World - Following the postponement of Showlight 2021 which had been set to take place this May in Fontainebleau, France, its organisers have announced that a one-day Virtual Showlight will be held in its place “as a temporary interlude”. The live online event will take place on Tuesday 25 May 2021 between the hours of 15.00 – 23.00 BST. The date coincides with the final day of the original event and the time has been chosen to best accommodate a global audience.
Virtual Showlight will host an online presentation of papers, each up to 30 minutes in length, from international keynote speakers, plus a live Panel Discussion. Q&A sessions will follow each paper with delegates able to message their questions via the chairperson.
The remainder of the time will stay true to the spirit of Showlight with scheduled breaks between sessions providing opportunities for delegates, speakers and sponsors to network in ‘breakout rooms’ where they can spend the time mixing and mingling with others, both socially and within interest groups, in a virtual way.
Virtual speakers wanted
Showlight is issuing a fresh Call for Speakers to enrich the Virtual Showlight programme and make the most of the opportunities presented by the virtual format. “We envisage this will be especially appealing for those speakers whose commitments usually prevent them from speaking at a full Showlight event,” say the organisers. Ideas should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual sponsors wanted
Sponsorship opportunities are available t
UK - On Tuesday 2 February, #WeMakeEvents gave evidence during the DCMS select committee inquiry into the future of UK festivals. The campaign’s political group leader Duncan Bell detailed the ongoing challenges faced by the live events and entertainment industry.
When asked if there is a problem with people leaving the industry due to COVID-19, he stated: "Freelancers have been forced to find work elsewhere. In a recent survey of 2,800 people over 30% of freelancers said they have had to leave the industry, and 20% say they hope to come back but are very unsure whether they are able to because of the lack of certainty." #WeMakeEvents is currently verifying the data from this survey and will be publishing the full report in the coming weeks.
One of the central aims of #WeMakeEvents is to get government-backed cancellation insurance for events, and following a question on the financial processing Bell explained: “In many cases there will be payments in the planning stage but the majority of funds will not be paid until the event has gone ahead…It’s one of the reason the insurance discussion is such an important discussion for us.”
"Conversations have been going on for some time and we have put forward various schemes," he added. "I think the urgent requirement and benefit of the insurance is to bring certainty to being able to plan and book equipment, making it the first link in the chain, not the last."
A road map still has yet to be presented by government on how and when the events industry is likely to re-open. "We
Europe - The organisers of Integrated Systems Europe 2021, scheduled for June in Barcelona, have set a 1 March deadline for making a decision as to whether the physical event will go head.
ISE managing director Mike Blackman remains hopeful that the show will go on. However, in his most recent statement, in view of the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and continuing travel restrictions, he remains guarded.
“Following the announcement that the InfoComm 2021 show will now take place in Orlando in October 2021, we want to confirm that Integrated Systems Europe, remains scheduled to open live and online on 1-4 June in its new home at the Fira, Barcelona,” says Blackman.
“Whilst we recognise there continue to be challenges ahead, we are in touch with government and the relevant health authorities to constantly monitor the situation. None of us can predict how the situation will look in June, but we are hopeful that by the second quarter of 2021 we will see the world return to a new ‘normal’ with vaccines being rapidly delivered in many countries around the world.
“We understand our exhibitors and partners need to make commitments that will incur cost and we do not wish to burden them unnecessarily. For this reason, if circumstances impact our ability to host an in-person event and we are forced to cancel this element of ISE, we will make this decision by 1 March.
“With the backdrop of the global pandemic, our priority in recent months has been devising the means to deliver a safe and secure event for all exhibitors and vi
UK - Leading trade associations have backed a campaign to keep UK’s VAT rate on ticket sales at 5% to aid the live events sector’s recovery.
Last July, the government temporarily slashed the VAT rate to 5% from the standard rate of 20% to support businesses severely affected by the pandemic. The cut currently applies until 31 March 2021.
#KeepVATat5, initiated by LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), aims to convince the Treasury to extend the VAT rate cut for the next three years and comes ahead of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s hotly-anticipated budget announcement on 3 March.
“With the budget approaching, we must act now to convince the chancellor to #KeepVATat5,” says LIVE in a statement. “Of all the industry’s asks from government currently, keeping the VAT rate on tickets at 5% for the next three years will make the single biggest impact to the sector’s recovery. If it is reversed, the rate (...) will take millions from our industry when we need it the most.”
This week, LIVE is coordinating letters to Sunak and other prominent MPs, but the body is also asking those willing to help to write to their local MP (see .docx template here) and raise awareness of the campaign on social media by using #KeepVATat5.
The campaign is backed by some of the most influential industry bodies, including the Concert Promoters Association, the Association of Independent Festivals, the Musi
UK - Independent Venue Week 2021 (25 - 31 January) has announced the full schedule for its eighth edition, which will take place digitally this year due to the on-going pandemic. Over 141 virtual events are set to take place across more than 110 venues around the UK that have all signed up to take part by playing host to performances, ‘In Conversation’ interviews, panel discussions with industry professionals, and the official IVW Quiz hosted by Duglas Stewart of BMX Bandits.
The week will also see the online premiere screening of On The Road with Independent Venue Week, with a live Q&A hosted by BBC 6 Music. The feature-length documentary, which counts Funktion One and Universal Pixels amongst its supporters, was filmed over two years with Philip Selway (Radiohead) and goes to the heart of independent music venues across the country, meeting those who work and play in them. It includes interviews with Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Fatboy Slim, Nadine Shah, IDLES, Novelist, Richard Hawley, Pip Blom, Big Jeff and more, plus venue owners and operators.
Music Feeds festival is the latest official partnership for the week bringing an impressive line-up of performances from the likes of Sam Smith, Liam Gallagher, Fontaines D.C + many more. Ticket prices vary and can be purchased here.
Independent Venue Week's full schedule can be found here, with industr
USA - Harman Professional Solutions has confirmed its line-up of special sessions and product spotlights for the 2021 NAMM Believe in Music Week, taking place now.
“Harman Professional Solutions is pleased to be taking place in this historic event while helping to elevate our industry by supporting musicians and industry professionals who have been deeply affected by the pandemic,” said Frank Joseph, senior director, North America Marketing, Harman Professional Solutions. “We are thrilled to bring together a premier line-up of industry leaders and Harman experts to discuss the future of music creation, event production and live performance. Although this is an unprecedented format, we’re confident we can deliver a rich and engaging experience for our customers and partners at NAMM 2021.”
The sessions, featuring in-depth interviews and Q&A with leading experts include:
Thursday, 21 January - Dr. Sean Olive and Omid Khonsaripour, Harman headphone audio experts; Lenise Bent, the first platinum award-winning female audio engineer; Karrie Keyes, professional audio engineer for Red Hot Chili Peppers; Tiffany Miranda, founder/President of GirlsMakeBeats.org.
Friday, 22 January 22 - Rick Kamlet: JBL Professional installed audio product specialist; Sean Murray and Hayden Maringer of Evaride; Mona Tavakoli and Becky Gebhardt, drummer and bass guitarist for Raining Jane
Additionally, Harman will showcase product videos of its latest innovations on NAMM Gear TV, including JBL IRX Series loudspeakers, JBL EON ONE compact loudspeakers,
USA - Meyer Sound will participate in the 2021 NAMM Believe in Music Week virtual show this week, where the company will debut two original content sessions, share product resources, and schedule one-on-one meetings with NAMM attendees.
“Meyer Sound has seen great success from the NAMM Show over the past few years as it is a great place for us to showcase our products suited for this audience,” notes Meyer Sound director of global marketing Tim Boot. “Although we are unable to connect with our customers in person during this time, we are grateful that we have this opportunity at the virtual NAMM show to share what we have been working on over the past year, including a new variant of our best-selling loudspeaker and a new solution for the post-production and residential markets.”
The virtual booth will feature product information about the award-winning ULTRA-X40 and ULTRA-X20 point source loudspeakers, Leopard compact linear line array loudspeaker, the company’s new software applications - Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool and MAPP 3D system design and prediction tool - and the newly introduced Ultra Reflex screen channel sound solution for direct view displays.
As part of the NAMM U TEC Tracks programming, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir and Derek Featherstone, CEO of UltraSound and long-time FOH mixer for recent Dead-related acts including Dead & Company, discuss the long strange trip of the band’s quest for the best audience sound experience. Weir goes back to the Wall of Sound days when Meyer Sound CEO John
Germany - Prolight+Sound, along with a number of other trade fairs planned for April and May in Frankfurt this spring, has been postponed until April 2022.
A statement from the organisers says: “Back in September 2020, a decision was reached by Messe Frankfurt and the industries involved to forgo any physical events at our home base in the first quarter of 2021. Now, following close consultation with customers, it has become necessary to postpone the international physical trade fairs planned for April and May – Prolight+Sound, the International Consumer Goods Show, Heimtextil, Techtextil and Texprocess – as a result of the regulations and travel restrictions that have been imposed.
“There is currently no end to the pandemic in sight. Events are effectively banned in Germany, and ongoing international travel restrictions mean that it is impossible to make any trade fair plans for April or May 2021.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has taken centre-stage, and our plans have not escaped its impact. In light of the current situation, it would not be possible for us to satisfy our customers’ requirements for international trade fairs in April or May,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt.
“The ongoing shutdown of retailers in our visitor countries has made relevant up-to-date information and solutions essential, and we are satisfying this demand with our digital offerings during this volatile time. As you know, we are also continuing to do everything in our power to make safe and successful trade fairs po
USA - When the 2021 NAMM Show had to be cancelled due to continued COVID concerns, the association pivoted its focus by creating a digital alternative known as Believe in Music Week, running from 18-22 January.
L-Acoustics reports that it is fully supporting NAMM this month by sponsoring a virtual marketplace booth, where it will be hosting a comprehensive line-up of eight video sessions on a variety of topics, all with live Q&A. Visitors can also book online meetings with L-Acoustics team members, chat live, and receive special access to swag and an exciting giveaway.
Of particular note will be the booth’s keynote session, Contour XO IEM Origins Story, moderated by FOH engineer Chris Rabold (Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé). This will be a Zoom ‘fireside chat’ discussion with L-Acoustics founder and president Dr. Christian Heil and JH Audio founder and president Jerry Harvey. This conversation explores their origins in pro audio and how they came to collaborate on the recently-launched Contour XO in-ear monitor.
Immersive Audio for Houses of Worship will be another key session, with L-Acoustics application manager Josh Maichele hosting a conversation with technical directors at three churches - Mount Paran in Georgia, Orchard Hills in Pennsylvania, and River Pointe in Texas - to learn about why they each chose L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology for their congregations.
“NAMM has always been much more than an industry trade show,” shares Alan Macpherson, CEO, L-Acoustics Americas. “Shows have thrived, desp
Italy - D-Tools System Integrator is a comprehensive software solution for AV system integrators that improves operating efficiencies by streamlining the entire project workflow - all through a data-driven process that leverages an extensive, integrated product library which now includes Powersoft’s product range.
Powersoft’s partnership with D-Tools provides D-Tools software users with Powersoft’s detailed specification, along with dealer-specific pricing, which minimises time users spend on building catalogues or AV proposals. The software benefits users further by managing budgets and sales, improving opportunities, accurately tracking revenue and expenses, and, due to all of this, increasing profitability, says the company.
In the webinar, Powersoft will teach users how to work with Powersoft’s products within D-Tools’ software. AV system integrators will learn how they can generate bid-winning proposals, and how to use System Design tools to create detailed, engineered drawings, clearly documenting system designs, while also providing affective communication with stakeholders. The software also allows for workflow optimisation, with scheduling, item tracking and in-the-field management and servicing.
The live webinars are scheduled for:
21 January: EMEA, 3pm CET - registration link
22 January: APAC (pre-recorded), 3pm SGT - test
UK - The live events industry has launched a fresh appeal for a government-backed COVID-19 insurance scheme with a letter signed by 120 sector representatives and MPs.
In the letter, written by the chair of the DCMS committee Julian Knight and addressed to the chancellor Rishi Sunak, the sector - which has largely been shut down since March 2020 - warns that “[w]ithout insurance, the events we know and love simply won’t take place this year - vaccine or no vaccine”. “Sustaining losses like those we’ve seen in 2020 for another year isn’t an option, and hundreds of businesses in the events supply chain have already been forced to fold,” the letter continues. “The Government has backed insurance for the film and television industry to the tune of £500m. It’s now time to do this for other creative industries.”
The signatories, which include PLASA, the One Industry One Voice coalition, and the We Make Events campaign, argue that the government can utilise the Pool Re structure - which is typically used to cover insured losses caused by acts of terrorism – as it could be adapted for a range of sectors and leave the Treasury with a maximum liability of £1.5bn.
“What’s clear is that insurance is of the utmost importance when it comes to getting our economy going again across the whole of the UK. Whatever form it takes, businesses need to be able to access reliable insurance schemes to get back on track. Government underwriting is the only way this will be possible. We call on you to act now and back the UK’s renowned
UK - Crosstown Concerts made a successful entry into the broadcast market, with its first online concert for English folk act Bellowhead, selling 8,200 tickets on 5 December 2020.
After live shows fell casualty to pandemic shutdown from March 2020, Crosstown Concerts spent months researching options for their artists to connect with fans, and start reinstating the all-important revenue streams.
Stabal’s concert broadcast for Bellowhead’s first show in four-and-a-half years, proved very popular with gig-starved fans, with 70% of ticket sales being the higher value option for 30-day video-on-demand passes. Irish singer Damien Dempsey also enjoyed a successful stream on 23 December, with further streamed concert tickets available for Seth Lakeman in February.
Crosstown Concerts director, Conal Dodds, said: “We knew the return to full-capacity shows would be some time away and we needed to find an alternative platform for our artists. Our search to find the very best broadcast solution for our artists led us to Epping Forest-based broadcast platform Stabal. After several online meetings and lots of negotiations, we entered a partnership. Their whole team are super friendly and professional, sharing with us a desire to produce the highest quality events.
“I believe this collaboration between Stabal and Crosstown solves all of the issues artists have encountered broadcasting concerts, as we can handle all the aspects required between us. We cover all the costs, handle all marketing, ticketing, rights and publishing clearances, with audio-vi
UK - When Ronald McDonald House Charities UK needed support to stage its Christmas fundraiser - A Starry Night - at Lambeth Palace last month, a fundraising group on Facebook recommended Absolute Events.
The charity supports families across the UK who need a warm and comfortable place to rest, eat and relax while their children are receiving hospital treatment. Like most charities, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, losing around 40% of its annual income - equating to around £6m.
Each year the charity stages an annual event at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square but due to the pandemic, this was unable to go ahead. Instead, the charity set about organising an outside concert with a limited audience but with a live stream so that the event, sponsored by Coca Cola Europe could be viewed around the world.
To support the complete process and enable RMHC UK to produce a high-end concert to both a live and virtual audience, Vanessa Simmons, head of community fundraising, brought Absolute Events on board. She explained: “This is the first time we’ve staged an outdoor concert and we needed to be confident that we were working with a team that really knew their stuff. Absolute Events were recommended to me through social media. From start to finish they were a joy to work with and we felt that they were just as invested in the event as much as we were in terms of how successful they wanted it to be.”
The event, which took place on the evening of the 15 December, saw guests greeted by a magical winter wonderland. Ente
UK - Music industry organisation UK Music has published its Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report, which outlines a strategy to protect and support the live music industry so it is ready to restart when safe to do so later this year.
The report sets out the economic, social and cultural value of live music, along with a blueprint for reviving live music after COVID-19 forced the effective closure of the sector last March.
In particular, it warns that the lack of COVID cancellation insurance available is the biggest barrier to major events happening in 2021 and calls for Government to introduce an insurance scheme as it did for the film and TV sector.
It was published ahead of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into music festivals. At Tuesday’s inquiry, Sacha Lord, co-founder of Manchester's Parklife Festival, told MPs, "If the government don't help with insurance, then the smaller festivals are going to drop away."
He added that vaccinations and mass testing were essential to ensure the future of live music. "Social distancing does not work at any of these events," he said. "It's a festival. You just cannot put social distancing in place, so we are anticipating that we will be operating at 100% [capacity]."
The UK Music report’s publication is coupled with an S.O.S call from the trade body to “Save Our Summer 2021” with the campaign hashtag #SaveOurSummer2021.
It comes amid mounting calls on the Government for clarity from organisers of world-leading events l
UK - Britannia Row Productions has supplied a varied array of projects in theatre, TV and radio while utilising COVID-safe procedures.
From a high-profile fashion event in a socially distanced venue with an army of masked crew, to working in sparse TV studios and on-air radio broadcasts, sound rental company Britannia Row Productions has maintained COVID-safe working practices during the pandemic.
Freelance sound engineer Scott Maxwell was touring with deep house DJ and producer Jax Jones when COVID cancellations saw his calendar fall apart. After months without pushing his faders, Autumn finally kicked off a run of new shows. A theatre production in Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre was his first foray into socially distant events.
The theatre partnered with Stage2View to present a selection of West End and Broadway musicals and plays, allowing for a cinematic experience in the atmosphere of a real theatre. Productions screened included The King and I and 42nd Street in 5.1 surround sound. Using an L-Acoustics Kara, KS28 and SB18 subwoofers spec, the show was heard perfectly throughout the venue’s 200 socially distanced, seated attendees.
At a COVID-safe high-end fashion show for Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta, the stage was built out into the auditorium to ensure strict social distancing was in place. Here, Brit Row’s Tom Brown designed the audio system using L-Acoustics 112P self-powered coaxial cabinets, with Maxwell on site for show day. “There were acoustic challenges at this venue as the performance an
USA - Zach Williams was out on a solo, headlining tour when the COVID pandemic began to peak. Though the remaining shows for the year were cancelled, Williams still yearned for the live stage and delivering his gift of song to fans. The Christian country/rock star, together with Big Daddy Weave, organised the Drive-In Theater Tour.
Though social distancing protocols required smaller crews, which also meant less gear on stage, Williams’ FOH and monitor engineers were in agreement that the DPA d:facto and 2028 Vocal Microphones were key to the performances.
“We had one 20x24 SL100 mobile stage, definitely smaller than what we’re used to, and all of the attendees would park and stay in or near their car,” explains Carson Brannock, monitor engineer for Zach Williams. “I didn’t even realise there were this many drive-in theatres still operating in the country, but we did about 30 separate tour stops.”
“From an operational perspective, the biggest difference on our end was that we didn’t advance any local stagehands in order to keep the crew consistent throughout,” he continues. “No one was allowed backstage, not even family, so we did everything on our own. It was a bit of an adjustment, but we got into a flow that worked fairly well. It was definitely different than the normal setup and atmosphere than we’re used to, but it was really cool.”
One thing that didn’t change between Williams’ headline tour and the Drive-In Tour was his use of the DPA d:facto 4018 VL Vocal Microphone. “What I really love about the 4018
UK - The We Make Events campaign has launched the short film The Show Can’t Go On in recognition of all events and creative arts people, and those who support and work in the industry.
Created by Sam Bradford of production company Praxima, the video, available to view here, offers a stark reminder of the harrowing consequences of the pandemic for arts and events professionals, many of whom have had to take on different jobs to survive financially in a year that saw their work calendar wiped out.
The video is also an apparent rebuttal of the controversial 'Fatima' advert that depicted a young ballet dancer as part of the UK government's reskilling campaign.
“At this time of year, we should be working hard and enjoying the best live events and entertainment in the world,” comments lead producer of #WeMakeEvents, Gary White. “This is a season that can be challenging for many. It is now made harder by the lack of work. We wanted to create a film that is heartfelt, to show our industry that, as an organisation, ‘we have your back’ and to remind the public that we still need support.”
Bradford adds: “This has been a hard year for our industry, and I recognise that they are still fighting for a return to normality, to be able to do what they love. We wanted to create a touching and honest film that everyone can connect to.”
White continues: “As we know, it takes an extensive supply chain of businesses and freelancers to put on a
UK - Shure and Curtain Call have announced a series of networking evenings for industry professionals during a time of great need. The virtual gatherings will be an opportunity for people to have open discussions about any issues they may be dealing with and seek advice from professionals, as well as staying engaged with their fellow professionals, ensuring they are work ready as and when the world begins to resume to normality.
Shure and Curtain Call share the sentiment of supporting and championing those that are behind the scenes and Shure’s previous ‘This is the Moment’ campaign was launched to celebrate the tremendous efforts that make theatre productions possible.
Keen to continue supporting industry professionals, whether there is anyone on or off the stage, the sessions are designed to allow people to seek advice or make new connections.
Marc Henshall, senior marketing specialist, Pro Audio, comments: “As an extension of our partnership with Curtain Call, we are committed to supporting the industry during a challenging period. With the hope that 2021 brings a return to normal work, now is the time to prepare. There is no better time to encourage people to support each other. We are proud to play a part in delivering a series of events to help ensure the year ahead gets off to the best possible start.”
John Schwab, Curtain Call, adds: “Shure are one of the premier brands that span multiple creative industries. We are excited to be joining forces again with Shure to help support those industries by engaging in wide-ranging co
UK - PLASA is hosting two sessions on Brexit during December to help PLASA members prepare for the new trading rules which will come into play from Friday 1 January 2021.
The first session on Friday 11 December at 2pm is a 30-minute introductory Q&A which will allow members to ask questions on the new rules and how they should prepare. This session is free, but numbers are limited to 20 to allow everyone to ask their questions. Pre-registration is required via the link below.
The next session will take place on Thursday 17 December and will run from 2pm to 4:30pm, allowing for a detailed look at exporting and importing post-Brexit. This workshop will help you prepare for the new rules of moving goods between the UK and Europe and will consider the process and cost obligations of navigating through new borders and the implications of procedures for both seller and buyer. This session is again limited to 20 people to allow for a more personalised approach.
Both sessions will be hosted by Business Training Ltd who have provided export-import training for public and private companies, Chambers of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment since 1975. The host will be owner Peter Thompson who has 20 years commercial experience in the logistics and financial aspects of international trade in the building services, civil engineering and energy sectors.
Find out more and register for the events via the links below:
11 December Q&A: https://plasa_brexit_qa.eventbrite.co.uk/
UK - Industry campaigns #WeMakeEvents and #ExcludedUK have joined forces with homelessness charity Crisis to stage Silent Nights, a protest movement that encourages people to spend a night at their workplace.
Organisers hope the action will highlight the plight of around three million workers, who remain excluded from the state’s economic relief measures related to the pandemic.
Silent Nights will start at 7pm on 18 December (Friday) and end at 7am on 19 December. Organisers are inviting those whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic to participate by sleeping out at their place of work. This could include venues (if permitted), homes, shops, offices or salons.
Organiser Tom Branston comments: “This is even more urgent following the prime minister’s refusal yesterday to meet with #ExcludedUK following a plea from Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the House of Commons, Rt. Hon Ian Blackford MP. He laid bare the fact that so many have still not received a penny from the government and advised the PM that many were in such a desperate situation they are losing their homes, and very sadly, eight people have already taken their own lives.”
“Our goal is to raise as much as possible to help those who really need it," he adds. "We need to pull together more than ever and support each other at this time of year.”
The event is COVID-secure with the activity devised to fit within current guidelines. Participants are encouraged to grab their Christmas jumper and dress up warm at permissible outdoor spaces with th
UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup has announced Round 2 of applications for its Hardship Fund is now open.
The fund was launched in October with the aim to provide limited financial assistance to production crew and those working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector. Set up just ahead of the then-concluding Self-Employment Income Support and Job Retention schemes, it originally targeted those in the community who had been unable to receive any state or charitable assistance.
But Round 2 will be open to workers who have been awarded up to £5,000 in funding between 1 April and 30 November.
“The application uptake for Round 1 of the Hardship Fund reaffirmed to us how dire it is financially and that this help could not come soon enough for many or our colleagues,” comments Backup chairman John Simpson. “It has been heartbreaking to read the messages applicants included and we are thankful that Backup has been able to provide some small level of financial support to help keep our colleagues afloat.”
He adds: “With Round 1, the Hardship Fund was able to help over 100 colleagues that have not previously had any help. However, we are also aware that there is another larger group of people that have had some form of small support from government grants, but this is not enough to meet their day-to-day basic requirements and thus also find themselves in financial difficulty. This is why Backup is opening the Hardship Fund to for a Round 2, targeting these individuals with a widening of the criteria.”
UK - #WeMakeEvents, the campaign to support the live entertainment sector during the COVID crisis, is hosting an online Speakeasy from Monday 30 November to Friday 8 January. This new virtual space will deliver skills workshops, support sessions for finance and wellbeing, ‘fireside chats’ with some of the industry’s greats, and plenty of entertainment. All industry professionals are invited to join in and connect with colleagues during what will likely be a difficult festive period for many.
The Speakeasy will run regular quizzes, webinars, Q&A clinics and training sessions, and will host a forum on Discord which will be open at all hours for people to seek and share advice.
On the agenda is a highly anticipated live conversation between former Cirque du Soleil artists Laura-Ann Chong and Andy Buchanan, advice on motivation through these difficult times, plus industry technical sessions coving topics such as COVID health and safety for events, temporary power and site electrics, and an introduction to noise management for events,.
Coming up throughout December you can look forward to a quiz night held every Monday, weekly yoga classes with Becky Pell of Rock ‘n’ Roll Yogi and regular live music sets - including DJ sets with Martin Audio’s Dom Harter. There will also be plenty of programme highlights from PLASA Online, PLASA’s recent online programme, which will cover the most pertinent topics across, technical, business and industry.
More sessions and events will be added throughout the coming weeks, so you are encouraged t
Germany - Top executives from d&b audiotechnik, the Royal Albert Hall, Audiotonix and Live Nation recently came together to address the future of shared entertainment experiences at the ‘Horizons Summit: Entertainment, Technology and Beyond.’
The virtual panel discussed the effect the pandemic has had on the live events industry and how shared entertainment experiences might look in the future.
The discussion, led by journalist and author, Dan Daley, included Amnon Harman, Group CEO d&b audiotechnik; Jackie Wilgar, senior vice-president Live Nation; Craig Hassall, CEO Royal Albert Hall, and James Gordon, CEO Audiotonix.
The Summit addressed common partner and customer concerns as well as industry trends including: the pivots required to keep live entertainment companies alive; the future of drive-in and virtual concerts; government support during the pandemic; and the indicators of industry recovery.
“2020 has brought incredible challenges for everyone in this industry. While many of these conversations have been taking place behind closed doors over the last few months, this Summit gives the industry the opportunity to openly address challenges and to discuss what we believe will be the future of live entertainment,” commented d&b’s Amnon Harman. “Community matters, strength in numbers matters and we need to bring everyone together to navigate these challenging times.”
To watch the Summit please click here.
UK - The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is hosting development project Creating Theatre in a COVID Landscape.
Developed alongside FUSE ARTS, Creation Theatre and Fray Studio, the project has created four COVID-compliant theatrical events, which will be livestreamed as part of two seminars to be held on 20 and 27 November.
Working with GSA’s technical theatre students and partnering them with professional creatives, the project explores how challenging and provocative theatre can be produced whilst maintaining a COVID-secure environment. It also provides an opportunity for GSA’s students to collaborate with industry professionals in exploring and developing viable contemporary theatre practices in the COVID era.
The seminars will discuss the challenges and possibilities of producing theatre within the context of the global pandemic with the insight and expertise of the next generation of technicians and actors, asking the following questions:
• How can we collaborate as an industry to produce live theatre against the context of the global pandemic?
• How can we retain the “magic” of a live theatre show through the power of theatre technology?
• How can we produce innovative and viable shows that minimise financial exposure and encourage venues to risk showing Covid compliant work?
Mig Burgess, project creator and programme leader for BA Theatre Production at GSA, says:
“We want to do our part to help get the lights back on in theatres across the country in any way we