Coronavirus: The industry reacts
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
World - All sides of the events and entertainment sectors are coming to terms with developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications.
In an open letter to employees, partners and end-users, L-Acoustics CEO Laurent Vaissié and L-Acoustics Group CEO Hervé Guillaume, state: “L-Acoustics has taken measures to ensure all our employees are safe and able to care for themselves and their families. We have implemented a work-from-home policy for all employees able to do so. In an abundance of caution, and in order to limit the spread of the virus in keeping with CDC’s level 3 guidelines, we have decided to suspend on-site operations at the following facilities until further notice: Marcoussis, Keskastel, and Amboise (France), Wenden (Germany), London (UK) and Singapore.
“L-Acoustics is in a solid financial position and, for the foreseeable future, will maintain our entire workforce’s full employment and salaries. Our North American offices in California will remain open this week and will continue to deliver finished goods and service orders while respecting local public health and safety guidelines.
“Following the suspension of our on-site activities, we are rescheduling all deliveries from Marcoussis to a later date. We will also reschedule all shipments from suppliers.
“We regret to have to cancel all on-site trainings and visits to our L-Acoustics facilities of Marcoussis, Westlake, New York, London, and Singapore until further notice.
However, in order to further support the live sound community through education, we are preparing a series of free online webinars which will cover multiple topics, including L-ISA, line source optimization, AVB, and P1/M1. We will share a separate announcement and schedule in the coming days.”
Italy-based RCF Group reports: “We at RCF are navigating the storm known to all as coronavirus and are closely monitoring how the situation evolves through the official information. We would like to take this opportunity to inform our valued customers and partners that while we are taking every precaution to keep our staff and their families healthy and safe, we are working diligently to maintain production and operations at a normal pace.
“Regarding production, we are working to continue producing regularly and meet our orders and project requirements. However, some delays might be expected due to the difficulties in the logistics and transports as the situation evolves in different areas.
“We have suspended all RCF in-house trainings and travels for all employees at this time. We have also suspended customers and suppliers visits to RCF premises as well as gatherings.”
In Spain, DAS Audio has decided to take a series of precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contracting the virus by employees, suppliers and customers.
Says the Valencia-based loudspeaker specialist: “When possible, DAS Audio will attempt to minimise the impact of the situation on our activity and your business. Thanks to the stock available in our warehouses both in Spain and the United States, we guarantee that no orders will be affected.
“We know that our industry is directly affected by this situation and at DAS Audio we want to transmit support, understanding and encouragement to all our employees, customers and suppliers. If we all collaborate, we will minimise the time and impact of this crisis, on both persons and business.”
Video solutions supplier Universal Pixels is also taking measures to protect its staff: "The coronavirus is impacting people and businesses all over the world," says the company in a statement. "It’s clear that the entertainment and live events industry is already feeling the effects of postponements and cancellations. We appreciate that we are one of many industries that will be adversely affected by the current situation.
"The safety and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance to us, as is the ability to serve our customers. We are taking measures such as home-working where possible to protect staff, but Universal Pixels remains open for business. We are ready to support in whatever way we can. Please get in touch by phone or email."
Motion and automation control specialist WIcreations has also shut its office, but staff remains available over the phone. "We are going for a total lock down of WIcreations to take care of the health of our staff, their families and all of you, till April 3rd or [until] further notice. Our commercial staff will be reachable from their home office and start preparing for the future. If you have general questions or comments, we are reachable at"
Meanwhile, SES Entertainment Services' offices and manufacturing facilities remain open until official notice from the authorities. The company says it holds "a good level of stock on the shelves of cables, distros and spare parts and have only seen a limited impact on some of our foreign supply chains". Says a statement: "The entertainment industry is going to be a hard place to trade within, as many of the events are being cancelled in the UK and more to follow around the world. However, this is only relatively short-term and we are very much looking forward to getting back to normal."
Ambersphere Solutions has moved to organise free grandMA2 user training events for freelancers. The events will take place on 24-26 March and the company will be announcing more sessions in the coming weeks, so those interested in attending should keep watch of Ambersphere's social media channels.
Loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion-One has also taken the opportunity to "send warm regards to its customers, suppliers and industry friends who may be directly affected by COVID-19". The company says it is following the official advice whilst taking "every precaution" to protect its employees and continue operation. Says a statement: "To date, Funktion-One remains completely operational. We are hoping for little or no impact to manufacturing at our UK workshops with shipments worldwide as normal. We look forward to once more being able to gather in groups for the love of music. In the meantime, take care of yourself and those around you."
Global theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue has said it will increase remote working and video conferencing across its six offices globally. The company's North American and UK teams will transition to remote working, whilst its Australian team is on standby for remote working.
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