General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Stream On - The success of artists like Taylor Swift and BTS helped global music revenues rise to $26.6bn (£21.7bn) last year, the highest level since records began in the 1990s. The growth was largely driven by streaming, which now accounts for 67% of the industry's earnings. Last year, 589m people paid for a subscription, said trade body the IFPI, up from 523m in 2021.
But labels say income could be higher, and are pushing for prices to rise. "It would help if music subscription pricing could reflect the realities of inflation," said Simon Robson, president of international markets for Warner Music.
The UK's largest streaming service, Spotify, hasn't increased its prices since launching in 2009, with an individual subscription set at £9.99. Most of its competitors maintain a similar pricing structure. Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl recently suggested that the US rate should rise to $13.25 (£10.83), based on the 2011 US launch price of $9.99, adjusted for inflation. "Music is undervalued, and this is not my opinion - there are actually numbers to back it up," he said. "If you take the US, the price that the user pays per hour of consumption of music is half of what they pay for movies and TV shows on streaming services. So right there, it's 50% undervalued today."
Eurovision Live - The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in cinemas across the UK for the first time. Liverpool will host the event on Saturday 13 May, following two semi-finals earlier in the week. Organisers say the screenings will encourage fancy

becky-meersShowforce promotes Becky Meers
Tuesday, 28 March 2023

UK - Event crewing specialist Showforce has announced that Becky Meers has been promoted to the role of head of operations UK & Europe. Becky will oversee the account management, crew management and operations functions for Showforce’s UK and European business.
Having joined Showforce’s Liverpool office in 2010 as an account handler, over the last few years, she has ran point on some of Showforce’s largest accounts and projects including Creamfields North and South, Cannes Lions, Glastonbury, Platinum Jubilee and The 150th Open.
The announcement follows the news that the company’s Liverpool office has been expanded as so many international events head to the city this year. The Showforce team is readying itself for a busy period as Eurovision fever grows and the build for the 151st Open beginning. Showforce’s Liverpool office has built an excellent reputation and its key crew chiefs and crew are regularly called on to assist with projects all over the UK and internationally.
Commenting on the promotion, Gemma Charity, group managing director said: “As a company that is only as good as our people, we pride ourselves on nurturing and investing in talent. Becky’s rise through the ranks is a real success story and I couldn’t be prouder of her taking this next step in her career. She has proved herself to be extremely capable in even the most challenging of circumstances, always remaining good natured and calm under pressure.”

etc-checkETC’s BTS donations reach major milestone
Monday, 27 March 2023

USA - In June of 2009 ETC launched a new app that turns Apple handhelds into miniature lighting controllers. From the very beginning, ETC decided that all profits from sales of the iRFR (Radio Focus Remote) and later the aRFR for Android apps would be donated to charity. On Friday at the 2023 USITT Show, ETC presented Behind the Scenes with a check for $39,599 bringing the total donated to the charity to over half a million dollars.
The iRFR and aRFR mobile apps enable convenient, touchscreen-based remote control for Eos family consoles and controllers. You can learn more about the apps from the ETC website and download them from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
David Lincecum, ETC’s vice president of marketing, commented, “Many of us are drawn to work in the entertainment technology industry because of its strong sense of community. Behind the Scenes has long been at the heart of this community, providing important financial support and mental health resources for our friends and colleagues. ETC employee owners are proud to contribute to this meaningful work.”
Rick Rudolph, chair of Behind the Scenes accepted the cheque along with other members of the Board of Directors. Rick commented, “This milestone is truly remarkable. When ETC first told us about this initiative we never dreamed it would reach half a million dollars. That money has allowed us to help so many of our colleagues in need: keeping a roof over their heads, heat and lights turned on, food on their table, prescriptions filled, and doctor’s appointments kept. We extend our

global-infusionGlobal Infusion Group appoints Tim Young MD
Friday, 24 March 2023

UK - Event, catering and brand logistics specialist Global Infusion Group has appointed Tim Young as its new managing director. Young brings of experience at both PLC and SME level to the role.
Prior to joining Global Infusion Group, Young was managing director of AMP Air Conditioning, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Panasonic Corporation, leading business operations and financial management. This followed a five-year stint as finance and commercial director with event supplier Thorns Group.
Commenting on his appointment, Young says: “I’m honoured to join the Global Infusion Group and working alongside such a great team. This is such an exciting time for the business, our catering division has just completed a record year of business with several high-profile events, tours and major global games successfully delivered in 2021/22. Whilst the logistics arm is making full use of our fabulous new facilities in Aston Clinton to rapidly expand its operations. The next 12 months will see significant levels of investment in the business which will allow us to enhance the customer experience and future proof the company.”
Bonnie May, CEO of Global Infusion Group adds: “Tim’s experience, positive attitude and can-do approach are exactly what we need to drive the business forward. As a friend and colleague for more than 15 years, it’s great to know that we’re in such capable hands as we strive for growth. I’m looking forward to working with him closely.”

cloudforest-fiveThe Inside Story joins Cloudforests initiative
Friday, 24 March 2023

Europe - The Inside Story has taken steps to reduce its impact on the planet by becoming CoolPartner number 054 with, a social enterprise creating new forests along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The move will give the full-service marketing agency a verifiable nature-based solution to offset the carbon emissions created by the business.
“As a company, we have been talking for a while about the impact that our actions are having on the environment and we wanted to take positive action to reduce this,” explains Barney Jameson, founder and managing director at The Inside Story. “After a period of extensive research, we decided that Cloudforests presented the best solution to help us reduce our carbon footprint.”
“Joining Cloudforests is a powerful statement about what we stand for as a company,” adds John Hull, director of video at The Inside Story. “We know that the work we do every day is having a negative impact on the world we live in. Taking steps like becoming a CoolPartner helps us to make a positive change.”
The partnership will see the planting of native trees such as Oak, Rowan, Birch and Alder at the new The Inside Story mini-forest. The trees will be planted using the Miyawaki Method which will provide carbon sequestration is up to ten times higher than conventional techniques.
“It’s particularly important that we are planting native trees,” states Amber Harty, social media executive at The Inside Story. “This means that not only are we helping to reduce our carbon footprint, we are also suppor

survey-report-2022PLASA and #WeMakeEvents release positive industry report
Friday, 24 March 2023

UK - Following on from the international industry-wide survey conducted in November 2022, PLASA and #WeMakeEvents have now published the full report, which is now available to download for free.
Completed by over 1,300 people in over 40 countries, the data offers clear insights into how the events, entertainment and installation industries are recovering from the pandemic, and highlights the rebound, along with what challenges remain.
The data will be presented to government departments and financial institutions to help raise the profile of the live sector, and it’s hoped, gain meaningful, long-term support. This report builds on the comprehensive survey conducted by PLASA and #WeMakeEvents in 2021.
Financially, the industry has mostly “bounced back” as predicted, with companies with over a million turnover seeing positive growth. Although, those with under one million turnover are still generally making up ground. Also, the vast majority of companies that took on debt during the pandemic are still paying it back.
Furthermore, delays and shortages across the board still remain, with 90% of manufacturers facing component delays and three-quarters of non-manufacturers facing delays in finished goods. Several reasons are cited, with Brexit leading the way.
Skills and work also remain affected, with employment down 10%, and three-quarters of employers struggling to fill roles. And as a result, companies are delaying projects. Approximately half of employers do not think that graduates have the necessary skills, although a third ind

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Student Funding - Higher education regulator the Office for Students has awarded a £9.6m annual funding boost to 15 establishments across England that provide training in performing arts. The organisations include Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Leeds Conservatoire, Chickenshed Theatre Company and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. All will receive a portion of the funding to help improve teaching and access to training.
A total of £9.6m a year will be awarded over five financial years from 2022-23 to 2026-27. Six organisations will receive the maximum amount of £1m a year. LIPA has been awarded this amount in this financial year. Sean McNamara, LIPA principal and chief executive, said: “The funding recognises our enduring reputation for excellence and the significant costs associated with delivering the type of high-quality specialist professional vocational training that we provide.
"It also recognises the importance of developing our students as creative artists and cultural entrepreneurs of the future in the ever-evolving cultural and creative industries, which annually contribute £115bn to the UK economy. Following our decision to remove audition fees, the funding will also enable us to push forward with our ambitious plans to widen access to performing arts training, expand on our already extensive industry and cultural partnerships and invest in professional standard equipment to ensure we continue to reflect the latest industry developments and trends.”
Swift Return - It's been five years since Taylo

kart-festKartfest 2023 tickets now on sale
Tuesday, 21 March 2023

UK - Backup has officially declared Kartfest -The Village Fete, open! Tickets are now on sale to the live events industry’s big day out.
Now in its eighth year, Backup is delighted that Kartfest will be returning to Sandown Park for its biggest event yet. “With our fantastic headline sponsor, Chauvet, we are building a big old fashioned Village Fete to give everyone a great day out,” says Backup vice chair and the event’s organiser, Lee Dennison. “Our judges will be out in force scoring the best dressed stalls, our cake bake competition and the best fete game. We are all looking forward to apple bobbing, hook the duck and smashing the rat.”
Backup is also delighted to have 5 Star Cases officially sponsor the Flight Case Relay, which is longer and faster than last year’s race. “We so looking forward to seeing the budding Linford Christies warming up on the day,” adds Lee.
A major focus this year on the Wellbeing Hub, which will see Music Support, The Lions Barbers Collective and Music Industry Therapist coming together to provide an educational and support space for everyone attending.
There will also be a multitude of food offerings at the Village Fete, with a mixture of Mediterranean, Italian and Asian street, and the Mr Whippy Van will be there, so there will be plenty of choice for all. To help this great food go down, Big Drop Brewery and Signature Brew will be selling their ranges of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, alongside other crafters.
Big beats will be flooding the Fete with the DJ Adam Fabulous, plus the

midwichMidwich UK&I launches Mi Finance scheme
Tuesday, 21 March 2023

UK - Midwich UK&I has launched Mi Finance – a financial services offering that supports customers’ business growth through help in acquiring new technologies or upgrading assets while protecting their working capital.
Available to customers of Midwich Ltd, Nimans Ltd and Sound Technology Ltd, and with plans to roll out to the wider UK&I group of companies soon, Mi Finance offers ‘competitive rates for lease and hire purchase’. Three product options are currently available including finance lease, hire purchase, and operating lease, with a fourth product in development.
Simon Munday, Mi Finance manager, said: “We are really excited to bring this proposition to market. We are constantly looking at ways to increase our service offering and Mi Finance is our answer.
“We work as an extension to our customer’s team – taking the administration out of their hands, offering quotations, managing proposal acceptances, completing documents, and arranging swift payments – so they don’t have to. The service is also available as an offering to facilitate transactions with their end client.”
Leasing has grown in popularity with recent figures by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) stating “that total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in January 2023 by 8% compared with the same month in 2022. In the twelve months to January 2023, new business was 6% higher than in the same period in 2022”.
Louise Nevard, director – credit at Midwich UK&I, added: “It’s great to be abl

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Financial Moves - The National Theatre has revealed it will need to “reduce activity levels in order to ensure financial stability” for the next three to four years, as it warns of the ongoing challenges it faces in its annual accounts for the year ending March 2022. The accounts show that its total income for the year until March 2022 was £80.8m, up from £56.3m the year before, but warn that high rates of inflation and increased energy costs are having a "significant impact" on its cost base. In the year before theatres were closed in March 2020, the theatre’s income was more than £100m.
In addition, it highlights a recent 5% cut to its annual Arts Council England funding, which was previously £17m but is being reduced by £850,000 a year with effect from this year. It also points to audiences being slow to return following the pandemic lockdowns, remaining about 21% down on pre-Covid attendance, and how "audience and consumer confidence is likely to be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis".
Future Theatre - The Society of London Theatre has revealed plans to launch a membership category to help identify and support early and mid-career producers and "future industry leaders". The associate membership programme is aimed at identifying producers and future industry leaders in London who are not eligible for other categories of SOLT membership.
SOLT said it hoped the programme would encourage applicants from groups who have historically been under-represented within the organisation over the past 114 years of its history, to ensur

btsBTS posts Mental Health First Aid training dates
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

USA - Dates for virtual Mental Health First Aid training are now posted through May 2023 at You can take an active role in helping to care for those you work with and expand your skill sets by learning how to identify, understand and respond to signs of distress in your colleagues and help make our workplaces healthier and safer spaces for all.
A previous attendee recently told BTS, “A dear friend disclosed an awful mental health crisis. Thanks to your class, I was able to put my mental health first aid training into critical practice and send them some resources. In an intense, immediate way I am so glad to have been there for a friend and able to help them get the help they desperately need.”
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a two-hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to a six-hour virtual live instructor led session. 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. Training for Canadians is available through the AFC at
Private group classes of 10 -25 are available virtually or in-person – contact for information.
Do you know how to safely intervene if you see a co-worker being bullied or intimidated? Did you know there are different ways to intervene to match your comfort level? In just

new-bts-board-membersBehind the Scenes welcomes board members
Monday, 13 March 2023

USA - The Behind the Scenes Foundation has added a number of new board members over the last six months intended to broaden industry representation and ensure continuity for future generations of entertainment technology professionals.
Chairperson Rick Rudolph states, “The Foundation has evolved and expanded its scope since forming in2005. Our mission now includes a Mental Health initiative along with the core of multiple needs grants. With increased programmes and the desire for more outreach and expertise, we have invited additional members to join the board of directors bringing fresh ideas and knowledge. I am extremely pleased to welcome them and grateful to our current and past members. The work we do is important, impacting our colleagues by providing help, hope and awareness.”
Joining the Board are Liz Campos, executive director of the IATSE Training Trust Fund; Caroline Chauvet, global brand manager for Chauvet; Kate Foster, marketing communication specialist for ETC; Paul Royalty, senior vice president of sales for LiteGear; Brad Schiller, lighting industry veteran; Jeff Siegel, director of Eastern region systems for Barbizon Lighting; Court Watson, USA 829 costume and scenic designer; and Pat White, president of IATSE Local 764 and director of education and training, IATSE.
Court Watson, whose design credits include theatre, opera and dance around the world, has created several popular BTS holiday cards over the years. It was his focus though, on making our workplaces safer and healthier for all that led the Board to invite him to join

kartfestSave the date for Kartfest 2023
Wednesday, 8 March 2023

UK - Backup is delighted to announce the much-anticipated date for this year’s Kartfest, and Thursday July 6th is the day to get your best tweed, flowery dress and, if you’re so inclined, Morris Dancing regalia, ready for the Kart-Fest Village Fete.
Tickets will be on sale from 0900hrs on Monday 20 March and it will be very much first come first served. “After an unprecedented demand last year, we are also restricting one Kart per team to make sure as many companies can attend,” says Backup’s Lee Dennison. “We are also placing much more of a focus on the activities on the day for those not racing, so we’re delighted to let you know that the theme for this year will be the good old British Summer Village Fete.”
There will be lots of fun to be had for racers and non-racers alike. More updates will be announced over the coming weeks, so make sure you not only book your Kart but also your spectator passes as well. There will be plenty for everyone.
Watch out for the ticketing details on our social channels on Monday 20 March!

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Bill Toppers - Arctic Monkeys and Guns N' Roses will top the bill at this year's Glastonbury Festival, organisers have announced. The rock bands join previously-announced headliner Sir Elton John, who will play the last UK show of his farewell tour at Worthy Farm in June. Other acts on the line-up include Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Lil Nas X, Manic Street Preachers, Wizkid and Blondie.
Yusuf, also known as Cat Stevens, will play the ‘legend slot’, previously occupied by Kylie and Dolly Parton. The coveted Sunday afternoon set traditionally draws one of the festival's biggest audiences, with Diana Ross attracting an estimated 80,000 people last year. Blondie will take to the Pyramid stage immediately after Stevens - effectively creating a "double legend" slot.
Eurovision Latest - Fans are preparing for the rush to get hold of coveted tickets for this year's song contest later. There is expected to be high demand when tickets for the nine public shows being staged in Liverpool in May go on sale at midday GMT on Tuesday.
Fans can try for the grand final and two live semi-finals, plus six previews doubling as dress rehearsals. Prices range from £90 to £290 for the live semi-finals on 9 and 11 May, and £160 to £380 for the final on 13 May. An account must be registered on Ticketmaster UK - regardless of the country tickets are being purchased in. They will only be available on the Ticketmaster UK website.
Facing the Waves - The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has partnered with Reading-based company PlayWell Productions and Whit

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Eurovision Funding - The Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Liverpool in May, will get £10m from the UK government, it has been announced. It will be spent on operational costs like security and visas, as well as making sure the event "showcases Ukrainian culture". Local authorities in Liverpool have already pledged £4m in funding. About 3,000 tickets to the song contest will also be made available for Ukrainians living in the UK.
Liverpool is staging the event at its M&S Bank Arena on behalf of Ukraine. It will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the UK for 25 years. The government funding is intended to "support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the contest", the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.
The money will also support Liverpool City Council as well as host broadcaster the BBC's partnerships with Ukrainian acts "to ensure a collaborative show celebrating music and how it unites people", it said in a statement. It is the first time the government has confirmed its financial contribution.
Last year the Italian government did not directly pledge any money towards the annual event, the BBC has learned. Instead, the host city of Turin spent roughly £10m on the song contest - with officials claiming it made the money back "seven times" over through tourism.
Crown Works - Plans for a new UK film studio complex touted as one of the largest in Europe have been unveiled. Crown Works Studios has been proposed as a new production hub on the banks of the River Wear in Sun

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Post Pandemic Blues - The pandemic has wiped billions of pounds from the night-time economy, including theatre, according to a new report. The research indicates that the night-time sector has had a greater struggle to recover to pre-pandemic income than the economy generally, despite a robust response to the challenges of Covid. The chair of the Night Time Industries Association, which carried out the report, said the government had "failed" the sector.
The report highlights how seriously jobs in hospitality, theatres, bars, restaurants and those that operate between 6pm and 6am have been hit over the past few years and that many in the sector are "surviving" but not "thriving".
Sacha Lord, chair of the NTIA and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: "The government has failed independent business operators and the cultural sector across the UK. It needs to do everything possible to protect these vitally important businesses that deliver way beyond economic impact, but are considered vital to social cohesion, nightlife tourism and the mental health and well-being of the UK."
The report is the second commissioned to help fully understand the economic contribution and significance of the night-time cultural economy (NTCE) to the UK economy.
Studio Boost - An £800m expansion of the studios used for the filming of the James Bond and Star Wars franchises has been approved. Pinewood Studios, near Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire, submitted plans for a 1.4m sq.ft expansion to build 21 new stages, a training hub a

katie-jangESTA appoints Katie Jang Protocol editor
Monday, 20 February 2023

USA - ESTA has announced that Katie Jang is the new Protocol editor, taking over the role when Beverly Inglesby retires in April.
Jang (née McCulloh) has over two decades of marketing, communications, and advertising experience in the live entertainment industry working with Broadway venues, touring productions, traveling exhibitions, regional theatres, and more. Additionally, she worked for both ESTA as a marketing executive and Lighting&Sound America as a media executive.
“I am thrilled to re-join the ESTA team in this capacity and look forward to new opportunities within the publication while maintaining the core of Protocol for our dedicated members and subscribers,” says Jang. “And I am honoured to carry on Beverly’s undeniably enormous legacy.”
Erin Grabe, Executive Director of ESTA, notes, “I am very excited to work with Katie again; her background and talent set her up for success. Beverly’s footprint on ESTA and Protocol is incalculable. Taking the publication from its humble beginnings to the technical powerhouse journal it is today, is largely owed to Beverly’s unmatched enthusiasm for this association and industry.”

forumPLASA to host Business Forum in London
Thursday, 16 February 2023

UK - PLASA is set to host a Member Business Forum at the Victory Services Club in London on Wednesday 29 March. The forum will feature guest speakers to discuss ways of building culture, continuity and resilience.
PLASA members can attend the forum free-of-charge, with up to two members of your team able to attend. Non-members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets from Monday 13 March for £55+VAT.
The Member Business Forum will offer an afternoon of keynote talks from respected business leaders, followed by an evening of networking and drinks. Attendees will gain actionable advice on how to improve their business practices. Plus, they will meet like-minded industry professionals.
William Rogers MBE has been confirmed as the keynote speaker to deliver a talk on Leading Culture Change. He appeared in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Leader of a mid-sized company for three years in a row. His expansive career began by building a highly successful insurance broker business from scratch and selling it to Towergate Insurance. Today, William serves on the board for Stage Electrics, Your Harrogate by Magnetiz (a local digital platform), and Startle (a digital music supplier).
HR expert Nicky Gleadow is also confirmed to deliver a talk on Building Employee Retention. Nicky owns and runs The HR Point and has been consulting on SME employment matters for 14 years. Furthermore, she is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and holds a Masters in Employment Law (LLM).
Plus, John Robinson, direct

airshowsElectric Airshows joins the industry’s leading lights
Tuesday, 14 February 2023

UK – Electric Airshows, the new company offering aerial drone light shows to the UK events industry, has announced its membership of PLASA, the UK-based Professional Lighting and Sound Association, and ARPAS-UK, the only trade association focused on the UK drone community.
Electric Airshows, which officially announced its arrival at the start of 2023, has been a long time in development. Headed by two well-known figures from the entertainment production industry, Chris Crockford and Ian Lomas, the company is now offering an initial fleet of 100 drones, purchased from leading Chinese drone show specialist, DAMODA Intelligent Control Technology. The company plans to reach a total of 500 drones – the limit allowed by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – by mid-2023, making it a major player in the UK’s emerging drone show market.
In being accepted by PLASA, Electric Airshows becomes the first ever dedicated outdoor drone show provider in the Association’s membership. Commenting on his company’s PLASA membership, Crockford says: “It’s quite something to be at the start of a whole new branch of the entertainment industry and to be welcomed and supported by the PLASA family that we’ve known for so long. We’re really looking forward to playing our part.”
As the leading international trade body for the world’s entertainment technology and production market, PLASA represents the top players in the industry, promoting best practice and skills development, publishing safety standards and industry research, and facilitating trade

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Coronation Concert - A ballot has opened for 10,000 free tickets for a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle to mark the King's coronation. The televised show will be on 7 May, the day after King Charles is crowned at Westminster Abbey. The BBC has promised the line-up will feature "musical icons and contemporary stars". There are 5,000 pairs of tickets in the ballot, which opened at 07:00 GMT on Friday and will close on 28 February. The tickets would be allocated based on the geographical spread of the UK population, the BBC said, with those successful notified by late April.
The castle's east lawn would see "a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by fantastic entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance and the arts", the BBC said. It "will also feature a selection of spoken-word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen", a statement added. The evening event will last for two to three hours, with the full line-up to be confirmed later.
BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said: "The coronation concert on the BBC will bring the nation together to mark this momentous occasion and we are thrilled to be able to offer the public the opportunity to be part of the event at Windsor Castle through a national ballot, as well as providing audiences with exclusive coverage across TV and radio."
Box Office Revenue - Box-office revenue in the West End has increased by 11.6% compared with 2019, according to the first full set of figures from the Society of London Theatre since disruption caus

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Time Traveller - Beyoncé won a record-breaking 32nd Grammy Award, while Harry Styles won album of the year, at this year's ceremony in Los Angeles. Beyoncé made history as she won best dance/electronic album for her dance opus, Renaissance. In doing so, she overtook Hungarian-British conductor George Solti, whose record of 31 Grammys had stood for more than 20 years. Overall, Beyoncé won four prizes at the ceremony - but missed some of the early presentations after getting stuck in gridlocked downtown Los Angeles. "I'm surprised traffic could stop you," joked host Trevor Noah. "I thought you travelled through space and time."
Border Crossing - Eurovision's stage will use a design that demonstrates "how music can transcend borders and bring people together", the BBC has said. The song contest will take place at Liverpool Arena in May, with the city hosting the event on behalf of Ukraine. The BBC said the stage was inspired by "a wide hug" to give the impression of "opening its arms to Ukraine". It will be created by design firm Yellow Studio, which previously worked on the 2022 Grammy Awards ceremony.
Edinburgh Rocks - Work has begun to clear the site for Edinburgh's first purpose-built music venue in more than 100 years. The £75m Dunard Centre will be located behind Dundas House off St Andrew Square and host classical, pop, rock, jazz and electronica concerts. The 1,000-seat venue, set to open by 2026, will be the biggest built in the capital since the Usher Hall in 1914. It will be home to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and play

richardnixESTA names Nix technical standards manager
Thursday, 2 February 2023

USA - ESTA has announced that Richard Nix is the new technical standards manager for the Technical Standards Programme (TSP). His predecessor, Karl Ruling, will stay on in a supporting role.
Nix’s involvement in the development of standards spans decades. In early 1994 he was already actively involved in the USITT Rigging Standards project when discussions began about the TSP and its mission. He immediately came on board as a volunteer and has been, as he puts it, “a rather hyperactive standards evangelist ever since,” having led multiple tasks groups over the years before joining ESTA as assistant technical standards manager in May 2019.
Former technical standards manager Ruling will now be senior technical standards manager. “I am stepping back so that Richard can step forward, and I am sure he will excel. Richard has been involved in the TSP for as long as I have, and with other standards organizations even longer.” Ruling will continue to write the TSP newsletter, Standards Watch, and will still be the technical editor for Protocol, ESTA’s quarterly technical journal.
The TSP is a programme by the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA). It comprises over 350 volunteer experts who devote time and knowledge to drafting American National Standards for the benefit of the whole entertainment technology industry.

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Planning Ahead - The Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival could become a permanent fixture, if plans are backed. Festival organisers currently have rolling temporary planning permission but want it to become permanent. It would mean that as well as the festival, it would allow use of the land, on the Somerset site, throughout the year for parties and camping. But local residents are concerned it would change the land from a working farm to a festival and camping site.
The permission would also allow the "permanent regularisation" of the Pyramid Stage, along with a building currently used for storage and recycling, and the allocation of land to accommodate the temporary festival workforce. According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the festival would still be subject to its official licence. So even if planning permission were granted, it would still need to comply with the likes of an agreed capacity and a limit on noise.
A spokesman for Planning Sphere, representing Glastonbury Festival Events Ltd (GFEL), said: "The grant of planning permission will provide certainty and secure the future of the largest music festival in Europe.
Cultural Policy - The Conservative Party has confirmed its commitment to devolving cultural policy and spending powers to regional leaders across England. Secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove reaffirmed the plans when speaking at the Convention of the North on 25 January.
The plans to devolve more governance powers to local leaders were first mentioned i

make-a-difference-logoABTT launches Make A Difference conference
Tuesday, 31 January 2023

UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced the launch of the Make A Difference conference, an annual proactive conference day committed to finding solutions to current industry issues. The conference will be more than simply talking and will ask attendees to commit to taking action and developing strategies to achieve solutions for the issues discussed.
The first conference will be held on Friday 21 April 2023 in the Ambassadors Lounge, Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ with thanks to Ambassador Theatre Group for their support of this event. The theme for this year’s discussion is Solving our industry’s recruitment & retention crisis.
The conference has been developed to continue the joined-up thinking that is happening in the many ABTT seminars which are convened throughout the year and at the ABTT Theatre Show. “With support of academic theatre production staff from Guildford School of Acting we shall facilitate these continuing discussions at our conference day and provide a more focussed proactive platform to encourage actions and find practical solutions to move us forward with industry issues,” says ABTT.
ABTT co-chair & senior lecturer at Guildford School of Acting, Mig Burgess Walsh comments, “I am excited to see what this conference can achieve. It’s my privilege in my role as co-chair of the ABTT to attend many exciting and passionate seminars and talks from all parts of our industry. I hope this conference will provide a focussed time away from busy trade shows


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