South Africa - Viral video footage of an African National Congress (ANC) rally held at the Luthuli 9L Sports Grounds in Polokwane on Sunday, 8 November, attended by thousands not adhering to the social distancing regulations, has infuriated the region’s live events industry who have not been able to work for over eight months.
“We as the TPSA, SACIA and SA Events Council have lodged a complaint with the South African Police, in particular with the Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba,” said Sharif Baker, chairman of the TPSA. “We are absolutely disgusted at what has happened. It’s a smack in the face for the lives at stake, and literally a smack in the face of us in events who are abiding by the law.”
The Siyanqoba Rally in Ward 14 in Pokowane and issued by the ANC Peter Mokaba Region, included live entertainment and was attended by a massive crowd, with most attendees not wearing masks. The event disregarded the 500 outdoor capacity restrictions as dictated by the ANC government. The current Level 1 risk reduction strategy implemented to slow the spread of Covid-19, allows up to 500 people for outdoor gatherings and a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings.
“This event has taken place where thousands of people did not follow a protocol whatsoever while the live events industry starve,” said Baker. “We have not left this alone and have been in communication with Nkosinathi Emmanuel 'Nathi' Mthethwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture while copying in Khumbudzo Phophi Silence Ntshavheni, th
USA - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the winners of this year’s AES Awards for distinguished achievement in the field of audio and service to the Society, presented during the Opening Ceremonies of the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention on 27 October.
The awards were presented in the online ceremony by AES president Agnieszka Roginska. The AES Show opening ceremonies are available on-demand for AES Show attendees at AESShow.com.
The AES Board of Governors Award, given to members rendering exceptional service to the Audio Engineering Society, was presented to Jorge Azama, for chairing the successful AES Latin American Conference in September 2019 in Lima, Perú.
The AES Honorary Membership Award was given to Imogen Heap, for outstanding contributions to the world of music and technology and to Karrie Keyes, for her leadership in creating opportunities for girls and women in the field of live sound.
The AES Fellowship Award went to Peter Graham Craven, for ‘decades of commitment to the growth and ongoing health of the professional audio industry and for unflagging advocacy for, and dedication to, the Audio Engineering Society’.
Also receiving this award was Jackie Green, for ‘contributions to the sciences of microphone design and manufacture, microphone performance measurement and to microphone and wireless mic system education’.
Other winners includes Thomas Miller, for ‘valuable contributions to the development of miniature transducer design’ and Umberto Zanghieri, for his work ‘advancing the application of
UK - Event business based in England are likely to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant, which will be issued by local authorities in light of tightening restrictions across the country.
Local authorities remain in power over how much of the £1.1bn funding is administered and to which businesses, but the guidance encourages them “to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.”
The explicit mention of the events sector is a big win for campaigners, who have argued for months that the industry should have been included among the worst-hit sectors eligible for funding.
The guidance also says that when deciding how much funding a business can receive, local authorities “may want to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they are unable to trade online and the consequent scale of coronavirus losses.”
Reflecting on the news, PLASA says in a statement: “The UK government recently announced new business support measures, including £1.1bn
South Africa - Capetonians Alex Van Dyk from Solid Group and Alan Muller created Solid Studios that ran from April to the start of October this year.
When the South African lockdown was first implemented, Alex and Alan initially started chatting over the phone about PPE, hoping to generate an alternative income. The conversation turned to how many people were now streaming, and they smiled, talking about newbies to the platform showing up with coffee in hand and dressed in slippers! It dawned on them that if they paired up, created a studio and ran it as if it were a tv paying client, they would achieve broadcast quality.
Alex is the owner of technical supply company Solid Group and had the space to facilitate a studio and the necessary quality gear, including a Green Hippo Amba+ media server. Alan, in turn, is a lighting designer for EDM and Dance Around the World type festivals. In the industry for close to 30 years, he cut his teeth in the television market, particularly from a lighting point of view, and has gained knowledge and skill for both TV lighting and set design.
“Alex and I met in person for the very first time over the Covid-19 period," said Alan. "We looked at the Solid Group warehouse and decided to design a 10m x 10m studio. Being a television studio, we didn't need a stage.” Based on the studio’s LED design, the Hippotizer was critical in how they expanded the set. With content playing a major role, they were also able to create abstract shapes and designs with the powerful tool.
“James Rogers, a passionate AV technic
UK - The BPI/BRIT Awards have announced the donation of £54,000 to the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund administered by Stagehand, the Production Services Association (PSA) Welfare and Benevolent Fund. The money will help Stagehand’s relief fund to approach £240,000, which will be invested in supporting live music and events professionals affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
The contribution from the BPI and BRIT Awards comes on top of £1.62m of BPI-co-ordinated funds donated earlier this year by the recorded music sector to charities and organisations supporting artists, managers and venues through the pandemic - bringing the total distributed to date to £1.67m.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, comments: “Our industry is deeply interconnected and while everyone is feeling the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic in some way, no sector has felt its force to the same degree as the live business. This includes, the expert technicians and events professionals who help make great performances happen.
“That’s why it’s right that, in addition to previous donations to charities benefitting artists, managers and venues, we should not overlook this important part of the music family. We rely on their skills every year in staging The BRIT Awards and the Hyundai Mercury Prize, and we’re delighted to assist the important work of Stagehand supporting live production crew.”
Mike Lowe, Stagehand’s chair of trustees, adds: “As the BPI and BRITs donate £54,000 to Stagehand, it is met with our sincerest appreciation. F
UAE - Creative Technology (CT) was this year's official communications partner for the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon, which took place Friday 23 October at Dubai International Financial District. The event which saw more than 400 runners from over 40 countries take part was the first mass-running event to take place in the UAE since the start of the pandemic in March.
With a range of measures in place to ensure the safety of all participants, this year's marathon was able to have three different race categories ranging from 5km, 10km and 21km.
Adding to the event’s safety protocols, CT provided site-wide communication to support the event organisers across the 21km site. This enabled seamless communication between the event organisers and their teams while adhering to all social distancing parameters and guidelines.
The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon organisers received support from Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Police and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in organising the event.
CT's Middle East integrated networks technical manager, Rob Turner comments, "As physical events start back up we are seeing an increase in demand for communication systems. What once was an afterthought on an event is now at the forefront of everyone's mind as people become more conscious to carefully manage people's movements. Our communication systems are helping clients provide a safe solution for event crew and delegates to communicate while adhering to socially distancing guidelines."
"Promoseven sports marketing (PSM) extend an acknowledgement of o
USA - ETC has postponed any participation in traditional trade shows until July next year. “Out of concern for the safety of its employees and global community, ETC has announced that it will not participate in traditional trade show exhibitions until July 2021,” says a statement. “With the pandemic affecting many people’s ability and desire to travel, the company has instead decided to focus its resources on remote demos and online events.”
The statement continues, “A major part of the trade show experience is the chance to see the latest gear and get one-on-one face time with product experts. With this in mind, ETC has been hard at work converting in-house demo spaces throughout the company’s offices into studios for online product demonstrations. Customers may now use an online portal to schedule live, one-on-one demos of some of the company’s newest fixtures – ColorSource Spot jr, Source 4WRD Color, and the fos/4 Panel and fos/4 Fresnel studio products – from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces.
“With plans in the works to expand these online offerings, ETC hopes to make online demos a permanent resource for customers looking for the latest in lighting technology.”
Until live events can safely return, ETC is also turning its focus to online events and programmes. The company’s online Study Hall seminars – ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown – continue to provide remote learning and Q&A opportunities, with past sessions posted to an ever-growing YouTube library. Having held a successful
UK - Five event professionals encapsulated the trials and tribulation of the UK’s events sector on the Survival Tour, 3-18 October. Their 1,700km ride traversed over a hundred venues closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the riders met the people who would have normally produced all kinds of events (insights into their journey can be seen here).
It was a bitter-sweet experience for the riders, both physically and psychologically, as Proper Productions’ Mark Ward explains: “Without any events to work on, we clipped our barely trained legs into our pedals, to highlight the dire plight of our industry. It was inspiring to bring together the venues and people along our route and hear tales of their personal circumstances and battles first hand. The support has been fantastic, raising awareness through local and national media coverage and fundraising over £30,000 for the Backup charity, which is still open for donations.
He adds: “This week’s Cliff Edge Report has been widely reported, it highlighted that the forced closure of events will have cost 170,000 jobs in the live music industry, that’s 100 jobs for each kilometre cycled, which is a very humbling thought.”
UK - Over the last five months, the #WeMakeEvents campaign has been raising awareness around the current plight facing the live entertainment sector and its urgent need for financial support if it is to survive the COVID-19 crisis.
With the introduction of tier systems and the continued local lockdowns, hosting live events has become even more difficult than before. The campaign is therefore continuing to make its voice heard with the next stage of its protest action - Survival in the Square.
Gary White, lead producer of #WeMakeEvents, comments: “The latest government support packages, although welcome, are not reaching those who need them the most and will only benefit a small group. Larger, more meaningful action needs to be taken and, until it does, we will still be here campaigning.”
From 26 October (Monday), Survival in the Square will comprise a series of creative activities set to take place each day in Parliament Square. The activations will be socially distanced and COVID-compliant and will engage a variety of genres from across the performing arts spectrum.
Supporting the Survival in the Square initiative will be West End Waiting. “The West End Waiting Facebook group was created to bring people in the performing arts and events industry together,” says Lee Durnford, founder of the group. “The original idea was for us to be able to discuss relevant topics and give each other support. The group has grown to just over 12,000 members and we have a collective of West End musical directors, stage managers and choreographers who
USA - Foo Fighters recently played the #SOSFest livestream with Brit Row providing the virtual remote mixing solution. Performing at West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the gig was streamed to fans on 18 October as part of a collective action weekend in support of independent US-based music venues.
A total of 35 artists - including Miley Cyrus, The Roots, Major Lazer and Leon Bridges - played in multiple venues in cities across the US and joined the Foo Fighters in raising awareness and funds to keep North America’s cherished independent concert venues from closing indefinitely.
Named #SOSFest, the three-day virtual music festival was created to support the Save Our Stages initiative and America’s National Independent Venues Association’s (NIVA) Emergency Relief Fund. NIVA’s YouTube hosted the festival, with individual sets also aired on artist channels.
Prior to the gig, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told Forbes why raising awareness is vital: “The smaller music venues are the ones that are really struggling and are not only culturally important, they are emotionally important.”
The LA-based rock band’s production team had just five days to produce an unforgettable show for the cause. With the pressure on to deliver a clear message, the long-time clients of Britannia Row Productions were in capable hands when travel restrictions called for a creative approach to their traditional monitor set up.
Monitor engineer Ian Beverage - the band’s longest serving crew member - was unable to travel from his home in Canada t
UK - Immersive experience specialists Technically Creative have formed a collaboration with five other creative experiential providers to launch the Vigilante Group. The newly-formed group specialises in advertising, film, experiential spaces and design.
The companies involved are Cod Steaks - design and build artisans focusing on museums and branded attractions; Burning reel - film production; Creep -a film, animation and visual effect postproduction company; Afew - designers and developers specialising digital experiences for the web; Arcadia - event specialists, and Technically Creative.
Marc Broadbent, founder and director of Technically Creative says: “I am so excited for the companies, including our own, that have come together to form this exciting new collaboration. The Vigilante Group showcases the culmination of the achievements by so many of the dedicated creative teams within the group. We have united to provide unequalled results with a painless delivery.”
Mark Pyrah, development director at Cod Steaks, adds: “This is a group of individuals, created to widen our individual markets, skill base and creative thinking in ways that enhance our own existing client offers. Vigilante Group gives clients real creative solutions at real prices and I am excited at what this team can achieve.”
UK - PLASA Online, a virtual programme of talks, panels and presentations designed to help industry professionals navigate the COVID era, was hosted by PLASA last week.
Thousands signed up in advance to watch the specially-curated programme, which spanned business advice, industry insights, technical developments, and product presentations. For those wishing to catch up on any of the sessions, the full programme will remain online until 16 November - recordings from each session can be requested by completing a form.
The most popular session was an exploration of the 2020 Changes to Portable Appliance Testing Requirements with electrical expert and author of the new IET Code of Practice James Eade. In this session, Eade gave the viewers an overview of the recent changes and explained why portable appliance testing is no more and why annual testing is probably not the right answer.
Looking at challenges in live production in the Covid environment, Tom Goode chaired a panel with health and safety professionals from across the industry. Together they discussed a variety of corporate, theatre and music events that have been recently produced, along with what’s worked and how they have had to adapt.
Other popular sessions included the Future of Virtual and Digital Theatre with lighting visualiser James Simpson, Predictions and Pathways to Economic Recovery with renowned economist Roger Martin-Fagg, and On the Campaign Trail with #WeMakeEvents
UK - PLASA Online 2020, a five-day programme of business, technical and product sessions, kicked off yesterday and will run daily until 16 October. The week-long programme includes live key notes, panel discussions and training sessions designed to provide education, guidance and inspiration during these challenging times.
In light of challenges that have emerged in the COVID era, chartered safety practitioner and production manager Tom Goode will discuss event production in the new COVID environment. Joining him will be Karl Raw, Health and Safety Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Dominique Perrissin-Fabert, Health and Safety Manager for the Royal Opera House, and Ben Stephen, Head of Operations & Production for the Albany. Together they will share how they have adapted workplaces and practices and will answer questions from the virtual audience. In other sessions, James Eade will unpack the latest changes in PAT testing guidelines, and Nathanael Dannenberg of Signify will reveal how to harness the power of UV-C lighting for disinfection.
Business webinars are planned throughout the week: economist Roger Martin-Fagg will outline predictions on the UK’s economic recovery; HR expert Nicky Gleadow will provide advice on employment, support schemes and redundancies; and to highlight the importance of mental health, PLASA’s Peter Heath will speak with Eric Mtungwazi from Music Support and Pat O’Toole, an experienced coach, trainer and consultant, to share ways of managing mental health and wellbeing. Additionally, a panel of ind
UK - PLASA’s Managing Director Peter Heath spoke to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on Employment and COVID-19 on 6 October.
Alongside Horace Trubridge from Musicians' Union, Abigail Pogson from SAGE Gateshead and Julian Bird from UK Theatre, Heath gave evidence of the live events and entertainment sector is suffering and why the sector needs further government support. The session was broadcast on Parliament TV and is available in full here: //parliamentlive.tv.
During the introduction, Heath commented: “The events industry has been absolutely devastated, but the question is, can it survive? This is subject to how soon we can return to work and what support mechanisms will be in place to maintain skills, maintain innovation, and maintain the supply chain. When demand returns, demand will be high because people like to spend money on things that make them happy. But we need to have an industry there to fulfil demand.”
When asked for examples of businesses which have been made unviable, he responded: “We have many company members that have been in double digit growth for many years, but they have had zero revenue from March onwards. For example, one of our members invoiced over £11m in March 2019. In the same period this year invoiced £170,000. He is now being told he is not viable.”
He continued: “Furlough was a great help
UK - From 12-16 October, PLASA is hosting PLASA Online, a five-day programme of curated business, technical and product sessions. Each session is designed to provide education, guidance and inspiration during this challenging time.
Several leading brands will present their latest products, including lighting brands Chauvet, Elation, ETC and Martin. Sennheiser will showcase their new range, and Adam Hall and Highlite will take a look at a variety of their products for both lighting and audio. DiGiCo will detail how they use Audinate’s Dante with their mixing platforms, Vectorworks will host a training session on event production and design, and Broadweigh will present case studies of their wireless load monitoring solutions being used in international shows and tours.
Business webinars are planned throughout the week: renowned economist Roger Martin-Fagg will outline pathways and predictions on the UK’s economic recovery; HR expert Nicky Gleadow will provide advice on employment, support schemes and redundancies; and award-winning speaker Marcus Child will give practical tips to inspire better leadership and company culture.
Additionally, a panel of industry and trade bodies will discuss ways of preparing for Brexit. PLASA’s MD Peter Heath will be joined by Naomi Pohl of Musicians’ Union, Lisa Ryan of EFM Global Logistics, and Peter Bishop of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This session will prove unmissable for both companies and freelancers who work and trade with the EU member states.
In light of challenges that have emerged
UK - As part of Qdos Event Hire’s ongoing plans for growth and national expansion, it has opened an office in Glasgow with Jonathan Reid appointed regional manager. Reid, an event professional with 28 years’ experience in delivering temporary accommodation and welfare facilities, will be developing the business throughout Scotland and the north of England.
Vice-chair of NOEA Scotland with strong links to Portable Sanitation Europe (PSE) and regular involvement with the Event Industry Forum, Reid brings with a wide knowledge of events in the region.
Commenting on his appointment, James Thomas, managing director of Qdos Event Hire said: “Extending our reach nationally has been part of our long-term ambitions for the business for some time now. Jonathan’s reputation and dedication are very much aligned with Qdos’ commitment to delivering high quality products and excellent customer service and he’s already proving to be a superb addition. With his professional approach and excellent knowledge and understanding of clients’ requirements, Jonathan is perfectly placed to develop our dedicated operation that services events in Scotland and the north of England.”
Reid adds: “I jumped at the opportunity to join the Qdos team, having kept a watchful eye on the business as a competitor, I’m more than confident that together we can offer an excellent range of products with service levels to match and develop the business as a truly national brand. We’ve hit the ground running with both the reception and comments from clients being exceptio
UK - Started in Newcastle last Saturday, 3 October and finishing in London on Sunday, 18 October, five industry stalwarts (plus one driving the bus) will cycle between 80 and 125km per day, representing the UK tour season that never happened this year.
Stopping off at over 50 of the most iconic festival, tour and performance venues that have all been standing empty, dark and silent, since the start of lockdown, all in all the tour will cover over 1,500km.
The tour aims to raise awareness of the plight of the million-plus workers in the UK events industry, a sector regarded as the best in the world, to raise funds for Backup #WeMakeEvents’ chosen charity that provides help to employees, freelancers and their families suffering in the entertainment sector, and to kick off Restart, the next phase of the #WeMakeEvents campaign.
The five riders and driver of the support vehicle, provided by Crossland Bussing, all have established careers in the events industry, having worked with the biggest names in the world including Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Roger Waters, Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons and more. Heading up the initiative are Steve Reynolds and Loud Sound colleagues Mike Trasmundi along with. Mark Ward of Proper Productions and colleagues Harry Ford and Tyler Cole-Holmes.
According to Steve Reynolds it was so important, professionally as well as personally, to try to help. “Having worked in the entertainment and events business for so many years we all felt we had to do something, both to raise awareness to
UK - As part of the Let Music Live initiative, 400 freelance professional musicians from all parts of the industry will perform in Parliament Square and Centenary Square, Birmingham today, shining a light on the need for targeted support for freelance musicians and all those who work in the arts and entertainment sector.
They are also joined in solidarity by the Musicians’ Union, The Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Musicians’ Answering Service, Emily Eavis, Jools Holland, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dan Smith of Bastille and more.
Conducted by renowned director David Hill in Parliament Square, the freelance musicians will perform a short section of Mars from Holst’s The Planets before standing in silence for two minutes. The 20% of the piece that they will perform represents the maximum 20% support that freelancers receive from the government through the SEISS grant. The two-minute silence represents the 33% of musicians currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU). The event will be Covid-safe, adhering strictly to social distancing regulations, facilitated by support from #WeMakeEvents.
Covid restrictions have disproportionately impacted the music and events industries, resulting in an almost total loss of opportunity to work. Investment is essential so that freelance musicians can continue to support the intricate network of businesses that rely on arts and events for their footfall.
Jools Holland commented, “I fully support these wonderful musicians in their actions. They are part of an industry devastated by this c
UK - The Backup Pumpkin Challenge is back again and it’s an excuse to unleash your creativity in aid of Backup. The challenge is a competition to help raise awareness of the charity in a fun and creative way. Individuals, companies or teams are encouraged to take part. All you need is a pumpkin, your design and any props or tech you want to incorporate to bring your design to life.
Participants are asked to promote this competition on social media channels.
The Backup Pumpkin Challenge consists of five categories: Best overall design (judged by panel); Best use of tech (judged by panel); Best Design by Future Creative* (judged by panel); Most overall likes (on Instagram); Cutest Fur Baby Pumpkin Pic (most overall likes on Instagram).
Due to competition being open to anyone and anywhere, we will not be giving away any big prizes, but we will contact winners to send some Backup swag. All winners will be promoted on Backup’s social media pages, marketing material and in the industry press. Plus, you get the prize of industry bragging rights!
Best Design by Future Creative criteria is any new professional to our industry, it is not age specific but aimed at those just starting out in the creative side of our industry.
Short listed designs will be contacted to confirm they are a new creative professional, and will be asked for either a student ID/acceptance letter, a pledge from a current industry professional that you’re in training, or short explanation of how you’re attempting to enter the industry.
The aim of this category
UK - Britannia Row Productions director Bryan Grant has written an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the live events industry faces critical point.
“During the past 40 years, Britannia Row Productions has been privileged to have provided equipment and technicians to many major concert artistes including Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams, Simply Red, Mumford and Sons and Harry Styles,” writes Grant.
“And, live events such as Her Majesty’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, Live 8, the Barcelona and London Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and FA cup finals.
“We currently employ around 70 staff and 100 freelance people, with most of our staff currently on furlough.
“As well as providing the most state-of-the-art equipment, we supply audio engineers and technicians, and over the years, both our company and many of our people have gained an international reputation for excellence in our field.
“I, like most of my colleagues who provide these services, prefer to be in the background and have never sought or received assistance from Government in the past, but the current crisis in our industry has compelled me to step forward and make a direct and public plea for you to help the hundreds of thousands of people who work in our industry.
“Boris, when you and your colleagues go to a concert, you expect a visual and audio experience to enhance the performance of your favourite performer, but perhaps don’t give much thought as to how all of these amazing visuals and stirring sounds are ac
UK - In response to this COVID-19 crisis, WOMAD and the WOMAD Foundation have announced a new funding opportunity, The Training and Professional Development Bursary Scheme aimed at festival production crew and artists.
The foundation has also launched a fundraising appeal to raise more funds for people who need help. For further details, eligibility criteria and on how to apply for a bursary or to donate to the WOMAD Foundation and help the people who make events, visit www.womadfoundation.org
WOMAD and the WOMAD Foundation are concerned by the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the arts sector in the UK and the thousands of people who have lost a year’s work and are without income for the foreseeable future.Very few have benefited from government support packages, WOMAD notes.
The foundation says in a statement: “At WOMAD, we know as well as anyone how important these people are to making festivals and events happen and what an extraordinary range of skills they possess. These are skills that can transfer into other areas of our economy now and into an uncertain future. This community of crew, technicians, caterers, artists and everyone who makes the difficult look easy, the people who #WeMakeEvents need help.”
WOMAD founder Peter Gabriel states: “Live events around the world and across the entire landscape, from major festivals to grassroots venues and business events have been devastated. The live events sector employs over 600,000 highly skilled people in the UK - event production, audio, lighting, video, logistics,
World - In a collective show of solidarity, live events professionals from all corners of the world held peaceful demonstrations to once again raise awareness of the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector and its workforce.
The #WeMakeEvents #StandAsOne Global Day of Action held yesterday, 30 September, was the single largest coordinated global event to take place since the campaign launched in the summer.
Just as with the regional events that preceded it, the demo saw thousands of cultural buildings being lit up in red, whilst the #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed hashtags trended on social media.
Campaigners have continued to push for state support for an industry that’s been unable to resume sustainably due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. After more than six months of uncertainty, the future of a once-thriving sector and its workforce has been further threatened as a second spike in cases has seen restrictive measures being re-introduced by governments.
A raft of celebrities and artists endorsed the campaign, including Coldplay, Radiohead, Elbow, Mumford & Sons, Melanie C, Noel Gallagher and His High Flying Birds, James Bay, Frank Turner, Keane, The Libertines, Faithless, Massive Attack, The Happy Mondays, Biffy Clyro, Madness, Fatboy Slim, Skunk Anansie, and many more.
Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis also shared a message of support: "Right now, tens of thousands of people who carry the UK's hugely successful live music and events industry are out of work, through absolutely no fault of their own. The m
UK - Event industry professionals are taking part in a 1,500km bike ride across England to raise awareness of the issues faced by the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed The Survival Tour, the ride will take place 3-18 October and take a circuitous route from Newcastle to London, passing more than 50 UK venues and festival sites along the way.
Money raised will go to the charity Backup, supporting entertainment technology professionals in need of support - find out how to donate via JustGiving.
Respectful of the UK government’s ‘rule of six’, the ride bubble is comprised of Steve Reynolds and Mike Trasmundi, who work at Loudsound, along with Mark Ward, Harry Ford and Tyler Cole-Homes of Proper Productions. They are inviting other industry professionals to join them along the route - strictly maintaining their distance and riding in their own bubbles of six.
The cyclists will be followed by a tour bus sponsored by Crossland Bussing, in which the team will sleep. Full details can be found at www.wemakeevents.com/the-survival-tour whilst details on joining the ride are available here.
Reynolds states: “The thought of how the people and companies in industry we all love and work in is
New Zealand - When the COVID-19 pandemic began to go global, the organisers of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, scheduled for late July in Wellington, New Zealand, were searching for an alternative to cancellation. Division head for technology services, John Maizels, was already assembling a suite of publicly available tools like Zoom video and Discord chat rooms. But to stage a full virtual convention, they had to find a way to manage it with a globally distributed tech team.
“The key to operating as a team when you can’t see anybody is good communications,” says Maizels. “That meant finding an effective virtual intercom system. Looking at its flexibility and especially the fact that there is no limit to the number of users, VLink quickly became a critical element of the project.”
Maizels, a freelance broadcast engineer based in Sydney, Australia, consulted with Magna Systems & Engineering (Chatswood, NSW), which was already heavily involved in virtualized broadcast events. “When John asked about RTS VLink, we could confirm it was the best online intercom on the market,” says Lucas Böhm, product manager at Magna Group Australia. “It’s perfect for global applications because it’s platform agnostic and infinitely scalable. It’s a very powerful tool.”
RTS and CoNZealand agreed on a 30-seat VLink licence. With it, Maizels developed a new concept called Mission Control, a virtual control room. Key elements included RTS VLink for backstage and production intercoms, along with a virtual production switch