Business News

nmb-theatre-complexEased restrictions boosts SA events industry
Monday, 21 September 2020

South Africa - It’s a step in the right direction for the live events industry in South Africa as the country is scheduled to move to Level 1 of the risk reduction strategy implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, this week. The eased restrictions will allow up to 500 people for outdoor gatherings, a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings and a max of 100 people for funerals, while the existing restrictions on sporting events remain in place.
The news has been met with mixed emotions. For six months, the live events and technical production industry has been unable to work due to the ban on gatherings made on 15 March. Movements such as #LightSAred and the #Flightcasemovement have organically grown to represent, to government, thousands of people who have had no income during this time. Companies have retrenched or have been forced to let staff go, while many others have had no choice but to shut down.
“We are not celebrating the 250 to 500 people because this does not cover the different market segments within our industry,” said Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini, owner of rental company Blackmotion and founder of #Flightcasemovement. “It means that we will continue into unknown months of struggle in the industry because most people will remain unemployed. Companies right now do not have the capacity to reopen and operate based on the different market segments.”
Not all companies work on conferences and indoor shows, and for those who have bought equipment for large outdoor events, it means their investment is literally shelved and that th

nighthawk-shoots-nidieqztbqe-web#WeMakeEvents campaign continues to build momentum
Monday, 21 September 2020

UK - The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to raise awareness around the current plight of the live entertainments sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to support the COVID-19 crisis.
Last month, it was announced that it would be steered by a collective of industry trade bodies, businesses and freelancers; all working in collaboration with each other. Over the past few weeks, the team has continued to build momentum around the campaign, working endlessly to rally the government for much needed support.
Following last month’s Day of Action which saw buildings across the UK lit up in red as a show of support, the #WeMakeEvents team has been busy capitalising on the extensive media coverage and attention this received. One of those involved is White Light’s managing director Bryan Raven, who comments: “The Day of Action was vitally important for our cause as it finally got people talking.
“There were a few government figures who weren’t particularly listening to our concerns prior to this and didn’t fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are in. That certainly seems to have changed now and, whilst it may appear that the campaign has been slightly quieter for the past few weeks, this is only due to us putting all of our energies into the various meetings and surveys we’ve had to conduct to ensure the campaign continues to gain momentum.”
Activities over the last few weeks include meetings with political advisors, who are helping to formulate precise action points of the campaign’s next steps, as well as coll

 
 
clapham-grand-2Clapham Grand plans first post lockdown shows
Thursday, 17 September 2020

UK - London venue The Clapham Grand has announced its first post lockdown shows for 2020 with a special re-opening party with Frank Turner this Friday & Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, The Vivienne, Louise Redknapp, Baga Chipz, Jimmy Carr, Courtney Act, Crystal Methyd & more coming up.
The Clapham Grand is one of 135 grassroots music venues to receive emergency funding as part of the Government’s £1.5bn Culture Recovery Fund.
To coincide with a number of confirmed shows, the Clapham Grand has this week unveiled the reopening of its top balcony, which has been closed for 15 years – not in use since Oasis last played at the venue. The newly refurbished area will increase the post-lockdown capacity of the venue by 100, taking it to 400 (these numbers are reduced from 1250 due to physical distancing), bringing the venue back to its original Victorian glory.
Frank Turner has been pivotal to the venue’s journey to survive after the enforced Covid closure. “I’m really happy to be continuing the journey out of lockdown in step with my friends at the Grand,” he said. “After a fundraising stream and a historic pilot show, it’s great to be back to mark the re-opening up of the upper circle, and a show that is another milestone in the return of live music to the city and the venues that I love.”
Clapham Grand manager Ally Wolf said of the upcoming shows: “We are incredibly proud to announce our first run of shows after lockdown, and in the process to reopen our upper circle, which has been closed to customers for 15 years.

 
ise-logo-2021-big-press-1000x319-1New ISE 2021 dates announced
Thursday, 17 September 2020

Spain - The organisers of Integrated Systems Europe have announced new dates for the recently-postponed tradeshow.
Instead of 2-5 February, ISE 2021 will take place on 1-4 June at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.
“The decision to reschedule the exhibition from early February came after a period of consultation with exhibitors, the venue and local authorities,” comments Mike Blackman, managing director Integrated Systems Events. “In recent weeks we have been working closely with the venue and local suppliers to ensure that the move can take place as smoothly as possible.
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing business face to face and we are committed to delivering an engaging and safe in-person ISE in 2021. The postponement of the event to early June provides additional time for the industry to adapt and restore balance. We look forward to hosting the AV community in our new home in Barcelona.”

 
 
Take1 strikes partnership with OneBeacon
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

USA - Take1 Insurance has announced a new strategic underwriting partnership with OneBeacon Entertainment, a member of OneBeacon Insurance Group.
According to Take1 Insurance executive vice president, programme director and lead underwriter Scott Carroll, the new partnership enables Take1 to offer its customers a greater range of rental and staging insurance options for event service firms, event planners, producers, promoters, along with options for film and television production, short term or annual special events, those who tour and even the insurance needs for loan-out corporations.
“Take1 will do everything within our power to make sure that our customers never have to take their chances by offering the very best available coverages and our new partnership with OneBeacon enables us to do that with a specialty solutions carrier focused on entertainment customers,” Carroll said today.
Commenting on the partnership, OneBeacon Entertainment president Joe Fitzgerald said, “At OneBeacon, expertise and value-added service sets us apart. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Take1, a premier industry leader in the Entertainment market, and a company as committed to superior service and creative, comprehensive solutions as OneBeacon.”
Take1’s Scott Carroll noted that in the entertainment industry multi-million-dollar decisions are made each day and the insurance requirements are as varied as the productions and people seeking coverage. “OneBeacon Entertainment provides comprehensive commercial insurance solutions for touring e

 
version-2-logo1Entrepreneur Nigel Wray invests in Version 2
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

UK - Version 2 Lights has announced  the completion of an equity investment deal with Nigel Wray and his team.
This significant investment represents a milestone step in Version 2’s strategic plan to grow its position within the UK production community through an expanded equipment inventory and enhanced company infrastructure, says the company.
"We are delighted that Nigel has chosen to join us at this important stage in the evolution of our company,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2. “Nigel has an incredibly strong commercial background working with high profile names such as Domino’s and Saracens. His considerable business acumen which, importantly for us, includes a solid understanding of our industry, makes him an ideal partner. His involvement will allow us the scope both to build our equipment offering and to further develop our range of client support services.”
Nigel Wray comments, "Small entrepreneurially led businesses are the true lifeblood of this country. Without those little acorns where will the next mighty oaks come from. We’ve been impressed with Nick Edwards and his team and we’re delighted to join them on the journey to hopefully building a long-term success story."
Working alongside some of the industry’s most prominent lighting directors, Version 2 services a broad range of productions, including Strictly Come Dancing, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and The Jonathan Ross Show.
Since its inception in 2016, the UK owned company has enjoyed a carefully ma

 
 
claypakyvolt3by311Volt Lites opens safe stage with Claypaky
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

USA - Volt Lites co-founders Matthew Shimamoto and Harrison Lippman and Lulu Creative director Michael Zinman of Zinman Company have launched the 3by3 Space on the premises of entertainment production services company Volt Lites in Burbank.
The three partners have created a safe stage for the COVID-19 era that’s equipped with a trio of lighting, video and xR capabilities. Sixty-four active Claypaky Mini-B LED moving lights comprise the workhorse fixtures for the space.
“We wanted to create a safe space that would allow people to get back to work and stimulate them to think out of the box,” says Shimamoto. The 3by3 Space has already been used by rock band Bush to shoot Quicksand with Augmented Reality, the Black Eyed Peas shooting Feel the Beat for Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, the iconic Temptations reprising their greatest hits for PBS’s A Capitol Fourth broadcast, and the product launch of LiteGear’s Spectrum OS2 lighting control system.
The 3by3 Space is outfitted with a large upstage LED videowall and LED floor from LED partner NEP Screenworks. Four lighting towers flank each side of the stage, and a horizontal truss is suspended above the space. Claypaky Mini-Bs are mounted on the towers and four rows of the truss.
“The versatility, size and output of the Mini-B fits well within the scale of the 3by3 Space,” says Shimamoto. “We have a limited trim height so proportions are everything. The Mini-B’s wider zoom range and shorter throw is very helpful, and the fixtures are very fast. Everything

 
urban1The show goes on with Urban Sessions 2020
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

South Africa - As the city slept during the Covid-19 lockdown, a deserted building in downtown Johannesburg became a beacon of hope for musicians. Urban Sessions 2020, an amalgamated project by Militia Broadcast, technical supplier Stage Effects and Smack Entertainment for audio, created a studio for musicians to livestream concerts to their fans. To date, over 150 performances have been hosted in this space.
Erik de Bruin of Stage Effects explains that as early as May 2020, Militia Broadcast, Stage Effects, and Smack Ent knew they had to do something to survive the strict lockdown in South Africa as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. They managed to secure an empty warehouse at Thabo Mpelo Studios in Johannesburg and converted it into an intimate environment with a bit of a nostalgic feel, giving viewers at home the impression that they were part of a rehearsal or jamming session, with rugs, ambient lighting and five cameras set up in a 180-degree angle to capture close-ups of the musicians.
Choosing lighting that would need the least amount of maintenance, Erik opted for LED-based fixtures, including 15 Robe Robin 600+, five Robe Pointes, 15 Mac Quantum Profiles, 12 x Portman P1 retro lamps, and Elation DTW 1000s bars with control on a grandMA2 light.
Under normal circumstances, lighting designer Erik would be on the road with festivals and music concerts. Now based in the same location, week in and week out, from Wednesdays to Sundays, he and the team have changed the set several times to keep it looking fresh and new. He has also invited some o

 
 
elation-coffee-break500x500UV lighting features in Elation Coffee Break
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

USA - One of the growing trends in entertainment lighting the past few years has been the increased use of UV light in productions of all kinds. On Thursday, 17 September at 11:00 a.m. CEST, the next Elation Coffee Break sees Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif take a closer look at the Prisma line of advanced UV LED lighting products from Magmatic Atmospheric Effects.
This new generation of IP65 lighting is changing the quality of UV light projection while making it easier for designers and production houses to implement UV light into their projects. Because Prisma uses high quality, medical grade LEDs that emit UV light in the 365nm range, no visible light is emitted, meaning only the UV reactive material glows and nothing else.
The Elation Coffee Break is available on Elation Europe’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/. No registration is required. To view previous Elation Coffee Break webinars, please visit www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.

 
adamsonbrettkisselsept20hr1Adamson anchors Brett Kissel drive-in shows
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Canada - When Canadian country star Brett Kissel announced the first of what would become eight sold-out Live at the Drive-In shows in Edmonton, AB on 13 and 14 June 2020, drive-in concerts were basically the wild west of what live productions might look like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the four shows on each day, 180 vehicles spaced several feet apart filled the parking lot of the River Cree Resort & Casino. By tuning into 89.5 FM, fans heard the live feed from FOH through their car stereos and were invited to honk, wave, and even hang out of windows and sunroofs while staying in their vehicles through the hour-long performance.
Kissel had full reign over the stage with a big extension, while each band member was surrounded by Plexiglas partitions. That part may have been strange for the performers, but it wasn’t the most unusual aspect for the wider crew.
“The biggest difference for us on the technical side is that there was no PA,” begins Colin Moore of CJM Productions, Kissel’s production designer and lighting director. Kissel and his band typically rely solely on IEMs for monitoring; however, the absence of a PA meant an absence of onstage energy and impact compared to a typical show.
“When I was first talking with Joel [Bird, FOH] and James [Bundy, monitors] about the shows, it was, ‘If the band’s not into it, Brett’s not into it, and if Brett’s not into it, the crowd’s not into it,’” Moore recalls. “So what could we do as a crew to support our family onstage so they’d feel as connected and energetic

 
 
nexoNexo reinforces re-invented Porta Ferrada Festival
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Spain - Organisers of the Porta Ferrada Festival, staged on the Costa Brava, report that the fortnight of concerts has been hugely successful, playing to 95% capacity, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Audio production company BTM worked closely with Nexo to deliver the PA systems for the event, servicing new venues which had to be redesigned according to new festival safety protocols.
Now in its 58th edition at home in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, near Girona, the festival had to re-invent itself, presenting the new ‘Guíxols Arena’. Once the main stage of the event, this space had to take on the character of an auditorium, restricting capacity to no more than 800 socially-distanced spectators, divided between stalls and stands. Nevertheless, more than 10,000 tickets were sold, and 20 concerts were staged.
Girona-based audio rental house BTM Sound has serviced the Porta Ferrada Festival for many years, and, since 2014, the audio systems of choice have been the Nexo brand. This year, BTM’s system designer Enric Guso again specified the STM Series of modular line array, going with a main PA comprising sets of STM M46 + STM B112 main and bass cabinets. This was a departure from the usual Porta Ferrada PA design, which used the STM M28 main cabinets; these units are now deployed as out-fill for the wider audience area.
“We needed the extra coverage permitted by the main and bass configuration,” explains Guso, “and Nexo was able to support us with additional modules as well as helpful design input. The primary system was set up with flown arrays

 
tech-studentsALD launches Sponsored Student Scheme
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

UK - The ALD has announced that applications for its popular Sponsored Student Scheme for the year 2021 are open, and that also running alongside the scheme, for the month of September only, is a promotion targeted at the other individual membership categories, for discounted subscription rates for the rest of the membership year to March 2021.
The Sponsored Student Scheme is funded by ALD ccorporate members and is targeted towards students who have not previously been members, offering the opportunity of free ALD membership until the end of March 2022.
Membership within any category provides vital interaction opportunities and connection between established figures in professional lighting and video design, and the next generation of talented designers, programmers and technicians. Members also enjoy complimentary copies of the Association’s magazine Focus, as well as full access to the ALD website (and student micro-site for students) which provides a range of documents and resources designed to inform your contract negotiations, assist your working conditions and highlight issues affecting members.
Jack Wills, of the ALD student working group explains why students should apply: “ALD student membership gives an excellent introduction to those entering or considering a career in the lighting and video areas of the live performance arts. It allows you to plug directly into a network, and through the experiences and literature offered by the Association, exposes the breadth of jobs and career paths available within the in the UK and around

 
 
barcelona1Integrated Systems Europe postpones until June 2021
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Europe - After a period of consultation with the industry and the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Integrated Systems Events has announced that ISE, scheduled for 2-5 February 2021 in Barcelona, has been postponed and will now take place in June (dates to be confirmed), alongside a virtual offering.
Additionally, ISE will launch RISE Digital, a regular programme of content and networking events which will run throughout the year and support the live show.
Integrated Systems Events released the following statement: “We’ve been monitoring the conditions in Europe since the beginning of this year and have worked hard on your behalf to balance health and safety concerns with the need for commerce and F2F interaction. These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the calendar year and although we’ve felt confident and hopeful regarding delivering this show in February, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for all of us is to delay the show edition until June 2021.”
“The health and safety of our team, exhibiting companies, industry partners and attendees is our number one priority,” said Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events. “Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding coronavirus, and the uncertainty regarding travel restrictions and country lockdowns, we have concluded it is not prudent to maintain our original schedule of an in-person February 2021 trade show.
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing bus

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 September 2020

West End Revival - Six and Everybody's Talking About Jamie will become the first musicals back in the West End in mid-November, eight months after the curtain came down. They will hit the stage three weeks after a string of non-musical shows reopen London's theatre district. The Play That Goes Wrong, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap and Adam Kay's This Is Going To Hurt will all admit socially distant audiences in October.
Venue heads said "robust risk mitigation" would be in place. They include reduced capacities, contactless tickets, temperature tests and deep cleans, as well as hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace.
The producers of Six, the hit show about Henry VIII's wives, will take a separate cast to The Lowry in Salford from late November. The musical had been due to be staged in the Greater Manchester venue's 450-capacity Quays theatre over Christmas, but will move into the complex's 1,700-seater Lyric in order to accommodate all ticket holders while ensuring social distancing.
Producers hope Everybody's Talking About Jamie will resume at the Apollo in November, but the group's biggest production - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace - will not return until at least February.
Lifeline - Actor Liam Neeson has told the Northern Ireland Executive that £33m in support funding for theatres and venues is a "lifeline". In July, NI received £33m as part of a UK government package for theatres, arts and music venues and museums. However, the executive has

 
 
ASI Audio partners with Triple G Ventures
Tuesday, 15 September 2020

USA - As part of its growth strategy for the new in ear monitor solution, the 3DME, ASI Audio has formed a partnership with Pro Audio/MI/Consumer Technology industry veteran Gregg Stein and his new company, Triple G Ventures.
“Gregg is one of the people in our industry I’ve always kept my eye on, his innovative approaches and genuine enthusiasm for new products and brands has always been refreshing and invigorating,” says Evan MacKenzie, ASI Audio VP of sales & marketing. “Triple G Ventures gets that sales and marketing must go hand in hand to create compelling product offers in modern and smart presentations to the customer.”
“ASI Audio’s innovative Active Ambient Audio technology is a game changer. The 3DME In Ear Monitor solution unites enhanced audio monitoring with true spatial 3D ambient “room” sound and hearing protection into a single in-ear monitoring device enabling creators to experience audio the way it’s meant to be heard,” said Gregg Stein, Founder and CEO, Triple G Ventures.
“Collaborating with the ASI Audio team to fuse hearing health with the intimacy and joy of performing live is genuinely exciting. The Triple G Ventures team is genuinely excited to bringing this new technology directly to musicians, houses of worship and broader audio enthusiasts who need it most,” Stein added.

 
stardrawStardraw.com webinar gains AVIXA approval
Tuesday, 15 September 2020

UK - Software provider Stardraw.com has announced that their Introduction to Stardraw Design 7.3 webinar has been approved by AVIXA as an RU- (Renewal Unit) eligible course for CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) certification. This includes the special designations CTS-D (Design) and CTS-I (Installation). This will allow the more than 13,000 professionals holding AVIXA’s CTS credential to earn renewal units towards their certification by completing Stardraw.com’s Introduction to Design 7.3 education programme.
The CTS certification programme – which has been administered by AVIXA for over 30 years - is recognised worldwide as the leading AV professional credential. Indeed, AVIXA’s CTS, CTS-D and CTS-I qualifications are the only AV certification programmes to be accredited by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute).
To ensure that CTS-certified professionals continue to improve their knowledge base and keep abreast of new developments, holders are required to earn 30 Renewal Units (RUs) over a 3-year period to maintain their qualification. RUs are obtained by attending RU-approved courses – approved by AVIXA - from official AVIXA CTS RU Providers. To obtain approval, RU programs must feature experienced instructors with clear evidence of qualifications in the session topic.
Each class must contain at least one relevant learning objective or industry-related purpose; relate to a specific exam topic area and exam level and conclude with an assessment tool to demonstrate partic

 
 
absenAbsen wins China management accolade
Monday, 14 September 2020

China - LED display specialist Absen has once again been recognised in Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies (BMC) programme.
The BMC programme is a global initiative that identifies and recognises private companies with advanced management ideas and excellent business performance. Key factors in the evaluation of a company’s management ability include strategy, capabilities, commitment and financial strength. This year, the selection criteria also considered resiliency towards the Covid-19 pandemic. Absen was deemed to have shown extraordinary competency in all areas, allowing the company to weather these difficult times.
With a reputation for providing high quality LED displays, Absen once again achieved the #1 global export position for the 11th consecutive year and will next year celebrate its 20th anniversary. Absen has a manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 300,000sqm and places great emphasis on R&D and innovation. The company has built a strong customer service network with 15 domestic and overseas subsidiaries in order to support its customers worldwide.
Zhao Jian, BMC managing partner, says resilience creates sustainable value for enterprises. Long-lasting businesses and first-class enterprises have experienced several economic cycles, and will have more comprehensive and sophisticated strategies. The greater an enterprise's long-term mission, the greater its vitality. "Highly resilient enterprises" have developed strong immunity.
Alex Couzins, Absen Europe’s head of brand and marketing, said: “We ar

 
heshogfactorHES announces Hog Factor USA 2020 finalists
Monday, 14 September 2020

USA - High End Systems has announced the finalist teams for the 2020 Hog Factor USA Collegiate Lighting Programming Competition. First held in North America in 2015, Hog Factor has become one of the premier lighting programming contests in the United States and across the globe.
For Phase One, each submitting team provided a performance lighting piece, programmed on a Hog or Hog 4 PC. The collegiate teams were judged by a panel of High End Systems and ETC employees. The three Hog Factor USA finalist teams are The Ghost Lights from Webster University, Bacon Powers from Southern Methodist University, and Hamburglers from Texas State University.
With the LDI 2020 Exhibition now cancelled, this year’s contest will take place online as part of ETC/HES’ Study Hall events in October. Details on the contest date, format and judging will be announced soon.
www.highend.com/hogfactor

 
 
ms-my-wish-img3658Powersoft amplifies audio on luxury cruiser
Friday, 11 September 2020

Croatia - The MS My Wish offers ‘a deluxe, intimate experience’ for its 38 guests. With an advantage due to its a smaller, yacht-like size, the ship can navigate narrow waterways and explore not only Croatia’s medieval cities but also its smaller, quieter islands hardly explored by bigger vessels.
Boasting an onboard restaurant, a large sundeck, a rooftop hot tub, and a swimming platform for access to the Adriatic ocean, the MS My Wish needed an audio system that could match its design.
“The Mezzo 324 and Mezzo 604 were perfect for the job,” said Captain Marin Crncic of the MS My Wish.
The Mezzo series is Powersoft’s answer to providing the same sound clarity, reliability and build quality in a smaller install amplifier – just half of the rack unit form factor. All models come with state-of-the-art built-in DSP. It has two power sizes with a two or four channel output. The Mezzo, in its smaller versions, is a sealed design and approved for hidden placement, such as mounted above a ceiling or tucked into wall box, perfect for a smaller cruise ship.
“The ship required an audio system that could be spread over 12 zones and could be adjusted accordingly,” continued Crncic. “One of the most demanding areas is the sun deck, which uses two subwoofers, six ceiling all-weather speakers and two professional two-ways for the jacuzzi, and the Mezzo handles it perfectly. It also simplified the process massively due to the built-in DSP, which helped tune the system.”
The system needed to allow for alternative audio content, accom

 
peterdoellAES Show technical programme takes shape
Friday, 11 September 2020

USA - With the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention coming up in October, newly announced technical programme details showcase a variety of sessions covering both audio science and research, as well as topical discussions of key issues in the audio industry.
Now in its expanded, virtual format, as Audio Engineering Month, the AES Show 2020 ‘offers attendees their own in-house convention’.
Several recently added sessions have been announced to the AES Show Technical Programme. Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell will detail some of his most successful mixing and recording techniques with the session Behind the Mix, hosted by AES recording and production track co-chair Peter Doell.
Doell further delves into the recording workflows taking place in these uncertain times with the session Post-COVID Recording Challenges with guest Warren Huart. While many in the industry have found mounting challenges with online interaction, live streaming, apps, and other technologies, this session aims to examine these issues, while also taking into account the success of those who have found the pandemic has helped streamline their process.
The AES Show will also look into the complexities and opportunities facing much of our industry and beyond, through several topical and current events-related offerings. Unlocking the Control Room: Equity Achievements in Audio will take a look a recent international survey, taken in partn

 
 
flightcaseFlightcase Movement fights for industry's rights
Friday, 11 September 2020

South Africa - For the South African live events industry, 8 September was an emotional day that will be tattooed in the hearts and souls of the 200 people consisting of business owners, technicians and freelancers, who gathered at the Paul Kruger Statue in Central Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Under the banner of the #Flightcasemovement, this historic event saw the industry standing united, marching and pushing flightcases to represent their cause.
The industry players joined in spirit by those who could not afford the transportation cost to be there. “I felt like I was part of a huge national movement that will never be seen for another hundred years, I was proud to be part of this committee,” said Sizwe Mokoena of Ugozi Entertainment, a member of the #Flightcasemovement and who led the protestors in peaceful songs like Asisanamali, the desperate cry to be able to work and generate an income again.
Since 15 March, the South African government has implemented one of the strictest lockdowns across the globe yet has not financially assisted the events industry besides a small income (for some) from COVID-TERS UIF which has also come to an end. Under the gatherings act, events cannot cater to an audience of more than 50 people. It is estimated that the live events industry contributes millions of Rands to the country’s GDP.
The reality is that the industry is now struggling, its people are battling to survive, and many have moved back with their parents, sold their cars, homes

 
robe-red-alert-restart-usa-kauffman-center-chiefs946070735945-photo-jillian-shoptawRobe backs #RedAlertRESTART campaign
Friday, 11 September 2020

USA - Around 2,000 venues, places, landmarks, and monuments all over the US were lit in red for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign on 1 September to highlight the critical situation facing the live events and entertainment industry and the need for lawmaker’s support of the Restart Act (S.3814) to offer some sort of relief to the industry.
This latest red day of action was part of a wider industry campaign being led by the #WeMakeEvents movement, a collective of trade organisations including PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
The idea of lighting buildings in ‘emergency red’ started in Germany with #NightofLight in June, and the concept caught on with red days of action organised in many European countries and the UK (initiated by #LightiItInRed on 6th July, followed up by PLASA’s #WeMakeEvents action on 11 August) as well as South Africa (#LightSARed on 5 August) and others.
As the colour red has become synonymous with assisting the vast technical production infrastructure and all those talented individuals working in it who effectively facilitate live performance and the arts, Robe has been involved with all of these various ‘LightItInRed’ campaigns in some capacity.
For this one in the USA, signature Robe installations lit in red included the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco; the Video West HQ, the Hubbard Radio building and the Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix and several landmarks around Reno including the famous Reno Arch, the Believe sculpture and the fascia of the Bruka Theatre.
In Kansas

 
 
berlin-6GLP flies the flag at German Red Alert rally
Friday, 11 September 2020

Germany - On 9 September, the Red Alert Action Alliance - Initiatives & Associations of the Event Industry (Aktionsbündnis AlarmstufeRot - Initiativen & Verbände der Veranstaltungswirtschaft) assembled at a large demonstration in Berlin in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the event industry.
With numerous companies having experienced hardly any sales for six months and a significant drop in revenue, the crisis is now threatening both businesses and jobs.
The demonstration was conceived as a concerted action by all stakeholders in the event industry - from agencies and artists to event technicians and showmen. According to the organisers, up to 15,000 employees in the event industry heeded the call. After countless had already taken off their ‘last shirts’ and laid them down in a symbolic action on the meadow in front of the German Bundestag at noon, the final rally began in the early afternoon at the Brandenburg Gate, and lasted for several hours.
It was primarily those most affected who had their say. After the various convenors and initiators had presented their positions and demands, and Herbert Grönemeyer had moved the crowd with a fiery appeal, a short industry talk took place. During this debate, GLP founder and managing director Udo Künzler joined Dr. Volker Schmidt, general manager of NiedersachsenMetall, as well as Sascha Vollmer and Alec Völkel from The BossHoss.
While Dr. Schmidt described the crisis from the point of view of industrial customers in the event economy and The BossHoss added the per

 
sound-technologies-logo1EAW appoints Chicago-based representative
Thursday, 10 September 2020

USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced Sound Technologies as its manufacturer’s representative for Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
“Sound Technologies’ Principal Jim Bobel not only spent four years as part of the EAW sales team but he has over 25 years of experience working with some of the top brands in the industry, so he brings in depth product and technology knowledge to the table,” says TJ Smith, president for EAW. “We are excited to once again be working with Jim as he grows his business. Sound Technologies will be a great asset in helping serve customers in the region.”
Based in Chicago, Sound Technologies’ mission is to ‘support and serve manufacturers, integrators, designers, production companies, artists, and anyone looking to produce great audio’.
“Earlier this year, it became very clear that our industry in particular would be heavily impacted by COVID-19 and I felt compelled to create a company that could meet the needs of our evolving industry,” says Bobel. “Sound Technologies exists to deliver a greater level of service and is built to adapt to serve our brands and customers. As our portfolio grows, we are partnering with companies that align with our mission and values. The products from EAW are a perfect match for us and we are excited to develop opportunities and grow together.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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