USA - Meyer Sound’s Ultra-X40 point source loudspeaker has earned widespread acceptance across the full spectrum of demanding portable and installed sound applications. Featured at InfoComm Connected 2020, the ULTRA-X40 - which has earned numerous industry awards since its launch in 2019 - is already providing solutions across a range of applications.
One of the first ULTRA-X40 house of worship installations is at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. TC Furlong Inc. of nearby Lake Forest supplied five ULTRA-X40 loudspeakers for overflow and special event support, with calibration by owner TC Furlong. “The phase looked like a flat line from 125 Hertz to 20 kilohertz,” comments Furlong.
The same new technology was supplied to City Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma by Fort Collins, Colorado-based Octane Audio. The new point-source loudspeakers serve as out-fills and delays within a larger Meyer Sound system.
Ultra-X40 loudspeakers were selected for both mains and delay systems for a complete audio renovation at Austria CentreVienna (ACV), the capital city’s expansive international conference venue. ACV currently claims the largest permanent installation of Ultra-X40, with a total of 34 loudspeakers in seven different halls.“
Ultra-X40 loudspeakers are featured as side-fills in a smaller room at CenterStaging, Southern California’s premier rehearsal facility.
Corporate rental companies have enthusiastically adopted the Ultra-X40, including Danish partner ShowTech Event Group, which integrated the new louds
Australia - Australia is set to ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions on live events and large indoor gatherings from July.
The country’s federal government will lift the 100 persons cap for indoor gatherings and replace it with a 4sq.m rule that will be used to determine the maximum number of people allowed on the premises or attending an event.
Ticketed/seated events will be allowed to go ahead at 25% capacity if the venue’s total capacity is less than 40,000 whilst the operation of larger venues will fall under the auspices of state and territory governments.
To enable a further easing of the restrictions, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) - a body formed by Australia’s largest promoters, venue managers, and key advocacy groups - is set to produce a “comprehensive, flexible” re-opening and risk management strategy.
In collaboration with the country’s governments, LEIF will develop industry-wide measures regarding cleaning and sanitation, crowd management, physical distancing, health monitoring and contact tracing – including a plan to enable venues with capacities greater than 40,000 to host spectators again.
James Sutherland, LEIF chairman, comments: “We welcome the federal government’s encouraging decision to enable the re-opening of live entertainment and sport. This is a great first step to bring back fans and bring back jobs to an industry that has been on its knees for more than three months. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on millions of Australians and live events play a crucial role in the
UK - DiGiCo’s popular Ask Us Anything webinar series takes a seat at the theatre to answer your question about mixing theatre sound.
Hosted by DiGiCo’s Dan Page and A2D’s Zac Duax, it will feature special guests Nevin Steinberg, Julie M Sloan and Jason Crystal, who between them have an incredible list of theatre credits.
Steinberg’s recent projects include Hamilton on Broadway, in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and on the US Tour; Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, in London and on the US Tour; Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in the West End, Hamburg, Utrecht and on Broadway; Hadestown (Tony Award) on Broadway; Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway; Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star on Broadway; and Rodgers+ Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Tony nomination). He has designed over 30 Broadway productions with Acme Sound Partners and received five additional Tony nominations for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Fences, Hair, In The Heights.
Steinberg serves as the audio consultant for Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in English and American Literature and Language. In 2011, he completed a Certificate Program in Arts Management at NYU's School for Continuing Professional Studies. Nevin is Trustee of the Town Hall Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and support of The Town Hall, a cultural and education centre as well as a national historic landmark in the c
UK - Martin Audio’s virtual tradeshow has been “a resounding success” according to the company, which reported the number of registrations for its web event had come close to the numbers of visitors the British pro audio manufacturer would typically expect to meet at traditional large tradeshows.
The company held its event on 20 May taking the form of three 90-minute webinars matched to different time zones.
“We achieved over 800 registrations for the event,” reveals James King, Martin Audio’s director of marketing. “To put that in context, this is the amount of people we would engage with at ISE or InfoComm in our demo room in a given week, and probably four times the amount we get to our UK Open Day events. So, this was a very efficient exercise.”
The virtual trade show gave Martin Audio the opportunity to speak in detail about its overall portfolio and how different systems can fit with different applications and budgets. It also provided a platform to highlight new products, such as the award-winning ADORN ceiling and pendant loudspeakers and three new subwoofers including two new cardioid subwoofers and punchy value for money double 18” sub.
“The format itself worked well with people being able to see both presenters and the presentation so as to make it more human, and there was opportunity also for an open Q&A on numerous topics that people wanted to discuss,” says King. “There was even some illuminating glimpses and hints about the future product roadmap that came out of that discussion.”
UK - The Association of Lighting Designers held its 2020 Annual General Meeting via video conference yesterday. As an inclusive association with widespread UK membership the ALD is ahead of the curve having previously held a Manchester-based satellite meeting to its 2019 AGM via video conference. The move, now timely, was introduced to enable ALD members from all parts of the country to contribute without the need to travel considerable distances to London.
This year, over 120 members attended individually. The AGM aims to inform and educate ALD members on a range of subjects relating directly to their professional career and to the further development of the ALD as an organisation.
The full-day agenda opened with the meeting itself. Follow on sessions comprised a series of smaller working groups open to all members, including Digital Networking in an entertainment environment: a discussion on sustainable practice, and specific sessions looking at the issues affecting specific categories of membership.
Importantly, several of the groups discussed the issues that have been raised by the global pandemic and the effect on working practices in live production.
One such discussion centred around how the industry gets back on its feet with specific reference to those working in live entertainment lighting. An open letter to producers, written by Johanna Town, chair of the ALD sent out the call for a joint endeavour to combine creative minds across the production industry, to find solutions to the situation ALD members and other production wo
Germany - Taking its first cautious steps out after the COVID-19 lockdown, ROE Visual will be showcasing some of its latest products at the AV Innovation Days.
The AV Innovation Days, as organized by Lang AG, offer an alternative event platform for the cancelled InfoComm show and are held at the Lang Academy location in Lindlar, Germany.
With ISE’s sister event InfoComm 2020 turning into a virtual experience event, held from 16-18 June, Lang sought to offer an alternative programme. The AV Innovation Days will see a virtual programme broadcasted during the InfoComm Connected, combined with an onsite live event for regional visitors. Apart from ROE Visual, other manufacturers such as Panasonic, Samsung and Barco will present their current technologies and innovations.
As part of InfoComm Connected, the AV Innovation Days will give visitors the chance to discover the latest highlights and developments that would normally have been presented at the InfoComm show. The AVID days will be held from 17-19 June, 2020.
ROE Visual will bring its latest products, like the Ruby R2.3 screen, the Black Quartz outdoor screen and the Vanish transparent LED panels to the event. A team of ROE Visual experts are at the stand to answer all your questions. Erik Baum, Roelof Bouwman and Victor Kortekaas will be happy to help you, taking all the Covid-19 precautions to heart.
Equipped with features that are beneficial from build to performance, the innovative Ruby R2.3 LED panel is ready for the next generation. ROE Visual has developed its own 4in1 LED, ex
Europe/USA - The 2020 AES Spring Convention, AES Virtual Vienna, was presented in real time to a global audience, 2-5 June as the Audio Engineering Society hosted its first-ever completely online convention.
Despite being moved from its original, physical venue in Vienna, Austria, due to recent worldwide travel restrictions, organisers report that the AES Virtual Vienna Convention thrived, with attendees from 59 countries logging in to view and take part in over 200 presentations in live-stream and on-demand formats, many of which offered real-time Q&A discussion with the presenters and other attendees.
The entire AES Virtual Vienna Convention will remain online through 30 June, 2020, for those currently registered, and registration (for as low as $50) will remain open through that time for anyone wishing enjoy the AES Virtual Vienna Convention on their own time, online at AESEurope.com.
In addition to more than a hundred on-demand Papers Sessions, Engineering Briefs, Posters, Technical Tours, Workshops, Tutorials and more, AES Virtual Vienna featured the most popular events of all AES conventions, including Keynote speeches, a Heyser Presentation, the Opening Ceremony and Awards presentations.
Core Student and Career Convention events also took place, including meetings of the AES Student Delegate Assembly, Recording Critiques, Recording and Design Competitions and even an interactive Education and Career Fair.
AES Virtual Vienna partners and sponsors, including platinum partner Genelec, silver partners Proactive Audio, Sound Solut
UK - ABTT Theatre Show organisers have released a seminar programme running across 10-11 June - the days when the postponed 2020 tradeshow would have taken place.
"In light of the postponement of the 42nd ABTT Theatre Show until 2021, the ABTT felt that it was necessary to mark the occasion and provide our usual attendees with something to commemorate this event during the current pandemic," say the organisers. "While we cannot recreate or replace the experience of the ABTT Theatre Show, we hope to enable some of the conversations and discussions that take place when theatre people come together."
The schedule comprises 10 seminars (five per day), each set to last no longer than 90 minutes including Q&A.
The schedule is as follows:
10 June (Wednesday)
ALD: A spotlight on better conditions for the lighting industry and the future of lighting: ALD chair Johanna Town will be joined by industry representatives in discussing the need for clearer contracts and letters of engagement for all freelance lighting staff and the best ways of using LED lighting and how in light of the EU regulations taking effect.
Technical training in a new world: TEC chairman Sebastian Barnes, Mig Burgess (GSA), Jo Franklin (GSA), Roz Madison (RCS) and Rachel Nicholson (Backstage Academy) explore the next steps for education an
Europe - PEARLE and the European Festivals Association have published The sixth edition of the EFA RISE series, What you didn’t know about Europe - The Ultimate Cookbook for Cultural Managers, with an update on visa legislation.
Although mobility is on hold and live performance is coping with the challenges of reopening its physical doors to their artists and audiences, the sector will tour again, have residencies and co-productions as cross-border working is deeply rooted in the DNA of the live performance sector.
How we travel will be rethought. Considerations on more sustainable forms of touring are not new and have quite some supporters.
This booklet gives information on visas for the Schenghen Area, what types there are, who needs them, how and where to lodge your application as well as useful advice and tips to help visa applicants and performance hosts to navigate the process.
This new edition follows the successful synergy partnership between EFA and Pearle - Live Performance Europe started in 2014, in the context of EFA RISE, to improve general knowledge of the legal and managerial aspects of cross-border cultural cooperation and counts with similar publications on Social Security, Artist Taxation, VAT, Copyright Clearing for Live Events.
This sixth edition, Visas for Third Country National Artists Travelling to the Schengen Area – Update 2020, was officially presented by Pearle - Live Performance Europe on 29 May 2020 in the frame of the 59th Pearle Conference.
The booklet is available to download from h
World - The AES Virtual Vienna Convention takes place online this week (2-5 June) and the final schedule of events has been announced, including the convention’s slate of over 100 on-demand presentations being made available throughout the show.
“From full scientific research paper presentations and poster sessions, to experimentation in practical applications of breaking audio technologies outlined in Engineering Briefs and more, this year’s AES Spring Convention technical programme offers unprecedented access in an affordable format available to anyone with an internet connection,” say the organisers.
This year’s Papers programme features over 45 presentations, available on demand, covering a variety of disciplines including Audio Signal Processing, Perception and Evaluation of Audio, Spatial Audio, Loudspeakers and Microphones, Recording and Production, Audio Education, Network Audio, Room Acoustics and more.
Papers being presented during AES Virtual Vienna will be available to attendees for a period after the show and will then join the archive of over 17,000 searchable documents in the AES E-Library. In addition, over 70 on-demand Engineering Briefs and Posters present more concise studies of a given topic, offering quick analysis of concepts, studies and application experimentation from researchers, students and engineers from around the world.
The complete AES Virtual Vienna Technical Programme of events, presenters and more is now available online. Registration is via test
Europe - The Performing Arts Employers Association League Europe (PEARLE) has put together a map that shows when European live performance venues will be allowed to reopen following the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed across the continent.
The map, available here, has been devised based on information the Association received from its members. It will be continuously updated according to information received.
Countries that have already lifted restrictions have a green badge whilst those yet to announce any information on the resumption of live events carry a grey badge. Countries that have set out their plans on reopening venues and allowing the continuation of live events have an orange badge.
Besides being a visual guide, the map carries information on phasing and relevant dates for resumption of live event activities for each country.
“Whilst PEARLE members acknowledge the specific health prevention conditions and adhere to those, the live performance sector aims to open on the basis of full capacity,” says the Association in a statement. “Without this possibility, the costs are disproportionate with the limited box office income. In this case, they call upon governments to compensate such losses.”
UK/USA - The organisers of the 2020 Knight of Illumination (KOI) Awards have announced the cancellation of both the UK and the USA events due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry.
The difficult decision has been reached following extensive discussions between the committees of both the UK and US versions of the KOI Awards: The Fifth Estate and KOI co-founders Durham and Jennie Marenghi, along with the ALD and STLD in the UK and Live Design/LDI in the USA.
All parties explored various possible options to secure the events, including virtual, live streamed/webcast ceremonies and postponed or scaled-back ceremonies. However, these ideas were ultimately deemed not to be viable for 2020.
KOI-UK and KOI-USA executive committee member Sarah Rushton-Read of The Fifth Estate comments: "This has been a challenging decision, given the unpredictable nature of this global crisis, which has hit the KOI community very hard. Many have lost their businesses, their employment, their sources of income. Skilled creatives are taking jobs in other sectors and others are retraining. Many have no idea when, or in what capacity, they might return. While we have every faith that the industry will bounce back, it will be a different landscape for some time to come."
She adds: "We believe the KOI Awards mission is to bring a meaningful value to the lighting and video design community by providing independent design awards, judged by respected critics and experts. Just as importantly, it provides a valuable opportunity for the whole lightin
USA - The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) has offered a financial boost to roadie advocacy group The Clinic, the Crew Nation charity fund, and the AES.
“The impact on the live sound industry has been devastating for the business as a whole,” comments Greg Beebe, chair of the PAMA board of directors. “On the personal level, that business disruption means economic hardship for those who rely on live sound for their livelihood. Recognising the need for a helping hand for the unsung heroes of the industry, PAMA has allocated funds to help two organisations that are firmly entrenched in this sector - The Clinic and Crew Nation. We are donating $2,500 to each to target individuals in need.”
Founded by Courtney and Paul Klimson, roadie advocacy group The Clinic carries out the stated mission “to empower and heal roadies and their families by providing resources and services tailored to the struggles of the touring lifestyle”.
“We are grateful to PAMA for this direct financial investment in the roadie community in a trying time,” says The Clinic president Courtney Klimson. “We also appreciate that their generosity is an acknowledgement of the critical role that roadies play in live sound and touring.”
Recently established by concert promoter Live Nation, Crew Nation is a relief fund to support touring and venue crews through the coronavirus pandemic. Live music inspires millions around the world, but the concerts we all enjoy wouldn’t be possible without the countless crew members working behind the scenes.
UK - PSAV, parent company of Hawthorn and AVC Live, has created MeetSAFE, a set of guidelines to help the live event industry safely adapt to the changing landscape for meetings and events.
Designed “to inspire trust and confidence”, the set of tools is “focused on redesigning events to successfully deliver on the strategic goals of the meeting while defining new guidelines to minimize risk and promote health”.
Ben Erwin, president of PSAV, comments: “Our industry has more to consider when planning live events in the future. While there has been an explosion of virtual events due to today’s environment, we know there will be a time when both hybrid and fully live meetings will return.
“People feel a strong desire for face-to-face interactions, so we wanted to be proactive and offer guidance on how they can ensure important live meetings and events are productive, but also safe at the same time.”
The MeetSAFE guidelines were developed around four key areas: event design, room layout / traffic flow, technology enhancements, and cleaning guidelines. With input from venue partners, event planners and leading industry associations, the new guidelines include a series of meeting formats, technology solutions, and other recommendations that outline paths around how the event industry could re-open during the early phases of recovery.
Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council, says: “The Events Industry Council applauds PSAV for its leadership through this effort to provide relevant guidance and tools to industry professi
USA - Eventide Audio’s Quarantide has named an impressive line-up of pioneering musicians for its daily discussions.
On Friday, 22 May, Backstage in the Green Screen Room will feature genre Jon Anderson, Laurie Anderson, Clara Ponty and Jean-Luc Ponty, hosted by violist and composer Martha Mooke, an Eventide artist in residence.
Joining the artists will be Eventide principals Tony Agnello and Richard Factor, along with Jean de Reydellet, Eventide brand ambassador in France and a musician/composer.
“Some of the most inspired and intriguing conversations happen backstage in the ‘green room’ just before musicians go on to perform,” shares Mooke. “I’m truly thrilled to spend some time in the Eventide ‘virtual green room’ with these musical icons.”
Created to keep audio aficionados connected, to stimulate their minds and provide inspiration during COVID-19 pandemic-forced isolation, the Quarantide series has taken advantage of the availability of luminaries from the audio industry and music to assemble casts of individuals to interact and share their insights.
Quarantide sessions will continue each weekday through (at least) the end of May. The discussions take place at 4pm EDT and can be found on Eventide’s YouTube channel or through the Eventide Audio Facebook page.
Europe - IBC 2020, scheduled for 11-14 September, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. The annual broadcast technology show, held every September at RAI Amsterdam, will instead transition to a virtual event.
In a statement on the IBC homepage, Michael Crimp, CEO, IBC, said: “I hope you are safe and well, as we continue to adapt to the changing world in which we find ourselves. As previously outlined, the IBC team has been focused on assessing and developing appropriate plans for IBC2020 this September at the RAI Amsterdam.
"Within these plans it is crucial that IBC can deliver a safe and successful environment. However, as governments announce the route forward, it has become clear that a return to (a new) normal is unlikely to be achieved by September.
It has also become evident, through our dialogue with the IBC community, that an early decision is preferential for the industry so it can plan for the future.
Right now, despite the best work of the IBC team and our Dutch colleagues, there are still many unknowns. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to deliver a safe and valuable event to the quality expected of IBC.
It is also evident that important aspects of a large-scale event such as IBC will be greatly altered by social distancing, travel restrictions, masks etc. so much so that the spirit of IBC will be compromised.
With that in mind and based on what we know at this point, it is with a heavy heart IBC has made the difficult decision to cancel the IBC2020 show. You may have seen IBC and the IABM
UK - White Light managing director Bryan Raven has written an open letter asking for support for the supply chain to the live events industry. The London-based supplier, in conjunction with a number of industry colleagues, has outlined a 10 point plan for help needed from the UK Government.
“The live events industry - which includes music, theatre, corporate events, festivals and live broadcasts - was amongst the first to be closed down by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the last to return to normality,” writes Raven. “This is global issue and I would ask you to take the time to watch this video from the Live Events Coalition in the US which graphically represents the issue for the whole world.”
He continues: “Both the producers of live events but also the suppliers to live events need help. It is critical to consider the entire ecology of the live events supply chain when designing business support mechanisms.”
The key points listed by Raven in the letter are:
“1. Live events are pretty much impossible until the 2m Social Distancing rule is either unnecessary or relaxed - 2m distance needs to be advisory in conjunction with face covering and hygiene (in combination with testing) NOT compulsory. Until the 2m distancing requirement is reduced or, eventually, removed, many live events will not be financially viable.
2. Need to recognise the supply chain to industries/sectors that are still closed – and therefore offer support especially in those sectors that use theatres and live music venues which will be closed until th
USA - As part of Meyer Sound’s ongoing webinar education programme, today (15 May), company president & CEO John Meyer will present From Apocalypse Now to Bluehorn at 9:00 PST (16:00 GMT).
The one-hour presentation traces Meyer Sound’s innovative development path in the world of cinema, post-production and residential from the company’s early days collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola to today’s Bluehorn System.
“Education has always been a pillar of the holistic Meyer Sound core brand philosophy of sharing knowledge. Recent events have put the spotlight on the importance of offering our public training not just with in-person seminars but via online platforms,” comments John McMahon, Meyer Sound senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Our global team was quick to respond to the need by curating an informative and engaging programme.”
To join From Apocalypse Now to Bluehorn, click this Zoom link at the scheduled time.
The training content offers a natural progression of subject matter, providing attendees both practical knowledge for honing skills as well as case studies for reference. The instructors review specialty tools that cover a diverse set of solutions across all industry verticals. The education team also welcomes attendees to choose from an à la carte menu to create every other Friday ‘On Demand’ programming via a weekly poll through the Meyer Sound Users Community Facebook group.
UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup will be holding a virtual pub quiz on Friday 15 May to raise money for the charity.
Backup provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film who have fallen ill, been injured or are suffering from mental health problems. The charity provides a range of services including financial support, advice and re-training, and the organisation is working harder than ever to support those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Tom Wilkes of Collaborative Creations will be hosting the quiz at 8pm on Friday 15 May, which will be taking place via Zoom, and all industry members, friends and family are welcome to take part and compete for some fantastic prizes.
Backup Trustee Lee Dennison said: “Unfortunately due to the coronavirus outbreak our annual fundraising extravaganza Kartfest can’t take place in July, so this quiz and other similar events in the coming months will make a huge difference to the charity.
“Those who know me will testify to the fact that I take all forms of fun extremely seriously, and I’m sure Tom will treat this quiz with the same level of respect and maturity that we have all come to expect.”
Tom added: “We understand this is a hard time for everyone, so entry fees and donations are encouraged but at your discretion, there’s no pressure to donate if you’re not in a position to. Having said that, if we raise enough money I will have to shave my head.”
White Light Systems Manager Jamie Wells will be runnin
UK - Martin Audio’s first virtual tradeshow takes place on Wednesday 20 May, with registration slots throughout the day filling up fast.
Much like Martin Audio’s Open Days, the virtual tradeshow will offer an overview of the portfolio suitable for end users, distributors, rental companies and integrators. The event will be webinar-based across three time slots on Wednesday 20 May to ensure that people in different time zones can come together for the show. Each session will last for 90 minutes with the first starting at 7.30am BST, followed by a second at 10.00am BST and a final session beginning at 5.00pm BST.
“We’ve been delighted with the response so far,” says Dom Harter, managing director at Martin Audio. “With over 500 registrants to date this is fast becoming an excellent opportunity for us to guide people through our portfolio and to help attendees find the right product for different applications and budgets.”
As with all tradeshows, the timing of the event is aimed at ensuring that people who can attend will be able to find real solutions for potential projects.
“We see May as a time when more countries will start to be rebuilding their economy and when projects within pro audio will once again be discussed and so its opportune to provide this showcase,” reasons Harter. “Equally, we have already announced many new products this year and May is a time when much of the production on these will commence. We’re looking forward to talking to as many people as possible, albeit virtually, and discussing how Martin Aud
USA - For 11 years, country music lovers in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, have gathered for the KNIX BBQ and Beer Festival, enjoying on stage performances, along with things like a petting zoo, games and popular food pits. With this year’s live event postponed, HDE Agency, its organiser, has moved the festival online with a series of five livestreamed Saturday shows.
They don’t have a petting zoo (viewers will have to rely on their own dogs and cats for that), and they’re not cooking up any finger licking good treats, but the livestreams are offering generous servings of country music. Supporting these performances are a John Garberson-designed lightshow that features Chauvet Professional Maverick and Rogue fixtures supplied by Creative BackStage. (Pro Production provided the audio.)
Taking place on a temporary stage in a converted studio in the Creative Backstage warehouse, the livestreams do not attempt to replicate the look of a festival. Instead, they aim for a laid back “at home feel”. Although large enough to allow safe social distancing, the stage is relatively small - and the show’s video engineer TJ Watson, along with the two camera operators, Jamie Rivera and Wes Webb, keep their angles tight and neat.
“We treat livestream shows as their own medium, not scaled down versions of a festival stage,” comments lighting designer Garberson, who also directed the video shoot. “We want to create a sense of engagement with the viewer, regardless of the size screen they’re watching this on.”
Despite any limitations in sta
UK - Global Infusion Group’s catering divisions GIG and Eat to the Beat are usually in action at venues, TV studios and event sites all over the world feeding the stars. With theatres, arenas and convention centres closed and concerts, sporting events, festivals, conferences, live performances and filming on hold due to the coronavrus pandemic, the award winning company has quickly adapted its operations to deliver catering to the NHS and other keyworkers on the frontline during this extraordinary time.
Working together, GIG and Eat to the Beat have been catering for 15 NHS and key workers sites across Buckinghamshire. This includes two hospitals, outreach sites and the IT department, delivering between five and 200 meals per day, Monday to Friday, with a top up on Fridays to ensure people have access to food across the weekend. In addition, GIG and Eat to the Beat supported the contractors responsible for building the Dragon Heart temporary hospital built at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Having seen the work that NHS staff and keyworkers are doing first-hand, the company was keen to recognise their efforts. Last week, residents in Chesham, where the company has its headquarters, were asked to nominate 250 NHS staff, carers and keyworkers in the town to receive a large slice of Rainbow cake on Thursday 7 May. This was delivered, all at a social distance, following the Clap for our Carers. This was then extended to 100 veterans and deserving elders who received a cream tea on Friday 8 May as part of the company’s VE Day 75 celebrations.
Europe - Panasonic has withdrawn from IBC 2020 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in September later this year. Instead, the organisation is focusing on supporting its partners and customers through its online initiatives, with the launch of its own Technology Experience Zone to help share expertise and information for the industry.
“It has been a very difficult decision. As much as we look forward each year to welcoming visitors at this important industry event, we must prioritise the well-being of our staff, partners and attendees,” states André Meterian, director of the Professional Video Systems Business Unit for EMEA.
“In the meantime, we will focus on creating additional activities and work with partners and industry leaders to continuously develop new content for our Technology Experience Zone, including live streaming, webinars, video podcasts and training. We will further expand our offering and aim to provide online virtual experiences to ensure our customers can stay in touch with the latest news from Panasonic Broadcast & ProAV.”
As things stand, IBC 2020 is scheduled to go ahead. Following the cancellation of NAB in April and with governments across the world either entertaining or employing the partial easing of lockdown restrictions, the eyes of the broadcast industry are now focused on IBC.
The official line from IBC itself is that it continues to develop ‘appropriate plans’ for IBC 2020 and is ‘committed to delivering a successful event at the RAI Amsterdam’ in the safest way possible.
IBC CEO Michael
South Africa - Carolyn Steyn, South African philanthropist, actress, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and Classic FM1027 radio host personality, has donated R100,000 (around £4,400) to the Feed Our Crew initiative established to help theatre and entertainment crew and freelancers who most need assistance.
As an accomplished actress, Carolyn was concerned about the welfare of the theatre crew, especially after the lock-down in South Africa was extended. The entertainment business has been one of the hardest hit industries in the country. When Carolyn saw a Facebook post by one of her friends, Debra Batzofin, theatre practitioner in the industry for the past 46 years, it ultimately enabled her to pay it forward.
“Carolyn immediately assisted me, and we were able to feed 50 people,” explains Debra Batzofin. “But when she wanted to donate additional funds, I suggested we approached Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution and the SOS Charity fund to help come up with the best solution.”
Riley advised the monies would make an enormous difference to the Feed our Crew campaign. “Everyone is fighting a financial battle right now, but there are those who are unable to feed their families, and this is where Feed our Crew comes in,” comments Riley. “I was humbled by this act of generosity and believe that if there were more people like Carolyn and Debbie, the world’s problems would be so much less. Thank you so much for this contribution.”