General News

tom-harperUnusual Rigging warns of future skills shortage
Thursday, 4 March 2021

UK - Unusual Rigging has welcomed the outcome of yesterday’s Budget and what it means for theatres and other arts venues. The chancellor’s pledge to give an extra £410m to the arts is intended to help the sector recover as lockdown eases.
The funds are earmarked for theatres, museums, galleries and live music venues. But, says Tom Harper, managing director at Unusual, for the funds to be used most effectively, the industry should be regarded as an ecosystem, echoing the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris’ idea that the funds should be pumped into productions and not venues.
“The Chancellor has acknowledged that the culture sector will be a ‘significant driver’ in the UK’s pandemic recovery. While theatres are aiming to open from 17 May with social distancing in place, and with full capacity performances to be allowed from 21 June, there are still months ahead as we prepare for this big relaunch. Unlike other sectors theatre cannot simply fling wide its doors and resume trading at a sustainable level in the same way as other businesses might be able to. Ringfencing the money for productions will go further in supporting the entire supply chain, especially freelancers, an alarming number of whom have not been eligible for any financial support.”
Tom continued: “We cannot just support the cultural infrastructure and ignore the individual and teams who make the venues come to life. The artists, entertainers and all those working behind the scenes are really what makes the industry tick. If used wisely, these funds could go a long way t

trustTheatres Trust welcomes Budget 2021 measures
Thursday, 4 March 2021

UK - Budget 2021 included several measures relevant to theatres including additional funding for the arts, an extension to the Job Retention Scheme and a new Community Ownership Fund.
The Chancellor also announced other measures that could help some theatres: extension to the business rates holiday until the end of June followed by nine months of the rate being discounted by two thirds; VAT cut to 5% on leisure and hospitality sales will stay in place until 30 September, after which the rate will be 12.5% for a further six months, and Restart Grants of up to £18k per premises for hospitality businesses, which would include theatres.
Responding to the Budget, Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan says, “Theatres Trust welcomes not only the Chancellor’s announcement of additional funding for the arts, but also his recognition for the important role culture will play in the country’s social and economic recovery. £408m is a significant increase, more than quarter on top of the initial £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. This is much needed as the pandemic’s impacts have continued longer than originally anticipated and it is unlikely that many theatres will be able to reopen viably before fuller audiences are permitted from 21 June at the earliest.
“The extension of the Job Retention Scheme until the end of September is also welcome news for theatres. Together with the Culture Recovery Fund, this scheme has kept theatres afloat during the turbulence of the past year. This will provide a welcome cushion to further protect theatres until they can ret

 
 
budgetSunak extends furlough and SEISS
Wednesday, 3 March 2021

UK - Newly self-employed workers who have lost income during the COVID-19 crisis will be able to claim grants from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
The change to the eligibility criteria, which was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in today’s Budget, means those who have become self-employed during 2019-20 will be able to receive cash grants based on their tax returns. When SEISS was launched however, it was based on tax returns for 2018-19, which resulted in many people failing to qualify.
But this latest move will do little to please campaigners, who have been lobbying the government for months to extend the scheme to thousands more excluded workers, such as limited-company directors.
Sunak has also extended the furlough scheme to the end of September, with workers guaranteed to receive 80% of their income until then, whilst employers will be asked to contribute 10% of wages in July, rising to 20% in August and September.
Meanwhile, the recently-announced roadmap out of the current UK lockdown has offered some clarity on when events could resume, with prime minister Boris Johnson stating that theatres may be allowed to open in May and gigs, large live events and nightclubs could return in June.
But to provide confidence and security to organisers looking to host events this summer, the sector has been lobbying for a state-backed cancellation insurance scheme. The efforts are likely to continue in force amid strong demand from the public, with festival organisers reporting record ticket sales and a YouGov survey show

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Options Open - Integrated Systems Europe is keeping all options open for ISE 2021 which is scheduled to take place in Barcelona 1-4 June this year. Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events, has told exhibitors that the organisation is “working hard alongside each of you to bring a successful ISE 2021”.
Blackman states, “Together with each of you, our shared goal is to deliver a show that prioritises safety and brings a return on investment to our show community. With the rapid implementation of vaccines, and the current reduction in daily new cases, we see the COVID situation in many European countries (including Spain) improving at an increasing pace. Based on this positive trend, we anticipate a climate that will make it possible to run an in-person event in Barcelona. However, we are realistic that current attitudes to travel may mean a lower volume of attendance than in previous years.
“We are reviewing all options, and are listening carefully to feedback from the industry, with a plan to provide an engaging event in Barcelona for those who wish to be a part of it.
“ISE is a community of over 1,000 exhibitors and nearly 100,000 attendees and has grown as such through working together, focused on growing the market and delivering opportunities for the amazing people that make up this industry. And we recognise that not all the members of our community are ‘in the same place’ as we conceive of gathering together or travelling to Barcelona.
“For those exhibitors and attendees who are unable to travel to Barcelon

 
 
sesStar Live choose SES for major projects
Tuesday, 2 March 2021

UK - Roger Barrett, technical director at Star Live contacted SES Entertainment Services as he was in need of a large amount of quality power distribution units and cabling for three large semi-permanent contracts that they had been awarded. Owing to the technical requirements and location of some of the distro, it all had to be designed around a fixed brief.
The first stage of the project was to have design drawings approved by Star, to ensure that each of the units we would provide fitted exactly to each location where they would be installed. As some of the units were to be housed under the main structure, they had to be exact.
Once the drawings were approved, SES commenced manufacture of over 50 bespoke units and over 100 supply cables which were shipped shortly after order was confirmed so that they could be run into position awaiting the delivery of the distribution units.
Each of the three sites were supplied with a 630A freestanding steel intake unit which were fitted with the P3 connectors new designed angled Powerlock. Alongside these units were a stainless steel framed Powerlock SES PowerPro 5 distribution unit with a range of outgoing sockets including an internally mounted 2KVA 110V transformer, which was incorporated into the design.
With a selection of other final distribution units to complete each package, SES designed, fabricated, wired, tested and inspected the whole order in four weeks from approval.

 
cardsBehind the Scenes seeks card designs
Monday, 1 March 2021

USA - Behind the Scenes holiday cards will be available again this year. Proceeds from card sales help provide grants to entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate dependent family members, who are seriously ill or injured, and support the charity’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Each year designs have been created and donated to the charity by everyone from Tony Award winners to high school students. The design guidelines (btshelp.org/carddesign) are very simple and you can also view previous examples (btshelp.org/cardexamples).
If you are interested in designing a card, Behind the Scenes will need your commitment no later than15 April and your artwork by 15 May 15th. Please contact Lori Rubinstein at info@btshelp.org or 212-244-1421.

 
 
wmeresponse2#WeMakeEvents responds to UK lockdown roadmap
Wednesday, 24 February 2021

UK - Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed the four steps England is set to take towards “cautious yet irreversible” easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months. The roadmap indicates that theatres, cinemas and other indoor entertainment attractions could reopen with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place as part of step three, provisionally set to take place from 17 May. Johnson specifically said that as part of step three “theatres and concert halls can reopen their doors”, with pilots of larger events set to take place using enhanced testing. If coronavirus rates continue to fall as predicted, step four could see all restrictions lifted in England from 21 June. This will mean all sectors should be able to reopen.
The #WeMakeEvents campaign has issued the following statement in response to the announcement: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s statement on a national roadmap to recovery and hope these measures will help plan the return of live events by June. While the steps are positive, our sector needs more detail and we urge the government to extend financial support in the upcoming budget to stop the current talent drain and ensure that the supply chain to live events can plan to return. For this to happen we need government-backed insurance for events, financial support for the self-employed, and grants, not loans, along with continued furlough, for all companies in a supply chain that has had little-to-nothing for over a year and will be the last to return to income generation.”
To support th

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Income Loss - Three quarters of creative freelancers or organisations working in areas dependent on live audiences have seen their income drop by more than half since the pandemic began, new figures from the Creative Industries Federation have revealed. Failure to ease the hardship being faced by many in the sector could result in “crippling inequalities” in future, and consequences that stretch beyond the creative industries, the federation warns.
According to its newly released statistics, creative freelancers were experienced the biggest drop in revenue, and are 20% more likely than organisations to have seen a reduction in income of three quarters or more since the beginning of the pandemic.
Following the findings, the Creative Industries Federation is calling on the government to take urgent support measures for the sector in the forthcoming Spring Budget. These include expansion of creative industries tax reliefs, a government-backed insurance scheme for live events and an extension of income support measures, including for those who fall through the gaps of current schemes. The survey of 805 creative organisations and practitioners across the UK was carried out from December 3, 2020 to February 7.
Visa Crisis - Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop has added her voice to growing calls for the UK government to negotiate visa-free access for artists and other creative professionals touring to the EU post-Brexit. Hyslop has written to UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss ongoing concerns around

 
 
stagehandArtists rally behind Stagehand #ILoveLive fundraiser
Monday, 22 February 2021

UK - In 2020, the first #ILoveLive prize draw raised £546,000 for the charity Stagehand helping music and road crew in desperate need. Launched this month is #ILoveLive 2, featuring more prizes from artists, promoters, venues and festivals.
Artists involved include Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, Iron Maiden, Muse, Spice Girls, Simple Minds, Passenger, Fleetwood Mac and many more.
David Stopps, Ian McAndrew and Tom Schroeder, alongside Andrew Lenthall and Mike Lowe from Stagehand, began the #ILoveLive Prize Draw campaign to help raise funds for all the music stage and road crew in the live music events industry that have been affected by the pandemic.
David Stopps said: “When I heard about the tenth suicide among stage crew in late August, I knew I had to do something. Stage crew are not only suffering great financial hardship but most are also experiencing mental ill health. Money raised from these prize draws will actually save lives and help to safeguard their future.”
In September 2020 the Stagehand Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund was launched, with a target of raising £1m (including donations) by the end of 2020. This was achieved with the current total at £1.17m which has enabled Stagehand to issue over 900 grants to crew, with many more to follow in 2021.
The #ILoveLive prize draw campaign, in partnership with the Crowdfunder platform, gives music fans the chance to give something back to the people who make life-affirming live events happen and to win money-can’t-buy prizes from their favourite artists. This is not an aucti

 
plasa-abtt-4x3-banner-v4PLASA and ABTT join forces for 2021 event
Wednesday, 17 February 2021

UK - PLASA, the association for the live entertainment technology industry, and the ABTT (Association of British Theatre Technicians) are pleased to announce a collaboration that will bring the 2021 editions of both the PLASA Show and the ABTT Theatre Show under one roof from 5-7 September at Olympia London.
For 2021 only, this partnership between the two established associations aims to reduce pressure on the exhibition calendar as the industry’s eco-system recovers from the impacts of the pandemic and will bring the broad sector together for one landmark event.
As previously planned for 2020, PLASA Show 2021 - for this year with the ABTT Theatre Show - will debut at Olympia’s largest hall, the Grand. The ABTT Theatre Show will run in its own defined space, retaining its unique identity, and celebrating the ABTT’s 60th anniversary. The spacious Grand hall will also make room for more inspiring stands, more show features, and perhaps most importantly, extra aisle width for visitors to move around freely and safely.
It is with regret that PLASA Focus Leeds, due to take place from 11-12 May at the Royal Armouries Leeds, has been postponed for a second year. Following careful consideration of the uncertainty around the UK’s lockdown restrictions and the complex challenges facing the industry, PLASA has made the decision to only present the London-based PLASA Show this year and is very excited to be able to work with the ABTT in order to collaborate with the ABTT Theatre Show. By consolidating the trade show calendar to a single date line, bo

 
 
thumbnailjdsc8686Central appoints Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE as principal
Wednesday, 17 February 2021

UK - The board of governors of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has announced the appointment of Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE as the incoming principal of the school.
Currently the head of acting at Stockholm University of the Arts, Sweden, Bushell-Mingo is an award-winning actor and director whose 40-year career has included performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Manchester Royal Exchange. She was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the West End production of The Lion King, a role which she originated, and she devised and starred in the internationally acclaimed production Nina: A Story about Nina Simone and Me.
As a director, Bushell-Mingo was founder and artistic director of PUSH, a Black-led theatre festival with the Young Vic Theatre. Through her work with PUSH, she was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the arts, a Judy Cramer Award for Innovation, and the Southbank Cultural Diversity Award.
For 13 years, she was also the artistic director for The National Touring Swedish Deaf Theatre ensemble Tyst Teater, where her work focused on fostering the understanding, respect and potential of sign language arts and the artistic, linguistic and cultural rights of the deaf.
Born in London and based in Sweden since 2005, she is an active spokesperson for inclusive arts and politics. She co-founded PUSH’s sister organisation in Sweden, TRYCK, which works to inspire and challenge the artistic and cultural repr

 
plasa-webinarPLASA to host free webinar on UKCA
Tuesday, 16 February 2021

UK - PLASA, the lead association for the entertainment technology industry, is running a free webinar on Wednesday 24 February to help attendees better understand the basics of the new UKCA marking which is now required for certain products being placed on the market in Great Britain.
Following on from a series of webinars covering business, trade and HR, this session will explore terms and definitions that relate to the new UKCA and CE UKNI markings. PLASA will be joined by expert host Rob Hine, head of commercial partnerships at BSI (an approved body for UKCA), who will break down what these terms mean in the context of UKCA and what this means for those placing products on the market. Rob will also take the time to answer any questions.
This webinar will prove essential for both UK and international businesses who sell products in the UK. Following the session, attendees will be given additional resources to help them navigate the new marking procedures.
‘Understanding the basics of UKCA’ will run from 11am-12:30pm (UK time) on Wednesday 24 February. Pre-registration is essential via: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FLEok3ZiQWikUpqNDa8AMg

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 16 February 2021


Under Pressure - Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under renewed pressure to provide greater financial security to the arts sector’s self-employed workforce in the forthcoming Budget, as the findings of a new inquiry warn of a talent exodus without support.
The Inquiry into the Future of Self-Employment has been carried out by Prospect – the parent union of BECTU – and calls on the chancellor to end “the exclusions from the government’s income support packages”, which have seen millions of self-employed and freelance workers fall through the gaps of existing financial support schemes.
As part of the inquiry’s research, a survey of more than 2,200 self-employed workers was carried out, of which 39% were trade union members.
BECTU head Philippa Childs gave evidence to the inquiry and said: "Workers in the creative industries have been left with little to no support from government schemes in the last year, resulting in a financial crisis for freelancers across the UK. I urge the chancellor to take on board the recommendations in this report, end the exclusion of millions of freelancers from government income support packages, and set out a new deal for freelancers and the self-employed for the future."
A Treasury spokesman said: "We’ve invested more than £280 billion throughout the pandemic to protect millions of jobs and businesses, and extended our self-employed and furlough schemes through to April so that people have certainty that help is in place. At the upcoming Budget we’ll outline the next stages of our plan for

 
sj-award-2021ABTT announces Stephen Joseph Award
Monday, 15 February 2021

UK - To mark the centenary of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the ABTT Stephen Joseph Committee has announced an award to commemorate the life and work of the influential theatre practitioner and pioneer of theatre in-the-round.
A statement from the ABTT says: “Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was one of the founders of the ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants, now the Institute of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence, and was an inspiring university teacher. His pioneering work has given rise to the use of myriad forms of theatre and open staging in current practice. At the heart of his philosophy was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre-in-the-round as a legitimate theatrical form in the UK.
This award honours Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy which continues to influence many aspects of theatre practice. The first ABTT Stephen Joseph Award will be presented in June 2021.”
ABTT Stephen Joseph Award specifications:
There are three categories from which one recipient of the award will be chosen. For the sake of clarity, there will be just one award in 2021 presented to the most deserving nomination drawn from any one of the following categories:
1. A living individual whose work or body of work has created an exemplary and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.

 
 
stage-handStagehand Crew Relief Fund reaches over £1m
Wednesday, 10 February 2021

UK - The Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund, launched in September 2020, achieved its target of raising £1m by the end of 2020 and now looks to building on the £1.17m raised in order to continue supporting live events industry workers experiencing hardship in 2021.
As a result, a third round of grant applications will be open until 12pm on 12 February. The grants of £500 help crew facing financial crisis and experiencing food poverty.
Donations to the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund have been received from PPL, BPI / BRIT Awards, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, The Co-Op, SJM Concerts, artists, artist managers and many individuals including some by anonymous donors.
Prints for Music, the photography sale created by Ed Robinson who, together with 39 other photographers, donated images depicting musical heroes throughout the ages. The campaign saw significant funds go towards the target. Grass roots fundraising activity was also very important. 
A second #ILoveLive Crowdfunder Prize Draw Campaign will launch on 17 February and is already attracting some significant artists. Acts including The 1975, Foo Fighters and Jack Garratt will donate prizes. The #ILoveLive campaign was spearheaded by artist manager and promoter David Stopps with Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe at Stagehand.
Mike Lowe, the chair of Stagehand’s Board of Trustees, comments: “We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy. Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Pay Freeze - Backstage theatre workers across the UK will have their pay frozen until April next year, under temporary contract changes aimed at helping the industry reopen following the pandemic. UK Theatre and BECTU have concluded a temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement, which came into effect on 18 January and replaces the current UK Theatre/BECTU agreement until 2022.
Although BECTU members voted in favour of the amendments, the union said they were not happy with the changes. The changes will not impact separately negotiated house agreements with individual venues, but local negotiations can take place to vary house agreements in line with the temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement.
The UK Theatre/BECTU agreement covers pay and working conditions for offstage roles in theatres across the UK in areas including box office, administration, technical, front of house, stage door, catering staff, cleaners, wigs and wardrobe.
Air Quality - London’s Arcola Theatre is working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore how the air quality in arts venues affects the spread of viruses. According to the theatre, the project will explore “how increased airflow can be used by venues and performance spaces to reduce viral transmission”, to increase the safety of theatregoers. As part of the project, the Arcola will work with scientists to explore ways it can increase airflow within its own indoor spaces and use the findings to facilitate conversations about airflow in other venues.
Executive director Ben Todd said: “Since the

 
 
guildhallGuildhall School announces new online courses
Monday, 8 February 2021

UK - Guildhall School of Music & Drama has announced 15 new online courses that will run from April – July 2021. The school has transferred its most popular short courses online and created a range of new ones, working with tutors to ensure that they are “just as enriching and memorable as they would be within the building”.
The courses cover music, drama, music production for young women and girls, sound design for theatre, video mapping and an introduction to game audio. Participants will have the opportunity to learn with Guildhall School staff members, as well as guest tutors, in a range of workshops all held on Zoom.
In addition to these courses, Guildhall School is hoping to run several in-person Summer Schools from July - August. For a full list of in-person courses and to register your interest, you can go to the website here. Guildhall School hopes to be able to confirm whether these will go ahead at the beginning of April 2021. The courses would run at the School in London from 12 July to 7 August.
Online courses that may be of particular interest to LSi readers include:
An Introduction to Video Projection Mapping: Online - “This one-week course will give participants a unique opportunity to learn and develop the necessary creative and technical skills to prepare and project video onto a 3D structure, using industry standard video projection software Resolume Arena 7. Participants will b

 
auctionBlind auction to raise funds for #WeMakeEvents
Wednesday, 3 February 2021

UK - If you’ve ever fancied owning an industry-relevant personalised number plate, now’s your chance! The plate, which reads A1 DMX is currently owned by a prominent lighting director, who would prefer to remain anonymous. It has been kindly donated to LSi to be auctioned in order to raise funds for the #WeMakeEvents campaign.
The LD says: “Some of us working in TV and film studios are fortunate enough to have kept some of our work since the COVID pandemic closed the majority of our industry last March. So many of our friends and colleagues, particularly in music, events and theatre, haven’t had any work at all during that time and have had little or no support from the government.”
“I would like to try to help out in a small way. I know many reading this in LSi will have homes and offices cluttered with old equipment and industry memorabilia. Some of this might be quite valuable, so I’d ask everyone to consider helping out by raising funds for #WeMakeEvents in a similar way, if they feel they can.”
He continues: “In my case, I have the UK vehicle registration ‘A1 DMX’ which, for a number of reasons, I cannot put on my current car. I purchased the plate from the DVLA in the early ‘90s, largely to put a smile on the faces of friends and colleagues around me. As a young, ambitious board op in the ‘90s, its first car was a Peugeot 205 GTi!”
“As the years have gone by, it has transferred several times onto bigger and better cars. It has definitely achieved my ambition to raise a smile, and has no doubt caused

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 2 February 2021


No Coachella - Another major music festival, Coachella, has been cancelled due to the pandemic. The annual event in the southern Californian desert was scheduled over two weekends in April but the region's public health officer Dr Cameron Kaiser says it will not go ahead.
The Stagecoach country music festival, on the same site as Coachella but later in April, has also been cancelled, Dr Kaiser said, blaming the dire COVID-19 situation in the state. He said in a public health order: "If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk."
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in the Indio desert near Palm Springs and attracted about 250,000 attendees in 2019, while Stagecoach draws more than 70,000 country music fans. On Friday, health officials in California announced the state had surpassed 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Musical Moves - Andrew Lloyd Webber has indicted that plans to open his new musical Cinderella in the spring may have to be postponed, saying he is now unable to confirm when the show will open. His comments, made to BBC Radio 2, appear to contradict the bullish stance he took at the very beginning of this year, when he said he was holding firmly to plans to have its official opening in May, with previews beginning at the end of April.
At the time he did also warn that his dates may be out by “weeks”, because of the ongoing and changing situ

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Festival Blues - This year's Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled due to coronavirus, organisers have confirmed. Michael and Emily Eavis announced the news on the festival's official Twitter page writing: “With great regret, we must announce that this year's Glastonbury Festival will not take place.”
It's the second year running that Glastonbury will not go ahead, after last year's 50th anniversary celebration was cancelled due to COVID-19. In a full statement on their website, the father and daughter team explained that in spite of “efforts to move Heaven & Earth”, the event would not be happening in 2021, adding that “this will be another enforced fallow year for us”.
“It has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down. As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022.
“"We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022! "We thank you for your incredible continued support and let's look forward to better times ahead.”
Training Challenge - Challenges facing the performing arts training sector and wider creative education issues are set to be examined in a dedicated parliamentary group, launched this month. The new all-party parliamentary group me

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 19 January 2021


Quarantine Regulations - Performing arts professionals are no longer entitled to a quarantine exemption when arriving in the UK, following a tightening of travel restrictions. As of now, anyone working in the performing arts that enters the UK, including performers, creatives and technical staff, must self-isolate for 10 days, according to regulations confirmed by the government.
Performing arts is one of eight sectors that has been removed from the list of professions that qualify for quarantine exemptions, alongside television and film production workers, journalists and advertising professionals. The government has given no indication of the duration of this change.
People working in the performing arts were added to the list of exemptions for England in December. The exemption covered individuals travelling for a paid work engagement in the UK, with both international and British citizens eligible. However, with the UK now in further lockdown measures, the Department for Transport has reduced the number of exemptions and promised to ramp up enforcement checks.
Professions that have remained on the exemption list include elite sportspeople and healthcare professionals, as well as people working for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network.
Work Permits - The Musicians’ Union has written to prime minister Boris Johnson, urging him to negotiate a solution to European touring arrangements for performers as soon as possible, as the government and the EU continue to blame each other for the failure to reach an agreement.

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Pistol Package - Trainspotting director Danny Boyle is to make a six-part TV series about 1970s punk icons the Sex Pistols. Based on guitarist Steve Jones's memoir, it will star Anson Boon as John Lydon and Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as Sid Vicious. Filming is due to start in March for US TV network FX. No UK broadcaster has been announced yet.
"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent," said Boyle, announcing his new project. "This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture, where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion - and everyone had to watch and listen.”
Air Conditioning - London’s 100 Club is to pioneer trials of new air-conditioning technology that claims to significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases inside venues. The creator of the technology, Pathogen Reduction Systems (PRS), hopes it can be used alongside the vaccine and other safety measures to help entertainment venues, offices and gyms reopen sooner.
PRS has created a new handling system which rapidly circulates air through a box containing the light, which is placed into an air-conditioning unit, meaning air can be purified without people coming into contact with the UVC light. Founding chairman of PRS, Ian Sinclair, says that the technology can make any building "significantly safer" by reducing

 
 
unite-10-on-monitorNew ClearOne webcams aid remote collaboration
Tuesday, 12 January 2021

USA - ClearOne, a global provider of audio and visual communications solutions has launched two new webcams with the intention of “making true-to-life video collaboration possible for everyone”.
For users who want to upgrade from the basic camera included in their laptop or PC, ClearOne has introduced its most affordable webcam to-date, UNITE 10. The small, powerful webcam supports up to 1080p video quality and offers autofocus. It can capture five-megapixel images with a field of view up to 87-degrees. UNITE 10 attaches to any PC or laptop with a simple mounting bracket, and a 1.5m USB-A cable ensures simple connection to most modern computers. UNITE 10 is also available to dealers and distributors in 20 packs for commercial sale.
Meanwhile, the new UNITE 50 4K AF webcam introduces ClearOne’s new Auto-Framing technology to maximize screen use through intelligent image algorithms and ePTZ automation (electronic pan, tilt and zoom). “With 4K video quality at 30Hz, auto-focus capability, 4x digital zoom, more than 8 megapixels of total resolution and an ultra-wide 110-degree field of view, the UNITE 50 4K AF ePTZ is equally capable of delivering incredible image quality from a home office as it is at capturing all participants in an office boardroom,” the company says.
The camera can be controlled through an IR remote, further simplifying use and enabling real-time control of pan, tilt and zoom to provide greater control when capturing multi-person meeting environments. A standard damping mount ensures fast, easy installation, while an incl

 
encore-logoPSAV starts to operate under Encore brand
Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Europe - Global event production company PSAV has announced that it will begin to operate under the Encore name as part of a planned move to align its portfolio of companies, including Hawthorn and AVC Live, under a master brand.
Announced in March 2020, the move “solidifies the company’s desire to unify its operations and deliver industry leadership through end-to-end creative, production and technology services to its meeting planner customers and hotel partners, taking them far beyond traditional AV services”.
“This is an exciting day for our family of companies,” said Ben Erwin, president and CEO. “In a world changed by the pandemic, the Encore brand and new icon signal a forward focus. It puts our customers at the centre as we offer new platforms and tools to enable them to continue to meet and seamlessly connect in person and virtual audiences. We have come together to provide leadership to our industry by defining standards on how to safely meet in person and have demonstrated our ability to quickly adapt solutions to help reimagine how transformative hybrid and virtual events can take place all over the world. Today, we continue those efforts under a new brand.”
Powered by a new tagline, ‘Events that Transform’, the brand identity supports the knowledge that events of all types have the power to connect and inspire, and the ability to create immersive, collaborative experiences to deliver real results, says the company. Augmenting its already strong portfolio of event production services, the new hybrid solutions and virtua

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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