based dance company Protein, and the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.
The new district includes a 1,200 seated or 1,800 standing performance venue; an external courtyard for performances; five studios, which will also be used for performances and rehearsals spaces; cafe, bar and spaces for community groups and the general public, plus hire spaces for weddings, parties, conferences and events.
James Heaton, Woolwich Works chief executive, comments: “The past year has been painful. Hardship, loss and suffering are not the things that should be uniting people. That is the job of music, theatre, dance, circus, cabaret and comedy - and now, finally, shows are coming back. I’m excited that our stunning new venue will play a part in supporting artists to get back on stage, and bringing audiences back together to once again share the unique experience of live performance.
Woolwich Works and its artists in residence will work with the local community and schools on a wide range of projects and schemes once the district
Italy - Fulcrum Acoustic has appointed Ligra DS S.r.l as its distributor for Italy.
"Like Fulcrum Acoustic, Ligra is a rapidly growing company," says Gianluigi Cravedi, Ligra's CEO. "We have been looking for innovative loudspeaker technologies to offer to our customers. Fulcrum's unique blend of technology and performance provides the type of solutions that we were seeking."
"Over the past year we have made good progress expanding our distribution in Europe," says Fulcrum Acoustic president Stephen Siegel. "Ligra is the perfect partner for us in Italy. We know that their energetic and capable team will represent us well and deliver top-quality solutions to their customers."
France - Follow-Me B.V. has announced the appointment of Axente S.A.S. as its sole distributor for France with immediate effect.
Since 1996, Axente has been providing installation and support for entertainment lighting and audio, providing solutions and support across the professional rental and installation markets.
“Axente is a well-established name in France, having built a strong reputation as a solution provider for the entertainment technology industry, both for rental production as well as for installation and integration,” says Gary Yates, with Erik Berends, founder of Netherlands’ based Follow-Me. “We see Axente as the perfect partner for supporting Follow-Me products towards our growing client base in France. It is a great step to expand our network with this partnership, becoming our 12th partner worldwide”.
Since its inception in 2013, Follow-Me has developed a cost effective, flexible and easy to implement followspot and tracking solution. The fixture-independent product allows you to track performers on-stage both manually and automatically, making it the only hybrid tracking system on the market. In addition to announcing Axente as its dealer for France, Follow-Me has also recently added ACE Lighting as its distributor for China, expanding on their worldwide distributor network.
Follow-Me has recently introduced a new licensing structure to provide its customers an even more flexible and cost-effective offering, with two choices of manual packages with an upgrade to automatic tracking. The company is also working hard
Spain - Fira de Barcelona and N&M have signed a collaboration agreement forming a service partnership in the fields of wire suspension systems and rigging. N&M technicians will provide their services to customers through a newly established branch office in Catalonia's regional capital.
In recent years, Fira de Barcelona has developed into one of leadingt trade fair locations. Events such as the Mobile World Congress, the MICE sector's ibtm World or the Sónar festival for electronic music attract professionals from all over the world to Catalonia's capital in the north-east of Spain. In June 2021, having switched from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Integrated System Europe (ISE) made its premiere as a hybrid event due to the corona pandemic while also making its debut in Spain's strongest economic region.
In order to provide fair organisers and their customers with technical support for safety-critical systems such as suspension and rigging, the Fira de Barcelona trade fair organisation has agreed a service partnership with the German service provider Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik (N&M). This also covers the complete range of technical equipment for companies' trade fair presentations as well as for any associated events.
N&M has established an office in Barcelona; during the course of 2021 the branch will be turned into a legally autonomous company according to Spanish law and will operate under the name of Neumann&Müller Iberia S.L..
Tobias Nitsch, who is responsible for N&M's first trade fair location in Spai
UK - 3LR Lighting is now the sole UK manufacturer’s representative for Italian manufacturer Unonovesette.
The manufacturer, based not far from the Monza motor racing circuit, continues a long tradition of Italian design, and has pioneered the use of high-end LED technology in architectural lighting. The company specialises in the development and manufacture of premium architectural fixtures for exterior applications. The company’s proprietary Smart Shield system is integrated inside all fixtures.
Matthew Lloyd, managing director of 3LR comments: “The Unonovesette range comprises some of the most efficient, robust and attractive exterior architectural lighting currently available anywhere. We are more than delighted to be appointed as the company’s representatives and are confident that we can significantly expand their reach into the UK’s lighting design community. The portfolio perfectly complements our range, and I know that our architectural specialist Sean O’Callaghan is very much looking forward to extolling the virtues of these exciting, premium products.”
Geert Buch, managing director of Unonovesette adds: “We first came into contact with 3LR in the UAE when they helped to improve the connection between Unonovesette and the UK lighting design community who work on projects in the Middle-East. That led directly to this appointment when it became clear that 3LR were very well-placed to help us build a strong presence in the UK.
“3LR has a seasoned professional team that has great experience of a wide variety of lighting
Germany - Plans for this year’s Digital Signage Summit Europe, taking place on 29-30 September at the Hilton Munich Airport, have been revealed.
The theme of DSS Europe 2021 is The New Agenda. The rules of digital signage have changed, and the pandemic has had a marked effect on how displays are deployed within retail, DOOH, transport and other sectors. DSS Europe will cover the significant technological innovations that are having a positive effect, will showcase the development of sustainable solutions (eliminating waste and re-using resources) and will reveal market insights and investor news.
In a new development for 2021, the Innovation Stage, sponsored by Red Bull, will host sessions from a range of start-ups and innovators ‘with inspiring and unconventional solutions for digital signage’.
Conference chair Florian Rotberg, managing director of invidis consulting, comments: “Digital Signage Summit Europe comes after a challenging time, yet also at a vibrant time for innovation in our industry. It is so important to get back to live and in-person events, and we are delighted to be able to provide such a stimulating agenda, covering important topics such as sustainability and innovation, and with a line-up of exhibiting companies who are all eager to meet up with customers. I’m gratified at the response we’ve had so far and am very much looking forward to DSS Europe.”
Running parallel to the conference, an exhibition takes place on both days with digital signage companies showcasing their technologies and solutions: inc
Turning Point - Most COVID safety measures will remain in theatres from next week, including a "strong recommendation" for the continued use of face masks, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre have announced. As the government confirms that Step 4 of the reopening roadmap will go ahead on 19 July, SOLT and UK Theatre said that, despite key measures such as social distancing being relaxed, theatres in England will maintain many of the mitigations brought in to limit the spread of COVID-19. These include face coverings, enhanced cleaning and restricted stage-door interactions.
UK Theatre president Fiona Allan said the body was "relieved" at the news of full reopening, describing it as a "turning point on the road to recovery", while SOLT and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird stressed the importance of preserving audience confidence as theatregoers return.
"The thousands of people who have already come back to the theatre since 17 May have been overwhelmingly positive about their experience and how safe and comfortable they felt. As we increase capacity, we want to ensure that this positive audience sentiment remains. For this reason, we hope audience members show respect for fellow theatregoers and staff by continuing to wear face coverings when coming into our venues and moving around them," he said.
South Bank Blues - The UK economy lost £330m in the last financial year as a result of the closure of five cultural institutions on London’s South Bank due to the pandemic, according to a new report. Entitled Engine of Recovery
Europe - Prolights' LED spotlight range EclDisplay has won a Build Back Better gold award. The recently released fixture is the latest innovation in the architectural range by the Italian manufacturer.
The Build Back Better initiative, an industry plan to help accelerate innovation, technology and change in the built environment, has recognised the EclDisplay as an innovative product in its category. The awards were judged by a team of experienced and impartial practitioners, who assessed the products and projects which exhibited true innovation and unique points of difference.
The EclDisplay range of LED spotlights offers multiple control options, sources, colours, lenses, and accessories, with over 7,000 possible fixture configurations.
The judges praised the attention to detail, the precision engineering, and the huge range of options. “In terms of museum use, or putting into retail, there are many applications for the EclDiplay,” said David Atkinson, from DALD.
The EclDisplay has a 25W, high CRI LED engine. There are five different source options available: fixed white sources in 2,700K, 3,000K, 4,000K, 5,600K, as well as a 40W RGB+WW source, capable of delivering a wide tuneable white range, as well as beautiful pastels and saturated colours.
India - Boutique audio enterprise, Audio Academy in Bangalore added the compact Audient ASP4816 mixing desk to its setup last year. The facility offers professional audio education programmes as well as providing commercial recording, music production, sound design and Foley services, and the compact mixing desk has settled in very well.
“We were looking for a console that would serve as both a teaching tool as well as a highly functioning mixer for professional studio bookings,” explains studio manager Gautham Pattani. Part of a hybrid setup in the studio, the analogue desk’s array of connectivity options means it can work easily with the outboard gear and send audio straight to their Pro Tools DAW.
“Our multi-monitor setup helps reveal every detail in the recording and mixing process. Dedicated hardware controllers, industry standard converters, high quality mic pres and a selection of microphones help us meet the demands of any project,” he says, referring to the independent musicians, producers and sound artists he works with, as well as his students.
“The console serves as our main monitor controller for all aspects of production. A summing desk while mixing and a preamplification stage while multi-track recording.” Aside from the fully-featured monitor control offered by the British desk, Gautham also enjoys the parametric EQs, bus compressor and its flexible routing capabilities.
The recording studio and adjacent spacious live room allow music production students to work on their commercial assignments. Each student is re
UK - Responding to post-pandemic staffing demands and a need for improved entry level training for crew, a collective of industry professionals established Event Crew Training and has released its first course - Event Crew Essentials.
Identifying that post-pandemic there would be a need to recruit a large volume of new and inexperienced crew and sharing a view that the existing training was not fit for purpose, the collective saw the period of stagnation created by COVID-19 as an opportunity to create an online portal that not only provides the required training but gives trainees knowledge that will enable them to feel comfortable in their new working environment.
The Event Crew Training portal is designed to be a benchmark for entry level crew and technicians looking to start a career in the events industry. Its initial offering covers a range of topics, including understanding stages, live event jargon, departmental load in and load outs, health and safety and manual handling, providing participants with the practical knowledge they require. This new-found awareness ensures essential elements are addressed, thus elevating the standard of health and safety in the workplace and enabling crew companies to meet legal compliance.
Event Crew Essentials takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and costs crewing companies £20 per access token. One token provides training for one member of crew.
The Event Crew Training team believes this training will establish ‘an important foundation for the live events industry and hope th
UK - PLASA Show 2021 is on track to welcome thousands of industry professionals to Olympia London in September, with 70% of the exhibitor space already reserved.
The entertainment technology industry event, taking place on 5-7 September, has recorded a 53% increase in visitor registrations in the first three weeks compared to the same period in 2019 - the year when the show was lauded as “the busiest in years” - and registration has continued to climb following the UK prime minister’s announcement that the remaining lockdown restrictions are to be lifted from 19 July.
The organisers have also recorded a greater number of top-tier professionals and company owners requesting to attend, raising the prospects for the event to be a valuable hub for business and networking.
Visitors with buying power
The visitor profile at PLASA Show 2021 so far includes 45% final decision makers - which is a 5% increase on 2019, says PLASA - with a further 20% who have the authority to specify purchases, which is yet another increase. Although the industry’s economy has been severely impacted, there are still plenty of sizeable budgets, with one in four able to spend between £100,000 and £2,000,000. With the PLASA Show moving to Olympia’s largest space, the Grand Hall, the expanded showfloor will be brimming of influential industry leaders - directors, chairs and company owners are the top registered job roles so far, followed by designers, technicians, engineers, project mangers and consultants. Visitors continue to rep
UK - Final year students at Wakefield’s Backstage Academy, the versatile skillset learnt studying over the pandemic has strengthened their resilience and eagerness to reinvigorate the sector. The experience of adapting through adversity has set them up for the best chance of success upon entering the industry; driven to cater to the UK’s pent-up demand for live events post-pandemic, says the academy.
Offering degrees, short courses and bespoke training in live events, the South-Kirby-based institution held an end of year showcase of student talent last week. The campus’ Final Major Project Series saw the culmination of third year students honing their skillsets and the coming together of the craft they learnt over the pandemic and three years of study.
For Backstage Academy’s Live Events Production course leader, Johnny Goodwin, this year’s projects are significant - not just because they serve as a capstone contribution to the students’ third year final grade - but because the 2021 themes address the feasibility of the industry’s survival post-COVID. The showcase is a demonstration of the skills the industry’s newest tranche of practitioners will need upon entering the industry (such as live streaming) in hastening its bounce-back to pre-pandemic levels.
Johnny said: “You could say there is something primal in the coming together of people to enjoy culture through a shared experience – whether that’s at gigs or in theatres. These final year projects from our Backstage students have really brought that to the fore, demonstratin