UK - Backup has announced well-known industry figure, Koy Neminathan, as a new trustee of the organisation and head of its Ambassador Programme.
Koy, who is business development director at Elation Professional and PLASA manufacturer’s representative, is no stranger to the demands and pressures of the live entertainment industry. Following the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw the very real challenges the industry faced, and vowed to put the needs of others before himself.
“I felt like helping others was what had to be done, it was such an important thing for me,” says Koy. “You’ve got to help those who can’t always help themselves and, particularly during the pandemic, I felt it was imperative to do what I could to support our industry at a time where people were struggling in so many ways and mental health became a massive issue - people were suffer

Studio Sale - The BBC's historic Maida Vale studios, which have hosted sessions by stars ranging from The Beatles to Adele, have been sold to a group led by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer, who wrote the scores for films like The Lion King and Dune, has teamed up with Love Actually and Cats movie producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
The BBC said the complex would remain a "centre for pioneering music-making". It was valued at about £10m but the BBC did not disclose the purchase price. Built in 1909 as Britain's largest indoor roller-skating rink, the north-west London building was bought by the BBC in 1933. It is home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has hosted the world's biggest rock and pop stars - from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead and Jay-Z to Little Mix.
It also played host to John Peel's famous Radio 1 sessions and the

UK - Voting is now in process for this year’s Gottelier Award, which has received a record number of nominees. Named in memory of renowned industry innovator and commentator Tony Gottelier, this special award recognises the invaluable contributions of the people behind the products.
LSi readers, pre-registered PLASA Show visitors and PLASA members are eligible to vote for the Gottelier Award. The recipient of the award will be announced during the PLASA Awards for Innovation ceremony at PLASA Show on Monday 4 September. The nominees for the 2023 Gottelier Award are:
Mark Ager - XM Automation
Mark’s influence over the past 40 years has been intrinsic in creating and defining the theatre automation industry as we know it today. Known by some as the father of automation, he co-founded and managed Stage Technologies (STL) which developed many of

Backstage Upgrade - The National Theatre has submitted a planning application to bring some of its backstage departments - which have been largely unaltered since the 1970s - up-to-date and ensure they meet current health and safety requirements.
Submitted to Lambeth Council by architects and designers Tom Wilson Studio, the plans outline refurbishments to support the modernisation of the NT’s back-of-house facilities, including its textiles studio, costume and prop workshop, wig, hair and make-up department and laundry room, located on the building’s fifth floor.
According to the planning application, the fifth-floor production facilities have been "largely untouched since the 1970s and no longer support the working requirements and practices expected of a modern theatre, and in some cases are non-compliant with current health and safety executive guidelines for

UK - Following on from a record-breaking BikeFest in Spain earlier this year, the #WeMakeEvents fundraising bike ride returns to London this September to raise money for industry charities Backup Tech, Music Support and Stagehand – and the team is calling for new recruits.
Since being spearheaded by PLASA and Backup seven years ago, BikeFest has grown into a popular industry event, taking place in Spain and the UK each year in the lead up to ISE in Barcelona and PLASA Show in London respectively. Each BikeFest event raises thousands for industry charities, with BikeFest Spain 2023 raising an incredible £50,000, helping industry professionals suffering with ill health or financial hardship.
And soon the BikeFest London team will be back in the saddle, ready to cycle up to 80 miles on Saturday 2 September, in time for PLASA Show at Olympia London from 3-5 September. T

UK - SLX has announced its partnership with Wilderkind, an organisation that is dedicated to accelerating nature recovery in Great Britain through rewilding. The collaboration aligns with SLX’s commitment to sustainability and to having a positive impact on the environment and local community.
Founded in April 2023 Wilderkind collaborates with businesses in South West England to combat biodiversity loss, prevent ecosystem collapse, and foster climate resilience.
SLX has been on a journey to evolve its business to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. Following the release of its Impact Report earlier this year, and the announcement of attaining a B-Corporation status, this new partnership exemplifies SLX's commitment to making a visible environmental impact and aligning with the core values of its B-Corp certification.
Under the leadership of

Las Vegas Bound - Kylie Minogue is going to Las Vegas. The singer has announced her first exclusive residency in Sin City, following in the footsteps of Adele and Celine Dion. She has not toured in North America since 2011, so her shows at the Voltaire nightclub at The Venetian in Las Vegas will be a major US return.
Minogue has promised extravagant costumes and dances, saying that at this point in her career she has "earned the right to" play Las Vegas. "I've performed a couple of times at Vegas, but as part of a tour, and particularly when I did the Showgirl tour in 2004 - at that time we said, 'oh, this feels like a Vegas show', the Australian pop star said at a Los Angeles news conference.
The show will be based in a smaller venue that allows Minogue to give guests and fans a more personal show. "I want it to be the kind of essence of what a Kylie show has b

UK - Production Futures exists to create opportunities for young people to learn, train, network and develop real careers in production across every area of the live event, music, touring, theatre, TV, broadcast and film industries. The organisation has announced that its flagship On Tour event will take place at Production Park, Wakefield on Thursday 28 September.
Featuring international special guest speakers, panel discussions and learning zones, the event will place emphasis on the theme of transferable skills across the production industries. Production Futures’ diversity partners will also play an important role on the day with Black Lives in Music, The Association for Black Event Professionals, Women in Live Music and The Network of Women in Events, all represented. New features for this year’s event include new ‘speed networking’ and ‘recruitment’ areas.<

UK - Vision: 2025, the UK outdoor event industry's steering group for environmental sustainability, has been commissioned by the Event Industry Forum’s (EIF) Purple Grants Fund, to write a new chapter of the Purple Guide on Environmental Sustainability for events.
It is intended to provide clear guidance on best practice and signpost to users to resources and guidance to minimise the carbon impact of events.
Feedback will be reviewed in September and the chapter will be launched 18 October 2023, at SES 23, hosted at the Showman’s Show.
The draft is available online for comment until Friday 1 September on the Vision: 2025 website.
The draft has been prepared by an industry working group including Hope Solutions, the Local Authority Event Organiser’s Association (LAEOG), Julie’s Bicycle, The Association of Festival Organiser’s (AFO) and even

UK - Eight years ago, 11 teams turned up, had a bit of fun and raised a small amount of money driving some karts for the live events industry. Fast forward to 2023 and The Parish of Backup delivered the Village Fete, its biggest and most successful event to date. The day was set against the backdrop of a traditional British Fete, 350 members of the live events industry came together to have the best of British days out.
With Chauvet Professional once again taking up the headline sponsor slot, and first-time main sponsor 5 Star Cases joining them and providing a colourful selection of flight cases for the Flight Case Challenge, over 40 companies, along with many individuals, descended on Daytona Sandown Park. Outside of the traditional award shows and trade shows calendar, this event has become one of the biggest fun days out for the live events industry.
“Raising the

Theatre in Education - Supporting theatre in education and recognising the importance of the art form in education are among a set of Europe-wide recommendations for policymakers to support the sector. The recommendations resulted from the European Theatre Forum 2023, which saw 200 representatives from the European theatre sector gather at JK Opole Theatre in Poland.
The event was organised by the European Commission with the aim of looking at how the sector can address key issues including mental health, the climate crisis and the potential impact of artificial intelligence. While they are primarily addressed to the European Commission, the guidelines are also aimed at national funders and policymakers. The European Theatre Forum included representatives from UK-based theatres in receipt of government funding, including the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh and the Young Vic in Lo

UK - At this year’s KartFest, the Village Fete saw Backup launch Are You OK?, a campaign aimed at raising further awareness of mental health throughout the technical entertainment industry.
Founded in the early 2000’s to provide financial support to technical professionals across sectors such as concert, live events, theatre, TV and film, Backup expanded its remit during the pandemic and has adapted its services to support colleagues not just potential facing financial hardship from physical illness, but their mental health and wellbeing.
The annual KartFest has been the most prominent and successful of Backup’s fundraising activities, bringing together karting fans and spectators alike to enjoy a fun-filled day, with this year’s Village Fete theme adding much to the enjoyment whilst raising money and much-needed awareness of their cause. Around 70% of the tech

Anti-War Revival - A revival of Oh What a Lovely War will mark the 60th anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s anti-war musical as it tours nationally from September. Produced by Blackeyed Theatre, the run will include three weeks at Southwark Playhouse Borough. It stars Christopher Arkeston, Rose Bruford graduate Tom Crabtree, Harry Curley, and Alice E Mayer.
The production is directed by Nicky Allpress with musical direction by Ellie Verkerk and movement direction by Adam Haigh. Allpress said: “I’m so thrilled to be directing this unique piece of theatrical history, having followed Blackeyed Theatre and their extraordinary work for many years.
“One of the most exciting things about Oh What a Lovely War is how universal, timeless, and ever relevant it is, and testament to the brilliance of the work is how it can bear endless reinterpretation. Our con

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that GLP German Light Products has joined its Pledge-of-Support Programme. The company will contribute a portion of the profits from their new Creative Light products to Behind the Scenes.
GLP German Light products provides designers around the globe with environmentally friendly and energy-optimised lighting solutions that are both uncompromisingly creative and powerful. Creative Light products are the first battery-powered and completely wireless creative LED systems for maximum flexibility in an almost unlimited range of applications.
Director of sales and marketing for GLP German Light Products Tyler Wise states: “Partnering with the Behind the Scenes Pledge-of-Support Programme is important to GLP because we believe so much in the organisation and its value to the industry. BTS provides direct positive impact to colleagues a

UK - Production Futures is an initiative created to provide opportunities for young people to learn, train, network, and develop real careers in production across every area of the Live Event, Music, Touring, Festival, Theatre, TV, Broadcast and Film industries.
At its most recent On Tour roadshow event in Manchester, which was opened by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, chief executive Hannah Eakins announced the expansion of the Production Futures Breakthrough Talent Awards to better reflect the wide range of roles and skill sets required across the production industry. These rely heavily on transferable skills such as computer science, architecture, engineering and business management, as well those associated with the traditional event-management, music, TV, film, media and live technical fields. Hannah explains:
“The Production Futures initiative originated

City Break - The city of Malmö is to host next year's 68th Eurovision Song Contest, it was announced on Friday, following Sweden's victory in Liverpool in May. The coastal town in the south of the country was selected ahead of the capital Stockholm after "dialogue with several cities", organisers said.
The Malmö Arena will stage the semi-finals on 7 and 9 May 2024, as well as the final on 11 May. Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was "thrilled" that Sweden's third-largest city will host it for a third time. "Malmö holds a special place in the history of the contest, having successfully hosted it firstly in 1992 and then in 2013 - following Loreen's last win," he said.
"We're excited to be returning to this vibrant and dynamic city which has demonstrated it has the venues a

USA - The 2023 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are now on sale at the BTS Boutique. This year’s collection features a mix of six different designs created especially for the charity by Alyssa Collister, Ryan Dantuono, Scott Kinnebrew, and Robert Mendoza. BTS is also bringing back two past favourites by Alex Elmendorf and William Gerton.
Cards are available in a variety of options: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalised cards with a company logo and custom message, and electronic cards in multiple file formats and an array of price points starting at $20.
Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your recipients know you are supporting industry colleagues who are ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health Initiative.
Orders for printed cards will be taken until 26 September to arrive by late November. Ele

UK - For a second year, PLASA is able to support UK-based companies who wish to exhibit at LDI. Working in conjunction with the Department for Business and Trade, UK companies can make their debut at the Las Vegas trade show for a specially reduced rate.
When LDI returns this year from 3-5 December, the show will yet again feature the Meet the Brits Pavilion, which will introduce UK companies to the expansive US market and facilitate valuable in-person networking.
The Meet the Brits package includes a 5sq.ft logo-branded kiosk, complete with furniture, lighting and power, as well as online and onsite promotion. With PLASA’s support, this package is reduced from $3,800 down to $2,600.
Exhibitors in the Meet the Brits Pavilion will also gain an invitation to a special networking reception and have the opportunity to attend the Department for Business and Trade Ex

Strong Performance - Turnover at Nimax Theatres rose to £31.9m in the year ending October 2022, which marks the first full year of trading figures since the pandemic and a 6.7% increase on 2019. When compared to the previous year, ending October 2021 and including disruption caused by the pandemic, the increase in turnover is 289%.
Nimax Theatres’ venues include the Palace, the Garrick, the Duchess, the Vaudeville, the Apollo and the Lyric theatres in the West End. According to its annual accounts filed this month, turnover to October 2, 2022 was £31.9m. This is up from £29.9m compared with 2019, prior to the pandemic. In the year ending October 2021, turnover was just £8.2m. According to the accounts, profit for the financial period in 2022 was £6.7m
The accounts state that "a major aspect of the strong performance was the successful run of the shows in the ye

UK - Roger Fox and John Whitaker have retired as directors of global technical theatre consultancy Theatreplan.
Both men helped to build the consultancy whilst working alongside the late pioneering stage engineer, Richard Brett. Having been with Theatreplan as partners and subsequently directors for a combined total of over 60 years, they will be continuing their working association with Theatreplan, as founder consultants.
Fox has brought his knowledge and expertise to a wide range of important heritage theatre projects, including at the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, and the Victoria Hall and Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, which was one of his first, and biggest projects, involving the repurposing of a 1928 cinema into a modern touring theatre.
Fox also worked as project leader for the technical installations at the St. Luke’s Centre for th

UK - PLASA and LSi are calling for nominations for this year’s Gottelier Award. The award recognises the invaluable contributions of the people behind the products, from pioneering product developers to creative R&D teams.
Named after the late lighting designer and industry commentator Tony Gottelier, the Gottelier Award aims to recognise product developers who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of entertainment, presentation, or installation technology.
Launched in 2007, previous recipients include: JB Toby (Avolites), Christian Heil (L-Acoustics); Alan Jacobi (Unusual Rigging); Wayne Howell (Artistic Licence); Anne Valentino (ETC); David Cunningham (Entertec); Pasquale Quadri (Claypaky); Jim Bornhorst (Vari-Lite); John Meyer (Meyer Sound); Terry Clarke (Klark Teknik, MC2 Audio); Fred Foster (ETC); Alex Cooper (Midas & Klark Teknik); Joh

USA - The Long Reach Long Riders hosted an auction to benefit Behind the Scenes at their 20th Anniversary Ride’s celebratory banquet earlier this month. The auction itself was quite special, including only one item, a detailed quilt incorporating t-shirts from every charity ride hosted by the LRLR over their 20-year history. The quilt was created and donated, “a true labour of love” by long time BTS supporters and quilters Shan and Trish Ayers.
The Ayers regularly donate many of their intricate handcrafted woodwork creations, including items to be auctioned off during the annual LRLR Raffle at the USITT conference as well as for sale on the Behind the Scenes website. Shan Ayers comments: “The quilt idea came about during casual conversation at the BTS booth this past March in St. Louis. The timetable was tight, so we immediately went to work. The work that LRLR and

Liechtenstein - The Neutrik Group has introduced a range of products, from its Contrik brand of portable power distribution systems, especially designed for deployment in harsh all-weather application environments.
The range of Xtreme Outdoor (XO) / Active designated products includes Power Container, Power Rack and Power Turtle systems. Designed and precision manufactured, using high quality electrical and electronic components, in the EU, they are intended for mobile entertainment production applications, including video walls, stage lighting and audio installations.
The XO designation denotes the extensive environmental protection features, additional to Contrik’s usual certification standards, guaranteeing high levels of mechanical (IK) and environmental (IP) protection. These include enhanced protective housings and self-closing caps. Protection up to the IP65

Last Farewell - Amid much publicity, Elton John played the last UK show of his farewell tour at Glastonbury, watched by a crowd, estimated to be over 120,000 people. A record 7.3m people tuned in to watch live on BBC One, according to initial ratings. That was the biggest ever overnight audience for a Glastonbury set, the BBC said. In comparison, last year Diana Ross was the most-watched star with 3.1m and Paul McCartney's headline set was seen by 2.7m. "It's a very special and emotional night for me as it may be my last show in England, in Great Britain," said the singer.
Meltdown - Soaring temperatures forced the cancellation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical at the New Wimbledon over the weekend. As temperatures rose above 30C, the venue said its priority was to protect theatre workers. In a statement posted on social media, the theatre said

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