Business News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Silent Spaces - Venues and spaces that have remained largely unused due to the pandemic feature in a new series of films in which performers and musicians take over the spaces. The series of films, called Silent Spaces, is described as a “creative lockdown response driven by a pervading sense of Covid-induced personal and professional loneliness”. It has been created by musician and composer Soumik Datta and directed by his brother Souvid Datta.
Featuring a team of British Asian, black and ethnic minority musicians and dancers, the film-makers and performers create works in the British Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, Depot Mayfield in Manchester and Sage Gateshead, alongside Hawkwood College and London King’s Cross station. The six films explore “resonant themes in keeping with the choice of venue”, the producers said, and tackle issues around mental health, activism, the environment, colonisation and identity.
Three Raspberries - Sia has been named ‘worst director’ for her controversial debut film at the Razzies, the pre-Oscars prizes for the year's worst movies. Titled Music, her film won three Golden Raspberry Awards in total, including worst actress for Kate Hudson and worst supporting actress for Maddie Ziegler. The movie has been criticised for casting Ziegler in the autistic lead role and for its portrayal of autism. It was described as an "insensitive" and "ill-conceived" "autism musical".
The film follows Zu, a drug dealer, who is a recovering alcoholic, played by Hudson, who becomes the guardian of her you

iscve-remote-invigilation-serviceISCVE launches remote HS&E invigilation service
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

UK - The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) has announced the launch of its remote invigilation service for HS&E assessments. The new online service means applicants who need a valid HS&E certificate to accompany ISCVE ECS card applications, can now take their HS&E assessment online.
Prior to the launch of the new service in conjunction with ECS, applicants for HS&E assessments were required to take a test at an approved centre or at an event organised by ISCVE. The new online service reduces the requirement for travel to centres and allows applicants to take the assessment without having to leave home or the office.
The new service means applicants now have the opportunity to securely and safely complete their HS&E assessments online using just a web browser, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delays. Results are published immediately once assessments are completed.
“The launch of this new service overcomes any social distancing challenges applicants may face when requiring an HS&E assessment, as it can now be taken in the workplace or in the comfort of their own home. New pages on our website allow members to apply for ISCVE ECS cards and apply for their HS&E assessment, all at the same time,” confirms Ros Wigmore, Secretariat, ISCVE.
“Once an application is received, we provide the applicant with all the necessary information on how to take the HS&E assessment. With an automated online monitoring software, using an artificial intelligence programme, we can verify the identity

 
 
clearcut-yamahaClearcut Sound Studios invests In Yamaha Nuage
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

UK - In 2018, London post-production facility Clearcut Sound Studios invested in a Yamaha Nuage system to control Steinberg Nuendo, the software it has relied on since 2009. The investment in Nuage was so successful that the company has since purchased two more systems.
For many years Clearcut used Yamaha DM2000 digital mixers for I/O and remote control of Nuendo. “As we all know, the DM2000s are fantastic units, with solid I/O, but we felt we were lacking in physical controls to fully unlock Nuendo’s creative ability,” says managing director Chris Wrigglesworth.
“We’re lucky enough to work on a variety of projects, from online content to sound design-heavy, multi-channel cinema commercials independent shorts to feature length documentaries. With the need for multiple deliverables becoming standard, the time was right to streamline our processes. Nuage was a solution to that.”
He continues, “It simplified what was a relatively cumbersome process, letting our engineers and sound designers move away from keyboard and mouse editing, giving them a physical control for everything and creating custom set-ups that suited how they work as individuals. It made the whole experience more user friendly and, in turn, client friendly.
“I think it would be wrong not to also mention the aesthetic improvement in the studio,” he adds.
Another advantage of Nuage is its customisation, especially with the speed of software development. “When a new version of Nuendo is released with a function that becomes well-used by our sound designers

 
live-events-industryIndustry will work with government towards recovery
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

UK - The live events and music industry will work with the Government on COVID-status certification to support full reopening and sector recovery.
Industry organisations including PLASA, Music Venues Trust, Live and Association of Festival Organisers, alongside major venues including the 02 and NEC Group, have issued a statement that outlines this support.
“The live events and music industry which includes exhibitions; conferences; music arenas; festivals; theatres and indoor sporting events, welcomes the establishment of the Events Research Programme and the safe return of live events as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown,” says the statement.
“The industry is committed to working with the Government to ensure a swift delivery of the Event Research Programme’s pilot events and stands ready to establish protocols based upon the information and guidance they provide.
Under the current roadmap, the live events and music industry can plan for the return of some indoor business and music events from 17 May. These will follow social distancing guidelines and have attendance capped to the lower of 1,000 people or 50% of capacity indoors, 4,000 or 50% capacity outdoors and 10,000 or 25% capacity if seated outdoors.
“However, given the economic threshold for most business and music events is around 80% of maximum capacity, activities under these limits will be far from sufficient to end the sector’s financial crisis. This will also continue to have grave economic impacts on sectors that every live event supports, inc

 
 
plasa-onlinePLASA Online programme revealed
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

UK - PLASA, the lead association for the entertainment technology industry, is hosting a second PLASA Online from 10-13 May, following on from a successful debut in October 2020. The programme will address the most pertinent issues facing the industry, present pioneering technology, and deliver several sessions on technical theatre in partnership with the ABTT.
The free-to-view programme will span four days, bringing you creative presentations, business panels, industry advice and technical training, each led by experts in their field. Furthermore, each day you will have the opportunity to watch live product presentations hosted by leading manufacturers. Running alongside the programme is a virtual Exhibitor Showcase featuring an extensive A-Z of brands from audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging.
The ABTT will deliver the very latest amendments to their Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment which covers energy conservation, electrical installations and emergency lighting. They will also present an overview of Volume 1 of The Theatre Green Book, a project that brought together theatre-makers and sustainability experts to create a common standard for making theatre sustainably.
Electrical expert James Eade will return for another unmissable session, this time delving into the most enduring electrical misunderstandings, from qualifications and PAT testing, to earthing and phase separation. This session will also feature a Q&A, allowing to you get expert advice on your electrical safety concer

 
beirg-logoBEIRG announces IPS and Raycom as new members
Monday, 26 April 2021

UK - Following recent news of restructuring, the BEIRG Steering has announced further new members joining the team, this time in the shape of IPS (Institute of Professional Sound) and Raycom. These new members ‘reaffirm BEIRG’s commitment to meet the challenges still faced by the PMSE community as a result of ongoing spectrum changes, especially in the UHF frequency bands’.
The IPS provides support, training, standards, community, and professional recognition for members in the media industries. The Institute is a limited company and a registered charity. It is run by an elected executive committee assisted by the secretariat.
In addition to the key brands they currently distribute, including Wisycom, Lectrosonics, and Phonak, Raycom continues to build its range of accessories from a number of well-respected suppliers including Sennheiser, Sound Devices and DPA.
Commenting on the changes Simon Clark, chairman of IPS said, “As an organisation, we have had a long and fruitful relationship with BEIRG and have been closely involved with their work. It makes sense at this point in time to put that work on a more direct footing, and we look forward to working with the team at BEIRG to ensure that all of our members spectrum needs are delivered and deliver sustainable access for our current and future requirements.”
Managing director at Raycom, Pyers Easton added, “It’s amazing to think that BEIRG has been doing this work for over fifteen years. As a company we have always had a keen input into what BEIRG has been doing, and although so

 
 
swissQu solutions appointed L-Acoustics integrator
Monday, 26 April 2021

Switzerland - Qu solutions has been named a certified integrator by L-Acoustics Creations.
Qu solutions, owned by Dominic Schilt, develops customised sound system designs. Clients include the Royal Hotel Gstaad Palace and numerous chalet owners in the Swiss Alps. For more than 15 years Schilt has worked on corporate and live shows, including the Gurtenfestival Bern or the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festivals that provide some of the world’s largest temporary sports arenas with seating for more than 56,000 spectators.
Paul Keating, L-Acoustics Creations director of private and corporations comments, "We are very pleased to welcome Qu solutions to the L-Acoustics Creations family. Their heritage and DNA come from the world of professional audio, so it’s a great fit with Creations and very much aligned in ‘bringing the concert experience home’.
“We have already collaborated on several projects in Gstaad elevating the listening experience for demanding clients particularly in entertainment, DJ and private club spaces. We are really looking forward to working with Dominic and his team developing the high-end audio market in Switzerland."

 
alcons-audioAlcons appoints Blackroom as pro-ribbon partner
Friday, 23 April 2021

Russia - Alcons Audio has appointed a new Moscow-based dealer, Blackroom, for its CRMS home cinema systems.
A passionate movie enthusiast and home cinema aficionado, in 2013 Anton Zadnepryannyy co-founded Cinemalounge and Acoustic Solutions. After seven successful years building these businesses from the ground up with his partners, Anton decided to create a new company, Blackroom, which focuses solely on premium, turnkey home cinema design and installation in Russia and overseas.
As well as design and installation, Blackroom manufactures its own acoustic treatment panels, soundproof doors and home cinema recliner chairs. Anton also hosts the only Russian home cinema YouTube channel, which has attracted over 27000 subscribers since 2019.
“My first experience of Alcons pro-ribbon systems was at the CEDIA Expo in 2016 and I was overwhelmed with performance of the system,” says Anton. “I never thought ribbon drivers could be so loud and so clear. Since then I visited every Alcons demo at the CEDIA and ISE trade shows. Each time was better than the last. It became clear that the Alcons CRMS system is something different - it delivers audio quality that my emotions feel, something ultra-lifelike, a new reference for my professional ears. At ISE2020, I made up my mind to get acquainted with Alcons’ co-founder Tom Back and do all I can to bring this experience to our clients in Russia.”
For Anton, Alcons pro-ribbon CRMS systems are more about the sound itself. They provide a benchmark of quality that all the other equipment Blackroom insta

 
 
ac-et-supply-neg-earth-with-new-prolights-eclpanel-image-2Neg Earth adds Prolights EclPanels to portfolio
Thursday, 22 April 2021

UK - Rental production company, Neg Earth has added the new Prolights EclPanel TWC LED softlight to its rental fleet.
On recommendation from a number of top lighting designers, Neg Earth decided to demo the new EclPanel TWC and was impressed with its performance and notable list of features.
Neg Earth’s Sam Ridgway commented; “After several recommendations for the EclPanel TWC, I had high expectations and I am pleased to say the fixture certainly lived up to them. The fixture’s output is brighter than a number of competitors products at only a fraction of the cost. The performance and features of the EclPanel TWC really set it apart. Its quality whites and rich colour capabilities make it a truly versatile product.”
The EclPanel TWC has individual pixel control enabling the colour and output to be varied per section. In addition, the EclPanel TWC comes with a wide selection of effects on board that users can select and manipulate without the need for a lighting console or extensive programming. Each effect can be customised in order to meet the design requirements and enhance creative capabilities.
Sam continued; “This is a very nice-looking fixture and we are looking forward to getting it out on more jobs soon. We have no doubt our customers will rate it as highly as we do.”
The units were supplied to Neg Earth by Prolights’ exclusive UK distributor, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
“Neg Earth have a long-standing relationship with AC-ET and it is always a pleasure to work with them. The team are friendly a

 
disguise-innovateuk-vpdisguise gets government funding for R&D
Thursday, 22 April 2021

UK - disguise has announced that it is receiving research and development funding from Innovate UK to expand its work in virtual production. Innovate UK is part of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation organisation whose purpose is to accelerate UK economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.
With the grant, disguise will focus on pure research, outside its usual engineering innovation work, while maintaining a competitive development timeline within the technology sector.
The disguiseVP R&D project focuses on scalability and flexibility as key improvements to the current disguise workflow. Addressing mainly virtual production, disguiseVP is targeted to a totally immersive virtual production environment where extensive control and fast calibration lead to more informed decisions on set, improved collaboration and absolutely uncompromising results.
“The funding from InnovateUK enables us to have a team focussed on our long term R&D roadmap which maintains our ability to push beyond the boundaries of the present state of the art. disguiseVP is specifically focussed on making improvements to the calibration, rendering efficiency and image quality of the disguise virtual production solution,” says Abi Bowman, chief of staff at disguise, who oversees the project. “When integrated into our product, these advancements will be game changing.”

 
 
scottarnoldautographAutograph Group merges operations in restructure
Thursday, 22 April 2021

UK - The Autograph Group of companies has re-organised its operating base. As of next month, Autograph Sales Ltd., t/a Autograph Sales & Installations, will be incorporated into Autograph Sound Recording Ltd.
Group managing director Scott Arnold describes the move as a restructuring “that has been in consideration long before the spectre of COVID-19 and its devastating effect on our industry became a harsh reality. Weathering this storm for both companies has been a significant challenge only serving to cement our strong leanings towards this amalgamation”.
Arnold continues: “Whilst our sales and hire divisions have always collaborated closely, our focus has been shifting towards providing a complete solution for our customers. Autograph is dedicated to continuing to provide a proven and unique hire, design, support, sales, installation and integration service, encompassing the world’s leading brands and technologies. This is now best achieved under one banner utilising the vast experience of the personnel we have within the two companies.
“Fundamentally, it will be business as usual with all the same faces,” he adds, “but from 1 May 2021, Autograph Sound Recording Ltd will take on all trading, liabilities and obligations for both companies and we hope to maintain the special relationships that we have enjoyed for so many years with all of our suppliers, clients and friends.
“For 50 years Autograph, under the stewardship of owner Andrew Bruce, has been the premium supplier of audio solutions in the UK, offering exception

 
rs8749prgvpsstudiosworldmap032021v3PRG launches digital studios for virtual productions
Wednesday, 21 April 2021

World - PRG has set up a worldwide network of 20 studio environments suited for scalable production of pre-recorded and live content in a COVID-compliant setting.
The studios are housed in the immediate vicinity of major facilities, to enable PRG to react to project-specific technical requirements from clients by utilising its portfolio of lighting, audio, video, scenic and digital solutions. Each studio has its own character, catering to the markets it serves, whilst an expert team is in place to supervise and staff each location. There are two types of environment – the PRG Virtual Production Studios, designed for productions that require more demanding technology such as extended reality (xR), and PRG Digital Studios for pre-recorded or live broadcasts.
The Virtual Production Studios – located in Hamburg, Los Angeles, and Paris – are equipped with xR technology, mixed reality and proprietary Enhanced Environments and Ncam® technology, making it possible to host green screen, standard capture or extended reality (xR) shoots. “From entirely imagined worlds to realistic scenery and backdrops, any environment can be brought into the studio with options for realtime visualisation of virtual elements,” says the company. “As a result, talent can interact with their setting in real time, while producers realize major savings in post-production and travel costs.”
The PRG Digital Studios can be found in more locations, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York Metro, Orlando as well as in The EGG in Brussels, London's Saatchi Gallery, M

 
 
mdgVersion 2 chooses MDG ATMe haze for TV
Tuesday, 20 April 2021

UK - Version 2, which specialises in lighting hire specifically for the television industry, has expanded its stock of MDG products with the addition of two ATMe haze generators. “Our clients trust us to specify the right products and we know that MDG produces the best haze for the television market,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2.
Edwards has 25 years of dedicated television lighting experience, having held technical, commercial and management positions at PRG, Panalux and Aurora, after his training at the flagship training facility in BBC Wood Norton, prior to founding Version 2 in 2016. This experience puts him in a strong position when it comes to choosing the best products for his clients, many of whom have worked with him for years and trust his technical know-how.
“All our equipment investments have been rigorously researched and tested, plus we have had years of experience with many manufacturers’ products, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “This allows us to make better decisions on our capital expenditure and only invest in the best products for our market. In effect we are testing and processing on behalf of the client so they can be confident in our recommendations.”
Good haze is one of the most critical ingredients to a show, particularly for television. “Primetime television programmes are broadcast to millions of viewers and demand a highly polished result. A fine balance is needed between deploying enough haze to achieve the desired beam read on camera, yet not so

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 20 April 2021


Blossom Time - Music fans in Liverpool are to get the chance to enjoy a near-normal gig as part of a government pilot event. A crowd of 5,000 will see headline act Blossoms without having to social-distance or wear face coverings. But they will only get into the 2 May event by having a negative Covid test.
The outdoor concert at Sefton Park will operate below its capacity of 7,500. Ticket-holders will be required to take a lateral flow test, which can produce a result within 30 minutes, at a local testing centre before entry, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport said. Attendees will also be asked to take a test after the concert - and will have to provide contact details to NHS Test and Trace to ensure they can be reached if someone who attended tests positive.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We're one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is under way. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely. I hope it won't be too much longer until gigs are back for good."
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, told the BBC that scientists would assess how attendees move and respond during the gig, and voluntary tests taken afterwards will be used to identify any infections that might arise. The stuff you see on stage is just a tiny, tiny part of it," she said. "It's loads of people's jobs - it's 60,000 jobs across our city region."
Giant Step - Entertainment giant WarnerMedia has given £250,000 to the Theatre Artists Fund

 
 
green-hippoGreen Hippo adds distributors for Northern Europe
Tuesday, 20 April 2021

UK - Green Hippo has expanded its international sales network with two new distribution appointments in Northern Europe.
In Estonia, Green Hippo has appointed Frequency OÜ, a live event specialist offering expertise in video engineering and equipment for live concerts, conferences, expos and more, founded in 2017 by Matt Villis, a video professional with over 15 years’ experience in the event production industry.
“Hippotizer Media Servers provide a great range of products for all aspects of the market,” says Villis. “With events and installations beginning to move again, clients are mindful of their spending. But with Green Hippo’s diverse range, we’re able to offer clients a specific product to match their exact needs, and with expandability when it’s required.”
He adds, “We need media servers that can handle anything, whether it’s projection mapping on the side of a building, visualising the next e-sports event, or providing live, real-time generated visuals for live concerts. Green Hippo has always managed to provide all of that and more.”
In Finland, Green Hippo continues its long association with Johan West with the appointment of Amepa Oy as its new representative. Run by Ari Kivelä, Amepa has for many years worked ‘deep behind the scenes’ as a specialist in network and power distribution system design for the live industry. The company was recently joined by West, who has been associated with the Green Hippo brand in Finland since 2003.
“The Green Hippo product range has followed me since the early

 
optimal-audioAudio-Technica Europe to distribute new Focusrite line
Tuesday, 20 April 2021

UK - Audio-Technica has announced their appointment as distributor for Optimal Audio – Focusrite plc’s new commercial audio brand – in 17 territories across Europe and Africa. The company will assume distribution activities following today’s launch.
Focusrite Group’s seventh brand, Optimal Audio has been in development over the past three years to simplify the often unnecessarily complex world of commercial audio, as Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll explains, “Optimal Audio provides a streamlined product offering working seamlessly together to deliver high quality sound that is easy to install and can be operated by anyone, not just engineers.”
Dom Harter, now managing director for both Martin Audio and Optimal Audio, describes the focus of the brand as “offering a one-stop solution of control, amplification and loudspeakers for small to medium-sized commercial installations, with a focus on supporting multi-zone venues. At the forefront of the eco-system are four and eight-zone, powered and non-powered Zone controllers that have DSP at their heart. There is currently nothing else at this price point on the market which has the functionality and versatility to allow such a quick and simple setup.”
Compatible with any device, Optimal Audio’s WebApp makes system set-up straightforward, allowing installers as much access as they require to configure EQs, devise presets and structure time-of-day routines. Once completed, venue staff can then be presented with a simple, intuitive user interface which allows them to operate the system.

 
 
audientMAPS scheme offers online studio access
Monday, 19 April 2021

USA - “Historically, younger engineers believe that it is impossible to record in a professional studio,” says Music & Arts Production Studio (MAPS) owner Mike Willson, who hopes to change this with his pioneering new business model. Keen to attract engineers and producers who don’t have their own space to develop their craft, MAPS offers autonomous access to the studio, whilst keeping costs down by removing the need for multiple, full-time staff members.
After an induction - which includes a thorough training session on their AudientASP4816 mixing desk - MAPS clients are ready to access the space whenever they like. Mike explains, “All of our clients are freelancers that we’ve developed close relationships with. They just hop on our Producer Dashboard, book the session and let themselves in.
“Luckily, the Audient is so easy to navigate and I always feel confident that the console will add to their workflow rather than distract from it. We are constantly getting great feedback about how much our producers love working on the console,” he continues. For many of his newer clients, it is their first time interacting with a mixing desk. “We do have a Studio B that is set up for ‘in the box’ production, but I focus on making everybody comfortable on the console, because everything else falls into place once they feel good on the Audient.”
Possibly the most important thing for this autonomous business model is the desk’s reliability. “Honestly, my favourite thing about the Audient console is that it doesn’t break down. Ever

 
microsoftteams-imageVirtual Showlight registration opens
Friday, 16 April 2021

World - Registration for Virtual Showlight is now open. Tickets for the unique online event can be secured via Hubilo, here. Tickets are free of charge but delegates are encouraged to make voluntary donations when registering, as all proceeds will go to support industry charities Backup and Behind the Scenes.
The event will be hosted on behalf of Showlight by MaxLive Events and takes place on 25 May between 15.00 BST and 23.00 BST.
“We have an exciting programme of speakers lined up for your entertainment and education,” say the organisers. “These will be interspersed by a number of ‘Video Shorts’ - short stand-alone papers, some of which will be forerunners to the full Showlight event that we hope will resume next year. A discussion panel of international speakers will focus on the issue of diversity in the lighting industry. In between sessions, there will be a number of breakout rooms, hosted by our sponsors, which delegates can enter to view and discuss sponsors’ products and services, and a networking lounge for general mixing and mingling.”
The organisers continue: “We would like to thank our generous sponsors whose donations have enabled Showlight to cover the cost of this virtual event, allowing the maximum of delegate donations to go direct to the charities. Robert Juliat is our headline sponsor, and is joined by Ayrton, ACT Lighting, Inc., Altman, ARRI, Claypaky, Copper Candle, ETC, Robe and Vectorworks. Virtual Showlight is also supported by

 
 
iseBarcelona looks forward to ISE Live
Friday, 16 April 2021

Spain - Integrated Systems Events’ managing director Mike Blackman recently took part in the Barcelona reACT Conference, a four-day working event to relaunch the city’s economy after a year of pandemic.
Speaking at the conference and looking forward to June, Blackman said: “We recognise that the world needs events to get back to business and we are thankful for the support we have had from the national, regional and City authorities, the team at the Fira and of course to the pro AV industry for its enthusiasm in the face of what has been an incredibly difficult period. Whilst 2021 will offer a different experience we are confident of delivering a great event which will pave the way for ISE 2022 in Barcelona.”
Blackman added: “Whether joining online or in-person in Barcelona, attendees can access inspiring content from innovation leaders, networking opportunities and the latest technologies. This main ISE event, 1-2 June in Barcelona and online, acknowledges that we are at a stage where we can start to plan again for the future and these two days will assist the industry to build a new roadmap for a new era.”
In-person attendees can visit booths from exhibitors including Alfalite, Ampio, AVI-SPL, Barco, Biamp, Control4, d&b audiotechnik, Equipson, LANG, NEC, Panasonic, Sharp, Shure, WolfVision plus many more. Highlights from the exhibition will be broadcast from the Main Stage during the two days. There will also be a Pavilion by ICEX to highlight Spanish brands and business opportunities as well as a host of other features including:

 
stagehand-logoPPL bolsters Stagehand COVID-19 relief fund
Friday, 16 April 2021

UK - PPL, the UK’s music licensing company for over 120,000 performers and recording rights holders, has again chosen to support touring crews and event production workers during the live industry’s ongoing unemployment crisis, with a donation of £75,000.
PPL previously made a significant donation to Stagehand’s COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund earlier in the pandemic. Further strengthening its commitment to the future of live entertainment and the value placed upon its workers, PPL has stepped in to support the ecosystem surrounding the wider music industry.
As the roadmap to easing lockdown in the UK gets underway, Britain’s event and concert touring personnel remain unable to return to work in any meaningful capacity. While restrictions on audience gatherings remain in place, skilled crews are left without the opportunity to earn a consistent income. Funding from the recording sector has been invaluable.
To date, Stagehand charity, which was founded by the PSA, has been able to provide some of the 20% of people who have fallen through the gaps in governmental support with grants of up to £500 for food and housing bills.
Since its launch in September 2020, the Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund has helped over 1,500 workers. The Fund has opened a fifth round of applications, made possible with PPL’s generous donation.
Mike Lowe, Stagehand chair of trustees states: “PPL and live event production workers are at opposite ends of the music business. It is so heartening that PPL regard the entire business as one ecosystem and at

 
 
esc2021v3Ampco Flashlight selected as Eurovision tech supplier
Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Netherlands - Emerging victorious after an extensive tender period, Dutch supplier Ampco Flashlight has been selected to supply audio, lights and rigging for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena in May 2021. After being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, preparations are already in full swing for the live 2021 broadcast.
Dick van Berkum, CEO Ampco Flashlight comments: “We are extremely pleased and proud to be able to cooperate -after a one-year delay- on this unique worldwide event, organised and supplied by Dutch professionals. It is an honour that after ESC Lisbon 2018, where we supplied lights and rigging, we have now been selected as supplier in Rotterdam, adding audio to the portfolio.”
Ampco Flashlight, based in Utrecht, has been a leader in professional lighting, sound, rigging and motion for almost five decades. Besides the Eurovision Song Contest, the company works for the North Sea Jazz Festival, Lowlands Festival, The Voice of Holland, A State of Trance and many other festivals, shows, tours, television shows and corporate events.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 takes place in Rotterdam with 41 contestants. Semifinals are scheduled on May 18 and 20, with the final broadcast on May 22.
More than 180 million live television viewers combined with state-of-the-art show technology make ESC one of the biggest and most widely covered TV shows in the world. Dutch organisers NPO, NOS and AVROTROS cooperate with European Broadcaster EBU.
Van Berkum adds: “There is no doubt that the Eurov

 
the-elation-coffee-breakElation Coffee Break focuses on static light
Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Netherlands - Elation continues its informative and entertaining Coffee Break presentation series on 15 April with a thorough look at the two latest luminaires in the company’s popular Key Light (KL) Series: the KL Fresnel 8 FC and the KL Par FC, both theatrical and broadcast grade luminaires.
The KL Fresnel 8 FC and KL Par FC high-quality wash luminaires offer full-spectrum LED engines for a wide array of soft field saturates and pastels, including tunable white light. “Ideal for broadcast environments, film, theatre or any production requiring outstanding colour quality, they offer colour rendering of the highest quality and meet the strict standards of performance venues that are light critical and noise sensitive,” says Elation.
Join Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif live on Thursday, 15 April at 11:00am CEST. Tune in at www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.
The Elation Coffee Break is an online presentation series from Elation’s European office in Kerkrade, the Netherlands that takes an up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series. To view previous Elation Coffee Break webinars, please visit www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 13 April 2021


Back Home - An arts venue in Manchester is to open a new 400-seat socially distanced outdoor theatre space. Home said the temporary venue would provide shows, music, cabaret and comedy for people "looking for a safe and fun night out as lockdown eases". Named Homeground, it will open on 28 May on a future development site in the city's First Street.
The project will create 450 new jobs for freelance artists and creatives, the venue said. Over the summer the venue plans to stage musical versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Alice in Wonderland. It will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative.
Park Life - Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre will reopen in the summer with an extended season and has announced a new co-production with London’s Unicorn Theatre. The previously announced production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Kimberley Sykes, will run from 17 June to 24 July. This will be followed by Carousel, directed by Timothy Sheader, from 31 July to 25 September. Dragons and Mythical Beasts will open in August.
A series of MOREoutdoor events will include comedy performances from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, and Luisa Omielan, and Canned Laughter will present a comedy fundraiser in support of the Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Rosie Jones, Rose Matafeo and Suzi Ruffell. Covid safety procedures will remain in place in line with government restrictions, including an initial 50% reduction in seating capacity.
Fringe Matters - Brighton Fringe has unveiled

 
mgg-tamsyn-strydomMGG supports TUT’s alternative programme
Tuesday, 13 April 2021

South Africa - It’s a new season for the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria who rode the Covid-19 wave and have turned their Performing Arts Diploma curriculum upside down with a different approach. The students are currently working alongside technical supply company MGG, to host a virtual stage, which will also be recorded for external examiners.
“We are very excited to announce that all previous departments that worked within the Performing Arts have now merged into one Department of Performing Arts (DPA),” comments Janine Lewis, professor and HOD at TUT. “The six programmes we had before are being phased out while first-year students will now follow the new multi-disciplinary Diploma in Performing Arts and then go into a discipline stream of speciality where they can focus on Dance, TAD (Theatre, Art & Design which includes performance and technical), or Music incorporating opera and jazz.”
While students may know what they want to specialise in, the first year sees them all participating in the same classes. While technicians learn what it’s like to be a performer, performers gain an understanding of lighting and know where to stand on a stage, and how to sew on a button if need be! More importantly, the various departments now collaborate and work together instead of running as separate entities.
Part of the shift was initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “2020 was the best year and also the worst year,” says Hardus Koekemoer, a technical lecturer. “It was the best year as we discovered all the technologies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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