Sondheim Remembered - The lights in London's West End were dimmed on Monday night as theatres payed tribute to US composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim who has died aged 91. The composer and lyricist, famous for creating the musical Sweeney Todd, was described as one of theatre's "greatest geniuses" after his death on Friday.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh said the world had "lost one of its greatest and most original writers". The theatrical producer renamed his Queen's Theatre venue after the composer in 2019. During his illustrious career, he wrote the scores of some of Broadway's best-known shows including Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story.
In The Courts - Two ticket touts who made millions of pounds reselling tickets to theatre shows and gigs including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have had appeals against their conviction rejected. The decision is being hailed a "major milestone" in the fight to clean up the secondary ticketing market and could have "far-reaching ramifications" for other online touts, experts have said.
Peter Hunter and David Thomas Smith were convicted on multiple counts of fraud in 2020, after reselling hundreds of sought-after tickets at inflated prices for events including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End, as well as Ed Sheeran and Madness gigs.
They used nearly 100 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to evade restrictions set up on primary ticketing platforms that
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced Mig Burgess Walsh and David Evans as co-chairs. The duo will succeed Richard Bunn, senior consultant at Arup, who navigated the ABTT during the pandemic period.
Walsh is lighting tutor at the Guildford School of Acting, chair of AAPTLE Wellbeing Group, and an active freelancer. Evans is the head of production at National Theatre Wales, former chair of the Production Managers’ Forum and a founding production manager and board member of the Lagos Theatre Festival.
The ABTT says: “The combination of Mig and David’s extensive background in the performing arts, encompassing teaching, touring, programming, production and venue management, alongside their ongoing commitment to improve our industry make them ideally-qualified to lead the ABTT’s council of management over the next two years.
“All at the ABTT would like to extend their heartfelt thanks, recognising Richard's hard work and commitment during very challenging times.”
Commenting on her role, Burgess Walsh says: “I am so pleased to begin this prestigious role with the ABTT. A role to which, quite frankly, I never thought I would ever be able to aspire given my mental health diagnosis. With David by my side as co-chair, I shall have tremendous support if and when I should need it. In fact, appointing co-chairs brings many inclusive and wellbeing advantages, we are each able to support one another, dividing the workload and bringing both our unique perspectives.”
Evans adds: “The ABTT is an organ
Hard Times - One third of musicians were still earning nothing after restrictions on live events were lifted this summer, according to UK charity Help Musicians. The music industry is one of the last sectors to recover from the pandemic, it said, with 83% of professional musicians unable to find regular work. The findings are based on a survey of 929 musicians in August. Almost nine in 10 were earning less than £1,000 per month, and 22% were considering giving up music altogether.
Restrictions on live music were removed in England and Wales in July, and Scotland in August, after Covid had kept the live music industry shut for most of the pandemic. Help Musicians said it had seen a 60% increase in people getting in contact for mental health support, with one in eight saying they were experiencing a mental health problem that was preventing them from returning to work.
During the pandemic, the charity distributed £18m to 19,000 struggling musicians. "We recognise that for some musicians, it will take a long time to rebuild and the team at Help Musicians will continue to be available to those musicians who find themselves in real crisis over the months ahead," chief executive James Ainscough said.
Award Categories - Dua Lipa and J Hus will go down in history as the last stars to win best female and male at the Brit Awards. That's because, from next year, the two categories will be combined into a single prize for best British artist, organisers have said. Artists like Sam Smith and Will Young had previously called for the change, saying the cu
Spain - Artists touring to Spain will no longer need visas for short-term engagements in a dramatic change to the current onerous rules. The change follows months of work from LIVE and the Association for British Orchestras (ABO), working alongside Spanish counterparts Asociación Promotores Musicales.
The development represents a significant boost for the sector which has, as a result of Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, seen European touring become more expensive, more complicated, and more difficult to execute.
Visas have been a significant issue for Spain which, despite representing the fifth largest live music market in the world, posed the most costly and complicated visa application process across the bloc for artists looking to travel for short-term work.
Until now, artists and their promoters have had to make applications for short-term visas entirely in Spanish, provide a host of itinerary details before having even been given the green light for the tour to go ahead - including accommodation and flight allocations - and give proof of applicant earnings of up to nearly £1,000 before ever having left the country. Costs were also prohibitive, amounting to over £10,000 for an orchestra to visit Spain for up to five days.
Touring artists and their production teams were also required to wait for over a month for a decision, making long term scheduling – vital for successful international touring - impossible.
The development comes following months of dedicated work from LIVE, ABO and their Spanish counterpart APM
Safety Concerns - COVID-19 safety concerns are preventing a significant proportion of previously frequent arts attenders from returning to cultural venues, newly released research has suggested.
Among audiences that have not yet returned to in-person performance, less than a third have booked tickets to a cultural event in future, underlining the crucial importance of COVID safety reassurance from venues, according to the joint research by the Insights Alliance, made up of consultancies Indigo, Baker Richards and One Further. The organisations have urged theatres to continue to employing safety measures such as mask wearing and COVID status certification, arguing that failing to do so is “counterproductive”.
Over a six-week period in September and October they surveyed nearly 11,000 people, who were frequent arts attenders before the pandemic. Of those surveyed, 45% have not yet returned to any cultural venue, while a third of all respondents have not yet made a future booking. Researchers noted that the survey was circulated by cultural organisations to audiences who had not yet returned to their venue since the pandemic to gain insight into the reasons why, and is therefore not representative of audiences overall.
Big Weekend - Coventry will host Radio 1's Big Weekend in 2022, three years after the last live Big Weekend festival. It will take place 27-29 May at the War Memorial Park. More than 70,000 fans are expected over the three-day event, and acts are expected to be announced soon. Coventry is the UK city of culture for 2021
Safe and Inclusive - A set of principles aimed at creating safe and inclusive working spaces in the industry have been updated to include all forms of discrimination. Launched in 2017 in response to the #MeToo movement by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, the original set of principles focused specifically on bullying and harassment.
The list has now been updated to cover all forms of discrimination, including racism, and the organisations behind the principles hope they will become standard across the industry. Equity and BECTU are among 21 industry bodies that are supporting the 10 principles and encouraging theatre employers, freelancers and board trustees to adhere to them.
Among the 10 principles are instructions recognising that “harassment or discriminatory language or behaviour may be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010” and that those adhering to the principles will “explicitly address and seek to prevent racism and all other forms of discrimination and bias”.
The principles urge “adequate protection for complainants and victims”, and call for appropriate action against the perpetrators. The 10 Principles will be made available to organisations around the UK as a free poster that can be displayed in offices, rehearsal rooms and backstage areas.
Astroworld - US rapper Travis Scott is facing multiple lawsuits after at least eight people were killed and hundreds injured in the crush at his festival Astroworld. The lawsuits include allegations that Scott and surprise performer Drake incited the crowd, and t
Deep Concern - A House of Lords committee has warned it is “deeply concerned” about the “existential threat” facing the performing arts because of touring restrictions caused by Brexit and has urged the government to work to address the issues.
It outlines evidence heard by the European Affairs Committee on 14 September from BECTU national secretary Noel McClean, Incorporated Society of Musicians chief executive Deborah Annetts and chair of LIVE Touring Group Craig Stanley.
Kinnoull said that the committee found the witnesses "compelling and persuasive" and that it was "deeply concerned" by the evidence presented. In the letter, Kinnoull states: "The sector has been particularly badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and is now in the first stages of its recovery.
"It was clear from the evidence provided to the committee that this recovery is critically threatened by the restrictions on touring and performing in Europe resulting from the UK’s departure from the EU and the regime introduced by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the impact of which has hitherto been delayed by Covid-19 restrictions."
Free Fringe Space - A new pop-up performance and arts venue has been announced for climate-change conference COP26 in Glasgow. The Landing Hub, which will run from 29 October to 14 November, is billed as the largest free fringe space during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Located at 220 Broomielaw, the 450-capacity venue will host a programme of performance, film screenings, workshops, visual art installa
Devastating Impact - One in three jobs in the British music industry were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from trade body UK Music. The research said there were 69,000 fewer jobs in music in 2020 than in 2019 - a drop of 35% - due to the "devastating impact" of coronavirus. UK Music said the industry had been hit "especially hard" by the virus.
Musicians themselves as well as people working in venues and recording studios were particularly affected, it said. Live music revenues collapsed by around 90% in 2020, according to the UK Music report, titled This Is Music 2021, which is published today. "The music creators and live music sectors experienced the greatest decline - the majority of those working in the industry are self-employed, and they have been hit especially hard by COVID-19," it said.
In The Docks - Plans have been revealed for the Royal Docks in east London to become a new cultural quarter. London mayor Sadiq Khan and mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz have outlined their vision for the Royal Docks to become a place where “creative work is made, new ideas are formed and cultural participation is open to all”. According to Khan, the new cultural quarter has the potential to deliver 35,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes and more than £5bn of local investment within the next 20 years.
Work has already begun on a range of creative spaces, including the Factory Project, which will transform former Tate and Lyle Sugar warehouses into an event space, community workspaces and music and film studios. Planning permis
USA - ESTA’s Technical Standards Programme currently has five draft standards in active public review. The reviews are open to anyone having a material interest in the subject matter. The review opportunities are as follows.
The Event Safety Working Group has one draft standard in public review.
BSR ES1.18 - 202x, Event Safety – Rigging provides minimum requirements and general guidelines for the suspension of equipment and materials that are utilized in the technical production of organised special events. It addresses the general requirements for design, planning, installation, set-up, removal and operation of rigging activities. These activities may be conducted using permanent or temporary structures, either in or out of doors. It does not cover permanently installed rigging systems, and it is not a tutorial or a list of specifications. Submit comments before 08 November 2021.
The Photometrics Working Group has two draft standards, and one reaffirming standard, in public review.
ANSI E1.55 - 2016, Standard for Theatrical Makeup Mirror Lighting offers recommendations and requirements for makeup mirror lighting in performer dressing rooms and similar locations. It defines a range of acceptable lamp CCTs and colour-rendering ratings, and also specifies illumination levels and lighting angles for illuminating the performer's face while applying makeup. The existing standard is being considered for reaffirmation. Submit comments before 26 October 2021.
BSR E1.69, Reporting the Dimming Performance of Entertainment Lumi
UK - Event and brand logistics specialist Global Infusion Group has announced a change in its leadership. Bonnie May, previously GIG’s global operations director, takes on the role of CEO and Richard Duff joins the company as managing director as the business emerges from the pandemic.
Whilst continuing to lead the day-to-day operations of GIG and maintaining her hands on approach with clients, in her new role as CEO, Bonnie will shape the group’s strategy and vision. Rich, as managing director will be responsible for its implementation and lead all business functions including sales, finance and human resources.
Richard’s career spans sales, marketing and operational leadership roles within the FMCG, consumer electronics and homeware sectors. Over the last few years his focus has turned to the hospitality sector, and in his most recent role he was CEO of hotel technology firm Navarino Services.
Commenting on his appointment, Richard Duff said: “At the heart of Global Infusion Group ethos is a desire to make things happen and put smiles on people’s faces. They’re both things that I enjoy and honestly, who wouldn’t want to join a company that has been successfully delivering those things for the best part of 40 years?”
Bonnie May, CEO of Global Infusion Group adds: “Adding a managing director of Richard’s calibre and having his experience within both FMCG and hospitality puts us in an excellent position for driving the business forward. Like everyone, we’ve been in survival mode throughout the pandemic, and had our own ch
USA - There are just six opportunities left in 2021 to take the Behind the Scenes virtual Mental Health First Aid training for entertainment industry workers. Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non-judgmentally and give reassurance to someone, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a two-four-hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a six-hour virtual live instructor led session. Go to btshelp.org/mhfa to learn more and to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live session. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.
The registration fee is $125. IATSE Members and those working under IATSE agreements may be eligible for Training Trust Fund reimbursement upon proof of successful completion of the course. A limited number of partial and full scholarships are available to individuals not eligible for reimbursement. Private group classes of 15 -20 are available – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Training for Canadians is available through the AFC at https://afchelps.ca/mhfa.
USA - ADJ’s Halloween Spooktacular Contest is back for 2021, offering the chance to win ADJ lighting gear simply by sharing your spooky lighting projects on social media and including ADJ’s hashtag.
“We want to see the creative ways you put your ADJ lighting, video, or effects equipment to use to create shiver inducing displays or spinechilling events,” says ADJ. “Whether it’s a professional project or home haunt, as long as you use ADJ fixtures, we want to see your Halloween 2021 display and it could win you one of three fantastic prizes.”
Like last year, the 2021 ADJ Halloween Spooktacular Contest is easy to enter. Just take photos or video of your Halloween project, display, or party and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #ADJSpooktacular.
“The contest is open to anyone around the world and you can enter as many times as you like, just be sure to let us know what ADJ fixture(s) you have used in the description of your social media post(s). We’ll be selecting the top three winners based on how good the photos/videos look as well as the creative use of ADJ products.”
Once the contest has closed at the witching hour on Halloween (12 midnight Pacific time on 31 October), the ADJ team will comb social media for every post made in 2021 that uses the #ADJSpooktacular hashtag and choose three winners based on the creative use of ADJ fixtures and the aesthetic appeal of the photos/video.
UK - Industry charity Backup's Pumpkin Challenge is back for 2021. The competition aims to help raise awareness of the charity in a fun and creative way, encouraging interested parties to carve the most creative pumpkin.
“To enter, all that’s need is a pumpkin, your design and any props or tech you want to incorporate to bring your design to life. If you want to use the opportunity to fundraise too (though not a requirement) that would be welcome,” says Backup.
Competition categories are: Best overall design (judged by panel); Best use of tech (judged by panel); Most money raised (via Backup Pumpkin Challenge Fundraising Page); and Most overall likes (on Instagram, using the hashtag: #BackupPumpkinChallenge).
For 2021 long-time Backup supporter Lightpower Collection has generously donated a prize of one of their photographic books to the winner of the best overall design category.
Due to competition being open to anyone, anywhere, the charity is only able to send prizes to UK-based prize winners due to costs of shipping. All winners will be promoted on Backup’s social media pages, in marketing material and in industry press. “Plus,” adds Backup, “you get the prize of industry bragging rights!”
“Entries may be uploaded onto your Instagram by 31 October 2021 using the hashtag #BackupPumpkinChallenge along with your name or team name. Please make sure your Instagram privacy settings allow us to view your entry when you enter #BackupPumpkinChallenge. You can also email email@example.com when you post, that way we can doubl
Longlist Revealed - Bradford, Stirling, County Durham and Wrexham are among the places in the running for the title of the UK's City of Culture 2025. The longlist, unveiled by new culture secretary Nadine Dorries, also includes Cornwall, Southampton, Derby and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.
The winning city, which will succeed Coventry, will be announced in spring next year. For the first time, each listee will receive £40,000 worth of investment. They will all work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year.
"Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background," said Ms Dorries. "This year's focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come. I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store as they continue in the competition."
Grand Opera - Work has begun to restore the historic Grand Opera House in Belfast in time for the theatre's 125th anniversary in December. The £12.2m lottery-funded project will take 10 months to complete. It has been 40 years since the last renovation work was carried out on the unique auditorium. The decorative Victorian paint and plasterwork will be repaired and accessibility will be improved.
The theatre's ageing technical infrastructure will be updated with moder
USA - Xytech is hosting a four-day webinar series from 26-29 October showcasing the upgrades to its resource and asset management solution MediaPulse 10.
“Until we can once again meet in person, these webinar series are essential communication tools to the community. This begins a conversation where we inform customers of the advances of the product and help us to understand where our platform needs to be in the future,” comments Greg Dolan, Xytech’s CCO.
“With the version 10 update, MediaPulse provides every user with exactly the functionality they need, when they need it, on the device of their choosing, creating a reliable solution able to operate anywhere. Something the pandemic has made crucial.”
To register for any of the MediaPulse 10 Webinar Series, visit: xytechsystems.com/webinar.
USA - From Halloween through Christmas and Hannukah, you can add holiday decorations to your home and support your colleagues who are seriously ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention initiative. These ornaments have been generously made and donated to Behind the Scenes by Mike and Sue Wood, so every penny goes directly to helping your colleagues in need.
Individual acrylic inserts are now available for the portable mini LED ghostlight so you can celebrate the holidays in style. Choose from the ighostlight, the pumpkin ghostlight for Halloween, the autumnal Cornucopia ghostlight for Thanksgiving, the Hanukkah menorah ghostlight, or the Christmas tree ghostlight. Purchase your first unit with the base and remote control and then stock up on inserts so you can complement the season.
There is also have an array of ghostlight and industry-themed ornaments to decorate your tree.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenescharity.org
Spain/UK - PLASA has reached an agreement with Spain’s AFIAL to strengthen their partnership and deliver more benefits to members.
The new relationship will allow the two trade associations to expand their joint activities, which in the past year have included collaborations for the #WeMakeEvents campaign. Described as “the most important national AV association on the Spanish scene”, AFIAL represents manufacturers and importers of sound, lighting and AV technology in Spain and owns the Madrid-based AFIAL exhibition.
A joint statement says: “This collaboration was born from a solid and necessary union during the pandemic, that has evolved allowing the associations to continue to work intensely to support their members and the sector. This agreement will bring benefits for the members of AFIAL and PLASA.”
PLASA MD Peter Heath, director Nicky Greet and board member Koy Neminathan are attending this week’s AFIAL tradeshow and will reveal more details of the new relationship during the conference programme. The presentation is taking place in the #WeMakeEvents/#HacemosEventos hub on the middle floor of the Recinto Madrid Arena Campus.
Further information will be published as it becomes available.
Passport Control - A consultation into the use of vaccine passports at venues in England has been launched by the government, which could come into force if Covid cases overwhelm the NHS this winter. It raises the possibility of vaccine-only certification being introduced for venues such as theatres, in the event that the government’s ’Plan B’ for autumn and winter is needed.
The Department of Health and Social Care is asking members of the public, and particularly event organisers and venue operators, for their views on vaccine certification. It asks whether the current list of settings in which it could be required – which does not currently include theatres – is too narrow, and if so, what additional venues should be in scope of certification.
If the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure due to Covid-19 cases, the government has prepared a Plan B for England, which proposes that mandatory vaccine-only certification for visitors over 18 be introduced in a number of settings.
These include all nightclubs, indoor crowded venues with 500 or more people where they are likely to move around such as live music venues or large receptions, outdoor crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees such as music festivals, and any setting with 10,000 or more attendees such as large sports events.
Musical Youth - Billie Eilish has been announced as the first headliner for the 2022 Glastonbury Festival. Organiser Emily Eavis confirmed the booking and said the 20-year-old would be "the youngest solo headliner in our history. This feels like
World Music - Ed Sheeran, Lizzo and Billie Eilish were among stars to take part in a 24-hour gig to raise awareness of climate change, vaccine inequality and famine. Over 60 artists performed in The Global Citizen festival in cities including New York, London and Seoul. The event kicked off on Saturday in Paris, where Elton John performed in front of the Eiffel Tower. He took to the stage following a pre-recorded performance by the K-pop band BTS.
The show, believed to be one of the biggest-ever international charity events, was organised by Global Citizen - a charity working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Unlike most events of this nature, organisers were not aiming to raise cash, but to use participation as evidence for world leaders that people support bold action on the issues.
"Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and defeat poverty," Global Citizen said in a statement.
Ticket Tax - The theatre and live events industries are warning that the impending increase to VAT on tickets threatens their successful return by removing crucial support when it is needed most. Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird said the sector was "not out of the woods yet" and full recovery was still a long way off, meaning producers and theatres needed the financial benefits of reduced VAT as they move into the important autumn/winter season.
Newly appointed culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed last
India - Harman is taking strict legal action against manufacturers and distributors involved in producing and selling of counterfeit JBL products in India.
During a recent raid, Harman’s investigation team along with law enforcement officers, seized stocks of ‘spurious’ JBL consumer products from two mobile and accessories wholesalers in the city of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Similar raids were conducted in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, where the team confiscated counterfeit JBL Professional speakers and other brand accessories from manufacturing units.
Harman has taken appropriate criminal action against these offenders and says it intends to continue such investigations to curb the manufacturing and selling of counterfeit products across India.
“Over the last 75 years, JBL’s range of consumer and professional products have earned consumer trust and tremendous goodwill by virtue of our commitment to maintain highest standards in product quality and focus on innovation,” says Prathab Deivanayagham, country manager, Harman India.
“Harman prides itself for its brand reputation and customer satisfaction, and therefore, these actions against the perpetrators are essential for us to keep our promise towards our consumers in India. We advise our consumers to stay vigilant and purchase JBL products from authorised e-commerce and retail sellers’ only.”
UK - #WeMakeEvents, the campaign to amplify the voice of the live events supply chain, has now raised over half a million British pounds through fundraising efforts over the last 18 months, supporting charities which have helped industry professionals through the pandemic.
The milestone was reached during PLASA Show 2021, where #WeMakeEvents hosted a dedicated hub to promote wellbeing and mental health throughout the live sector which featured several industry charities and initiatives and welcomed a steady stream of visitors.
80% of the funds raised have gone directly to Backup, the campaign's chosen industry which supports professionals throughout the technical entertainment industry in times of ill health or financial need. In turn, Backup funnels vital funds to Acting For Others, Music Support, Stage Hand and Make It Blue UK, each one providing specially designed services to guide and support.
Matt Lloyd, charities and sponsorship co-ordinator for #WeMakeEvents, comments: “It is a fantastic achievement to have reached half a million - something that would have been impossible without the generosity of the people. The #WeMakeEvents team is truly humbled by the support we have received along this journey, showing that the live events supply chain is a valid and viable part of the cultural sector. It is with this financial support that our industry’s companies and workforce can get back to doing what they love best and show the world why live events and entertainment are not only important, but crucial to society.”
There have been severa
Punk Values - The "only known footage" of two Sex Pistols gigs which ignited Manchester's music scene and “spawned a generation of bands” has sold at auction for £15,000. Music fan Mark Roberts' Super 8mm films captured the punk band's shows at the city's Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976. Future members of Buzzcocks, New Order, The Smiths and The Fall, and Anthony Wilson, who founded renowned label Factory Records, were at the shows. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the gigs were "huge for bands that spawned off the back off them", adding: "It was the birth of punk."
No Fear - Noel Gallagher has said Oasis had "no fear" about playing to 250,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth, adding if his old band were to do it again now, they would be "petrified". The songwriter was talking before the premiere of the Oasis Knebworth 1996 documentary, marking 25 years since Britpop's crowning moment. The film views the biggest gigs the UK had seen through the eyes of the fans.
"Those of you that were there at the time will remember that I was so arrogant, it didn't really register," Gallagher told a London cinema audience, which included some of the fans whose touching and funny personal stories provide the backdrop to the piece. It's only since [2016 documentary] Supersonic, and this film that you try and put yourself back there and you start to get goosebumps about it, because I'm not sure there's many bands had that lift-off that we did."
Half of performing arts workers who are receiving Universal Credit will be thrust into further financial
Insurance Fears - Further guidance about the government’s recently announced insurance scheme for live events has been released, which experts have warned “confirms all the worst fears producers had”. The scheme, which will run until September next year, has been criticised for being too narrow in scope to apply to most theatre productions as well as prohibitively expensive.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published an outline of the rules for the £750m scheme, prompting concerns that it will not help most theatre producers, who face ongoing risks of disruption, cancellation and closure. The guidance confirms that productions are protected only when they have been forced to cancel, abandon, relocate or postpone as a "direct result" of the introduction of new or amended COVID-19 laws.
This means that cancellations caused by self-isolation requirements among a show’s cast and crew or losses caused by any reintroduction of social distancing will not be covered. The guidance also confirms that the scheme covers both single and one-off events, as well as a run of events. However, for multiple performances, producers must specify which dates are being insured.
Redevelopment - The Barbican Centre is planning a £150m redevelopment project to make urgent changes to its London building to cater for contemporary artists and audiences. The City of London Corporation, which owns the Barbican estate, has published a design brief for its renewal plans, opening submissions for architects’ proposals to transform the 40-yea
UK - On Saturday 4 September, a cohort of industry professionals cycled from SFL in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London to raise money for Backup, the technical entertainment charity and mark the return of PLASA Show.
Fourteen cyclists made the journey, representing Autograph, Avolites, Backup, Collaborative creations, Creative Technologies, Event Decision, PLASA, SFL, SLX, TSL and White Light. One team cycled 40 miles direct to London, while the other traversed the challenging Surrey Hills - together they have so far raised over £1,300, with donations still coming in.
BikeFest follows several industry bike rides in recent years coinciding with PLASA Show, which have all raised funds while promoting mental health and support. In the wake of the COVID lockdowns, the 2021 cycle felt more pertinent than ever.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath, comments: “These fundraising events are always important, but this year meant so much more as a huge number of our colleagues have suffered both mentally and financially due to the pandemic. As a team, we were honoured to fundraise for Backup which does superb work for those in need. Here’s to the 2022 ride where we look forward to many more of you joining us!”
White Light’s John McEvoy reported from the 80-mile route: “After negotiating a few busy roads getting out of Reading, the miles soon ticked off to get us to our first stop just outside Farnham. Suitably refreshed on coffee, and fig rolls provided by our support driver, PLASA’s Nicky Greet, we set off to tackle the toughest pa