Business News

logo-2021-iseOver 700 exhibitors confirmed for ISE 2022
Monday, 6 December 2021

Europe - Exhibitors are signing up in significant numbers to take part in ISE 2022 in Barcelona in February. Over 700 exhibitors have already committed, including Barco, Crestron, KNX, Kramer, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. The show floor has been redesigned and will also feature new Discovery Zone, highlighting 40 new companies exhibiting for the first time.
Taking place at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, the large, modern facility features wide aisles, an easy-to-navigate layout and industry-leading brands showcasing technology innovations and more.
Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events comments: “It is very heartening to see that globally, events and exhibitions are returning to strength. We are delighted that we already have 700+ exhibitors confirming their presence at ISE 2022 and we expect more to confirm in the coming days. With a vibrant thought leadership content programme and inspiring show floor, we are very much looking forward to getting back to business in Barcelona in February next year.”
A regular highlight of ISE, Crestron has exhibited at every single edition since the show’s launch in 2004 and is a located in the Multi-Technology Zone. Brad Hintze, executive VP, marketing of Crestron comments: “ISE continues to be a vital connection point for our industry across the residential and commercial spaces. We are eagerly anticipating this year’s show as a platform to showcase the many award-winning and category-defining solutions that have been released since the last time we were all together in perso

direct-outDirectOut awards three distributors
Friday, 3 December 2021

Germany - DirectOut has named Australian company tm stagetec systems its distributor of the year for 2020, while SeeSound (Spain) and ITR Engineering (Russia) receive the outstanding sales performance and Prodigy of the year awards.
Jan Ehrlich, CEO of DirectOut, states, “tm stagetec has demonstrated a very deep knowledge of our entire portfolio during the recent years. At the same time they used this to consult the clients at best and reached out to every single opportunity the market presented. Even though our relationship is still quite young, we are a well-coordinated team with the same customer-oriented understanding.”
SeeSound has been the distributor of DirectOut products for the Iberian peninsula for a few years and the relationship between the two companies has been very positive since day one. After a kick-off year in 2018 and a constant growth in 2019, 2020 was finally the year of collecting the fruits of the seeds planted.
Yuriy Cheshev from ITR Engineering comments “On behalf of ITR, I would like to thank DirectOut for this award. We are very pleased that you have appreciated our efforts in the Russian market. And we hope for an even more successful cooperation for the future! Good devices from you, good sales from us.”
Ehrlich concludes, “In such a difficult year for the entire audio industry, flexibility and creativity were required for the sales business. Many of our distribution partners have succeeded very well. We are particularly pleased with our business relationship with the three companies, which have been ext

 
 
astera-live-companyLive Company invests in more Astera
Friday, 3 December 2021

Denmark - Technical production and rental specialist Live Company, based in Skovlunde, Copenhagen, continues to invest in Astera wireless LED products at a pace to keep parallel with the “incredible demand” of the Danish market, states owner Peter Clausen.
They were the first rental company in Denmark to invest majorly in Astera, initially with AX1 PixelTubes in 2018, and the latest acquisitions include several sets of Titan Tubes and the newly launched AX9 PowerPAR all-purpose everyday LED lighting fixture – one of the three innovative products launched by Astera in 2021.
The AX9s were bought specifically for Dejlig er Jorden, an operatic recital tour around Danish churches by an ensemble of opera singers and classical musicians. Lighting designer Súni Joensen specifically wanted powerful, reliable, quick and easy to deploy wireless fixtures and 12 x AX9s fitted the bill.
“AX9s are excellent front lights,” says Peter, which was another reason for the purchase, together with the good battery life which easily covers the run-time of most events. He mentions that the consistency of the Astera lightsources and colours is impressive across all the product ranges.
Live Company’s Titan Tubes joined the general rental inventory based on the success they have experienced with the 100 plus AX1s, as they were keen to have Astera’s most up-to-date wireless Tube technology onboard.
The AX1s have been in use constantly, even during the pandemic period, when they were out every week for digital gigs and streamed events, he exp

 
gcmaGlobal Crowd Management Alliance launches
Thursday, 2 December 2021

World - A not-for-profit body set up to promote safe crowd management practices globally has been launched. The Global Crowd Management Alliance (GCMA) brings together crowd managers, organizations, businesses, academics, and individuals with a shared interest in safety from across the globe.
The initiative is spearheaded by the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) and Event Safety Alliance Canada (ESAC), with board members from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, and a list of supporters and advocates spanning over 15 countries on five continents.
The alliance will also create and deliver learning opportunities for crowd management practitioners at all experience levels, in all geographic locations, and regardless of financial means.
Eric Stuart, UK Crowd Management Association’s chair, has been selected as the new body’s first chair. He comments: “I am delighted to have been elected by the founding committee of the Global Crowd Management Alliance to serve as its first chair. This organization will enable us to expand the opportunities for sharing knowledge and experience that will help keep people safe. Whilst crowd plans are sometimes complex and need specialist knowledge, basic safety principles can be applied to many locations where crowds gather, and those principles can often be learnt and implemented at little cost. Most importantly, we should never forget that crowds are made up of people who expect to enjoy a pleasant day or evening out, then return h

 
 
top-50-scnSolotech maintains SCN ranking
Thursday, 2 December 2021

Canada - After another uncommon year, Solotech has maintained its ninth position in Systems Contractor News’ Top 50 systems integrators.
At the same time, Solotech confirms its place as Canada’s prime integrator, being the only Canadian company to make it on to the list. The acquisition of CBCI, a Solotech company, in May 2021, has further strengthened Solotech’s expertise in systems integration from coast to coast.
‘’This recognition is the result of the hard work of our team of experts,” said Philip Giffard, global president, sales & systems integration division. ‘’We have kept our place of choice in the market thanks to our strategic approach based on diversification and a wider geographic footprint. Our employees’ innovation and passion remain at the heart of our success, despite the many challenges they had to overcome. I am very proud of them.’’
For the second year in a row, SCN’s ranking is based on the annual average revenue from 2019 to 2021 rather than the previous year’s revenue. Thus, SCN wishes to celebrate the success of companies that met the new challenges brought about by the pandemic.

 
arec-announcementAREC appoints Tukans UK distribution partner
Thursday, 2 December 2021

UK - Tukans, the York based distributor of professional video and audio solutions, has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for Arec in the UK and Ireland. The agreement with the Taiwanese manufacturer adds to Tukans’ portfolio of meeting capture and streaming solutions for use in education, corporate, government and healthcare markets.
The cornerstone of Arec’s offerings is their Media Stations; all-in-one streaming and recording appliances with i on-board control interfaces for video switching, camera control and displaying graphics. Coupled with their range of tracking camera solutions, the brand facilitates high quality video production for non-technical users.
“Over the past two years we have seen the increasing importance of live streaming and media on demand,” says Tukans’ general manager, Yvonne Womersley. “With Arec, we can now offer our customers a range of solutions that are simple to deploy, easy to operate, and compatible with leading content delivery platforms such as YouTube, Panopto and Opencast.”
“We are excited to be working with Tukans to bring our products to customers in the UK and Ireland,” said Boris Polyakov, regional sales manager for Arec. “With Tukans’ expertise in the pro AV segment and a commitment to customer service and support, we have a very strong partner to build our business in these territories.”

 
 
sslSound Technology to distribute SSL Live
Thursday, 2 December 2021

UK - Sound Technology has announced the addition of Solid State Logic SSL Live consoles and Network I/O devices to its live sound distribution portfolio, with a focus on installed applications including theatre, music venues and educational facilities.
"Sound Technology has had a successful long-standing relationship with Solid State Logic distributing its music production tools portfolio in the UK,” comments David Marshall, MD Sound Technology. “We're proud to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with the addition of the SSL Live range of consoles in market sectors in which we also have proven technical and commercial expertise."
Responsibility for SSL Live consoles at Sound Technology will sit within its pro audio application team for specification and support, with consoles installed in Sound Technology's pro audio and lighting demo facility at its Letchworth Garden City headquarters.
Last month Solid State Logic announced SSL Live v5.0 software, new 'Plus Processing Packs' offering additional DSP resources for existing SSL Live L100, L200, L350 and L550 consoles, and new L450 and L650 consoles.
Jim Motley, senior vice president of international sales for Solid State Logic comments, “We’ve been very impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the pro audio application team at Sound Technology and think they’ll make the perfect fit for installation customers in the UK, representing our Network IO range of interfaces as well as our Live consoles. We are confident that they will reach and support clients in a wide ra

 
leaAudiologic appointed distributor for LEA Professional
Thursday, 2 December 2021

UK - Audiologic has announced that as of the 1 December 2021, it has been appointed as exclusive UK distributor for LEA Professional, manufacturer of pro-audio amplifiers with cloud and IoT-based technologies.
LEA Professional, founded in 2019 by CEO Blake Augsburger. The LEA portfolio of products is made of the Connect Series smart amplifiers, with both a standard and Dante format available. As the rest of the signal chain has continued to grow with smart connectivity with IoT integration, LEA have bought amplifiers right up to the forefront of the technology race.
The Connect Series has full cloud connectivity and monitoring allowing for real time visibility of your entire roster of amplifiers worldwide.
David Budge, founder and managing director at Blue5 Technology, LEA’s representative in the UK & Ireland, comments: “LEA Professional has seen exponential growth over the last few months as more integrators rely on its progressive technology, particularly its Cloud based solutions. LEA is unique in its offering, not only because of its technology but because of its agile nature and customer focus. I look forward to working closely with Audiologic and further expanding the LEA Professional customer base over the coming months."
Ben Spurgeon, senior technical manager, Audiologic, concludes: “We are hugely excited to welcome LEA to our product portfolio. From a technical perspective, their smart amplifier range fits perfectly within the rest of our brand roster and suits the forward-thinking network-based designs that we love to prod

 
 
thirdman1Harman drives Third Man Records London
Wednesday, 1 December 2021

UK - Harman Professional Solutions has announced that Third Man Records, one of the top independent record labels in the US, selected JBL Professional, Martin, BSS, and Soundcraft solutions for their new store and venue in London.
Located in London’s Soho district, the new Third Man Records store is the label’s third location and its first international storefront. Downstairs from the main store area, The Blue Basement is a live music venue designed for intimate and exciting shows featuring local and international artists. Label founder and musician Jack White is a well-known audiophile and personally designed the store’s audio systems to meet his high standards. White selected equipment from Harman Professional Solutions to deliver high-fidelity background music in the store area and impactful live sound for The Blue Basement.
"We’re on a mission for purity, we build spaces where nothing is translated, nothing impersonating something that it’s not,” said White, co-founder and co-owner, Third Man Records. “Live music venues are like churches, they’re sacred spaces that need to give people what they want, something real. JBL gets that and it’s why they’re obsessed with translating sound in such a pure way."
Fans lined up early on the morning of 25 September for the London store’s grand opening to purchase exclusive in-store records by Paul Weller of the Jam, David Ruffin, the Jesus & Mary Chain and other British artists. Later in the day, White played a surprise show in The Blue Basement as well as a rooftop set near the sto

 
stagemarket-sales--marketing-director-romuald-fogel-and-managing-director-sergey-rybinskiyStagemarket becomes Sixty82’s distributor for Russia
Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Russia - Manufacturer of trussing and staging systems Sixty82 has expanded its global distribution network with the appointment of Stagemarket as its exclusive distributor for the Russian Federation, with immediate effective.
Stagemarket has been a provider of professional staging solutions to the Russian market since 2010. Throughout this time, Stagemarket has proven itself as one of the main players for high quality equipment and bespoke structures.
With over 21 years of experience in the live events industry, Stagemarket has a wealth of experience and technical knowledge in recommending solutions to suit their customers’ needs.
“We look forward to working with Stagemarket,” says Fokko Smeding, CEO of Sixty82. “The new arrangement will be a great help in satisfying customer demand in the Russian Federation. Stagemarket has an excellent reputation, and I have personally known Sergey for years. I am very happy to have him and his team on board.”
“Sixty82 has a huge amount of experience in the entertainment industry and a commitment to innovation combined with a level of craftsmanship that is in high demand,” says Stagemarket managing director, Sergey Rybinskiy. “We are very excited to be able to work with them and bring their products and expertise directly to our market.”

 
 
prg-gearPRG Switzerland broadens reach, rebrands as PRG Gear
Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Europe - PRG Switzerland has relaunched as PRG Gear, to bring its dry rental sources under one brand.
PRG Gear’s office in is located in Zurich. Within 24 hours PRG Gear will be able to serve a radius of 600 km straight from its 7,500sq.m warehouse, which is amongst the largest equipment inventories for all types of production disciplines in the event industry, says PRG.
“Not only will former PRG Switzerland clients be able to rent equipment from PRG Gear in Zurich, they will also be able to count on a widened offer of support solutions for their productions. With the ever-shortening installation and dismantling schedules on-site, we want to include mobile and efficient solutions in our strategic offerings in the future.” says Martin Fischer, general manager PRG Gear Zurich.
“We will be offering an additional space in our warehouse facilities for our clients to optimize time and prepping of their projects on-site.”
Working in close conjunction with Martin Fischer, Niklas Bohr will be the new head of business development at PRG Gear in Switzerland. With his many years of experience, Niklas will focus on Austria, France and Italy and address new customers in Europe.
“The moment is right for us to strengthen our brand and move forward as one PRG. We already have 15 well-established PRG Gear affiliates in the United States that focus on our dry-rental business. It is only natural to unify the sub-rental brand globally.” states Stephan Paridaen, CEO PRG.
“Whilst the events sector is still reeling from the corona pand

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Sondheim Remembered - The lights in London's West End were dimmed on Monday night as theatres payed tribute to US composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim who has died aged 91. The composer and lyricist, famous for creating the musical Sweeney Todd, was described as one of theatre's "greatest geniuses" after his death on Friday.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh said the world had "lost one of its greatest and most original writers". The theatrical producer renamed his Queen's Theatre venue after the composer in 2019. During his illustrious career, he wrote the scores of some of Broadway's best-known shows including Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story.
In The Courts - Two ticket touts who made millions of pounds reselling tickets to theatre shows and gigs including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have had appeals against their conviction rejected. The decision is being hailed a "major milestone" in the fight to clean up the secondary ticketing market and could have "far-reaching ramifications" for other online touts, experts have said.
Peter Hunter and David Thomas Smith were convicted on multiple counts of fraud in 2020, after reselling hundreds of sought-after tickets at inflated prices for events including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End, as well as Ed Sheeran and Madness gigs.
They used nearly 100 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to evade restrictions set up on primary ticketing platforms that

 
 
lasolotechk31Solotech invests in L-Acoustics K3
Tuesday, 30 November 2021

USA/Europe - Solotech, a long-time L-Acoustics partner, has extended its inventory. The company’s already substantial stock of L-Acoustics products now boasts a total of 56 of the newest L-Acoustics K3 compact line array cabinets, split equally across its North American and European operations. This investment will help the company to fulfil its ever-increasing 2022 commitments.
The new K3 is L-Acoustics smallest, full-range line source system to date and is designed for mid-size events. Its light weight and long-throw capability and extensive bandwidth make it an appropriate addition to Solotech’s inventory, allowing the company to propose new approaches, especially for theatre productions and for deployments using L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal technology, providing a cost-effective solution for projects requiring increased cabinet counts in smaller spaces.
“The global Solotech teams consistently create outstanding entertainment experiences for an incredible range of audiences and artists,” expressed Alan Macpherson, chief executive officer of L-Acoustics Americas. “I’m pleased that Solotech saw the new K3 as a strategic investment that will help them to continue offering optimised sound reinforcement for their exciting and growing line-up of projects.”
In Europe, SSE has already deployed its K3 with Post Malone on the Wireless Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this summer, whilst Solotech’s North American stock is gracing American rapper, singer and songwriter NF’s 20-date, month-long Clouds Tour, where it is being used as out-fill

 
bikefest-rectangle-bannerBikeFest charity cycle ride set for Spain in January
Monday, 29 November 2021

Spain - Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in BikeFest Spain 2022, a three-day fundraising ride from Valencia to the ISE tradeshow in Barcelona.
Taking place from 29-31 January, the route spans 360km along the Mediterranean coast and all proceeds will benefit live events, entertainment and AV professionals who have suffered financially due to the pandemic.
BikeFest has become a tradition in the UK in recent years, with cycling enthusiasts riding from various points in the UK to Olympia London in the build-up to the PLASA Show. Iin 2021, BikeFest, in partnership with #WeMakeEvents, raised funds for industry colleagues impacted by the pandemic and in support of the live events supply chain.
BikeFest 2022 will be in Spain in time for the ISE convention. Two industry charities - Backup in the UK and AAA in Spain - will benefit from the fundraising efforts, with organisations PLASA, AVIXA, ISE, AFIAL, FIAVE and Alerta Roja supporting the initiative.
Juan Jose Vila, COO and CMO of Equipson, proposed the idea of a charity bike ride in Spain. He asked #WeMakeEvents to headline the project, in partnership with AFIAL, PLASA, AVIXA and ISE. Over the last two years, Vila has worked closely with these organisations to help the AV industry, winning AVIXA's Volunteer of the year award 2021. He is also an active member of the Spanish #WeMakeEvents team, the Spanish equivalent of the campaign #hacemoseventos.
Vila comments: "Primarily, this event is all about raising funds for the organisations and charities that are supporting

 
 
yamaha-entourageYamaha partners with Entourage Pro platform
Monday, 29 November 2021

Europe - Yamaha has partnered with Entourage Pro, the new free-to-join global networking platform for sourcing accredited production industry personnel.
Covering 140 professional freelance roles in a wide range of technical disciplines - including sound, lighting, video, staging, production management, logistics, catering, artist services and more - the platform has been designed to be a quick and easy way to connect personnel to productions (and vice-versa) for anything from a one-off show to a world tour.
Its directors, Joel Perry and James Stanbridge, approached Yamaha, “knowing that the company’s reputation for high standards, reliability, future-proofed technology and global reach mirrors the Entourage Pro ethos. Seeing the advantages that Entourage Pro offered, and keen to support the re-emergence of live entertainment, Yamaha was happy to become an official partner”.
“The moment we were introduced to the concept of Entourage Pro, the team at Yamaha immediately recognised the opportunities that it could bring to both crew and production companies,” says Karl Christmas, European product manager at Yamaha Music Europe.
“In supporting the development of this platform, Yamaha is confident that it will be a significant resource for our friends and colleagues in the industry as it gets back on its feet.”
“We are very pleased that Yamaha is an official partner of Entourage Pro,” adds Joel Perry. “As with all of our partners, the company is a world leader in live entertainment technology which has firmly embraced the E

 
foxingChauvet lights Foxing’s album launch
Thursday, 25 November 2021

USA - Indie/emo band Foxing entitled their fourth studio album Draw Down The Moon. For the album release show at the Pageant theatre in St Louis, designer Gerry Dintleman reflected the mood of the music with a redolent, theatrical lightshow that drew on a collection of over 45 Chauvet Professional fixtures from the venue’s house rig as well as ten Nexus panels rented from Arch City AV.
“I wanted things to have this emotional power, with very dramatic highs and lows, using as little front light as possible, with the exception of specials,” explained Dintleman. “Since the album is called Draw Down The Moon, I added a moon gobo with my Ovation ellipsoidal for the backdrop. Overall, I just wanted to match the wide dynamics of the record and bring Foxing’s live show to a whole new level.”
Back, key and side lighting were critical to Dintleman’s plans to realise this vision for his lightshow. “I’m grateful to Foxing for giving me creative freedom,” he said. “Before I had any plans for this show, I knew I wanted tons of backlight and key light to set the desired mood. I used lots of hard saturated blues, red, and purples with accents of white. The dark monochromatic looks helped the white burst punch even harder; and the choruses, I used with multiple colours to make them look even bigger.
“The side lighting really wound up being the foundation of the rig,” continued Dintleman. “I supplemented most of my front light with side light, sometimes only using one side to get sharp shadows on the artists. They were in ev

 
 
tokyoMartin Audio meets horn recital challenge
Thursday, 25 November 2021

Japan - A classic concert took place recently at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Concert Hall, featuring Nobuaki Fukukawa. One of the world's most active horn players, he is also principal player in the NHK Symphony Orchestra and a major name in the orchestral world.
At this recent recital, Mr. Fukukawa had the clear desire to emulate his recordings from King Records and play the songs on it in the form of an eight-horn ensemble, by overdubbing himself.
Mr. Fukukawa and King Records consulted with Koichi Ishimaru, sound master at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, and he suggested “treating the loudspeakers as musical instruments”. His idea was that Mr. Fukukawa should perform live on stage to create the one part while the seven remaining parts should be played back one by one through the surround speakers, with the recorded source created in Pro Tools.
However, this was no easy task. The system had to be able to reproduce the accurate horn tone and unique localisation with natural sound. To solve this challenge, Mr. Ishimaru selected Martin Audio LE100.
He explains, “I was particular about coaxial speakers because they can accurately express the sound source of musical instruments. I was convinced it was going to be successful.”
Mr. Fukukawa stood in the centre of the stage surrounded by seven chairs, each of which supported an LE100, arranged facing in different directions.
“The bell of the horn is usually facing backwards when being played and so instead of pointing the speaker directly to the audience seats, I tried a similar

 
plugfestPlugFest 2022 set for three days in France in March
Thursday, 25 November 2021

France - PlugFest, the technical event for entertainment lighting interoperability, returns to Lille in France from 29-31 March 2022 following a two-year hiatus. Organised by PLASA, the popular event welcomes manufacturers, developers and technicians from across Europe to test their products and learn about the latest protocols.
PlugFest is an opportunity for participants to collectively test and demonstrate device and system interoperability with the aim of improving reliability, resolving compatibility issues and ultimately improving connectivity between all entertainment lighting and related technologies.
The event’s expert hosts, Hamish Dumbreck (JESE Ltd), Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting) and Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence) will host a series of workshops and technical break-out sessions and will also provide individual support and guidance. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about a wide array of protocols and technical standards, including the ESTA TSC developments.
The 2020 edition of the event sold out well in advance, with leading manufacturers such as GLP, Luminex, Highlite International, Robert Juliat, TMB, Claypaky, ChamSys, ETC, Chauvet and Eaton. Those interested in attending in 2022 are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.
PlugFest takes place in the city of Lille, France which is directly connected to London with the Eurostar and all major European cities via a mainline train station. Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of specially discounted rooms in the hotel that PlugFest takes place in

 
 
ibcIBC 2021 cancelled due to COVID
Wednesday, 24 November 2021

The Netherlands - This year’s in-person edition of the broadcast and electronic media industry tradeshow IBC has been cancelled. The event was set to go ahead on 3-6 December at RAI Amsterdam, but a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands has forced the organisers to change their plans.
The decision was made following visitor and exhibitor feedback and with the view to prevent people from travelling to the country in these uncertain ttimes. Instead of the in-person event, the organisers are set to use IBC’s online platform IBC Digital to bring the community together.
Peter White, CEO of the international trade association for broadcast and media technology (IABM), comments: “IBC exists for the industry only. Unlike other events, it is entirely owned by the industry and, thanks to its success over the years, has contributed a great deal through this structure to keeping the broadcast and media sector vibrant and moving forward; there is no substitute for the good work it enables or the sense of community it engenders. It is therefore particularly important that we all get behind IBC now to ensure it can bring back a fantastic show in 2022 and beyond.”

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Hard Times - One third of musicians were still earning nothing after restrictions on live events were lifted this summer, according to UK charity Help Musicians. The music industry is one of the last sectors to recover from the pandemic, it said, with 83% of professional musicians unable to find regular work. The findings are based on a survey of 929 musicians in August. Almost nine in 10 were earning less than £1,000 per month, and 22% were considering giving up music altogether.
Restrictions on live music were removed in England and Wales in July, and Scotland in August, after Covid had kept the live music industry shut for most of the pandemic. Help Musicians said it had seen a 60% increase in people getting in contact for mental health support, with one in eight saying they were experiencing a mental health problem that was preventing them from returning to work.
During the pandemic, the charity distributed £18m to 19,000 struggling musicians. "We recognise that for some musicians, it will take a long time to rebuild and the team at Help Musicians will continue to be available to those musicians who find themselves in real crisis over the months ahead," chief executive James Ainscough said.
Award Categories - Dua Lipa and J Hus will go down in history as the last stars to win best female and male at the Brit Awards. That's because, from next year, the two categories will be combined into a single prize for best British artist, organisers have said. Artists like Sam Smith and Will Young had previously called for the change, saying the cu

 
 
danley-mcfaddenMcFadden Sales becomes Danley partner
Tuesday, 23 November 2021

USA - Ohio-based McFadden Sales is now the Midwest representative for Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, subwoofers and amplifiers.
“Danley has a great reputation in providing high-quality audio in large venues,” says Andy Kerr, principal of operations for McFadden Sales. “Danley’s product line fits well with our sensibilities in the marketplace and among the other products we represent. Danley Sound Labs provides a technology niche we needed in our portfolio of products and is a great solution for big distributed audio and larger venues we serve.”
“We’re always excited to bring on new partners,” said Mike Hedden, chief steward in charge at Danley Sound Labs. “The McFadden Sales team is well known throughout our industry and we’re excited about the future of this relationship.”
As a Danley partner, McFadden Sales now represents Danley Sound Labs in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
About the new partnership, Kerr notes: “We’ve already received positive feedback regarding this new partnership and we’re excited about the future.”

 
rigging-conference-small-logoNew World Rigging Symposium remains virtual
Tuesday, 23 November 2021

USA - The 2022 New World Rigging Symposium, produced by ESTA and USITT, will take place online 5-7 April 2022 whilst the USITT Conference and Stage Expo will take place in person early March. “We’ve heard from presenters and attendees alike that continuing the NWRS conversation virtually is the best choice,” say the organisers.
“The 2022 virtual symposium will allow the widest range of entertainment technicians to further their rigging knowledge, hear about challenging projects, get up to speed on new technologies, discuss current industry challenges, and get their questions answered by a host of subject matter experts.”
The three-day symposium will also include breakout rooms where attendees can get in-depth information from sponsors as well as virtual networking opportunities with attendees and presenters. The symposium will carry ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification. Registration will open in December and the cost will be $99. For information on sponsorship opportunities contact riggingsymposium@esta.org.

 
 
peta-jacobi2Drury Lane dedicates fly tower to Alan Jacobi
Tuesday, 23 November 2021

UK - The new fly tower at Theatre Royal Drury Lane has been dedicated to Unusual Rigging founder, Alan Jacobi, LVO (read Rob Halliday's report on the theatre's two-year refurbishment in LSi November 2021). Jacobi passed away in April 2020 and due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a funeral was restricted to immediate family only.
But last Monday, in the company of 500 friends, family, colleagues and industry peers, Jacobi’s life was celebrated on the stage of the restored Theatre Royal with tributes from those who knew him during his early years, through to royalty and his closest friends and family members who were with him in his final days.
The plaque, unveiled by Jacobi’s wife, Peta, during a livestream from the fly tower at Monday’s event, reads: ‘The refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane Fly Tower was completed in 2020. Dedicated to the memory of ‘AJ’ Alan Jacobi LVO, Managing Director of Unusual Rigging Ltd. AJ’s determination, vision and passion for theatre is embodied in this fly tower and his legacy is clear to see for future generations of large scale productions to grace this magnificent stage’.
The celebration concluded with a performance of Jacobi’s favourite West End musical hits from Dynamic Vocals followed by an elaborate Abba Medley from drag collective - The Globe Girls.
Jacobi’s son Tom Harper who has succeeded him as managing direc

 
ayrton-logo-20-years-01Ayrton celebrates 20th anniversary
Monday, 22 November 2021

Europe - This month sees LED lighting solutions manufacturer Ayrton celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“When Ayrton was created, we didn't know at the time, but we were going to revolutionize the world of lighting with a totally disruptive concept, digital lighting,” says Ayrton founder, Yvan Péard. “Over the past 20 years we have created more than 70 extraordinary digital luminaires that are as innovative as they are effective. We are very proud of our achievements and the way we continue to lead the way, pushing technology and design to the limits. This year we are celebrating 20 years of passion, creation and design; 20 years of working with the world's greatest lighting designers, who have placed their trust in us to make the tools they want to use; 20 years of innovation to bring the wildest projects to life.”
Péard first brought Ayrton to life in 2001, naming his company after the Brazilian racing driver, Ayrton Senna, whom he admired for his brilliance, ingenuity and drive in the pursuit of perfection.
The company has become a respected industry player, delivering technical innovations and original ideas in creative effects lighting and classical lighting fixtures through to the company’s first IP65-rated fixtures.
The company’s initial reputation for unique effects lighting accelerated in 2013 with the advent of MagicPanel 602 - the first-born in the Creative Solutions family - a modular LED luminaire equipped with continuous unlimited rotation in pan and tilt, and a unique square face that could deliver a broad range of visu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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