UAE - EFM Global Logistics chartered 155ft yacht Desert Rose to celebrate 15 years operating out of Dubai – taking guests, DJs, food and drink up the coast from the city’s marina.
Clients past and present joined EFM’s directors on board to recognise the run of events the company has delivered for and to ‘kick around what comes next’.
EFM’s history in the region goes back to transporting equipment for a 2005 spectacular celebrating the official Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) launch.
The dearth of available vehicles in the city at that stage, capable of delivering to the standards clients had come to expect, saw EFM CEO, Mike Llewellyn, resolve to build his own. And EFM went on to establish itself as a local supplier three years later.
Since then, the company has provided for events across the gamut in the Middle East. Films includi

UK - Four young industry pros have joined the team at Crosstown Concerts to ‘bring fresh vision and extend the independent promoters’ network of artists and live shows’.
Crosstown director Conal Dodds has 32 years of experience promoting live music, forming Crosstown Concerts in 2016 with fellow Director Paul Hutton. He comments, “Promoting live music has never been more vibrant, as we rise from the turmoil of the pandemic to shape a new landscape. I was keen to introduce new voices into Crosstown that face the future.
“This new breed of promoters each bring their own passion, individual ideas and ambitions that will bring progression to our business, the artists and fans. Paul Hutton is stepping back from front line promoting from the end of March to take up an advisory consultancy role, so our new team is the way forward for Crosstown. We celebrated our sev

Stream On - The success of artists like Taylor Swift and BTS helped global music revenues rise to $26.6bn (£21.7bn) last year, the highest level since records began in the 1990s. The growth was largely driven by streaming, which now accounts for 67% of the industry's earnings. Last year, 589m people paid for a subscription, said trade body the IFPI, up from 523m in 2021.
But labels say income could be higher, and are pushing for prices to rise. "It would help if music subscription pricing could reflect the realities of inflation," said Simon Robson, president of international markets for Warner Music.
The UK's largest streaming service, Spotify, hasn't increased its prices since launching in 2009, with an individual subscription set at £9.99. Most of its competitors maintain a similar pricing structure. Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl recently suggested that the US rat

UK - Event crewing specialist Showforce has announced that Becky Meers has been promoted to the role of head of operations UK & Europe. Becky will oversee the account management, crew management and operations functions for Showforce’s UK and European business.
Having joined Showforce’s Liverpool office in 2010 as an account handler, over the last few years, she has ran point on some of Showforce’s largest accounts and projects including Creamfields North and South, Cannes Lions, Glastonbury, Platinum Jubilee and The 150th Open.
The announcement follows the news that the company’s Liverpool office has been expanded as so many international events head to the city this year. The Showforce team is readying itself for a busy period as Eurovision fever grows and the build for the 151st Open beginning. Showforce’s Liverpool office has built an excellent reput

USA - In June of 2009 ETC launched a new app that turns Apple handhelds into miniature lighting controllers. From the very beginning, ETC decided that all profits from sales of the iRFR (Radio Focus Remote) and later the aRFR for Android apps would be donated to charity. On Friday at the 2023 USITT Show, ETC presented Behind the Scenes with a check for $39,599 bringing the total donated to the charity to over half a million dollars.
The iRFR and aRFR mobile apps enable convenient, touchscreen-based remote control for Eos family consoles and controllers. You can learn more about the apps from the ETC website and download them from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
David Lincecum, ETC’s vice president of marketing, commented, “Many of us are drawn to work in the entertainment technology industry because of its strong sense of community. Behind the Scenes has long b

UK - Event, catering and brand logistics specialist Global Infusion Group has appointed Tim Young as its new managing director. Young brings of experience at both PLC and SME level to the role.
Prior to joining Global Infusion Group, Young was managing director of AMP Air Conditioning, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Panasonic Corporation, leading business operations and financial management. This followed a five-year stint as finance and commercial director with event supplier Thorns Group.
Commenting on his appointment, Young says: “I’m honoured to join the Global Infusion Group and working alongside such a great team. This is such an exciting time for the business, our catering division has just completed a record year of business with several high-profile events, tours and major global games successfully delivered in 2021/22. Whilst the logistics arm is makin

Europe - The Inside Story has taken steps to reduce its impact on the planet by becoming CoolPartner number 054 with Cloudforests.ie, a social enterprise creating new forests along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The move will give the full-service marketing agency a verifiable nature-based solution to offset the carbon emissions created by the business.
“As a company, we have been talking for a while about the impact that our actions are having on the environment and we wanted to take positive action to reduce this,” explains Barney Jameson, founder and managing director at The Inside Story. “After a period of extensive research, we decided that Cloudforests presented the best solution to help us reduce our carbon footprint.”
“Joining Cloudforests is a powerful statement about what we stand for as a company,” adds John Hull, director of video at The Inside

UK - Following on from the international industry-wide survey conducted in November 2022, PLASA and #WeMakeEvents have now published the full report, which is now available to download for free.
Completed by over 1,300 people in over 40 countries, the data offers clear insights into how the events, entertainment and installation industries are recovering from the pandemic, and highlights the rebound, along with what challenges remain.
The data will be presented to government departments and financial institutions to help raise the profile of the live sector, and it’s hoped, gain meaningful, long-term support. This report builds on the comprehensive survey conducted by PLASA and #WeMakeEvents in 2021.
Financially, the industry has mostly “bounced back” as predicted, with companies with over a million turnover seeing positive growth. Although, those with und

Student Funding - Higher education regulator the Office for Students has awarded a £9.6m annual funding boost to 15 establishments across England that provide training in performing arts. The organisations include Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Leeds Conservatoire, Chickenshed Theatre Company and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. All will receive a portion of the funding to help improve teaching and access to training.
A total of £9.6m a year will be awarded over five financial years from 2022-23 to 2026-27. Six organisations will receive the maximum amount of £1m a year. LIPA has been awarded this amount in this financial year. Sean McNamara, LIPA principal and chief executive, said: “The funding recognises our enduring reputation for excellence and the significant costs associated with delivering the type of high-quality specialist profess

UK - Backup has officially declared Kartfest -The Village Fete, open! Tickets are now on sale to the live events industry’s big day out.
Now in its eighth year, Backup is delighted that Kartfest will be returning to Sandown Park for its biggest event yet. “With our fantastic headline sponsor, Chauvet, we are building a big old fashioned Village Fete to give everyone a great day out,” says Backup vice chair and the event’s organiser, Lee Dennison. “Our judges will be out in force scoring the best dressed stalls, our cake bake competition and the best fete game. We are all looking forward to apple bobbing, hook the duck and smashing the rat.”
Backup is also delighted to have 5 Star Cases officially sponsor the Flight Case Relay, which is longer and faster than last year’s race. “We so looking forward to seeing the budding Linford Christies warming up on t

UK - Midwich UK&I has launched Mi Finance – a financial services offering that supports customers’ business growth through help in acquiring new technologies or upgrading assets while protecting their working capital.
Available to customers of Midwich Ltd, Nimans Ltd and Sound Technology Ltd, and with plans to roll out to the wider UK&I group of companies soon, Mi Finance offers ‘competitive rates for lease and hire purchase’. Three product options are currently available including finance lease, hire purchase, and operating lease, with a fourth product in development.
Simon Munday, Mi Finance manager, said: “We are really excited to bring this proposition to market. We are constantly looking at ways to increase our service offering and Mi Finance is our answer.
“We work as an extension to our customer’s team – taking the administration ou

Financial Moves - The National Theatre has revealed it will need to “reduce activity levels in order to ensure financial stability” for the next three to four years, as it warns of the ongoing challenges it faces in its annual accounts for the year ending March 2022. The accounts show that its total income for the year until March 2022 was £80.8m, up from £56.3m the year before, but warn that high rates of inflation and increased energy costs are having a "significant impact" on its cost base. In the year before theatres were closed in March 2020, the theatre’s income was more than £100m.
In addition, it highlights a recent 5% cut to its annual Arts Council England funding, which was previously £17m but is being reduced by £850,000 a year with effect from this year. It also points to audiences being slow to return following the pandemic lockdowns, remaining about

USA - Dates for virtual Mental Health First Aid training are now posted through May 2023 at btshelp.org/mhfa. You can take an active role in helping to care for those you work with and expand your skill sets by learning how to identify, understand and respond to signs of distress in your colleagues and help make our workplaces healthier and safer spaces for all.
A previous attendee recently told BTS, “A dear friend disclosed an awful mental health crisis. Thanks to your class, I was able to put my mental health first aid training into critical practice and send them some resources. In an intense, immediate way I am so glad to have been there for a friend and able to help them get the help they desperately need.”
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a two-hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to a six-hour virtual live instructor

USA - The Behind the Scenes Foundation has added a number of new board members over the last six months intended to broaden industry representation and ensure continuity for future generations of entertainment technology professionals.
Chairperson Rick Rudolph states, “The Foundation has evolved and expanded its scope since forming in2005. Our mission now includes a Mental Health initiative along with the core of multiple needs grants. With increased programmes and the desire for more outreach and expertise, we have invited additional members to join the board of directors bringing fresh ideas and knowledge. I am extremely pleased to welcome them and grateful to our current and past members. The work we do is important, impacting our colleagues by providing help, hope and awareness.”
Joining the Board are Liz Campos, executive director of the IATSE Training Trust F

UK - Backup is delighted to announce the much-anticipated date for this year’s Kartfest, and Thursday July 6th is the day to get your best tweed, flowery dress and, if you’re so inclined, Morris Dancing regalia, ready for the Kart-Fest Village Fete.
Tickets will be on sale from 0900hrs on Monday 20 March and it will be very much first come first served. “After an unprecedented demand last year, we are also restricting one Kart per team to make sure as many companies can attend,” says Backup’s Lee Dennison. “We are also placing much more of a focus on the activities on the day for those not racing, so we’re delighted to let you know that the theme for this year will be the good old British Summer Village Fete.”
There will be lots of fun to be had for racers and non-racers alike. More updates will be announced over the coming weeks, so make sure you not o

Bill Toppers - Arctic Monkeys and Guns N' Roses will top the bill at this year's Glastonbury Festival, organisers have announced. The rock bands join previously-announced headliner Sir Elton John, who will play the last UK show of his farewell tour at Worthy Farm in June. Other acts on the line-up include Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Lil Nas X, Manic Street Preachers, Wizkid and Blondie.
Yusuf, also known as Cat Stevens, will play the ‘legend slot’, previously occupied by Kylie and Dolly Parton. The coveted Sunday afternoon set traditionally draws one of the festival's biggest audiences, with Diana Ross attracting an estimated 80,000 people last year. Blondie will take to the Pyramid stage immediately after Stevens - effectively creating a "double legend" slot.
Eurovision Latest - Fans are preparing for the rush to get hold of coveted tickets for this year's song co

Eurovision Funding - The Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Liverpool in May, will get £10m from the UK government, it has been announced. It will be spent on operational costs like security and visas, as well as making sure the event "showcases Ukrainian culture". Local authorities in Liverpool have already pledged £4m in funding. About 3,000 tickets to the song contest will also be made available for Ukrainians living in the UK.
Liverpool is staging the event at its M&S Bank Arena on behalf of Ukraine. It will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the UK for 25 years. The government funding is intended to "support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the contest", the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.
The money will also support Liverpool City Council as well as host broadcaster the BBC's partnerships

Post Pandemic Blues - The pandemic has wiped billions of pounds from the night-time economy, including theatre, according to a new report. The research indicates that the night-time sector has had a greater struggle to recover to pre-pandemic income than the economy generally, despite a robust response to the challenges of Covid. The chair of the Night Time Industries Association, which carried out the report, said the government had "failed" the sector.
The report highlights how seriously jobs in hospitality, theatres, bars, restaurants and those that operate between 6pm and 6am have been hit over the past few years and that many in the sector are "surviving" but not "thriving".
Sacha Lord, chair of the NTIA and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: "The government has failed independent business operators and the cultural sector across the UK. It n

USA - ESTA has announced that Katie Jang is the new Protocol editor, taking over the role when Beverly Inglesby retires in April.
Jang (née McCulloh) has over two decades of marketing, communications, and advertising experience in the live entertainment industry working with Broadway venues, touring productions, traveling exhibitions, regional theatres, and more. Additionally, she worked for both ESTA as a marketing executive and Lighting&Sound America as a media executive.
“I am thrilled to re-join the ESTA team in this capacity and look forward to new opportunities within the publication while maintaining the core of Protocol for our dedicated members and subscribers,” says Jang. “And I am honoured to carry on Beverly’s undeniably enormous legacy.”
Erin Grabe, Executive Director of ESTA, notes, “I am very excited to work with Katie again

UK - PLASA is set to host a Member Business Forum at the Victory Services Club in London on Wednesday 29 March. The forum will feature guest speakers to discuss ways of building culture, continuity and resilience.
PLASA members can attend the forum free-of-charge, with up to two members of your team able to attend. Non-members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets from Monday 13 March for £55+VAT.
The Member Business Forum will offer an afternoon of keynote talks from respected business leaders, followed by an evening of networking and drinks. Attendees will gain actionable advice on how to improve their business practices. Plus, they will meet like-minded industry professionals.
William Rogers MBE has been confirmed as the keynote speaker to deliver a talk on Leading Culture Change. He appeared in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Leader of a mid-siz

UK – Electric Airshows, the new company offering aerial drone light shows to the UK events industry, has announced its membership of PLASA, the UK-based Professional Lighting and Sound Association, and ARPAS-UK, the only trade association focused on the UK drone community.
Electric Airshows, which officially announced its arrival at the start of 2023, has been a long time in development. Headed by two well-known figures from the entertainment production industry, Chris Crockford and Ian Lomas, the company is now offering an initial fleet of 100 drones, purchased from leading Chinese drone show specialist, DAMODA Intelligent Control Technology. The company plans to reach a total of 500 drones – the limit allowed by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – by mid-2023, making it a major player in the UK’s emerging drone show market.
In being accepted by PLASA

Coronation Concert - A ballot has opened for 10,000 free tickets for a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle to mark the King's coronation. The televised show will be on 7 May, the day after King Charles is crowned at Westminster Abbey. The BBC has promised the line-up will feature "musical icons and contemporary stars". There are 5,000 pairs of tickets in the ballot, which opened at 07:00 GMT on Friday and will close on 28 February. The tickets would be allocated based on the geographical spread of the UK population, the BBC said, with those successful notified by late April.
The castle's east lawn would see "a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by fantastic entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance and the arts", the BBC said. It "will also feature a selection of spoken-word sequences delivered by stars of stage and s

Time Traveller - Beyoncé won a record-breaking 32nd Grammy Award, while Harry Styles won album of the year, at this year's ceremony in Los Angeles. Beyoncé made history as she won best dance/electronic album for her dance opus, Renaissance. In doing so, she overtook Hungarian-British conductor George Solti, whose record of 31 Grammys had stood for more than 20 years. Overall, Beyoncé won four prizes at the ceremony - but missed some of the early presentations after getting stuck in gridlocked downtown Los Angeles. "I'm surprised traffic could stop you," joked host Trevor Noah. "I thought you travelled through space and time."
Border Crossing - Eurovision's stage will use a design that demonstrates "how music can transcend borders and bring people together", the BBC has said. The song contest will take place at Liverpool Arena in May, with the city hosting th

USA - ESTA has announced that Richard Nix is the new technical standards manager for the Technical Standards Programme (TSP). His predecessor, Karl Ruling, will stay on in a supporting role.
Nix’s involvement in the development of standards spans decades. In early 1994 he was already actively involved in the USITT Rigging Standards project when discussions began about the TSP and its mission. He immediately came on board as a volunteer and has been, as he puts it, “a rather hyperactive standards evangelist ever since,” having led multiple tasks groups over the years before joining ESTA as assistant technical standards manager in May 2019.
Former technical standards manager Ruling will now be senior technical standards manager. “I am stepping back so that Richard can step forward, and I am sure he will excel. Richard has been involved in the TSP for as long as

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