UK - Event and brand logistics specialist Global Infusion Group has announced a change in its leadership. Bonnie May, previously GIG’s global operations director, takes on the role of CEO and Richard Duff joins the company as managing director as the business emerges from the pandemic.
Whilst continuing to lead the day-to-day operations of GIG and maintaining her hands on approach with clients, in her new role as CEO, Bonnie will shape the group’s strategy and vision. Rich, as managing director will be responsible for its implementation and lead all business functions including sales, finance and human resources.
Richard’s career spans sales, marketing and operational leadership roles within the FMCG, consumer electronics and homeware sectors. Over the last few years his focus has turned to the hospitality sector, and in his most recent role he was CEO of hotel technology firm Navarino Services.
Commenting on his appointment, Richard Duff said: “At the heart of Global Infusion Group ethos is a desire to make things happen and put smiles on people’s faces. They’re both things that I enjoy and honestly, who wouldn’t want to join a company that has been successfully delivering those things for the best part of 40 years?”
Bonnie May, CEO of Global Infusion Group adds: “Adding a managing director of Richard’s calibre and having his experience within both FMCG and hospitality puts us in an excellent position for driving the business forward. Like everyone, we’ve been in survival mode throughout the pandemic, and had our own ch
USA - There are just six opportunities left in 2021 to take the Behind the Scenes virtual Mental Health First Aid training for entertainment industry workers. Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non-judgmentally and give reassurance to someone, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a two-four-hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a six-hour virtual live instructor led session. Go to btshelp.org/mhfa to learn more and to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live session. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.
The registration fee is $125. IATSE Members and those working under IATSE agreements may be eligible for Training Trust Fund reimbursement upon proof of successful completion of the course. A limited number of partial and full scholarships are available to individuals not eligible for reimbursement. Private group classes of 15 -20 are available – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Training for Canadians is available through the AFC at https://afchelps.ca/mhfa.
USA - ADJ’s Halloween Spooktacular Contest is back for 2021, offering the chance to win ADJ lighting gear simply by sharing your spooky lighting projects on social media and including ADJ’s hashtag.
“We want to see the creative ways you put your ADJ lighting, video, or effects equipment to use to create shiver inducing displays or spinechilling events,” says ADJ. “Whether it’s a professional project or home haunt, as long as you use ADJ fixtures, we want to see your Halloween 2021 display and it could win you one of three fantastic prizes.”
Like last year, the 2021 ADJ Halloween Spooktacular Contest is easy to enter. Just take photos or video of your Halloween project, display, or party and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #ADJSpooktacular.
“The contest is open to anyone around the world and you can enter as many times as you like, just be sure to let us know what ADJ fixture(s) you have used in the description of your social media post(s). We’ll be selecting the top three winners based on how good the photos/videos look as well as the creative use of ADJ products.”
Once the contest has closed at the witching hour on Halloween (12 midnight Pacific time on 31 October), the ADJ team will comb social media for every post made in 2021 that uses the #ADJSpooktacular hashtag and choose three winners based on the creative use of ADJ fixtures and the aesthetic appeal of the photos/video.
UK - Industry charity Backup's Pumpkin Challenge is back for 2021. The competition aims to help raise awareness of the charity in a fun and creative way, encouraging interested parties to carve the most creative pumpkin.
“To enter, all that’s need is a pumpkin, your design and any props or tech you want to incorporate to bring your design to life. If you want to use the opportunity to fundraise too (though not a requirement) that would be welcome,” says Backup.
Competition categories are: Best overall design (judged by panel); Best use of tech (judged by panel); Most money raised (via Backup Pumpkin Challenge Fundraising Page); and Most overall likes (on Instagram, using the hashtag: #BackupPumpkinChallenge).
For 2021 long-time Backup supporter Lightpower Collection has generously donated a prize of one of their photographic books to the winner of the best overall design category.
Due to competition being open to anyone, anywhere, the charity is only able to send prizes to UK-based prize winners due to costs of shipping. All winners will be promoted on Backup’s social media pages, in marketing material and in industry press. “Plus,” adds Backup, “you get the prize of industry bragging rights!”
“Entries may be uploaded onto your Instagram by 31 October 2021 using the hashtag #BackupPumpkinChallenge along with your name or team name. Please make sure your Instagram privacy settings allow us to view your entry when you enter #BackupPumpkinChallenge. You can also email email@example.com when you post, that way we can doubl
Longlist Revealed - Bradford, Stirling, County Durham and Wrexham are among the places in the running for the title of the UK's City of Culture 2025. The longlist, unveiled by new culture secretary Nadine Dorries, also includes Cornwall, Southampton, Derby and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.
The winning city, which will succeed Coventry, will be announced in spring next year. For the first time, each listee will receive £40,000 worth of investment. They will all work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year.
"Winning the UK City of Culture competition has a hugely positive impact on an area, driving investment, creating jobs, and highlighting that culture is for everyone, regardless of their background," said Ms Dorries. "This year's focus is on levelling up access to culture across the country and making sure there is a legacy that continues for generations to come. I look forward to seeing what this brilliant longlist has in store as they continue in the competition."
Grand Opera - Work has begun to restore the historic Grand Opera House in Belfast in time for the theatre's 125th anniversary in December. The £12.2m lottery-funded project will take 10 months to complete. It has been 40 years since the last renovation work was carried out on the unique auditorium. The decorative Victorian paint and plasterwork will be repaired and accessibility will be improved.
The theatre's ageing technical infrastructure will be updated with moder
USA - Xytech is hosting a four-day webinar series from 26-29 October showcasing the upgrades to its resource and asset management solution MediaPulse 10.
“Until we can once again meet in person, these webinar series are essential communication tools to the community. This begins a conversation where we inform customers of the advances of the product and help us to understand where our platform needs to be in the future,” comments Greg Dolan, Xytech’s CCO.
“With the version 10 update, MediaPulse provides every user with exactly the functionality they need, when they need it, on the device of their choosing, creating a reliable solution able to operate anywhere. Something the pandemic has made crucial.”
To register for any of the MediaPulse 10 Webinar Series, visit: xytechsystems.com/webinar.
USA - From Halloween through Christmas and Hannukah, you can add holiday decorations to your home and support your colleagues who are seriously ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention initiative. These ornaments have been generously made and donated to Behind the Scenes by Mike and Sue Wood, so every penny goes directly to helping your colleagues in need.
Individual acrylic inserts are now available for the portable mini LED ghostlight so you can celebrate the holidays in style. Choose from the ighostlight, the pumpkin ghostlight for Halloween, the autumnal Cornucopia ghostlight for Thanksgiving, the Hanukkah menorah ghostlight, or the Christmas tree ghostlight. Purchase your first unit with the base and remote control and then stock up on inserts so you can complement the season.
There is also have an array of ghostlight and industry-themed ornaments to decorate your tree.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenescharity.org
Spain/UK - PLASA has reached an agreement with Spain’s AFIAL to strengthen their partnership and deliver more benefits to members.
The new relationship will allow the two trade associations to expand their joint activities, which in the past year have included collaborations for the #WeMakeEvents campaign. Described as “the most important national AV association on the Spanish scene”, AFIAL represents manufacturers and importers of sound, lighting and AV technology in Spain and owns the Madrid-based AFIAL exhibition.
A joint statement says: “This collaboration was born from a solid and necessary union during the pandemic, that has evolved allowing the associations to continue to work intensely to support their members and the sector. This agreement will bring benefits for the members of AFIAL and PLASA.”
PLASA MD Peter Heath, director Nicky Greet and board member Koy Neminathan are attending this week’s AFIAL tradeshow and will reveal more details of the new relationship during the conference programme. The presentation is taking place in the #WeMakeEvents/#HacemosEventos hub on the middle floor of the Recinto Madrid Arena Campus.
Further information will be published as it becomes available.
Passport Control - A consultation into the use of vaccine passports at venues in England has been launched by the government, which could come into force if Covid cases overwhelm the NHS this winter. It raises the possibility of vaccine-only certification being introduced for venues such as theatres, in the event that the government’s ’Plan B’ for autumn and winter is needed.
The Department of Health and Social Care is asking members of the public, and particularly event organisers and venue operators, for their views on vaccine certification. It asks whether the current list of settings in which it could be required – which does not currently include theatres – is too narrow, and if so, what additional venues should be in scope of certification.
If the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure due to Covid-19 cases, the government has prepared a Plan B for England, which proposes that mandatory vaccine-only certification for visitors over 18 be introduced in a number of settings.
These include all nightclubs, indoor crowded venues with 500 or more people where they are likely to move around such as live music venues or large receptions, outdoor crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees such as music festivals, and any setting with 10,000 or more attendees such as large sports events.
Musical Youth - Billie Eilish has been announced as the first headliner for the 2022 Glastonbury Festival. Organiser Emily Eavis confirmed the booking and said the 20-year-old would be "the youngest solo headliner in our history. This feels like
World Music - Ed Sheeran, Lizzo and Billie Eilish were among stars to take part in a 24-hour gig to raise awareness of climate change, vaccine inequality and famine. Over 60 artists performed in The Global Citizen festival in cities including New York, London and Seoul. The event kicked off on Saturday in Paris, where Elton John performed in front of the Eiffel Tower. He took to the stage following a pre-recorded performance by the K-pop band BTS.
The show, believed to be one of the biggest-ever international charity events, was organised by Global Citizen - a charity working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Unlike most events of this nature, organisers were not aiming to raise cash, but to use participation as evidence for world leaders that people support bold action on the issues.
"Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and defeat poverty," Global Citizen said in a statement.
Ticket Tax - The theatre and live events industries are warning that the impending increase to VAT on tickets threatens their successful return by removing crucial support when it is needed most. Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird said the sector was "not out of the woods yet" and full recovery was still a long way off, meaning producers and theatres needed the financial benefits of reduced VAT as they move into the important autumn/winter season.
Newly appointed culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed last
India - Harman is taking strict legal action against manufacturers and distributors involved in producing and selling of counterfeit JBL products in India.
During a recent raid, Harman’s investigation team along with law enforcement officers, seized stocks of ‘spurious’ JBL consumer products from two mobile and accessories wholesalers in the city of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Similar raids were conducted in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, where the team confiscated counterfeit JBL Professional speakers and other brand accessories from manufacturing units.
Harman has taken appropriate criminal action against these offenders and says it intends to continue such investigations to curb the manufacturing and selling of counterfeit products across India.
“Over the last 75 years, JBL’s range of consumer and professional products have earned consumer trust and tremendous goodwill by virtue of our commitment to maintain highest standards in product quality and focus on innovation,” says Prathab Deivanayagham, country manager, Harman India.
“Harman prides itself for its brand reputation and customer satisfaction, and therefore, these actions against the perpetrators are essential for us to keep our promise towards our consumers in India. We advise our consumers to stay vigilant and purchase JBL products from authorised e-commerce and retail sellers’ only.”
UK - #WeMakeEvents, the campaign to amplify the voice of the live events supply chain, has now raised over half a million British pounds through fundraising efforts over the last 18 months, supporting charities which have helped industry professionals through the pandemic.
The milestone was reached during PLASA Show 2021, where #WeMakeEvents hosted a dedicated hub to promote wellbeing and mental health throughout the live sector which featured several industry charities and initiatives and welcomed a steady stream of visitors.
80% of the funds raised have gone directly to Backup, the campaign's chosen industry which supports professionals throughout the technical entertainment industry in times of ill health or financial need. In turn, Backup funnels vital funds to Acting For Others, Music Support, Stage Hand and Make It Blue UK, each one providing specially designed services to guide and support.
Matt Lloyd, charities and sponsorship co-ordinator for #WeMakeEvents, comments: “It is a fantastic achievement to have reached half a million - something that would have been impossible without the generosity of the people. The #WeMakeEvents team is truly humbled by the support we have received along this journey, showing that the live events supply chain is a valid and viable part of the cultural sector. It is with this financial support that our industry’s companies and workforce can get back to doing what they love best and show the world why live events and entertainment are not only important, but crucial to society.”
There have been severa
Punk Values - The "only known footage" of two Sex Pistols gigs which ignited Manchester's music scene and “spawned a generation of bands” has sold at auction for £15,000. Music fan Mark Roberts' Super 8mm films captured the punk band's shows at the city's Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976. Future members of Buzzcocks, New Order, The Smiths and The Fall, and Anthony Wilson, who founded renowned label Factory Records, were at the shows. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the gigs were "huge for bands that spawned off the back off them", adding: "It was the birth of punk."
No Fear - Noel Gallagher has said Oasis had "no fear" about playing to 250,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth, adding if his old band were to do it again now, they would be "petrified". The songwriter was talking before the premiere of the Oasis Knebworth 1996 documentary, marking 25 years since Britpop's crowning moment. The film views the biggest gigs the UK had seen through the eyes of the fans.
"Those of you that were there at the time will remember that I was so arrogant, it didn't really register," Gallagher told a London cinema audience, which included some of the fans whose touching and funny personal stories provide the backdrop to the piece. It's only since [2016 documentary] Supersonic, and this film that you try and put yourself back there and you start to get goosebumps about it, because I'm not sure there's many bands had that lift-off that we did."
Half of performing arts workers who are receiving Universal Credit will be thrust into further financial
Insurance Fears - Further guidance about the government’s recently announced insurance scheme for live events has been released, which experts have warned “confirms all the worst fears producers had”. The scheme, which will run until September next year, has been criticised for being too narrow in scope to apply to most theatre productions as well as prohibitively expensive.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published an outline of the rules for the £750m scheme, prompting concerns that it will not help most theatre producers, who face ongoing risks of disruption, cancellation and closure. The guidance confirms that productions are protected only when they have been forced to cancel, abandon, relocate or postpone as a "direct result" of the introduction of new or amended COVID-19 laws.
This means that cancellations caused by self-isolation requirements among a show’s cast and crew or losses caused by any reintroduction of social distancing will not be covered. The guidance also confirms that the scheme covers both single and one-off events, as well as a run of events. However, for multiple performances, producers must specify which dates are being insured.
Redevelopment - The Barbican Centre is planning a £150m redevelopment project to make urgent changes to its London building to cater for contemporary artists and audiences. The City of London Corporation, which owns the Barbican estate, has published a design brief for its renewal plans, opening submissions for architects’ proposals to transform the 40-yea
UK - On Saturday 4 September, a cohort of industry professionals cycled from SFL in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London to raise money for Backup, the technical entertainment charity and mark the return of PLASA Show.
Fourteen cyclists made the journey, representing Autograph, Avolites, Backup, Collaborative creations, Creative Technologies, Event Decision, PLASA, SFL, SLX, TSL and White Light. One team cycled 40 miles direct to London, while the other traversed the challenging Surrey Hills - together they have so far raised over £1,300, with donations still coming in.
BikeFest follows several industry bike rides in recent years coinciding with PLASA Show, which have all raised funds while promoting mental health and support. In the wake of the COVID lockdowns, the 2021 cycle felt more pertinent than ever.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath, comments: “These fundraising events are always important, but this year meant so much more as a huge number of our colleagues have suffered both mentally and financially due to the pandemic. As a team, we were honoured to fundraise for Backup which does superb work for those in need. Here’s to the 2022 ride where we look forward to many more of you joining us!”
White Light’s John McEvoy reported from the 80-mile route: “After negotiating a few busy roads getting out of Reading, the miles soon ticked off to get us to our first stop just outside Farnham. Suitably refreshed on coffee, and fig rolls provided by our support driver, PLASA’s Nicky Greet, we set off to tackle the toughest pa
UK - East London art deco venue Troxy unveiled a substantial restoration project ahead of its 88th birthday on 11 September.
The venue, which reopens this month with a series of events, including a gig with ska band The Specials on 25 September, has completed the first stages of an ambitious transformation project. The team has been working for over 12 months, to create a new stage, enabling larger productions, restored the foyer and entrance area and created new facilities for visitors to the venue.
The project design has been led by historic building specialists Ian Chalk Architects with on site management by M Bradbrook Electrical Services. The owners of Troxy have invested heavily in the refurbishment with significant support from Arts Council England. The works have been championed by the Theatres Trust and Tower Hamlets Council, ensuring every element is in line with its Grade II-listed status.
On arrival, visitors to the venue will immediately see the return of the impressive travertine floor in the foyer thanks to the removal of the 1990s box office and renovation by stonemasons. This space has been completely transformed in line with its original design.
The stage has undergone considerable work to expose the original fly tower within the original proscenium arch, not seen since the 1970s, and bring it up to date with cutting edge production. The stage has moved back to where it was situated in the 1930s. The non-authentic rear wall has been removed to expose the huge original stage area, behind the proscenium arch. One huge stage
USA - Magmatic atmospheric effects is offering two new snow machines in its Polar series of high-volume snow effects that ‘make it easy to create wintry scenes of natural-looking snow’. Suitable for any seasonal production, in stock and ready for delivery are the compact and lightweight Crisp and the road case-protected Crisp Max with 20-litre fluid tank.
With its small size and easy mobility, Crisp is a set-it-and-forget-it snow effect. The unit weighs 33.5 lbs. (15.2kg) with a hanging bracket that doubles as a convenient carrying handle. Crisp uses Magmatic’s specially formulated dry-on-impact snow liquid (APS-4L) to create a snowflake that mimics the look and feel of actual snow.
Crisp Max includes a 20-litre fluid tank hidden inside a road case with durable casters for extra protection and easier portability. The unit’s 10m-long hose can be rigged on a standard truss or tripod stand and fluid can be extended up to 50m horizontally or vertically using 10-meter extension tubes with couplers that are available as an accessory. An optional 120-degree pan motor is available that increases the coverage area. Crisp Max uses Magmatic’s specially formulated dry-on-impact snow liquid (APS-2L, 4L, 20L) to create a snowflake that mimics the look and feel of actual snow.
Both the Crisp and Crisp Max are capable of producing high volumes of naturalistic snow with the capacity to adjust snowflake size for greater versatility. Small flake or large, short throw or long, these 1250W high-volume snow machines can project snow up to 12m with the flexibi
Light Night Leeds - Digital lightning bolts and a light sculpture of a giant endangered marine mammal are among the spectacles set to light up Leeds as part of the city's annual Light Night festival. The two-day event starting on 14 October will see some of the city's well-known buildings and landmarks lit up with light projections - and this year's theme is nature and climate change.
More than 40 installations and artworks will be on show including a large-scale replica of the Earth by artist Luke Jerram and an illumination of lightning bolts on the front of Leeds Civic Hall by artist Seb Lee-Delisle, the city council said.
Last year a considerably slimmed-down festival saw lasers mounted on seven city centre buildings because of coronavirus and social distancing rules. Organisers say this year's event "will mark a return to a more familiar format" but the programme has been adjusted to allow for additional safety measures as it expects to attract thousands of visitors.
Carbon Footprint - Scientists at the University of Manchester have produced a ‘roadmap’ to help the music industry reduce its carbon emissions to stop climate change. The roadmap for live music was based on tour data supplied by the band Massive Attack. Since 2019, scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research have been poring over every detail of Massive Attack's last tour. They then used lessons learned to create a roadmap for the whole industry.
Their recommendations for "super low carbon practices" deal with how musicians, promoters, tour m
UK - At this year’s PLASA Show, on stand D4, Data Strategy will showcase QC-Check’s integration with SimplyPATS, a software programme that specialises in providing the download of data from over 50 PAT Testers.
This integration was developed to allow QC-Check to import into its database the test results from other manufacturers’ Portable Appliance Testers. It offers the facility to use the powerful QC-Check database to selectively filter equipment requiring a test into manageable chunks of data and download it to the client testers.
The new SimplyPats integration will be demonstrated on an operational, two-bay QC-check workstation. New and existing customers will see the simplicity of adding test results to one database of equipment for which a portable PAT tester is the only logistical solution.
The two-bay QC-Check workstation, custom engineered for Data Strategy by SES Entertainment, features the robust test hardware capabilities of Out Board’s PAT-4 PAT Testers, CAB-5 cable testing, as well as RCD (distro) processors.
USA - Behind The Scenes has reminded that September is National Suicide Awareness Month - “and while we may be getting back to work, the need for awareness and action is greater than ever,” says the charity.
“Underemployment, new demands in the workplace, and worry about the future are all contributing to the negative impact on mental health. The reality is that many are not coping well and reports of suicide are on the rise,” adds BTS.
Running from 5-11 September, National Suicide Prevention Week is an opportunity to learn what you can do to help those you may be concerned about on the job or at home, as well as find resources that may help you today or in the future. Visit btshelp.org/bethe1 to learn how to recognise the warning signs of suicide, as well as the five steps you can take to save a life: Ask, Be There, Keep Them Safe, Help Them Connect, and Follow Up. Practical guidance and situational examples are provided for each of the five steps.
Most people want to help if they see someone at risk for suicide, but they don’t know what to say or do, or are afraid they will make things worse or damage their relationship with the person. However now, more than ever, we need to remain vigilant to the signs that someone may be at risk. National Suicide Prevention Week also coincides with Labour Day. This Labour Day, think of those who are here now and how we can honour one another’s contr
Socially Distanced - The Royal Shakespeare Company will host a series of socially distanced performances of its new musical throughout November and December to cater for audiences that do not want to attend a full-capacity show. Seven socially distanced performances of The Magician’s Elephant have been scheduled throughout the three-month run, which marks the reopening of the RSC’s main house in Stratford-Upon-Avon for the first time since the pandemic began.
At each of the designated performances, audiences will be seated with an empty row in front of and behind them, and with one empty seat between parties to ensure one-metre-plus social distancing. Audience members attending these shows will also be asked to wear a face mask throughout their visit unless exempt. The RSC is currently only staging shows at its outdoor theatre, which is running at full capacity. It has made face masks optional in all settings, including inside the parts of its main building that are open to visitors.
Immersive Theatre - An arts hub hosting immersive theatre and offering affordable rehearsal space is launching in London’s Elephant and Castle this September. Founder and artistic director Sarah Davey-Hull took over the building, which was formerly an office block and originally a brewery, in March 2020, just before the pandemic began. She has been running some activities – including producing a series of short films, from the building during the pandemic – but will officially open the arts hub, which is called BOLD, to the public in September.
UK - Industry charity Backup has long recognised the technical entertainment industry as an exciting, but challenging place to work and is committed to helping those who face the pressure and stress involved by providing further help and support.
Now, the charity has launched a free helpline that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide a centralised access point for both urgent and non-urgent well-being support.
The helpline offers a number of options, from a dedicated Backup counsellor, to direct transfer to other industry charities, including the Music Support Helpline, Theatre Helpline and the Samaritans. Upon selecting one of the above options, you will be transferred directly to the support you require.
The Backup Counsellor option is a free, independent and confidential phone service with a certified counsellor who has a broad experience of the industry and will provide initial support or signposting on mental health and well-being to people working in the live technical entertainment industry. If further sessions are needed, The Backup certified counsellor is available to offer support and to assist with Backup grants.
“Whilst we already have information about a number of resources that can be accessed on the wellbeing section of our website, we understand that it’s never easy asking for help, so we wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to get the direct help they need,” says Backup chairman, John Simpson. “Our hope is that the addition our dedicated helpline will encourage more people to take adv
Pilot Programme - Further findings from the government’s Covid pilot programme claim that mass participation events "can be conducted safely", with case numbers from four months of crowds remaining in line with, or below, community infection rates. Little to no coronavirus cases were detected among audiences that had attended several theatre pilots, including indoor and outdoor performance.
The second release of data from the Events Research Programme, covering phases II and III of the pilot scheme, concluded that major events can take place in a safe way and demonstrates how certification can be "effectively implemented at large events". The findings cover all 37 test events, which took place in England across a four-month period between April and July, however the latest research includes pilots specifically intended to test events of increased size and scale.
According to the data, fewer than five Covid cases were recorded over 10 indoor performances at the Grange opera festival, at four shows at Grosvenor Park Outdoor Theatre in Chester or at seven performances of Leeds Playhouse and Opera North’s A Little Night Music.
The data does show spikes in cases across the country on the days after England’s Euro 2020 matches, which "highlights the need for members of the public to remain cautious in all settings" the government said. "A cautious approach should be taken at unstructured events involving attendees being in close proximity for extended periods of time, when spectators are at high-density pinch points at venues, when travelling
USA - After a storied career in the entertainment industry, ESTA’s membership manager, Frances Thompson, will be retiring at the end of 2021. For over two decades, she has been a vital force in the growth of the association and a galvanizing presence at trade shows and events.
In 1996, Frances was appointed to the ESTA Board of Directors, after being a part of the Business Resource Group for several years. She then served as manufacturer director until early 2000, when she was appointed as an affiliate director. Around 2001, Frances joined the ESTA staff and has since held several titles.
On her retirement, Frances remarked, “I will miss engaging with members and staff. We are irreverent, creative, resourceful, opinionated, and uproarious. But most of my family and friends are as well, so I will be happy.”
As her successor, ESTA has appointed Laura Hoepker as its new programme manager for membership and events, effective August 17, 2021. Like her predecessor, Laura also has a long history in the entertainment technology industry. Previously, she was the marketing events specialist at Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. She also held sales and marketing positions with PLASA, before acting as a consultant to NAMM.
“I’m very excited about this new challenge,” Laura said. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and colleagues and talking about the tremendous value of ESTA membership and events.”