Glastonbury 2020 - Tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival sold out in just over half an hour. All 135,000 tickets for the 2020 event were bought within 34 minutes, according to organisers. Demand for the Somerset festival far outstripped supply, as 2.4m people registered to try to attend.
Glastonbury celebrates its 50th year in 2020, and big acts are expected to be booked to appear on the various stages at Worthy Farm. Sir Paul McCartney has hinted he may return to play the festival in its anniversary year.
Emily Eavis, daughter of founder Michael, tweeted: "We have now sold out. Thank you all for your incredible, continued support. Demand was higher than ever, with over 2.4 million people registered. Bring on 2020!"
Carbon Neutral Theatre - Shell’s membership of the National Theatre will come to an end next year, as the arts organisation unveils an accelerated goal of making itself carbon neutral in the face of the climate emergency. The National Theatre lists fossil fuel company Shell as one of its corporate Gold members. Prices for this band of membership begin at £15,000 a year.
It has not been made clear whose decision it was for the partnership to end in June 2020, but a statement from the National Theatre said: “Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre, most recently as corporate members – this membership will come to an end in June 2020.”
The end of Shell’s association with the theatre follows earlier news that the Royal Shakespeare Company has ended its longstanding partn
Gendered Awards - The Brit Awards say they will review the way they distribute prizes, with one option being the abolition of separate male and female categories. But reports that gendered awards have already been axed are "based on rumour and speculation", organisers said. "We can 100% confirm that there will be male and female awards in the UK and international categories in February 2020," they told the BBC.
The statement was issued after a story in The Sunday Times at the weekend claimed organisers wanted to accommodate non-binary artists - who identify as neither male nor female - and that scrapping gender-specific categories was the likely outcome. The report came a week after pop star Sam Smith asked fans to call them by the pronouns "they/them", not "he/him". "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out," they wrote on Instagram.
Rumours of the Brit Awards shake-up prompted an outburst from Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who accused organisers of "wrecking" their reputation.
Live in Birmingham - Wizkid has been announced as the headline act for this year's BBC Radio 1Xtra Live music event. The Nigerian singer will join the likes of French Montana, Ms Banks, Aitch and DaniLeigh at Arena Birmingham on 5 October. Other acts performing at the event include Headie One, Miraa May, Stylo G, and Lil Tecca.
Joseph Returns - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to return to the London Palladium next year for a second summer run. Th
UK - The PLASA Awards for Innovation, organised in collaboration with LSi magazine, took place at the end of a vibrant Monday at the PLASA Show 2019. The Awards recognise and reward pioneering product designs and the people behind them and are widely respected as they are independently judged by a team of industry experts with a variety of specialist backgrounds.
This year saw 36 entries for the Awards, with the judges selecting seven winners and one Gold Award winner.
The winners, along with the judges comments, are:
Nexo for the P12 Point-source loudspeaker
“This is the ‘loudspeaker version of a source 4’ having interchangeable horns with tool-less interchangeability.”
Robe for Esprite
“This advances technical practice by increasing the potential lifespan of LED fixtures, hopefully setting the model for other manufacturers to follow.”
Theatrixx for its 8-bay Reversible Rackmount Converter
“A simple solution to the wired mess that media conversion can entail which is robust and effective.”
SSE for The Azimuth
“This will really help audio companies bring accurate panning to the angle of the dangle in immersive audio applications – it’s simple, effective and well-engineered.”
ETC for Augment3d
“This will change the way lighting design and operation works by increasing speed in the lighting workflow and making the process of design to conception easier to manage.”
The doors have opened for day two of PLASA Show 2019 at London Olympia, with Platinum Sponsor Robe, Silver Sponsor d&b audiotechnik and Technical Sponsor Hawthorn. The show floor is already brimming with business as visitors explore the latest products and solutions from 220+ brands from across audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging.
The show’s platinum sponsor Robe have unveiled an expansive theatrical stand based on the classic 80s movie, Back To The Future. Live performances run every 90 minutes, with a viewing area on the show’s gallery level for visitors to watch from above. The creative duo behind the stand, Nathan Wan and Andy Webb, comment:
“Robe’s stand this year features a fully time coded show called ‘Return to the Future’ which is centred around a time travelling DeLorean car. During the show we smash through over 550 cues in eight minutes. It’s all about showcasing the new Esprite which is future-proofing LED moving heads as you can take the source out and simply replace it. This has absolutely been the most ambitious production that we’ve done to date, and it’s great to see on social media that many visitors come to PLASA Show just to see what we’ve come up with. We’ve been working on ‘Return to the Future’ for three months and it has been an absolute delight to see it all come together.”
Other lighting highlights include, Claypaky demonstrating their new Xtylos fixtures in an immersive enclosure, Ambersphere presenting the SpotM
USA - The deadline for ordering 2019 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards is just two weeks away. These cards were created especially for Behind the Scenes and are a great way to spread holiday cheer while bringing help and hope to your colleagues in need. The order deadline is 30 September. Orders may be placed at behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
Three card ordering options are offered: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalized cards with a company logo and custom message (minimum order 250 cards), and electronic versions for delivery by email. All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. Six new designs are featured this year.
All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenedscharity.org.
Europe - From The Road to the Billboard Music Awards with NBC Universal, to the Thanksgiving Parade Celebrations in New York City, and a recent show in Las Vegas, Production Zync Entertainment are cementing their partnership in the world of design and production, and PRG has supported a diverse range of productions for them across the world.
Over the last seven months PRG has been working closely with newly formed Production Zync Entertainment, on the delivery and execution of a range of television, music, sport and live projects, from studio to arena across Europe, the US, and the UK.
PRG has provided Production Zync with a fully supported ‘one stop shop’ technical production solution across multiple territories, including equipment, crew, transportation, logistics, and pre-visualisation support.
With sites in London and Los Angeles, Production Zync combines production lighting design and complete production solutions, with technical provision.
The label was jointly founded by ITV’s former head of scenic and lighting (The London Studios) Dave Stevens, and production & lighting designer / director of production Steff Jones. Dave serves as managing director, with Jones as creative director & director of production.
The label specialises in the design, management, execution and delivery of the A to Z in production from inception to execution of TV shows, to international tours and music videos, to one-off bespoke live projects and events.
Dave spent almost 30 years at ITV’s The London Studios where he headed up li
Glastonbury Records - Kylie Minogue's decades-spanning greatest hits set has become the most-watched Glastonbury performance ever, according to BBC figures. An average audience of 3.2m people tuned in to see her play the festival's legend slot, beating previous highs set by Ed Sheeran and Adele. Viewership peaked at 3.9m during the closing minutes of Kylie's set, as she played Dancing and Spinning Around. The emotional show came 14 years after a cancer diagnosis forced the star to pull out of a planned headline slot.
This year's Glastonbury saw a significant shift in viewership, with audiences increasingly choosing to catch up with performances online. The total number of online requests, including YouTube views, iPlayer requests and live streams, reached 37.5m - an increase of 86% from 2017 (Glastonbury took a year off in 2018). However, TV viewership was down - from 23m in 2017 to 21.1m this year; although that figure is still the second-highest on record.
Rebranding Potter - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has unveiled new branding and a new logo at its London home, bringing the theatre production in line with the book and film franchise worldwide. Producers said the global expansion of the play meant that they now wanted to “coordinate the marketing of the show around the world so there was consistency across all territories”.
Written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Thorne, director John Tiffany and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, the play premiered in London in 2016, featuring a new story set 19 yea
UK - Taking place today, Tuesday 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day hopes to raise awareness for the cause. Each year, death by suicide is listed in the top 20 causes of loss of life globally for people of all ages and is responsible for over 800,000 deaths. That’s a lost life every 40 seconds - and the impact can be catastrophic.
According to World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) research, “For each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour.”
People working within the music industry are three times more likely to experience a mental health problem, at a rate of approximately 36,000 people per year, putting both musicians, road crew, artist managers and multiple occupations in between at risk.
Road crew worldwide experience mental health difficulties. Entertainment Assist, an Australian-based support hub documented in 2017: “In the last 12 months, Australian entertainment industry workers experienced suicide ideation 5-7 times more than the general population and two-three times more over a lifetime. In the last 12 months, road crew members experienced suicide ideation almost nine times more than the general population. Rates of suicide ideation, planning and attempts are extremely high and indicate a need for early intervention programs tailored to the industry.”
Touring director and production manager, Jim Digby, has worked with Linkin Park for over 16 years. The loss of the band’s frontma
USA - Three new or revised standards are available for public review on the ESTA TSP website at estalink.us/pr.
Those materially affected by the proposals is invited to review them and to offer comments before the deadline.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events is being offered for a fourth public review. The proposed standard covers mass-produced portable platforms, stair units and ramps used with those platforms, and choral risers, designed to be used for the presentation of music concerts, dramatic plays, fashion shows, and other entertainment and special events. The units covered by this standard are of a size and weight that allows them to be moved and erected by one or two people. The scope also covers the railings provided as fall protection accessories, and the legging systems. The public review runs through to 23 September.
BSR E1.4-3, Entertainment Technology - Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems, is a standard for permanently installed, human-powered manually operated hoists, used as part of rigging systems for raising, lowering, and suspension of scenery, properties, lighting, and similar loads This standard establishes requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and maintenance of manual hoist systems for lifting and suspension of loads for performance, presentation, and theatrical product
Hey Jude - China's oldest symphony orchestra played their first ever BBC Prom on Sunday, and after playing pieces by Rachmaninov and Mozart, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra launched into a raucous version of The Beatles' Hey Jude in a surprise encore. Conductor Long Yu encouraged Prommers to sing along, which they did, before giving the players a standing ovation. "We're very happy," said Yu. "Please accept our warm wish from Shanghai." The concert marked the end of the orchestra's 140th anniversary tour, which began in the US three weeks ago.
Picture Post - Sir Elton John features on a new set of Royal Mail stamps to celebrate his contribution to music. The singer-songwriter is only the second individual music artist to be given such an honour, with David Bowie featuring in 2017. Eight of the Sir Elton stamps feature images of some of his most popular album covers. They include his 1972 breakthrough record Honky Chateau which features the track Rocket Man.
The album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road which features the songs Candle In The Wind, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and Bennie And The Jets, is also celebrated.Caribou is another one of the albums that features on one of the stamps. Also commemorated is Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy from 1975, which features Someone Saved My Life Tonight, with its cover designed by Gianni Versace. On Your Feet! - Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! is being lined up for a second summer run in the West End. Produ
Motown Gold - Stevie Wonder's Superstition has topped the chart of the most popular Motown tracks of all time in the UK. The 1972 single beat classics by the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and the Temptations. The list of the top 100 Motown tracks was compiled by the Official Chart Company based on all time downloads and streams.
"I am proud to have been chosen at the top of such an incredibly talented group of artists," said Wonder. Overall the singer-songwriter legend had the most songs on the list with 20. His next most popular track was Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours), which came in at five.
The Empire Strikes Back - A new campaign group has been set up to bring the at risk Garston Empire in Liverpool back into use as an entertainment venue. The building has been disused for 10 years and was placed on the Theatres Trust Theatres at Risk Register in 2009 due to threat of demolition. Having opened in 1915, the Garston Empire operated as a theatre for three years before becoming a cinema. Its last use was as a bingo hall, which ended when it closed in 2009.
Now, a group of local residents, led by businessman Tony Murray, hope to see the building “returned to its glory days” as a theatre and multi-use entertainment venue. The venue has an estimated capacity of 1,000. Murray, who has previously worked as a bingo-caller at Hackney Empire in London, said: “The idea just came to me in a flash one day. I know that they have turned the Hackney Empire into a roaring success and I thought we could do the same thing
UK - Data Strategy will showcase QC-Satellite, a new feature for the QC-Check workstation, on stand K10 at this year’s PLASA 2019. QC-Satellite provides the facility to take a workstation off-site for testing equipment and then, on its return to the home warehouse, upload all the test data automatically to the central database. The QC-Satellite testing feature is ideal for companies with large warehouses or remote theatre areas that do not have connection to the LAN/Wi-Fi network.
The feature specifically enables the cable-, RCD-, and OutBoard PAT-testing capabilities of the QC-Check to be carried out in areas where there is no connection to the central SQL database, which can happen when there is a testing requirement at another site, or in an area with no network connection.
Also on stand and available for demonstration will be VeriCal, which can also be viewed at the show’s PLASA 2019 Innovation Gallery as the product has been entered into the PLASA 2019 Innovation Awards.
VeriCal ensures the PAT-4 test unit, an integral part of the QC-Check workstation, produce verified and accurate results. Earlier this year, UK hire and events company, SLX, used VeriCal to prepare for ISO accreditation. The company faced the annual prospect of being without its 14 QC-Check workstations for a period of up to four weeks whilst the units went off-site for certification that the PAT testers were within their operation specifications.
However, this year, VeriCal, the hand-held, on-site alternative to off-site calibration, ensured the OutBoard PAT-4 tester
Early Closing - Peter Pan, the opening production at the Troubadour White City Theatre in west London, will close nearly two months earlier than planned, producers have announced. Sally Cookson’s devised adaptation of the JM Barrie novel began performances at the theatre in July and will have played for just six of the scheduled 14 weeks when it closes on 1 September.
A statement from the producers said: “The production received acclaim from critics and a hugely positive reaction from audiences, however due to ticket sales, we have reluctantly taken the decision to close in September. We’d like to thank our wonderfully talented cast and creative team for all of their hard work, as well as the audiences who have enjoyed the production.”
The production is the first show to play at Troubadour White City, one of two new theatres that were launched last month by the team behind the King’s Cross Theatre. The White City venue is situated on part of the former BBC Media Village, while the second theatre, Troubadour Wembley Park, is located in the former Fountain television studios.
Last Christmas - An unreleased, six-minute song from the late George Michael will feature in a new movie loosely based on his music. Last Christmas, released later this year, is set to star Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson. Its director Paul Feig told BBC News: "[George Michael] was putting together his new album when he passed. And one of our tracks is one of those songs, and it's just an absolutely amazing song that I'm so exc
UK - Kent-based stage engineering company Triple E has named Lucy Edelstein as deputy director and appointed Tokyo Velludo Co as its distributor for Japan.
This expansion of Triple E’s international distributor network ties in with the longer term aim to increase worldwide representation across key territories, as well as expanding the company’s sub-contract precision engineering services, an aspect of the business which has been reinforced with the acquisition of Thorley Engineering.
“Lucy has been brought in to carry Triple E forward as myself and Brenda begin to step back from the business,” explains Tripple E’s David Edelstein. “After spending three years working in many different parts of the company Lucy has taken on the role of director, deputising for Brenda and myself when we are not in the office. We are delighted as Lucy has already made significant changes and improvements to our overall infrastructure. Together, we have taken steps to future-proof the business and develop some big ideas for Triple E’s future.”
“A major part of my new role as deputy director is to address business development and the organic growth of our current business whilst also exploring new avenues and potential distributors in new markets, as well as streamlining the business and the way we do things,” says Lucy.
Lucy has also been instrumental in the recent appointment of Tokyo Velludo Co. as Japanese distributor for Triple E. Established over 70 years ago, this Japanese theatre and performing arts supplier has been an end user of Tri
Tax Relief - Nearly 3,400 productions benefitted from £78m worth of theatre tax relief last year, new statistics show. This represents a £1m increase on the total figure paid out in 2017/18, however the number of individual productions benefitting from tax credits increased by 13% in the same period.
Theatre tax relief, which was introduced in 2014, allows touring shows to claim back 25% on eligible costs. All other productions can be reimbursed for 20%. In the first year of the scheme, £15m was paid out, rising to £46m in the second year and £77m in 2017/18.
Statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs for 2018/19 reveal there were a total of 930 claims, representing 3,380 productions, of which 950 were touring and 2,430 non-touring. A single claim can request tax relief for multiple productions.
Financial secretary to the treasury, Jesse Norman, said: “The arts and creative industries make a vital contribution to the UK economy. These tax reliefs have helped support some astonishing and exciting work again this year, celebrating the very best of British culture.”
Famous Footsteps - Beatlemania returned to Abbey Road, 50 years on from the camera clicking on the image that would go on to become one of the most famous album covers ever created. Tribute act Fab Gear followed in the footsteps of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison to re-enact the zebra crossing photograph as about 2,500 fans cheered them on. Traffic stopped, musicians played and sang Beatles hits.
Fans travelled from all over the w
Europe - Adam Hall Group’s Experience Centre has won an Iconic Award for Company Building.
Designed by M&P Architekten and Stilbruch United Designers, the Neu-Anspach-based building functions as an open space for both employees and business customers. Unveiled in 2018 (see LSi July 2018), it features a showroom, a large auditorium for live shows and product demos, a restaurant, the Adam Hall Academy, various measuring rooms, test rigs and development laboratories, and 3D prototyping facilities.
Alexander Pietschmann, CEO and managing director of the Adam Hall Group, comments: “Our goal for the Experience Centre is to give more people the opportunity to implement their creative ideas in a modern environment with state-of-the-art technology. Since its opening, the centre has been a place for connection and sharing great moments - connecting business customers, partners, associations and our employees in an integrated manner. We are delighted and honoured to be presented with this award given for the overall concept.”
Organised by the German Design Council, the Iconic Awards recognise “the best innovative achievements” in architecture, interior design, product design and brand communication sectors. Judged by a jury of architects, last year’s competition received 680 entries from 34 countries.
The 2019 awards ceremony is taking place on 7 October at the Pinakoth
World Record - Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour has been named the highest-grossing tour of all time, breaking a record set by U2 that had stood for eight years. Coming off the back of the chart-topping album of the same name, the Divide tour began in March 2017, and will have encompassed 255 shows when it finishes with four homecoming gigs in Ipswich later this month. So far it has grossed $736m (£607m), breaking U2’s record of $735m, with 12 dates still left to play.
It has also been named the most attended tour of all time: when it finishes, more than 8.5m people across 43 countries will have seen Sheeran perform, breaking U2’s record of 7.3m.
Writing on Instagram, Sheeran said: “Thanks so much for each and every one of you who have come to a show. 12 shows left, will never forget it.” Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp told Pollstar, who amassed the tour data: “What Ed has accomplished is truly incredible - to even be in the same ballpark as [U2] or spoken in the same sentence with a touring act like that is very humbling.”
U2’s record was set in 2011 by their 110-date 360° tour. Rather than focusing on stadiums as U2 did, Sheeran has included more intimate arenas - his average concert attendance is 34,541, around half U2’s 66,091 average. He also rejected VIP areas and sold tickets at a relatively low price, 14.2% lower on average than U2’s, but the sheer number of dates has ensured the record was broken nonetheless.
Immersive Future - West End producer Hartshorn-Hook has unveiled an ambitious plan to become “the futu
UK - Penn Elcom has introduced a new solution for scenarios where space or access is limited. Suitable for commercial, industrial and residential environments, the R6400-RHF double-hinged wall mount rack enclosure joins the company’s range of 19” rack products.
The new model enables the full rack to securely swing away from the wall, giving technicians and installation engineers excellent access to the rear and sides of the rack and the kit inside of it. The design simplifies the process of running cables, replacing parts or performing regular maintenance and can dramatically reduce the time taken to access the equipment.
Built from rugged but lightweight steel to Penn’s industrial grade specifications, the bracket is reversible so the rack can be configured as left or right opening for full flexibility and space maximisation.
Heavy-duty hinges allow the R6400-RHF to be loaded with up to 50kg (110lb) of equipment, and a handy slam-lock system creates smart open / close functionality.
As with all Penn Elcom racking products, the R6400-RHF offers practical and integrated cable management, with both top and bottom 1U cable knockouts as well as full length internal rack rails.
The R6400-RHF is suitable for a range of applications, from professional entertainment and leisure installations to any spaces utilising IT hubs and servers.
UK - A group of industry colleagues are set to cycle 100 miles across the UK to Olympia London on 14th September (Saturday) to raise money for the entertainment industry charities Backup and StageHand.
Organised by PLASA and the Production Services Association (PSA), the initiative follows on from the success of last year’s bike ride, when industry representatives rode from Chippenham in Wiltshire to London Olympia on the Saturday before the PLASA Show.
This year's challenge will follow a similar route, starting at Chippenham's Premier Inn and finishing at Olympia. Those interested in taking part should contact PLASA's Nicola Rye (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Peter Heath, PLASA MD, comments: “The 100 mile bike ride has become somewhat of an annual tradition, raising awareness and money for a valued industry charity. With mental health remaining a prevalent issue, the money raised will be put towards tackling this in the industry. We are calling for more cyclists to sign up for the challenge and support this worthy cause.”
Last year’s team consisted of representatives from PLASA, PSA, White Light, Autograph, UK Rigging, Harman, SFL, Anthem Publishing and Real Marketing Services, each reporting a great sense of camaraderie throughout the journey. Together, the group raised over £1,600.
Cultural Affairs - Nicky Morgan has been appointed culture secretary by new prime minister, Boris Johnson. She replaces Jeremy Wright in the role, which he had held since July 2018. Morgan, who is MP for Loughborough, said her appointment to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was “an enormous privilege” and described it as a “fabulous role”.
She said: “DCMS’s dynamic and much-loved sectors are at the heart of what makes the UK a great place to live, work and do business. They are our global calling card, encouraging investment, driving innovation and making the UK a country people around the world want to visit. I will be working hard to make sure the future for our world-leading sectors is a bright one.”
Morgan campaigned to remain in the European Union before the 2016 referendum and is a staunch opponent of leaving the EU without a deal, claiming that a no-deal scenario would “severely impact on the economy, employers and the finances of households”. Her appointment comes just a day after a creative industries membership body wrote an open letter to Johnson, warning of the danger to the sector posed by a no-deal Brexit.
A former education secretary, Morgan came under fire from the arts sector in 2015 when she claimed that young people choosing to study creative subjects at school could “hold them back for the rest of their lives”, and argued that the subjects that “keep people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects”.
UK - With today’s temperatures hitting around 104F in some areas of the UK - making it the hottest July day on record - St Ives-based Le Mark Group has come up with an inventive way for its production and warehouse operatives to keep cool: Utility kilts.
Stuart Gibbons, Le Mark’s MD comments: “It’s tough for our production team in this heat. I had seen utility kilts being worn by riggers and technicians in Las Vegas, Dubai and Scotland (of course), but thick woollen tartan can be hot. I was happy to offer these ‘supper cool’ and very well ventilated tough cotton utility kilts to all those operatives that wanted them - free of charge, of course!”
Gibbons continues: “Anything we can do to make life a little more comfortable for our production team, we are happy to offer.”
Europe – TSL Lighting Design director, Anthony ‘Turbo’ Hall, has set off on a mammoth 22,000-mile return road trip from Kent to Ulan Ude in Russia to raise money for the technical entertainment charity, Backup.
Turbo set off on Friday 19 July in Poppy - a wholly unsuitable 1000cc Perodua Kanari – with his teammate Abby 'Henri' Cooper. Over the next 12 or so weeks, they will drive through 22 countries.
The car joins a fleet of vehicles as part of the world-famous Mongol Rally. Turbo and Henri have named their intrepid team the Nomadic Numpties, which is certain to be eye-catching as they race through eastern Europe and into lesser travelled terrains towards deepest Russia.
“I’ve known about the Mongol Rally for many years and it's always something I’ve dreamed of doing,” says Turbo. “When the chance arose to enter, we jumped at it. It’s an unsupported drive, which means we’ve had to take care of all our own travel arrangements, accommodation, visas and other elements, so it’s been quite a process getting everything sorted! We’re excited for this adventure and proud to be raising money for such a good cause."
The team has already smashed their initial fundraising target, raising almost £4,000 for Backup so far. TSL HQ will be tracking the Nomadic Numpties’ progress over the course of the next few months via their Instagram page. They are inviting the industry to make a donation to Backup, the benevolent fund set up to provide financial support to technical professionals in their time of need, via test
Well-being - Professional musicians will be able to access a face-to-face counselling service as part of a range of services designed to support their mental health. The ISM Members Fund, a sister charity of industry membership body the Incorporated Society of Musicians, will now offer counselling over telephone and in person, including cognitive behavioural therapy.
ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: “Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health - and we know first-hand from our members the challenges out there for everyday musicians. The music sector has a high level of self-employed workers and in the largely unregulated gig economy, where short-term contracts or freelance work is prevalent, there are high levels of stress and anxiety.”
She said she hoped the new service would help musicians “take control” of their well-being, and contribute to the wider discussion about mental health in the arts.
Wonderful Life - Paul McCartney is writing his first musical, which is a stage adaptation of the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. The former Beatle is co-writing the lyrics for the musical with Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, who is also responsible for the book. Bill Kenwright, who attended the same secondary school as McCartney in Liverpool, is producing the show.
McCartney said: “Like many of these things this all started with an email; Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I
UK - Harlequin Floors' Liberty panels were used for the set of the eagerly-awaited film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the manufacturer has revealed.
Filmed at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, the upcoming musical drama features a star-studded cast, including actors Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and James Corden, as well as Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Steve McRae.
Over 550sq.m of Harlequin Liberty panels were hired for the film set, to provide the cast a safe sprung floor on which to practice their lifts and jumps. The sprung dance floor panels were then covered in Harlequin Reversible Pro performance vinyl, which helps to prevent slips and falls. Ballet barres and 15 mirrors were also bought from the Tunbridge Wells-based manufacturer to complete the professional dance environment in which the cast could train.
Jamie Stirling, technical development manager at Harlequin, visited the set and oversaw the installation. "Working on projects of this scale and prestige, which are often technically challenging, is a real privilege, especially one such as this that combines film and performing arts,” he comments.
Cats is released on 20 December by Universal Pictures. The film is the second musical adaptation directed by Les Misérables director, Tom Hooper and is choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.