Business News

Xytech launches media trends podcastXytech launches media trends podcast
Thursday, 26 March 2020

USA - Xytech, specialist in facility management software for media and broadcast, has launched Xytech After Dark, a podcast focussing on trends in the media and broadcasting industries. The first two episodes are now available on iTunes, Spotify and all podcasting platforms.
“Xytech has hundreds of clients around the world in the media and broadcast business,” said Xytech’s Greg Dolan. “We get this super unique view of the industry from our clients and maintain a comprehensive understanding of current trends. The podcast is not a forum to sell, but instead to talk about why create the functionality in MediaPulse, and the types of things happening in our industry.
“The podcast will focus on industry trends: what we are seeing and how we view the world of media. Finally, this is really fun work. There are a million easier ways to make a living, but there is nothing more exciting. I hope our sense of humour and passion come through.”
Hosted by Xytech’s senior account manager, Gregg Sandheinrich, the podcast will feature a variety of Xytech staff. Available now, the first two episodes cover hot industry topics, including the recent HPA Tech Retreat, as well as the cancellation of the NAB Show, the value of trade shows and the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.
“The goal for the podcast is to take a not-too-serious look at the world of media and entertainment through the lens of software solutions,” Sandheinrich said. “We are looking forward to sharing what we see on the front lines with our listeners and evoke thoughtf

Amate Audio suspends productionAmate Audio suspends production
Thursday, 26 March 2020

Spain - Amate Audio’s CEO Juan Amate has updated the situation at his Barcelona-based operation.
“Further to our statement on 20 March, the continuing emergency situation across Europe has begun to impact our production capabilities due to the disrupted supply of essential components and our ability to maintain sufficient levels of stock of these.
“Together with the announcement by Spanish authorities of a further extension of the extensive lockdown measures in the country, this means that the practicalities of maintaining production at this time are no longer viable.
“We are however continuing to supply our customers’ orders from stock, across our international distributor network, and are maintaining the highest possible level of service in these unparalleled circumstances.
“Additionally, with the continuing escalation of the health crisis in the country, we take the view that this measure best safeguards the health and safety of our staff by reducing the number of people onsite across our premises.
“Our sales and support staff are already working from home and are contactable via their usual email address. We are still active on our social media networks. Thank you very much for your understanding while #AmateAudioStaysHome.”

EM Acoustics suspends day-to-day businessEM Acoustics suspends day-to-day business
Thursday, 26 March 2020

UK - Loudspeaker specialist EM Acoustics has decided to suspend day-to-day business. Company directors ED Kinsella and Mike Wheeler have issued the following statement:
“In light of the current national and global crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, we have taken the very difficult decision to close the factory and suspend day-to-day business as of 6pm on Friday 27 March. Without wanting to cast aside the value of our country's economy, the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers has to take priority, as well as a social responsibility to do our part to halt the spread of the virus in these difficult times.
“Whilst the factory is closed and we will not be despatching any orders after Friday, our phone lines are diverted and emails will still be monitored so urgent communication can still get through to us – both for commercial matters and for technical support. We will endeavour to reopen the factory as soon as possible, once it is deemed safe to do – we will continue to follow Government and health professionals' advice on this matter and advise as events develop.
The only thing we can all be sure of this that these are very uncertain and scary times for all of us. We want to wish everyone all the very best throughout this unpleasant period, and urge everyone to please stay safe, stay home, and keep washing your hands.
“We look forward to EM Acoustics reopening our doors to our fantastic industry as soon as we sensibly can.”

dB Technologies backs preventive actiondB Technologies backs preventive action
Thursday, 26 March 2020

Italy - AEB Industriale S.r.l, the owner of the brand dBTechnologies, has said it will observe a period of temporary suspension of production activities in order to “decisively counteract a further spread of Covid-19 on the territory”.
Says AEB: “AEB Industriale is prepared to support any preventive action, in the belief that the health of our employees, collaborators, customers, and their loved ones is an absolute and unavoidable priority.
“We would like to remind you that all the company's activities managed by remote working will continue: dBTechnologies' users and customers may therefore get in touch with the company's contact persons via e-mail or phone.
“We also wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims in Italy and worldwide. Our thoughts and solidarity also go to all the companies and workers that form both Italian and global economic fabrics, with particular attention to entrepreneurs and professionals of the live entertainment industry, who were the first to be affected by the suspension of events throughout the countries.
“Finally, we feel like thanking dBTechnologies users who have been keeping in touch by sending photos and videos of the beautiful projects they have done with the support of our audio systems. Watching your images online and collecting your comments fills us with joy, pride and perseverance.
“Soon we will get back in the game by your side, with the same energy and passion that has always defined our company; offering you support, new challe


Yamaha: supporting the pro audio communityYamaha: supporting the pro audio community
Thursday, 26 March 2020

UK - Every part of the professional audio industry is currently affected by the unprecedented challenges which we all face from COVID-19. Yamaha says the most important priority is to protect the health and safety of everyone within the industry. The company is closely monitoring this fast-developing global situation and following all advice and guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and public authorities in each region.
“We have many important, long-term relationships throughout the industry, including partners, customers, many freelance technicians and clients, whose lives and livelihoods are being impacted by this unprecedented situation. Our thoughts are with all of you. We want to support you as much as possible and contribute to helping the industry get through this difficult and complex time.
“Since 1990, Yamaha has been proactive in developing and maintaining practical education programs. These are designed to help users deliver better results in both live and installed audio, as well as achieving a more efficient workflow. Now consolidated under the ‘Audioversity’ banner to accelerate our training initiatives, we are currently expanding our online education resources further to support you. We hope that our online content will bring some benefit to you in these difficult times, helping you to be ready for when the industry is able to return to some sort of normality.”
Available from Yamaha’s YouTube channel, these include:

HK Audio switches UK distribution to PolarHK Audio switches UK distribution to Polar
Thursday, 26 March 2020

UK - German manufacturer Music & Sales PE has signed an exclusive contract with UK firm Polar to distribute its HK Audio and Hughes & Kettner brands in the UK and the Republic of Ireland from April 2020.
Polar will take on the entire product range for both brands, including Hughes & Kettner’s award-winning lines of electric and acoustic guitar amplifiers, and HK Audio’s comprehensive pro audio portfolio, which covers everything from portable sound systems for musicians and DJs to full-blown line array systems and professional install solutions.
Tim Riley, Polar’s director, brand development, comments: “Polar is set up in a way that ideally serves all the market areas relevant to HK Audio and Hughes & Kettner, so this agreement seemed a perfect fit for us from the offset. We have divisions that directly address the retail markets, professional audio and integrated solutions and the way HK Audio and Hughes and Kettner products straddle these markets is well known.
“The ‘Made in Germany’ aspect of the ranges is also something that resonates in the industry. The quality of engineering and manufacture has always been the mainstay of HK and we intend to re-invigorate the UK and Ireland business using this and adding ‘The Polar Factor’.”
“We are not your average distribution company; we are so passionate about adding value to the brands in our portfolio that we start off as fans of a brand and then steadily build up our share of its success to a point where we believe we become indispensable distribution partne

DJE Sound & Lighting invests in TW AUDiODJE Sound & Lighting invests in TW AUDiO
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

USA - Following 12 successful years in California’s highly competitive live event production community, DJE Sound & Lighting is now set to enjoy expansion both regionally and nationally with a major investment in TW AUDiO.
Based in Southern California, the full-service events specialist recently capped a year of growth by becoming the first US production company to shape its audio inventory around a full flagship TW AUDiO VERA36 system.
“We realised that TW AUDiO had arrived in the United States and we decided to take full advantage of that,” explained president/CEO, Ted Tesoriero. “We previously had great success with the TW AUDiO PA-SYS-ONE multi-application, portable system and that experience left us wanting to know more about the company.”
Founded in 2009, DJE Sound & Lighting rapidly developed from humble beginnings in Tesoriero’s garage to become one of California’s fastest-rising suppliers of audio, video, lighting, staging and events expertise. Crucially, adds Tesoriero, “DJE is not a DJ company! It stands for Delilah Jones Entertainment, which references a character in a Grateful Dead song.”
More recently, the company has found itself serving an increasingly varied palette of clientele while catering to bigger and more demanding shows. “LA and the surrounding areas are very much one big market, and that includes San Diego,” he says. “There's 20 million people in this area.”
The company’s growth led Tesoriero and his co-founder Nick Cimino to consider a number of larger format line array syste

Calibre continues US expansion initiativeCalibre continues US expansion initiative
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

USA - Calibre has announced that, despite the regrettable but understandable decision to postpone DSE2020, the company is continuing its efforts to expand its distribution channels in both North and South America. At DSE, Calibre had planned to engage with potential channel partners in the Americas whose business would benefit from having access to Calibre’s range of image processing and display solutions.
“We have had considerable success in identifying excellent resellers throughout Europe and Asia - but we are still underrepresented in some of the single biggest markets that exist from New York to Los Angeles, and from Mexico City to Buenos Aires,” comments Willy Tsai, MD of Calibre UK. “There is certainly a growing opportunity in those regions for products like our AiO range as companies renew their focus on safer ways of working remotely, how they can minimize travel, how they can minimize the number of physical meetings that take place and how they can minimize direct person-to-person interaction.”
Calibre’s AiO (All-in-One) family is suitable for a range of remote participation applications including cloud meetings, distance learning and medical display, says the company. The large size and high resolution of the display is perfect for showing even the most minute of detail (such as facial expression) in meetings and consultations - and the availability of a conferencing camera and Cloud Meeting software further enhances their usefulness in a meeting or ‘face to face’ environment.
“The AiO LED display family offers image qua

Schertler offers message of hopeSchertler offers message of hope
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Switzerland - In reaction to the current situation, pro audio and MI manufacturer Schertler has issued the following: “For the first time in all these years, we are all together facing a situation that is bigger than us and that is changing our way of living and seeing the world.
“Here in Switzerland, the circumstances have already gotten serious and sadly, we’ve had to stop the production and the shipments at least until 30 March in accord with the government decision and for the safety of our employees. Nevertheless, we are still active office-wise - from our beautiful homes - and we are trying our best to answer to all your needs, support you as much as we can and prepare a lot of news for the future.
“What we ask you in this difficult moment is to understand that things might be slower than the usual but, primarily, we would like to give you a message of hope. We are sure all this will pass faster than we can imagine now, we need to be united and we will all be ready for a strong comeback.
“We have decided to launch an initiative in order to promote music and cohesion, because the only cure we have now is sharing. If you are a Schertler artist, a client, or if you play any instrument and are happy to be a part of this. Please share a video where you play on any social media, use the hashtag #StayAtHomeWithSchertler and tag us!

Madrix schedules live streaming programmeMadrix schedules live streaming programme
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Germany - Lighting control specialist Madrix has scheduled a free live streaming programme to start next week.
“To stay connected with our industry and lighting community, we would like to invite everyone to join us live on YouTube from the Madrix headquarters,” says marketing manager Martin Fritzsche. “We will be offering an update on what we are working on to stay connected. Among those is the world premiere of a brand-new hardware product.”
The programme includes:
Madrix: 2020 March Update - an overview over the latest updates regarding the company’s range of LED lighting control solutions made in Germany; Madrix Radar - Unleash the full potential Of RDM - Learn how to unlock unprecedented RDM functionality with this brand-independent tool with fully automatic 24/7 device monitoring and automatic e-mail notifications; the world premiere of the next “powerful Madrix control unit”, and Madrix 5 - software update - Learn more about creative pixel mapping in 2D and 3D as well as the latest features and possibilities.
All sessions will be streamed on YouTube for you to watch them live on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Subscribe to the MADRIX YouTube channel.
All events will also be linked on Facebook.

Arts Council England pledges £160m emergency fundArts Council England pledges £160m emergency fund
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

UK - Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £160m emergency response package to help cultural organisations, freelancers and individual artists survive the coronavirus crisis.
The money is intended to prevent artists and arts organisations from going into liquidation, but is also designed to help them come up with creative responses “to buoy the public” during the lockdown.
The package breaks down as £20m of funds for creative practitioners and freelancers, £50m for organisations not in the national portfolio, and £90m for the 828 organisations in the national portfolio, a category that ranges from small touring theatres to the National Theatre.
The money is coming from a combination of ACE’s emergency reserves and a suspension of national lottery project grants, normally a vital source of income for smaller organisations and individuals.
ACE chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, comments: “None of us can hope to weather this storm alone, but by working together in partnership, I believe we can emerge the stronger, with ideas shared, new ways of working, and new relationships forged at the local, national and even international level.”
ACE said that the financial crisis for the arts caused by the mass closure of venues and cancelled contracts was acute, with evidence showing it was “causing massive and unsustainable loss of revenues”. It said the emergency package was designed to complement the financial measures already announced by the government to help the wider economy.
Darren Henley, the chief executive of ACE, a

Knight of Illumination Awards 2020 postponedKnight of Illumination Awards 2020 postponed
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

UK - The Knight of Illumination (KOI) executive committee has come to the decision to postpone the 13th annual awards ceremony and gala dinner due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and the enormous implications it is having on the entertainment industry.
A statement from co-founders Durham and Jennie Marenghi on behalf of the KOI committee reads as follows:
"The Knight of Illumination committee has taken the considered decision that this year's KOI Awards ceremony will not be held on 6 September as planned, due to the uncertainty of the times in which we now live. The event will be held as a celebration of our industry and to bring people together, once the current situation has been resolved and it is safe to do so.
"Meanwhile, we will continue to appraise the work already submitted and we ask designers to please continue to nominate via the KOI website. We are all watching more TV than usual, so please submit anything outstanding that catches your eye, and to those Concert and Events lighting designers and video content creators now stuck at home, we invite you to submit your finest work this year before the closing date of 30 June 2020 and if you have videos/photos to review.
"Further announcements on the Awards ceremony will follow in the coming months as the situation hopefully improves. Stay safe and we will come together once more as Knights of Illumination once this worldwide battle has been fought and won."
KOI has been a connected hub for the entertainment technology industry for more than a decade, bringing the communit

LSi launches COVID-19 support pageLSi launches COVID-19 support page
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

- LSi Online has launched a dedicated page with training and information resources for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Available at, readers can access the latest business reaction including online training initiatives, industry campaigns and information on the latest financial support packages available to the industry.
The page is regularly updated and is devised as a key resource for those looking for a reliable guide to all important announcements concerning the industry.
Readers who wish to share relevant initiatives or resources should get in touch with the LSi team on
Meanwhile, PLASA is sharing information with its members via daily emails and through a closed Facebook Group.

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Eurovision Alternative - Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are investigating an ‘alternative’ show after this year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the format has yet to be decided, they stressed the programme would not be a competition. However, the show will “honour the songs and artists” that were due to take part of the contest this May. “With that in mind,” organisers said, “this year's songs will not be eligible to compete when the contest returns. Participating broadcasters may decided which artist(s) to send in 2021, either this year's or a newly chosen one.”
The event's executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. We regret this situation very much. The event will return stronger than ever next year.”
Operatic Moves - Scottish Opera has re-purposed lorries ordinarily used to transport its set to venues in order to help restock supermarkets. The opera company’s drivers have been using their cabs to help deliver food to Tesco stores in Scotland, as supermarket stores in Scotland, as supermarkets face unprecedented demand from shoppers during the coronavirus crisis.
Rather than transport the set for Scottish Opera’s forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh - which has been postponed until further notice along with all of the company’s public work - two of its lorries have instead been used to help deliver supplies to

RBI Music to distribute Samsystems’ IntegralRBI Music to distribute Samsystems’ Integral
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

USA - Samsystems UK has announced the appointment of Texas-based RBI Music, as USA distributor for its Integral close cab miking system.
Available in 10in or 12in format, Integral can be used as an innovative solution to augment or replace traditional external close cab miking techniques, in a live or studio environment.
With less mike stands on stage, Integral also helps prevent overspill, feedback issues and offers quicker band set up times. Installed in minutes within cabs or combos, Integral features a circular constructed rigid frame, mounted internally between the cabinet grill and existing speaker.
A super cardioid, dynamic microphone with a high/low, full range frequency response and pressure tested at extreme volumes, is housed within the central ‘pepper pot’ strategically aimed off-centre of the speaker coil, delivering the true, balanced, accurate analogue output from the speaker via an XLR connector to the mixing desk and onward to monitors or FOH PA.
Samsystems technical director Richard Smith comments, “We look forward to working closely with RBI Music in the USA, to put Integral firmly on the entire North American Map. Our relationship has successfully evolved following Summer NAMM 2019, where Integral has since been successfully road tested on the live circuit within the many clubs and bars in and around Nashville’s downtown Broadway scene.”
RBI Music’s product manager artist relations, Rick Taylor states, “The Integral close cab miking system represents the future of sound reinforcement for guitarists perf

K-array suspends factory activity due to coronavirusK-array suspends factory activity due to coronavirus
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Italy - Loudspeaker specialist K-array has written to friends and partners.
“We hope that everyone is doing well and staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. With things changing at such a high speed, we personally want to assure that every member of our extended family is informed on an ongoing basis.
“At K-array, with the safety of our staff as the top concern, we have already been taking necessary steps to adapt our operations while remaining committed to driving business by enacting remote smart working for those who can, which has enabled us to interact with our customers and suppliers in a more safe and active way than before.
“Our next action, in respect to the latest restrictions imposed by the Italian government 22 March, is to suspend all activity within the factory. Effective immediately, K-array will remain engaged and available for support Monday through Thursday only by smart working through 3 April.
“We appreciate your flexibility and understanding while we work together to navigate these circumstances. We reiterate our commitment to keep you updated and ask that you do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.”

A message of hope from DWRA message of hope from DWR
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

South Africa - DWR Distribution has shared a message to the industry.
“When Duncan Riley established DWR Distribution from a tiny office in his home in 2006, he and his wife Sherryn decided to do something different. Abandoning the security of a salaried job, Duncan set out to build on an idea - that the people, not the gear, makes our industry special.
“It’s all about the people has been the guiding vision and mantra of DWR Distribution for the past 14 years. The DWR family has grown from a team of three to a team of more than 60 people, all of whom service the industry in South Africa with passion, dedication and, above all else, humanity. It is more important now than ever that we stand together and make every moment we have all about the people.
“You might be feeling scared right now, just as we are. We are scared for our families and loved ones. We are scared for our own health and for the health of those around us. We are scared of what the shutdowns are going to mean for our livelihoods and for the industry that we all love so much. We feel the pain of our friends in China and across the European Union, where so many have succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 disease, and our thoughts remain with the thousands who are still fighting for their lives.
“We are also heartbroken for the thousands of stagehands, riggers, operators, engineers, and designers all over the world who have no idea where their next meal is going to come from. We stand in solidarity with you all. Keep in mind that no matter how difficult it is to breathe when

ADJ and Elation operate reduced scheduleADJ and Elation operate reduced schedule
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

USA/UK - Elation Professional and the ADJ Group of Companies “wish to bring a heartfelt message to everyone in our beloved lighting community”.
“Like you, we are shocked and saddened by the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected,” say the companies. “Throughout our 35-year history, we have always been a company that cares deeply about our personnel, and therefore place the health and safety of all our employees and their families as our top priority.
“In order to provide a safe and secure working environment while continuing to support our customers, we are adjusting staff levels and operating on a reduced schedule going forward. To further minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to adapt to the current business climate, we have decided to temporarily adjust our US operations to Monday through Thursday, with Friday closed until further notice. Our European facility in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, is still operating on a Monday through Friday schedule.
“When the news of this threat first broke, we took immediate action to protect our people and we continue to do all we can to help prevent the spread of the virus by following WHO and CDC guidelines to protect our most valuable assets: our employees and customers! The actions we have already taken include: full restrictions on travel, deep cleaning of our facilities each evening, promoting personal hygiene and social distancing awareness amongst our staff, as well as implementing other hygiene measures

ChamSys unveils online lighting contestChamSys unveils online lighting contest
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

UK - Lighting console manufacturer ChamSys has announced an online programming contest - the ChamSys Online Programmers Competition.
The competition is open for entries until 10 April and participants will be in for a chance to win a MagicQ MQ70 console. The first 25 entries will also receive a MagicDMX Test Kit, and the three runners-up will get a ‘premium swag bag’.
For the competition, ChamSys is utilising Chauvet Professional’s 200-fixture rig that was meant to premiere at the now-cancelled Prolight+Sound 2020 tradeshow.
To participate, entrants must download the Vis/Base show file of the rig, select a one to three-minute song of their choice, and programme the lights using MagicQ with MagicVis visualistion.
Entrants then have to record their entries via screen capture and submit them, along with the show file, to by 11:59 pm US Eastern Time on 10 April. The entrant’s name, location and mailing address must be included in all submissions.
The judges evaluating each submission are Max Koehler and Ryan Warffuel of Antic Studios, Phil Watson and James Harrison of ChamSys, and Michael Graham of Chauvet Professional.
For the complete contest rules, visit
(Jim Evans)

Out Board offers online TiMax trainingOut Board offers online TiMax training
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

UK/USA - By popular demand UK TiMax developers Out Board have announced a Spring season of ‘One-on-One for One’ online training sessions with TiMax specialists in the UK and USA.
Anybody interested in developing their leading-edge skills in the rapidly growing use of TiMax immersive audio, spatial mixing and showcontrol may well want to check this out. Sessions are open to all sound designers, sound engineers and production sound techs worldwide on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply register to download TiMax SoundHub software (Mac or Windows) from and enter “1on1” into the About You section. Alternatively contact Out Board direct on
Out Board will respond with an invitation to select an available time and date for a personal, one-on-one, one-hour Skype screen-share training session, with Dave Haydon or Robin Whittaker in the UK (GMT) or Duncan Crundwell in the USA (EST). The session will cover standard TiMax dsp functions of mixer, matrix, eq, delay, source/zone groups and snapshots, as well as advanced task-based spatial rendering and immersive showcontrol programming tools in the uniquely integrated TiMax PanSpace and cue-driven TimeLine workflows. The session will also introduce the new TiMax TrackerD4 precision stagetracking interface which controls TiMax SoundHub via OSC.
There’ll also be a look at programming touchscreen OSC control of levels, cue/snapshot recall and spatialisation processes on generic tablet apps such as TouchOSC and Lemur.

Martin Audio plans weekly webinarsMartin Audio plans weekly webinars
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

UK - Martin Audio has unveiled a series of weekly webinars aimed at helping technicians stay up to date with the latest technology during this unprecedented time for the industry. The live webinar series will begin on Wednesday 1 April with all sessions remaining available on the Martin Audio website.
The live webinars will begin with Low Frequency System Design, presented by Simon Purse and will be followed by sessions on Display 2.3, EASE Focus and WPS Optimised Line Arrays. In addition to these initial sessions, the company will be adding a variety of topics over the coming weeks, covering Martin Audio’s products and software, as well as more general pro audio topics.
In addition to this, in the coming months Martin Audio will also be hiring freelance industry professionals as guest speakers to share their experience and expertise.
“These are unprecedented times for the pro audio industry, and we want to play our role in helping industry professionals to stay active and connected,” says Dom Harter, managing director at Martin Audio. “We hope that through some live online training we can help people to interact with their friends and colleagues while also learning something new. In these challenging times we all need to be supporting the AV industry and the thousands of hard working people that help make it great and that will continue to make it so, long after this difficult period comes to an end.”
The schedule for the weekly sessions is sti

Rental companies light the sky for heroesRental companies light the sky for heroes
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Europe - Benelux rental companies recently took part in #LightTheSky, an initiative in support of key workers and those on the frontline of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
On 22 March, for half an hour, companies and individuals - in fact anyone with access to a light - were invited to point it upwards and #LightTheSky. The idea was conceived by a Dutch rental company and became a clarion call taken up by numerous entertainment rental companies, venues, broadcasters and others, by people working in every segment across the whole Benelux Region with some extremely creative results.
Heart shapes were a popular choice and many of the lighting schemes utilised Robe products - MegaPointes and Pointes were a favourite for their brightness - however other products and brands were also involved in this spontaneous and imaginative expression of solidarity. It highlighted gratitude for essential workers in the health service, transportation, law enforcement, supermarkets, education and many more sectors who are keeping our countries going during the coronavirus pandemic.
All participants observed the strict rules now in place throughout Europe on social distancing and other safe working practices during the crisis.
Robe’s CEO Josef Valchar comments, “It’s heart-warming to see the entertainment technology community energised and engaging in actions like this and showing its support for everyone. We’re all affected, and by standing strong together we can help each other survive and deal with the huge challenges our incredible industry faces in

Rigger: Rigger: "Hard to understand" why they can't pay the self-employed
Monday, 23 March 2020

UK - Glyn Owen, a self-employed rigger at the ACC Liverpool, expressed his bewilderment at why the UK government has not offered comparable financial backing to the self-employed.
Last week, the chancellor Rishi Sunak opened up access to the Universal Credit system to workers including freelancers and zero-hour contractors. However, claiming from the welfare system would only secure £94.25 per week for a self-employed worker, whilst the government promised to cover 80% of the salaries of employees.
On Sunday, the communities secretary Robert Jenrick recognised “this isn’t perfect”, adding: “It isn't easy, it's not as simple as supporting those who are in employment. The purpose of our employment mechanism is to help continue the connection between employees and their business so once this is over - and it will be over - those individuals can return to their usual work and that link isn't broken.
"It is operationally very difficult to create a scheme akin to that for the self-employed but we are reviewing this. If there are further steps we need to do, we will take them."
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine show this afternoon, Owen said: "What I can't understand is, they all say it's not easy to assess a self-employed person. But we all fill our tax returns every year - they know exactly how much we've earned over the years. So I can't understand why we are being penalised for being self-employed when [salaried] employees are being offered 80%."
At a suggestion from Vine that the government could use previous tax returns to c

Highlite expresses supportHighlite expresses support
Monday, 23 March 2020

Europe - Highlite International has vowed to support its clients affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“For almost everybody who is active in the entertainment-business our line of work is no profession. Entertainment is a passion which, for most of us, started long ago as a hobby and gradually over the years became a calling, if you will. How else can you explain all these short days and long nights building, rigging, producing, controlling and entertaining and doing the same thing the next night. Every DJ, bass player, singer and entertainer knows this feeling through and through.
“There is nothing greater than being able to put smiles on people’s faces, let them feel good during a couple of hours. Be it at a festival, a family reunion, on tour, during a fashion event or a children’s birthday. Entertainment comes in many forms as does joy.
“The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to so many entertainment possibilities. This affects everybody who puts their passion for this line of work first. But sometimes you need a bit of dark to appreciate the light and there are always ways to find the right light. Of course, to be able to perform and to find the light you need the right equipment, no matter how large or small your event is. But that is not the power of entertainment. You need the location, possibility and know-how as well but that also is not the power of entertainment.
“The true power of entertainment is you. Your passion is your drive and your motivation is the energy to keep going when everything else tends to stop. An


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