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

UK - The beginning of June marked four months since the launch of The Power of Events. The prime focus has been on the platform itself, providing a single destination dedicated to showcasing all seven core sectors of the UK events industry, as well as profiling the essential industry community, says the latest report from the not-for-profit company established in 2022.
From a standing start, over 25K unique visitors have to date visited the platform since launch, with positive feedback. It has seen consistent engagement with the podcast listings and the events calendar.
Helping do all of this are the range of industry community partners representing all seven core sectors - 25 leading Trade Associations, 21 media publications, 30 supporting organisations focused on DEI, sustainability, welfare/skills and 10 university partners.
Over 500 organisations have also al

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced the launch of its new affinity fundraising initiative, Ghostlight Groups. The programme, created in effort to raise awareness and funds to benefit the charity, seeks to honour the importance of community and volunteerism in our industry.
Ghostlight Groups are volunteer led groups that gather to raise money for Behind the Scenes through an event or activity of shared interest. Groups may choose an activity like skiing, golfing, or quilting. They might hold a regular meeting of a book club, or monthly movie nights. Ghostlight Group’s events or activities can be anything people do in their precious spare time. The decision of what is left to those organizing the group, but more important is that those volunteers have a why; an affinity for the BTS mission, and a desire to create community.
The Rocky Mountain Ghostlight Riders (RMGR)

UK - The widely respected PLASA Awards for Innovation are now open for entries, for any product released since PLASA Show 2022. The awards are open to all, including PLASA Show 2023 exhibitors, PLASA members, and non-member non-exhibitors. And this year, early bird entries can save 20% off the entry fee if they submit their application by midnight on Monday 7 August.

Organised in association with LSi, PLASA’s market-leading magazine, the awards celebrate innovative products from across the live entertainment technology industry that demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.

Each successfully entered product will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts who have the authority to present up to eight awards of equal standing, one of whi

Renewable Energy - Glastonbury Festival will be run entirely by renewable energy this year. All production areas will either be powered by electricity from "fossil fuel-free sources" or will run on solar panels and battery hybrid systems. Generators will run on fuel made from waste cooking oil and Arcadia's giant fire-breathing spider will also run entirely off recycled biofuels.
Organisers said "sustainability has always been at the heart" of the festival. In 2010, the festival's cowsheds were covered with enough solar panels to power 40 homes, making it the largest privately owned solar power station in the UK at the time. The site has also welcomed a temporary new wind turbine in Williams Green to provide clean power to some market stalls, and solar energy is used to power the Farm and Festival offices.
Organisers said: "Our Green Fields have run on solar, wind and

Turkey - Show architects Black Skull Creative and Balich Wonder Studios collaborated to present Pepsi’s 2023 UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show on 10 June in Istanbul.
Brazilian pop sensation Anitta and Grammy award-winning Nigerian superstar Burna Boy and special guest multi-platinum DJ and producer Alesso featured in the show.
Black Skull’s Jay Revell comments: "With The 2023 UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show by Pepsi, we wanted to showcase the immense power of football to unite diverse fans and cultures. Istanbul, a symbol of global cultures, serves as the perfect backdrop for this unforgettable TV spectacle.
“By enlisting artists from three different continents - Africa, South America, and Europe - we wanted to highlight the global reach and influence of football. This show is a testament to the unifying force that brings powerful, disti

UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians’ Annual Awards took place on Wednesday evening, 7 June, after the first day of the 2023 ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London. This year, the awards were again generously supported by TAIT.
Ted Moore, director of rental services, said of the Awards: “TAIT is really proud to be here once again to sponsor the ABTT Awards Presentation, one of the best globally in our industry. We wish all the nominees good luck and give congratulations to whoever the winners may be.”
The five highly sought after Awards for Lighting Product, Sound Product, Engineering Product, ‘Widget’ and Stand of the Year, were complemented by the announcement of the recipients of the ABTT Technician of the Year and the ABTT Award for Emerging Excellence which recognise the achievements of individuals both starting out and well-establ

Saudi Arabia - EFM Global has opened a 43,000sq ft warehouse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA), further highlighting its commitment to the region. Strategically located, the traditional, base level structure is designed to support growth for existing and for new customers.
In the Middle East since 2008, EFM has provided for tours, festivals, film, international sports, exhibitions and much more - Kendrick Lamar, MDLBEAST Soundstorm, Desert Warrior, the Dubai World Cup closing ceremony and the Amakin Exhibition being a handful of recent projects.
The size and scale of its Riyadh facility puts EFM in a strong position in terms of competitors’ capacity in Saudi Arabia and the company is looking forward to the difference it will make to clients’ event ambitions and execution.
Group CEO, Mike Llewellyn, comments: “Having recently celebrated 15 years in Dubai it feel

Artificial Intelligence - Sir Paul McCartney says he has employed artificial intelligence to help create what he calls "the final Beatles record". He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the technology had been used to "extricate" John Lennon's voice from an old demo so he could complete the song. "We just finished it up and it'll be released this year," he explained.
Sir Paul did not name the song, but it is likely to be a 1978 Lennon composition called Now And Then. It had already been considered as a possible "reunion song" for the Beatles in 1995, as they were compiling their career-spanning Anthology series. Sir Paul had received the demo a year earlier from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. It was one of several songs on a cassette labelled ‘For Paul’ that Lennon had made shortly before his death in 1980.
The tracks were largely recorded onto a bo

Song Tracking - The music industry has committed to improving metadata for tracking songs on music streaming platforms, following widespread criticism from artists. The writers, performers and producers of songs will now be consistently identified. These creators say they do not receive their fair share of royalties when tracks are played on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. It comes as the government launches a group to look into these concerns.
Sir John Whittingdale, minister for the creative industries, said the move would help the UK to "offer viable career opportunities". "This landmark agreement on streaming metadata is a step towards ensuring UK musicians in the digital age are fairly credited and compensated for their contributions and creativity," he said. "I'm pleased to be bringing the industry together so we can explore wider issues around music

South Africa - Elation Professional's exclusive sales partner in South Africa, The Production Warehouse, took to the road in mid-May to show first-hand to customers an array of its latest lighting products including luminaires from Elation’s popular Proteus, Fuze, and KL series.
While theatre, rental house and broadcast clients took the opportunity to demo products, the tour, which visited Johannesburg 15-16 May and Cape Town 18-19 May, was a chance for the AV distribution company to renew relationships post-pandemic.
Marnus Nieuwoudt, owner of The Production Warehouse, stated: “Being our first major roadshow post-Covid, the roadshow wasn't only about showcasing the latest technology Elation has to offer, it was more about reconnecting and networking with old friends and colleagues, while meeting some new customers along the way.”
Marnus says that, not sur

UK - The ABTT’s first Make A Difference conference took place at the Albany Theatre on Friday 21 April, 2023, and the association has now announced the release of the conference’s full report.
70 industry delegates from across the country and a range of companies, venues, organisations and institutions were in attendance to discuss the industry’s current recruitment and retention challenges. The report outlines the issues which were discussed and the actions that were suggested. It also reports on some things that have already happened as a result of the conference day.
The “conference day was developed in order to find a way to better host and join-up some of the thinking that was happening throughout the year in ABTT seminars and at the ABTT Theatre Show. It was also intended that the conference would not only further nurture these discussions but would also

UK - The ABTT is inviting people to sign up and participate in its Work Life Challenge initiative. It’s a challenge designed to “encourage us to prioritise time for activities that allow us to wind down from the stresses and strains of our working life, while also providing a focus and incentive for raising money for our much-loved industry charities: Backup Tech, The Theatrical Guild and Stagehand”.
The aim of the challenge is to encourage us to consider and promote a better attitude towards achieving a healthy balance between our work and other “life” activities that help us to unwind and get away from the pressures of our career. Consider starting a walking group; get together with others that run; start a weekly yoga practice before shows; baking; crafting; anything you like but make sure it’s fun and that it makes you smile.
There are two options to s

UK - This year, Black Skull Creative, in collaboration with its sister company Black Skull Studio and Marvin Dietmann, was entrusted with the task of creating nine distinct country performances for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.
From content design and choreography to production design and stage direction, Black Skull Creative covered all aspects of creative direction and production from ideation to completion.
"As the co-creative director of nine Eurovision countries, overseeing such a massive task was undeniably challenging,” says Ross Nicholson of Black Skull Creative. “However, it was also an immensely rewarding experience. Eurovision provided a platform for untapped creativity and we, at Black Skull Creative, seized that opportunity to infuse our creatives with a sense of boundless imagination and fun.
“The Eurovision stage became

Broadway Bounces Back - Broadway is making "a strong rebound", according to industry body the Broadway League, as it publishes figures that reveal 12.3m people attended shows in the first full year of data since the pandemic. This is 17% down on pre-pandemic levels. The Broadway League also said grosses for the 2022/23 season were $1.6bn and indicated that the figures compare favourably with pre-pandemic levels.
According to its data, the 2022/23 season included 1,474 playing weeks - the overall number of weeks of performance logged by all shows during the season - and 40 new productions.
In a statement explaining the data, the league said tourism was stronger but "not back to pre-pandemic levels", particularly in terms of international tourists for the 2022/23 season. "The season had fewer playing weeks and performances than in the (record-breaking) full seasons that

UK/USA - In 2008, ETC became the first official supporter of Behind the Scenes. Ever since, it has been donating all proceeds of the company’s cutting-edge iRFR and aRFR apps, which are now split between the re-named UK charity Backup Tech, and continues its support of US-based charity, Behind the Scenes.
Cat Shepherd, marketing communications coordinator at ETC, explains why they are passionate about supporting Backup Tech. “As an industry, we always tend to push ourselves to the limit to make the show work or get it to the next venue on time, constantly solving problems, often without even realising it. We see it when delivery dates are pushed to make sure a new show or venue can open on time, or when people work tirelessly to make sure that a new piece of software is functional, enabling the new effect to work, among other laborious tasks that require a great deal of

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