General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Audience Comfort - Ambassador Theatre Group chief executive Mark Cornell has claimed theatres need to look to cinemas to improve audience comfort, arguing theatregoers are having to endure “seats designed like torture instruments”. Cornell made the comments during his first major speech to members of the industry at UK Theatre’s Theatre and Touring Symposium, which took place in London on 17 June.
He said: “[Audiences] arrive at our theatres at a time set by us, they then navigate queues, fold themselves into seats designed like torture instruments, dine on a packet of crisps or a tub of ice cream and often endure temperatures that fluctuate between Siberia and the subcontinent.
“Yet cinema chains such as the Everyman have reinvented the experience of going to the movies. They provide a wonderful, enriching experience, which everyone should really enjoy regularly at the theatre. Today we’re asking people to work really hard for the privilege [of going to the theatre]. In a world where we expect everything to be connected, seamless, easy and immediate, this is not sustainable.”
Cornell also raised the issue of ticket prices, arguing that the commercial operators shared a responsibility with the subsidised sector to keep theatre affordable. “I’m afraid there’s a huge amount of misinformation surrounding theatre pricing. One misconception is that keeping theatre affordable is the reserve of the subsidised sector. I strongly believe that we all share a responsibility in this area, whether we operate in the subsidised or commercial se

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Here We Go Again - Bjorn Ulvaeus has said he would not rule out the possibility of a third Mamma Mia! film. In an interview for Magic Radio, Ulvaeus spoke about the possibility of a film trilogy. "If someone comes up with an idea for Mamma Mia! 3 you know I'll have a look at it," he said.
Ulvaeus also spoke about the band's new music, confirming they had finished new songs, but would not give away any details about when they might be released. "There will be a new song, a couple of new songs coming. But I've been saying this for such a long time. I'm not saying when any more. I'm just saying we have them and they will be released eventually."
Code of Practice - A code of practice has been developed for producers of touring shows and venues around the UK. It urges a more robust approach to dealing with cancelled productions and calls for swifter payments between parties. The code is included within a new handbook produced by UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre in response to growing concern that relationships between producers and venues are becoming strained.
Discussions at a touring symposium in 2018 focused on financial pressures, and “an erosion of trust and transparency”. The new handbook aims to help the two sides “build stronger relationships to improve the long-term health of touring in the UK”. Seven key areas of concern are raised in the handbook, and covered within these are concerns about “unexplained royalty hikes by producers” and how the deal-making process fails to address tour cancellation”

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Visa Summit - The Scottish government has announced its intention to hold a summit exploring concerns around the visa difficulties faced by foreign artists performing at cultural events including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The announcement of an “international festivals visa summit” came from cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop during a debate at Holyrood on the impact of the UK government’s hard-line visa controls on Edinburgh’s festivals. Hyslop has responsibility for both culture and external affairs, including immigration. She said: “The current visa application processes for visitors coming to Scotland for international events is lengthy, complex and costly, with attendees sometimes spending thousands of pounds on visas and associated costs for a visit that might only last a few days.”
The debate was led by MSP Gordon MacDonald, who earlier this week warned that a “hostile immigration policy” in the UK was putting festivals such as the fringe at risk by forcing artists to cancel appearances if they could not obtain visas.
During the debate, several instances were given of the difficulties artists face in attempting to secure visas, despite Edinburgh’s festivals having so-called “permit-free” status, meaning individuals do not need to apply for a work permit to perform.
Noting the forthcoming government white paper on immigration, Hyslop said: “A better solution for visiting artists, performers and others must be integral to any future immigration system. That is particularly important if freedom of movement is to en

 
lighntningguidancePLASA releases guidance on lightning
Tuesday, 4 June 2019

UK - PLASA has released the Lightning Guidance for Outdoor Events, a handbook that provides practical advice on managing lightning risk, crowd safety and the protection of temporary structures, electrical equipment and power systems.
The guidance aims to assist those involved in the production and management of outdoor events in making informed decisions when faced with threats from lightning strikes.
“The dangers of lightning are widely understood, however the level of threat at outdoor events where large crowds gather is often overlooked,” says PLASA in a statement. “This has been a growing concern due to the increase of outdoor events and number of people exposed.”
To create the guidance, PLASA worked alongside The Event Safety Shop, Star Events Ltd, IMG, Omega Red Group, Aggreko, Ken Law Safety Ltd, BBC Safety, the Emergency Planning College, Howard Eaton Lighting, Anderson Bradshaw Ltd, the National Outdoor Events Association, the University of Reading and Lee Valley Leisure Trust; as well as respected industry consultants, James Eade and Tom Goode.
Nicky Greet, PLASA’s director of membership, skills and technical, comments: “PLASA is proud to issue this guidance, helping to raise health & safety awareness across the live entertainment industry. And, we are grateful to all the organisations and individuals who contributed to this crucial document, which should become an essential part of planning as the festival and event sectors continue to grow.”
The Lightning Guidance for Outdoor Events is available to

 
 
jhsJHS launches latest pro audio catalogue
Monday, 3 June 2019

UK - JHS has launched its latest UK Pro Audio trade catalogue and price list.
The catalogue, designed to help dealers with selecting and ordering lines from the company’s vast brand portfolio, will be available as a spiral-bound copy as well as in electronic format via the trade area of the JHS website.
JHS offers a wide range of speakers and monitors, microphones and wireless systems and amplifiers from brands including HK Audio, Lab.gruppen, CAD Audio, Kam, Floyd Rose, Xvive, Kinsman, On-Stage and iDance.
(Jim Evans)

 
timesBrompton Technology gets Fast Track listing
Monday, 3 June 2019

UK - Brompton Technology reports that it has been ranked in the fifth annual Sunday Times World First SME Export Track 100 league table.
The SME Export Track 100 ranks Britain’s 100 small and medium-sized (SME) companies that have achieved the fastest-growing international sales over the last two years. Compiled by Fast Track it was published in The Sunday Times on 26 May and will be celebrated at an awards dinner in September.
Brompton has achieved considerable growth over the past two years, with sales of its Tessera SX40 4K LED processor and XD Data Distribution units playing a significant part in its international success, with both products seeing impressive uptake from production companies in the US, Australia and across Europe.
“From the outset, Brompton has worked with partners all round the world and it is particularly pleasing to receive recognition for our success in international sales,” says Brompton’s managing director Richard Mead. “Last September we also appeared in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table, which recognises Britain’s private technology companies with the fastest sales growth over the past three years, and these are both achievements of which everyone in the company should be incredibly proud.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
interforce-wins-henley-festival-contractInterforce wins Henley Festival contract
Wednesday, 29 May 2019

UK - Security and enforcement specialist Interforce (formerly TSG) has been chosen to provide uniformed patrols to ensure public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder at Henley Festival this summer.
Production manager John Harris met Interforce at Event Buyers Live and brought the company into Henley Festival’s restructured security model; designed to maintain its acclaimed customer service provision.
John Harris comments: “We hope that Interforce, which is trained to a higher level than SIA, with a police style approach, will respond to our audience and ensure we continue to meet the high standards Henley Festival is renowned for.”
The Interforce rebrand distinguishes the company’s events/venues/public spaces remit from the police’s Tactical/Territorial Support Group arm, which is also abbreviated to TSG.
At Henley, Interforce officers will deliver a practiced, profile level of reassurance while ensuring the event’s zero tolerance on drugs and underage drinking.
Interforce Managing Director, David Boswell, says: “We’re busier than ever, which is a product of business development manager, Duncan Cullen, explaining the rebrand to clients/potential clients, highlighting Interforce’s weight of unique selling points and detailing our experience across the event model.”
(Jim Evans)

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Plastic Ban - The world's largest concert promoter, Live Nation, says it will eliminate single-use plastics at its venues and festivals by 2021. In the UK, that means events like Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Download will go plastic free. It's part of a push to achieve zero waste at Live Nation's clubs, concert halls and venues by 2030.
The pledge comes after independent British festivals like Glastonbury and Bestival vowed to cut plastic waste. Glastonbury has announced it will not sell single-use plastic water bottles this year, owing to concerns about their impact on the environment. While Bestival, Boardmasters and Kendal Calling were among 61 festivals who signed up to the Drastic on Plastic initiative last year, pledging to rid their sites of single-use plastic by 2021.
They have also called on retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use items, saying abandoned tents account for 875 tonnes of plastic waste every summer.
Restoration Fund - Six endangered theatres across England have been awarded a share of £90,000 from a new fund created to support venues in need of restoration. They are the first recipients of the Theatres Trust’s theatres at risk capacity building programme, which has allocated money for works including survey, structural inspection, governance training and viability studies.
Among those given funding include the Burnley Empire, which will receive £10,000 to fund necessary survey works, and Morecambe Winter Gardens, which will carry out new governanc

 
 
ide-takeoverManagement buyout at IDE Systems
Friday, 24 May 2019

UK - Power distribution specialist IDE Systems has announced a change of ownership following a management buyout.
Company founder Ian Thomas has sold the business to Wayne Woodhead (group managing director), Kevin Warne (group sales director) and Matt Collins (systems operations manager).
Woodhead, who has over 30 years’ experience in the product design, testing and engineering sectors, continues as group managing director. Warne also remains as group sales director, and Collins now acts as operations director. The company is reportedly seeking to appoint a rental operations director and financial director.
Outgoing owners Ian and Sue Thomas comment: “Having owned and led IDE since it was established in 1994, we were keen to make sure it continues to grow into the future, yet be able to exit. Having appointed the management team last year, we are very pleased to have completed the handover and wish them all the success for the future.”
Woodhead adds: “It’s business as usual as far as our customers are concerned. We continue to help them plan ahead and futureproof their procurement needs by ensuring that they get the best from IDE’s expert services. We remain committed in developing solid supply chain partnerships to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our customers.
“We now have a team in place that can take the company to the next level and our unique business model of rental and manufacturing, along with investment into new technology, will give us the competitive edge that is required to support the marke

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Arts in Education - A campaign to promote the inclusion of the arts in education is being developed by Equity. Members voted unanimously to pass a motion from the Liverpool and District General Branch asking Equity to work with other trade unions, arts organisations and educators to “promote the essential nature of arts in the curriculum”. Proposing the motion, branch chair Martin Williams said the industry risks “becoming a playground of the rich” if some school children are excluded from creative subjects. He said: “The arts should be a vital and essential part of any curriculum, but sadly their existence across curricula at all levels is at risk.”
Blurred Lines - Ryan Tedder has written some of pop's biggest hits, including Beyonce's Halo, Ed Sheeran's Happier and, for his own band OneRepublic, Counting Stars. But he says pop is in danger of being stifled by the rise in copyright cases. "It's a conversation in every writing session," he told the BBC. "The odds of getting sued in this day and age are so high, we're going to get to a point where nobody can write anything - because everything will be derivative of something else. It's just ludicrous."
There's been a surge in copyright claims ever since Marvin Gaye's family sued Robin Thicke over the single Blurred Lines in 2015. They successfully claimed Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Gaye's 1977 hit Got to Give It Up - winning $4.98m (£3.9m) in damages and a 50% share of future royalties.
Blurred Lines set new precedents on copyrigh

 
 
team-sosSOS enters 947 Cycle Challenge
Monday, 20 May 2019

South Africa - Use your legs for a good cause and ride for the SOS at this year’s 947 Telkom Cycle Challenge to be held on Sunday, 17 November at Riversands Commercial Park in Fourways. Everyone is invited to participate, especially riders in the entertainment industry!
DWR’s cycling enthusiasts, Marlene Riley and Chris Pugh, are heading the cycling team and have already recruited friends and colleagues to join them. The team so far includes Robert Izzett, Eazy Moeketsi, Shannon and JP de Vernon, Victor Vermaak, Marlene and Bruce Riley Dylan Jones, Jaco Beukes, Tyler Pugin and Chris Pugh. Those who are brave enough can join Chris and Robert for a double loop!
“The 947 is a highlight on the cycling calendar and this year we decided to support a charity closer to home,” said Marlene Riley. “SOS Charity Fund was established by DWR in late 2017, and in a short time has helped numerous freelancers and technicians in the entertainment industry with assistance such as contributing towards medical bills, providing grocery vouchers or assisting with funeral costs. Our industry is like a family, and it’s great to have the resources to lend a hand when needed.”
Each rider interested in participating is requested to pledge and raise R2 500. Marlene will assist you, step by step, to create a personalized BackABuddy page, where you can create awareness and receive support from friends and family. For more information visit: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/charity/profile/sos-charit

jeffLe Mark Group strengthens northern team
Friday, 17 May 2019

UK - Le Mark Group has announced the appointment of Jeff Demain as northern sales manager, UK.
Demain has worked in the entertainment industry for over 35 years. His experience has encompassed sound, lighting, sales and installation, and he has managed key projects in Russia, the Middle East and the UK. His history has included leading companies including Concert Light Systems, Playlight Hire, White Light North and most recently, HSL Blackburn.
“I have known Jeff for many years and have always been in awe of his industry knowledge,” said Linda Gibbons, joint managing director. “With Jeff now on the ground locally, he is perfectly positioned and readily available to meet with many more companies interested in our products and to expand our sales in the north of the UK. It is an important move forward for the company.”
“We are all delighted to have Jeff join us,” said Stuart Gibbons, joint managing director. “Jeff is exactly the right person to help take Le Mark to the next level. His experience is invaluable and his enthusiasm to succeed is clear. The sales team are eager to work with him.”
“I am really looking forward to joining the team at Le Mark,” said Jeff. “I’ve known Linda and Stuart ever since they began the business and have been really impressed with the company’s growth and innovation.”
Demain will provide sales and support for Le Mark’s leading range of consumable items, including the self-adhesive tape MagTape, Pro Tapes, Slipway and award-winning BlackTak. He will be the lead advisor in the nor

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Special Funding - Grassroots music venues across England will now be able to apply for special funding from a ring-fenced budget intended to support the sector and help stem their decline. Arts Council England has announced it has set aside £1.5m of National Lottery money to fund projects hosting and promoting live music in grassroots venues. It comes amid an ongoing campaign to protect small venues following a period of decline across the UK.
Opening this week, the scheme will accept applications for between £1,000 and £40,000 from music venues and promoters. The funding will sit within the Arts Council’s project grants programme, but by having a separate budget for grassroots music venues, ACE said it wanted to encourage applications by reducing the high level of competition faced when applying for the main project grants scheme.
Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley said: “Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country, and there needs to be a collective effort from both the public sector and music industry to support them.”
Other organisations such as the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union are working alongside the Arts Council on a number of coordinated initiatives to make up a “sector-wide approach” to supporting venues. Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan created a £1 million fund for grassroots arts projects as part of a commitment to support culture in communities across the capital.
Drastic On Plastic - Fairport’s Cropredy Conv

 
neutrikNeutrik launches anti-piracy legal action
Monday, 13 May 2019

Europe - At this year’s Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt, Neutrik went on a determined offensive against product piracy. Following Neutrik’s request, police seized numerous products that clearly violate intellectual property rights. Moreover, extensive warnings to cease and desist have also been sent to the companies concerned. Further legal action has already been launched.
Countless Neutrik products are based on technical inventions that have set new standards and are protected by patents. In addition, design features and brand names have been registered to ensure that original Neutrik products are easily and clearly recognizable.
“We want to generate real customer added value with our products and to protect that value. That requires maintaining global patents and trademarks, which, while very costly, form an important part of our innovation culture. If our competitors now ruthlessly flout these intellectual property rights, we shall consistently take all the legal measures at our disposal to stop this,” said René Kleiner, CTO of the Neutrik Group.
Among the most frequently imitated or copied products are the XLR plugs of the XX series (e.g. the compression ring patent) as well as the speakON, powerCON and etherCON cable connectors. In addition to patent infringements, Neutrik must also respond to imitations of protected design elements (sinus wave) or the misuse of registered brand names, says the company.
Consistent action against product piracy and copiers is essential and forms part of Neutrik’s corporate strategy in order to

 
 
voltsGreen Voltage introduces portable power units
Friday, 10 May 2019

UK - Designed and developed specifically to address the demand for environmentally-conscious power within the film and TV industry, VOLTstack provides crews with easy access to clean power.
Completely emission free, with a proven track record powering sets of all sizes, the VOLTstack range includes a number of power units ranging from 2kW and 5kW to 13kW and 200kW variants.
The entire collection is suited to handling all manner of applications within the lighting, electrical and camera departments. With a rapid charge time of just 2.5 hours and available with a solar panel recharge option, the systems’ continuous power delivery is enough to handle almost any temporary application. For added convenience, units can be series linked to provide for extended operating times. The compact, rugged design which features an IP54 rating plus wireless monitoring, making VOLTstack a suitable solution whether on set or location.
David Sinfield, gaffer on Alladin and Wonder Woman comments: “These battery powered units deliver robust, convenient and emission free power, they are an excellent power source, wherever you are. Used in conjunction with the latest LED technology VOLTstack can easily handle all manner of lighting installations, with no compromise in performance, no fumes and no noise.”
Suitable for use in emissions sensitive areas and noise restrictive locations, VOLTstack delivers quality performance when paired with the growing number of highly effective, low energy and LED light sources which have become such a prominent featu

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Missing Out - Paul McCartney has accused a government funding body of having a “flawed process” that has seen the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts miss out on a potential £16m of funding. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is currently investigating the decision-making process of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which has now been replaced by the Office for Students.
According to LIPA, which McCartney co-founded, the institution has lost out on £16m in potential funding over a four-year period due to a “series of errors” by the government body. LIPA says it has also lost a further £160,000, which has been spent on the first steps of a judicial review.
When applying for institution-specific funding in 2016, LIPA claims it was “failed at the first stage of the process” and was only allowed to proceed to the second stage following an appeal. By this time it discovered “all the funding had already been allocated”.
According to LIPA, HEFCE wrongly advised the institution that the decision-making process could not be challenged, so the drama school began a judicial review.
McCartney, lead patron at LIPA, who co-founded the drama school 24 years ago with Mark Featherstone-Witty, said: “I helped to bring LIPA into life during very difficult times for Liverpool.
“It is now a highly respected institution all over the world. Our funding was recently affected by what to me, and the heads of every university in Liverpool, was a flawed process.”
He added: “LIPA is my passion and part of my legacy. It wo

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Foundation Funding - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s foundation is overhauling the way money is awarded, with three new strands aimed at supporting potential and reaching diverse communities. The foundation will award funding under the strands Unlock, Enhance and Empower. The Unlock strand will give grants if up to £5,000 to projects that increase diversity by “breaking down social, economic and geographical barriers”. This might include youth theatres or music therapy groups.
The Enhance strand will award grants of up to £10,000 to projects that provide specialist training and workplace experience for emerging artists and newly graduated professionals, while the Empower section will award funding of up to £25,000 to projects that allow practitioners to “apply resources widely” and give training to a significant number of people.
Lloyd Webber said: “Music and the arts can empower and liberate, which is why it’s so important to encourage participation and nurture talent. If you empower children and young people through the arts, the return on investment is huge. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the arts have been more important. I really, passionately believe that.”
Since launching in 2011, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded more than £20m.
Northern Light - Edinburgh’s proposed new 1,000 seat concert hall and 200 seat studio theatre space has won planning approval from the city’s council. Previously referred to as the Impact Centre, it will be called the Dunard Centre – after a donation f

 
jason-sorabjiBlitz appoints group production director
Monday, 29 April 2019

UK - AV and technical production company Blitz has announced the promotion of Jason Sorabji to the newly created role of group production director.
Jason’s new remit includes directing the company’s overall production and project management strategy, engaging directly with key clients and prospects to drive innovation. The position sees Jason join the Blitz senior management team and report directly into managing director, Mike Phillipson.
Jason has been with Blitz for over three years and was previously group account director at ExCeL London, where Blitz is the official in-house supplier delivering AV solutions and production for the venue.
New hire Paul Stuart will be joining Blitz to take over Jason’s position at ExCeL London. Paul brings extensive experience in the industry, joining from White Light where he oversaw the AV technical delivery for customers such as The Science Museum & Wembley Stadium.
Jason said: “It’s such an important time for Blitz; the business is growing and we are developing our production strategy to meet the increasingly exciting expectations of our clients.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
birmingham-assessment-prac-3-PLASA to develop CSCS-related training scheme
Wednesday, 24 April 2019

UK - PLASA has revealed plans to develop a training scheme for entertainment industry professionals carrying out work on UK construction sites.
The initiative has been announced in response to changes to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), the leading UK skills certification scheme that ensures individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they undertake.
PLASA has warned a number of CSCS cards historically used within the entertainment technology industry are being withdrawn, including Stage Equipment Installer, Site Visitor and Related Discipline.
“Once these cards have expired, industry professionals with relevant construction training or qualifications may be able to apply for Skilled Worker CSCS cards, but many may only be able to apply for Labourer cards, which could affect their ability to work onsite without direct supervision,” says PLASA in a statement.
The Association's training scheme would be aimed at installers who need to meet CSCS requirements and do not work with electrics. It could cover disciplines such as suspension of grids, static bars, tab tracks, projection/LED screens, fixing of winches, stage equipment, control equipment and speakers, and commissioning or programming of systems.
PLASA is looking to form a working group and is urging interested individuals or companies to contact skills@plasa.org.

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Acoustic Shock - The Royal Opera House has lost an appeal against a viola player who was awarded damages in 2018 for hearing loss he suffered during rehearsals for Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Christopher Goldscheider is a former viola player in the orchestra at Covent Garden, who said he was no longer able to work as a musician due to “acoustic shock” he suffered during a weekend rehearsal in 2012.
Goldscheider said the noise he was exposed to was unacceptable, and a judge ruled in his favour in March. However, in October the ROH, which is being represented by law firm BLM, was granted permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld Goldscheider’s case, although on narrower grounds. Specifically, it overturned the High Court finding that Control of Noise at Work Regulations meant employers were required to enforce the wearing of hearing protection for all players at all times during the course of a rehearsal or performance over a certain volume.
The ROH as well as the Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre had argued that this would impose impossible restrictions on almost any live music situation.
Earth Song - An all-star animated environmental music video featuring the voices of Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande has gone viral on social media. The song In Earth, by comedian and rapper Lil Dicky, also has cameos from Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus. Speaking to Time, Dicky - aka David Burd - said: "What started as a si

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Respect - The Queen of Soul is now a Pulitzer Prize winner. Aretha Franklin has been awarded a special citation honouring "her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades". She becomes the 12th musician, and first female performer, to be given the citation - joining the likes of Bob Dylan, Scott Joplin and John Coltrane.
Franklin died last August, aged 76. During her career, the singer won 18 Grammys, had 17 top 10 US chart hits and became the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine rated her as the greatest singer of all time, thanks to songs like Respect, Chain Of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Record Breaker - Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody - already the highest-grossing music biopic of all-time - surpassed $900m (£686m) in worldwide ticket sales on Sunday. The Oscar-winning film has now made $830m (£633m) internationally and $71m (£55m) from domestic UK audiences. Its latest surge follows unexpected levels of popularity among Japanese audiences - grossing $144m (£110m).
The film cost distributor Fox a relatively meagre $50m (£30m) to make. It is now Fox's fourth-biggest title behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
Festival Investment - Pleasance Theatre Trust has announced 20 productions that will share an investment of over £140,000 as part of its Pleasance Futures development programme. The trust will be supporting a record amount of ar

 
henley-parkGrowth spurs Technical Department move
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

UK - Specialist electrical contractor and power supplier to global events, The Technical Department has now moved from its Pines Business Park office base where it has been situated since 2013 to new offices just a short distance away at Henley Business Park, Guildford.
The relocation comes as a result of the company outgrowing its existing premises and its gradual growth and increase in turnover over the past few years.
The company, which was established in 1987, has grown to become one of the most trusted specialist electrical contractors in the events industry.
Switching its expanding operation to new offices and larger warehousing facilities means the company can now progress with its positive business plans for further growth and development.
Founder and owner Jerry Singleton comments: "The relocation of our operation to Henley Business Park is the culmination of an exciting number of years for us. The Technical Department continues to go from strength to strength and the move is down to many factors but increasingly we've outgrown our existing premises and this move is an exciting new progressive development for us.
"The diversity of our services is a real strength for The Technical Department in the current business climate and our new office base will enable us to provide even higher levels of service excellence for our clients and also gives us room for even further expansion with increases in staff levels.
"This move is the latest in the ongoing re-shaping of our business. We have already invested in new computer tech

 
 
creative-technologyCreative Technology saddles up for Backup
Friday, 5 April 2019

UK - Creative Technology (CT) is taking on the 100-mile Vélo Birmingham & Midlands course on Sunday 12 May in aid of Backup - The Technical Entertainment charity.
“CT has supported Backup from the outset and we’ve often said we should do something more than simply supporting its KartFest and GolfFest events,” saysDave Crump, CEO CT Europe & Middle East. “When an opportunity to enter a four-person team into a challenging 100 mile cycle event, it seemed an ideal opportunity to raise some money and awareness for the charity whilst getting fit and Team VeloCT was born.”
The original plan was to take part in the Velo South event last September. The team was formed, training begun, lycra purchased and money raised - a spectacular £7,038 at the last count. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled at the last minute on safety grounds due to severe weather forecasts.
Disheartened but determined, the team has continued training and will now be taking part in Velo Birmingham on 12 May, tackling a similar and equally challenging 100-mile, closed-road ride through the Black Country, starting in Birmingham’s city centre and taking an estimated 17,000 riders through stunning countryside and picturesque villages to finish in the heart of Coventry - the 2021 Capital of Culture.
Dave, initiator of the idea, has unfortunately had to drop out due to back problems, but his place is being taken by former CT employee and now video director extraordinaire, Dick Curruthers. The remainder of the team is unchanged and includes Steve Purkess, Nic Maa

 
The Week in Light& Sound
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Frankfurt Fairs - The worlds of music and the event business are getting together in Frankfurt am Main this week, via Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound.
“Today, music is available everywhere and at all times. In this age of streaming, user behaviour is changing fundamentally – with drastic effects on musicians, labels, service providers and education. The expanding live-entertainment market is also undergoing a paradigm shift towards digital transmission,” says Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt.
“Moreover, there are fantastic new areas of application for audio-visual media technology. The two trade fairs take account of this increased level of complexity with a multitude of options for knowledge transfer and networking. And, parallel to this, we are celebrating a five-day festival of music in Frankfurt.”
Stones Postpone - The Rolling Stones have postponed their upcoming tour of the US and Canada because Sir Mick Jagger needs medical treatment. It is understood he is to undergo a heart procedure. They were due to kick off the US and Canada leg of their No Filter tour at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on 20 April, finishing at the Burl's Creek Even Grounds in Ontario, Canada, on 29 June.
However, Sir Mick, 75, has been told by medics that he cannot perform. He wrote on Twitter: "I'm so sorry to all our fans in America & Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I'm devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon a

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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