General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 August 2017

In Flight Entertainment - German live music promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG has bought out British entertainment producer the Flying Music Group, as it looks to expand into the UK theatre market. Established in 1976, producer and promoter the Flying Music Group is behind theatre productions including Thriller Live and The Kite Runner, both of which are currently running in the West End, and forthcoming musical The Toxic Avenger. DEAG has now acquired a majority shareholding of the company through its British subsidiary Kilimanjaro Holdings.
Through the £5m deal with Flying Music Group, DEAG will expand its activities in the UK, moving into the touring plays and musicals market. A statement from DEAG said its sales in the UK are expected to increase to more than €100m in 2018 following the acquisition of the Flying Music Group. Stuart Galbraith, chief executive of Kilimanjaro Live, said the deal was "another important step in [DEAG's] expansion into West End touring musicals and theatre".
Twins Return - Eighties boy band Bros returned to the stage for the first time in nearly 30 years and thanked fans for supporting their comeback. Twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss performed at a sold-out O2 Arena in London last Saturday. They told fans they hoped their comeback show would be the "first of many concerts".
Bros announced their comeback show in October. It sold out in seven seconds and prompted the band to expand to a full UK tour. However, they cancelled all of their concerts outside of London and Manchester due to "un

le-markER Productions on the road with Le Mark
Tuesday, 22 August 2017

UK - ER Productions is an innovative laser specialist providing cutting edge laser products and choreography to some of the most iconic shows internationally.
“We use Le Mark because of their good quality products; not just flight case labels but other items we have ordered. Le Mark's Hannah Tuoy in business development is always speedy with our requests and keeps us updated as to our orders,” said Hannah Williams, production assistant at ER Productions.
The PAL case labels that ER Production bought were used on flight cases, which contain the kit required to make the show a success, and go all over the world to the variety of shows they work on.
“Each case is clearly labelled which aids us not only when packing the kit in the warehouse, but also at the gig for set up & de-rig,” explained Hannah.
Le Mark’s PAL case labels are not restricted by layout, size, colour or shape.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
ben--john-mamba-republicMamba Republic supports SOS charity
Thursday, 17 August 2017

South Africa - Not tip-toeing around what’s wrong and very wrong in the Rainbow Nation, South Africa, Mamba Republic is a rapidly-paced satirical sketch theatre comedy which reunites the talents of Ben Voss (Beauty Ramapelepele) and John van de Ruit (Spud). This brutally amusing production, from its opening at Durban's Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre through to its performances on the Main programme at the National Arts Festival in July, and its current run at The Theatre on the Square in Sandton ending 19th August, has continually had its audiences in stitches.
The Mamba Republic team generously donated R13 000 towards the SOS Charity Fund from ticket sales.
With their blend of sharp wit, hopeless optimism and clever characterization, the duo sank their fangs into the fiascos and foibles of South African life.
“As a theatre show, Mamba Republic is very pleased and proud to be pledging support to SOS,” commented Julia Clarence, from the Mamba Republic team. “We became aware of the charity through conversations with long term colleague and friend Michael Taylor-Broderick. He offered us his superb eye in an advisory capacity and in turn, we decided to pledge some money to the charity as a thank you. Michael's vision has been key to the look and aesthetic of our show, and we are grateful to have had his wisdom on our team. It is not often that theatre show can find such a direct avenue to give back to charity, so we are delighted that this venture was made possible by Michael and DWR Distribution.”
The SOS Charity

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Ticket To Ride - Amazon could soon be entering yet another new market - working with US venue owners to sell event tickets. Sources told Reuters news agency that Amazon was in talks to offer event ticketing in America, seeing the market as ripe for a new entrant. If such a move were to go ahead, it would be the latest effort by the Seattle-based online retailer to use its huge customer base and bargaining power to enter a big market.
It would also challenge Ticketmaster, which has a strong grip on the market. Ticketmaster is currently the exclusive seller of tickets for many top US venues, generating $1.6bn in revenue from initial sales in 2016, according to estimates by research firm BTIG. That figure does not include revenue from reselling tickets, which BTIG estimates at $250m.
Price Sensitive - Producer Thelma Holt has become the latest figure to rail against “dreadful” West End ticket prices, claiming they promote a culture of exclusivity. Holt, who began her career as an actor before moving into producing in the 1970s, said British theatre had copied its "cousins" in the US in increasing ticket prices, particularly for premium seats. Premium tickets to West End shows can cost more than £200 each.
Other theatre figures who have spoken out against West End ticket prices include actor Andrew Scott, who insisted that an affordable ticket allocation at each performance was written into his Hamlet contract. Last month Andrew Lloyd Webber claimed that prices were “incredibly reasonable” given the cost of putting a show on.
Holt

 
 
tdcTechnical Direction Company opens doors
Friday, 11 August 2017

Australia - TDC – Technical Direction Company supplies innovative video technologies to high profile live events, light festivals, TV productions and live performance.
The recent TDC Open House held at TDC’s Alexandria Headquarters on 2-4 August enabled production professionals to get their hands on the latest technologies, talk to expert TDC teams about how these new tools can be used in future projects, and to peek at the latest tools and technologies coming out of worldwide R&D labs.
“While we’ve always been known for using the latest video technologies in innovative ways to realise our clients’ projects, we’re now getting ahead of the game by developing and deploying technology such as automation, motion tracking and real time content generation that will be the future of live entertainment,” said Michael Hassett, managing director at TDC. “Throughout the open house event, our clients rebooked for double appointments and brought their important clients with them. The audience included many of Australia’s leading production people from TV, corporate, theatre, artistic groups, graphics houses along with eager students from NIDA and the Australian Film and television institute.”
These VIP guests had the opportunity to see some of the world’s latest and best video technologies.
TDC has expanded their capabilities to include show pre-visualisation, motion tracking, automation with technology demoed by TDC experts using d3, Notch, Blacktrax, the latest UDX projectors from Barco, along with TDC’s broadcast OB capabili

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Creative Issues - Cultural organisations and universities are being encouraged to work together as part of an £80m programme designed to address issues within the creative industries. The scheme is seeking to come up with new ways of working or create new services that tackle problem areas such as skills shortages, equality and diversity, and finance models.
Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Creative Industries Clusters Programme will support eight research and development partnerships, each led by a university working with a range of creative organisations. Beginning in 2018, the groups will use money from an £80m pot to fund research and development projects. These will be aimed at improving the creative industries’ development in areas such as cross-sector collaborations, new ways of financing, equality and diversity and skills shortages.
Almost half (£39m) of the investment will come from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will be matched by university and private sector funding to make the total £80m. The programme, announced by business secretary Greg Clark, will be established alongside a Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Clark claimed the new programmes would "deliver a real boost to the country's already burgeoning creative industries", as well as grow the skills base across the UK.
Family Friendly - There should be a radical shake-up of Edinburgh's festivals to make them more family-friendly, it has been claimed. The city's culture chief is leading calls for the Edinbu

 
 
maestra-londonMaestra London team expands
Tuesday, 8 August 2017

UK - Event design and technical production company Maestra London has expanded its team with three new staff.
Leonie Cumisky joins as PA and office manager, Paul Hayes comes on-board as assistant technical manager and Frank Uhl is the new warehouse manager.
Says Maestra London director Justin Hammond, “We’ve had a fantastic year and it’s very exciting to strengthen the team with more excellent personnel. Leonie, Paul and Frank come from a diversity of backgrounds and their dynamics, vitality and excellent personalities will be a great asset to our collective vision and goals.”
Leonie graduated from Goldsmith’s College, London, with a BA in Media & Modern Literature and previously worked for over three years as office manager for a leading UK design practice. Prior to that, she freelanced in the worlds of advertising and digital media.
Paul’s previous work experience includes gaining a degree in Music Production & Business at the University of Westminster and since has worked freelance for a number of different event and technical production companies and music venues, honing his technical skills.
Frank attended a Jazz conservatoire in France after which he completed a BA in Music Performance in London and then focused on audio and music production. He’s also taught world music production and digital drumming at West Herts College.
(Jim Evans)

 
tmb-propowerOld Faithful ProPower powers on for iWeiss
Monday, 7 August 2017

USA - At iWeiss, ProPower means continuity in more ways than one. Their oldest ProPower Rack Power Distribution (RPD) rack has been in continuous service for 17 years, in the most challenging and hostile theatrical conditions. With over 1,500 ProPower racks in service across North America, the story of this reliable workhorse product is worth telling.
“After 17 years of continuous use in the construction and renovation of venues, amidst all the associated debris, dust and dirt, our oldest ProPower rack still functions flawlessly,” says Richard Parks, VP of rigging and installation at iWeiss. “I can’t praise this product enough. It always saves us time and money with a single tie that the crew can work without an electrician, and it always passes the OSHA and AHJ inspections.”
Parks adds, “This rack has supported dozens of crews, rigging, welding and hoisting, year after year. It’s been used to power everything from power tools to sophisticated motion control and stage machinery. We’ve gotten more than our money’s worth from our ‘Old Faithful’ ProPower distros.”
For 40 years, New Jersey’s iWeiss has provided quality drapery and rigging solutions to the entertainment industry. Offering a variety of products and services, including project management; draping; installation; steel fabrication; backdrops; rigging; automation; and more, iWeiss takes great pride in superior performance and personalized service.
Custom-configurable ProPower power distribution systems offer a comprehensive range of distro panels incorporatin

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Factory News - Designs for Manchester's £110m arts centre the Factory are being redrawn after a review found the originals to not be fit for purpose. The project received planning permission in January but the council will now have to spend an extra £1.65m changing the designs.
The Factory was first announced in 2014. It has been given a £78m grant from central government, as well as a £9m annual grant from 2018-19. It is designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA, with theatre consultancy from Charcoal Blue.
According to The Stage, The ‘novelty’ glazed and concrete exterior in the original plans will "compromise the acoustic performance of the venue", a review submitted to Manchester City Council claimed. Elsewhere, the theatre's design was found to be too complex and the orchestra pit too small.
The review, conducted by Manchester City Council, has put forward a revised scheme in which the building's facades will be altered to stay in keeping with the original design concept but without any associated acoustic issues. The theatre will be simplified and made "more intimate and balanced", and its capacity reduced from 1,700 to 1,500 seats.
The report said that after testing the with other venues and promoters, it was agreed that the orchestra pit must be in line with "the expectations of a venue of this size and quality", and should therefore be increased from a 50 to 80-player capacity.
The Factory is due to open in September 2020. It was originally scheduled to open in time for the 2019 Manchester International F

 
proplexdevices-multiplepic-2017-1ProPlex at Galway International Arts Festival
Monday, 31 July 2017

Ireland - The annual Galway International Arts Festival is one of Ireland’s largest cultural events. This year’s line-up features musical performances by Dublin’s own Gavin James, England’s Passenger, original Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and many others. Lighting for the eclectic series of nightly concerts in the festival Big Top is provided by Light Source, with data networking by ProPlex.
“We have used ProPlex cable and devices for every show over many years,” says Light Source general manager, Ciaran Donnelly. “This gig has two GBS 10-port switches, four Opto-Splitters including two Minis in the truss, and an IQ Two 1616 16-universe DMX node. Tying the system together are over 200m of ProPlex Fibre, and 200m of ProPlex Cat 5e and DMX cables.” Donnelly added, “Additionally, we are using 200 meters of ProCable Multicable, fanouts, and 16 amp TRS mains cables.”
Light Source system tech, Brendan Cummins, adds: “The flexibility offered by the IQ Two and Opto-Splitters makes data routing via both hard-switchable and soft-patched universe outputs extremely easy when dealing with touring bands and artists. The ProPlex devices and software are intuitive and very easy to use, as well as powerful, reliable, and bullet-proof.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
DNJ Pro establishes West Coast office
Friday, 21 July 2017


USA - With just under a month of setup, DNJ Pro’s west coast office is now complete.
“I am very excited to now have an office in California,” said Doug Brown, CEO of DNJ Pro. “Initially with only one office in Baltimore, I was concerned clients thought we were partial to the East Coast, which was not the case at all, but now everyone can see that we are dedicated to the entirety of the United States.”
DNJ Pro’s west coast office is based in Glendale, California, about 20 minutes from Los Angeles and features a larges showroom and demo space with all of the products that the company represents. “I am also excited to announce that we now have a dedicated west coast outside sales team,” Brown said, “This is going to be great for us and our clients and I am very much looking forward to the future.”
(Jim Evans)

 
theatre-projectsRobert Young rejoins Theatre Projects
Thursday, 20 July 2017

USA - Theatre Projects has announced that industry veteran Robert Young is rejoining the company after eight years away. Robert has over 25 years of experience as a designer and theatre consultant, and he’ll be returning to help the design team create dynamic, versatile, and engaging performance spaces across the globe.
Robert began his career in theatre consulting with Theatre Projects in 1999 and spent the next decade designing and specifying theatre systems and managing the technical production department. His work contributed to the creation of more than 150 projects - including many award-winning and acclaimed performance spaces. During this time, Robert established a reputation for taking a hands-on approach to designing innovative, flexible theatre equipment systems utilizing the latest theatre technology.
In 2009, Robert joined the Acoustics, Audiovisual, and Theatre Consulting practice within Arup, leading the firm’s West Coast operations for Theatre Consulting. He established himself not only as an inventive designer, but also as a talented project manager capable of delivering large-scale projects efficiently.
“I look forward to bringing my knowledge and skill set back to Theatre Projects,” Robert said. “I’ve gained a global perspective, a wealth of leadership experience, and created some remarkable performance spaces along the way. I’m thrilled to come back and join a team solely focused on delivering the best venues for their clients - Theatre Projects.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
penn-elcom-washingtonPenn Elcom invests in Washington facility
Wednesday, 19 July 2017

UK - Flight case hardware and 19-inch racking manufacturer Penn Elcom continues to invest in all its facilities to ensure the production process stays efficient, and meeting the increased demands following the launch of global online sales portal, pennelcomonline.com in January 2016.
A range of new engineering equipment has been installed at the Washington, Tyne & Wear HQ over the last 18 months, including new metal brake presses, plastic injection moulding machines, riveting assembly lines and machinery to enhance processes like wood laminating, PVC / HPL, zinc plating and powder coating.
There have also been upgrades to the warehousing and distribution departments.
Consolidating all these key manufacturing processes under one roof and minimising sub-contracting enables Penn Elcom to have a high degree of control over its products, which guarantees meticulous quality control and the high standards for which the brand is renowned.
“It also makes the company versatile, agile and responsive to client needs,” explained David Brown, MD of Penn Elcom UK.
The 105,000sq.ft Washington plant is divided between manufacturing and warehousing and currently employs 133 full time staff, out of a total of 194 in the UK. The others are based at the Hastings facility in East Sussex, giving Penn excellent coverage and fast deliveries all over the UK and beyond.
The company also has major manufacturing bases and distribution centres in Mexico and China. These four facilities are the bedrock of a highly successful worldwide trade operation.

 
ESTA’s Happy Hour returns to Vegas for fourth year
Thursday, 13 July 2017

USA - ESTA’s Happy Hour to benefit Behind the Scenes returns for its fourth year as one of the biggest parties of the year and will take place on Thursday, 16 November 1from 6pm-8pm at the Havana Room located in the Tropicana Hotel. Tickets are $65 in advance and are on sale now at www.behindthescenescharity.org/btshh.
The Happy Hour features an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and music with all ticket sales going to benefit Behind the Scenes, our industry’s only charity specifically for entertainment technology professionals in need due to illness or injury. Since its inception in 2014, ESTA’s Happy Hour for Behind the Scenes has raised over $160,000 in sponsorships and ticket sales.
Sponsorships are available at all levels. Information on how to become a sponsor is available online at www.esta.org or by emailing btshh@esta.org.
Current sponsors for the 2017 Happy Hour for Behind the Scenes include: Executive: Altman Lighting; Platinum: Ultratec, Gold: Barbizon Lighting, Robe, Sapsis Rigging, Inc., Stage Rigging; Silver: CommuniLux, iWeiss Theatrical, OSRAM, Stan Pressner, Taylor & Taylor Associates; Bronze: ENTTEC Americas; Event Lighting: A.C. Lighting, Inc.; Media sponsors: Protocol, Lighting&Sound America.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Live and Kicking - More people are going to see live music than ever before, with attendance at concerts and festivals at an all-time high. The total gig-going audience soared by 12% to 30.9m in 2016, according to UK Music, contributing £4 billion to the country's economy. But there was a 13% drop in the amount of money being spent at small venues - those with a capacity of under 1,500. Those venues have been particularly under pressure in recent years.
The chief executive of trade body UK Music, Michael Dugher, stressed that small venues were a "vital part of the live music industry". "UK Music will continue to campaign to safeguard smaller music venues, many of which are fighting for survival," added the former Labour MP.
UK Music's Wish You Were Here report also found that 4m people attended a festival in 2016; and that 823,000 people travelled to the UK from abroad specifically to watch live music, spending an average of £850 per visit. Since 2011, the UK has seen a 76% rise in music tourism - but the live music industry has expressed concerns that Brexit could negatively affect those figures.
There are fears that artists might have to scale back European tours, especially if they are forced to apply for costly visas and £1,000 "carnet" documents - temporary import/export agreements - in order to transport equipment across borders. It may also prove harder for European musicians, technicians and fans, to travel to the UK. Dugher said he would be "pressing the government" to limit the impact of Brexit on the industry.
Money Mat

 
flower-power11th Hour powers Cardiff flower show
Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The RHS's Flower Show in Cardiff is the season-opener for the society's large public events and although smaller than its Chelsea and Hampton Court equivalents, it annually attracts in the region of 30,000 visitors. The 2017 edition, the 13th staging of the event, took place in April at Bute Park and Arboretum, in the shadow of Cardiff Castle and once again proved to be a record-breaking spectacular.
Themed around myths and legends, several of the show gardens took their inspiration from tales of magic and folklore and the sheer variety on offer at the show marked it as a special weekend in Cardiff's cultural calendar. Fifty specialist growers were present, educational workshops were held and the focus was firmly on visitors enjoying a relaxed atmosphere in which they could fully appreciate the variety on offer. The Floral Marquees and Plant Village were bursting with demonstrations and fresh planting ideas and the season's curtain-raiser was deemed an unqualified success by organisers and visitors.
Cardiff-based event and project management specialist, 11th Hour, was instrumental in powering the event, taking care of every electrical requirement, including those of the marquees, presentation stages and catering. Five members of 11th Hour's team worked on the site over a three-week period, installing more than five miles of electrical cabling, as well as supplying three 100KVA generators as a back-up power supply. Eighty-five daylight lighting fixtures were installed in the floral marquees. During the course of the weekend itself, 11th Hour staff were on standby

 
 
ashley-picklesAshley Pickles joins Theatreplan consultancy team
Monday, 10 July 2017

UK - International theatre consultancy Theatreplan continues to strengthen its consultancy team with the recent appointment of Ashley Pickles.
A seasoned theatre professional, Pickles comes to Theatreplan after 15 years at the Barbican Theatre in London where he oversaw the flying of international touring productions and project- managed large-scale capital works within the Grade II listed building. Amongst his most notable achievements was managing the replacement of the power flying system, grid and galleries, in addition to numerous other projects aimed at improving and upgrading the venue’s infrastructure.
In 2013, he was invited to oversee the build and building management of The Drowned Man, a co-production between Punchdrunk and the National Theatre set over four storeys in a disused GPO sorting office, a production which ran for two years.
“Ashley is someone we’ve known for a while through his sterling work at the Barbican, and we are delighted that he has decided to join us at Theatreplan,” said director, Dave Ludlam. “He brings a wealth of experience across medium and large-scale theatrical and artistic performance venues and productions both here and abroad, making him an ideal fit for the wide range of projects currently on our books. He’ll be a great asset to the consultancy team.”
“I’m very happy to have joined the team at Theatreplan. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them on several occasions whilst Technical Manager at the Barbican Theatre,” confirmed Pickles. “I was always impressed with the

 
adam-hallAdam Hall strengthens business division
Thursday, 6 July 2017

Germany - In the course of the successful repositioning of the company, the Adam Hall Group is developing its global business development division.
From 1 July, Bodo Falkenried’s team will be augmented by Alessio Foti, who has several years’ experience as brand manager for leading companies in the pro-audio sector, where his principal responsibilities included business development, product management and sales in Asia, the USA and Europe.
Falkenried, head of global business development, comments: “As a fast-growing, innovative company with an international orientation, Alessio will provide urgent support in meeting the demanding requirements for strategic and operative business development. His excellent knowledge and experience in international markets and the development of brands and their specific legal aspects will play an important role in consolidating our further expansion.”
“The Adam Hall Group, with its history of more than 40 years, its wide range of products, services and its increasing significance in the international market for modern event and building technology, offers me the perfect arena in which to successfully implement my experiences and skills, in an environment in which I have been working for many years”, added the 40-year old Italian, who will be based at the headquarters of the Adam Hall Group in Hessen at Neu-Anspach, near Frankfurt.
Markus Jahnel, managing partner of the Adam Hall Group, adds: “We are growing steadily and are becoming increasingly international. The development of new business ar

 
 
michael-claphamSource Distribution adds area sales manager
Wednesday, 5 July 2017

UK - Source Distribution has announced the recruitment of Michael Clapham as area sales manager for the Midlands. Michael brings to Source over 25 years’ experience in the music industry that includes successful tenures as a senior regional manager at Yamaha Music Europe (UK), and as a sales manager for Marshall Amplification.
In a newly-created position, Michael will assume responsibility for supporting and growing Source’s key accounts in the Midlands region, building on his excellent long-term working relationships with dealers in the area. Michael combines decades of management and retail experience with a lifelong passion for music and music technology. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Michael also co-owned and managed a busy commercial recording studio in Birmingham for many years, and maintains a broad and ever-expanding vinyl collection.
Darren Power, Source director of sales and marketing commented: “We are incredibly pleased to have Michael joining us at Source, and are confident in the senior level skill set Michael brings with him. Importantly, we are giving a clear indication to the marketplace of our continued investment in resources and support to our dealer network.”
(Jim Evans)

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Stax at The Proms - Sir Tom Jones is to make his Proms debut in a celebration of Stax Records, alongside soul legends Booker T Jones and Sam Moore. The concert, on 1 September, marks the 50th anniversary of the label's hugely successful 1967 European tour. Featuring acts like Sam & Dave and Otis Redding, the revue prompted a surge in popularity for American soul in the UK.
Concerts Cancelled - Adele cancelled the last two shows of her 123-stop world tour after damaging her vocal cords. The star has been touring her 2015 album 25 since February 2016, and in a note shared just after midnight on 1 July she said: “on medical advice I am simply unable to perform over the weekend.” On the previous Wednesday and Thursday week Adele played two of her tour’s final four dates at London’s Wembley Stadium, and in her note she explained: “I’ve struggled vocally both nights.” The first night attracted a crowd of 98,000 – a record for any event, sporting or otherwise at Wembley.
The prom comes near the end of a season which also features Simon Rattle, Jarvis Cocker and Nicola Benedetti. Sir Tom said he was looking forward to his first appearance at the classical music festival. "I've always sung soul and I've always sung Stax," he said. "I sang Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay on my television show in 1969 and I intend to sing it at this prom again."
Emotional Experience - Audiences watching Titus Andronicus at the Royal Shakespeare Company will have their heart rates monitored to discover wheth

 
 
agm2017 PLASA AGM reflects on a remarkable year
Friday, 30 June 2017

UK - The PLASA AGM and Members Lunch returned to Hatfield House on 22 June to celebrate a year of stability, new initiatives and the promise of future growth.
Members enjoyed a productive day where the AGM was followed by an interactive Open Forum with opportunities to participate and ask questions of the board. Drinks in the gardens and a three-course lunch was further enlivened through a high-energy presentation by award-winning speaker and company turnaround expert, Nigel Risner.
The AGM saw presentations from PLASA's chairman Ed Pagett, who touched on the key developments of the last year, including an unprecedented financial turnaround, a much-welcomed move to Olympia for the PLASA Show, a 28% revenue increase for PLASA Media UK and positive outcomes following meetings with Jules Lauve, President of the ESTA Board of Directors.
Pagett mentioned PLASA’s film production rental and studio members, known as ASPEC, who were highly productive in working together to improve and protect their sector of the industry. This bringing together of special interest groups had also been effective in revitalising pro audio support for the PLASA Show and the development of PLASA’s certification programme. This would be rolled out across other areas of PLASA wherever a need was identified.
"We are delighted to be able to present really meaningful progress across so many areas," said Pagett, in closing, taking the opportunity to thank members for their ongoing support for PLASA.
The conclusion of the formal part of the AGM was followed by senio

 
gertons2017 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The 2017 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are on sale now. There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer than with these unique cards created especially for Behind the Scenes. Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your family, friends, customers or colleagues know it’s important to you to assist those in need in our industry.
Three card ordering options are offered: personalised cards with a company logo and custom message, card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, and electronic versions for delivery by email. Orders will be taken until 29 September, 2017 to arrive by mid-November.
All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. View and order cards at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
This year’s designs are particularly evocative of the season and include the work of four students - Taylor Brooks, William Gerton, Delayne Henderson, and Cassidy Woodburn - from the Fine Arts Academy at Mt. Vernon Senior High School in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Robert Mendoza returns with another of his popular whimsical creations and Brian Fockler contributes a striking card featuring the BTS ghostlight.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
beirglogoOfcom consultation on support for PMSE equipment owners
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

UK - As many PMSE businesses and equipment owners will already know, last year the Government and Ofcom confirmed the timetable for the clearance of the 700 MHz band to make way for mobile networks. Being evicted from the band presents two immediate concerns for those operating in the PMSE sector.
First, they will lose varying degrees of their equipment’s tuning range, creating a need to replace redundant equipment. Secondly, as a result of this, there will be significant incremental costs imposed on owners. We know from the 800 MHz clearance, the financial reality of researching, purchasing, transporting, fitting, testing and utilising completely new equipment is a harsh one for businesses in the sector.
Ofcom has released a consultation document laying out proposed parameters for a support scheme for affected equipment owners. Their proposals state that eligible equipment must have been purchased before formal notice of clearance in October 2016; have more than 50% of its tuning range in the 700 MHz band; and be in working order. Ofcom’s funding proposals would currently result in eligible claimants receiving 47% of the retail value of appropriate replacement equipment, with the rate card to be drawn up in the coming months.
As it stands there will be no cover for the costs of accessories, administration, finance costs or logistics, and the 47% figure will apply regardless of the age or expected life of the equipment being surrendered. There is also no funding for equipment below 694 MHz made redundant by DTT channel changes. Ofcom’s propos

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Bridge Over Troubled Water - Artists including Emeli Sande, Pixie Lott, and Stormzy gathered at London’s Sarm Studios to record a Grenfell Tower charity single. The cover of Simon and Garfunkel's hit Bridge Over Troubled Water was organised by Simon Cowell, a Kensington resident. Sande said: "It's really inspiring to see people come together. It gives you hope in humanity."
Live Streaming Tommy - A production with inclusive theatre consortium Ramps on the Moon will be live-streamed to care homes across the UK. Rock musical The Who’s Tommy will be broadcast from London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East on 17 June. Residents at adult social care homes across the UK will be able to watch the production, which is being streamed as part of Ramps on the Moon’s initiative to make theatre accessible to all.
Ramps on the Moon work with disabled and non-disabled performers and practitioners with the aim of increasing employment opportunities for disabled performers and creative teams. The live stream will be captioned and there will also be an option to listen to the show’s audio description. Tommy runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East until June 17 and continues to the Crucible in Sheffield where it runs from 22 June to 1 July.
Courtroom Drama - A site-specific version of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution will run in London later this year. It is the first major London production of a Christie play to open in 50 years. It will be staged in the chamber of County Hall on the South Bank, provid

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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