Australia - Andy Ciddor’s passionate and committed career in technology, production and live performance of over five decades came to an end on 30 March after taking advantage of Tasmania’s Voluntary Assisted Dying programme to end his struggle with stage-four bile duct cancer.
Starting in high school, out of frustration at the state of a school production his career spanned theatre, broadcast, production, teaching, consulting writing and editing – sharing his passion and mentoring the next generation of designers and technicians. He was followed into the industry by his brothers Jonathan and Braham and most recently, his daughter Rivka.
From working at GTV9 on productions like Hey Hey It’s Saturday and various tonight shows, he moved to Perth to join STW9 where he earned the title ‘Captain Kilowatt’. Andy’s teaching career began at the WA Academy

On The Campaign Trail - Leading arts organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic are joining together for a UK-wide campaign aimed at creating a “powerful sector voice” that will advocate for the industry and lobby for additional public funding to help struggling venues and companies.
Culture Makes...will run from May this year and throughout 2024, creating what its organisers have called "a bold new vision for the value and impact of culture and heritage in society and as a human right which urgently needs investment" in the run up to the next general election.
It has been developed by the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, with others that have already committed to being part of the campaign including 20 Stories High, An Tobar and Mull Theatre, Cardboard Citizens, Edinburgh International Festival, Javaad Alipoor Company, Lyric Theatre

Headliners - Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA will headline this year's Glastonbury Festival, organisers have announced. It marks the first time in the event's history that female acts have taken two of the three headline slots. Country star Shania Twain will play the coveted ‘legend slot’ on Sunday afternoon. The singer told BBC News she was "over the moon" to be taking part. "Everyone always talks about it being the pinnacle of festival slots," she said. "The only advice everyone gives me is to bring my wellies.”
Other acts on this year's line-up include Afrobeats star Burna Boy, who is taking his first stride onto the Pyramid Stage; and award-winning rapper Little Simz, who will play immediately before Coldplay. Thirteen-piece boyband Seventeen will become the first K-pop group to grace the main stage - an indication of how dominant the genre has become over the last five

UK - Thursday 11 July will see Backup Tech’s The Village Fete return to Daytona Sandown Park in Surrey for more fun and frivolity. So, dig out your best tweed and flowery dresses, dust off your cake recipes and get ready to purchase your tickets, which will go on sale at 9am on Monday 25 March for Backup’s Partners and at 9am on Wednesday 27 March for general sale.
“We had such great feedback about last year’s fete that we’re adding more fun and frivolity,” says Backup’s Lee Dennison. “Last year, we changed the whole look and feel of the day to make sure the Village Fete appealed to so many more people outside of the karting.
“This year, we’re building on the success of the fete by adding more fete stalls, a ‘Veg Off’ to complement our very successful ‘Bake Off’, bringing back the Lions Barbers Collective, The Straw Stage for live music an

Germany - Since 1999, Sommer cable has not only been soldering, but also making contacts. Despite the advancing digitalisation and further development of radio technologies, we still need cables and signal connectors in large quantities, be they analogue or digital. Cables still offer the highest signal transmission quality and data (interception) security.
Sommer Cable GmbH was founded in 1999 by Rainer Blanck and Friedhelm Sommer. Together with friends, cable specialist Pascal Miguet, musicians, sound people, electronic engineers and event specialists, they began to develop cables and connectors which became known for their sound quality and user-friendly design.
Today, Sommer Cable stands as a premier cable manufacturer, offering a comprehensive array of products spanning the audio, video, multimedia, broadcast, and hi-fi sectors.
"The foundation of our soluti

Capital News - London has topped a ranking of Europe’s best cities for a second year in a row, with its star spot underpinned by a number one rating for culture. The UK capital pipped Paris to first place on Resonance Consultancy’s list - while Nottingham, currently reeling from council arts cuts, placed 72nd for its "visionary local leadership" and "public spaces".
The 2024 Europe’s Best Cities report ranks the overall performance of metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents, according to various different metrics. Ranging from rental prices and cultural attractions to visitor numbers and green space, these metrics are analysed through three key considerations - liability, lovability and prosperity, with London ranking number one for each.
Manchester jumped six places on the 100-strong list, rising to number 27 in part for a "creative rebirth" attribut


On The Campaign Trail - The estate of Sinéad O'Connor has asked Donald Trump to stop using her music at his political rallies. Last month, Trump played O'Connor's best-known song Nothing Compares 2 U at a campaign event in Maryland. The singer's estate told BBC News it was "no exaggeration to say that Sinéad would have been disgusted, hurt, and insulted" by his use of her music.
A joint statement from O'Connor's estate and her longtime label Chrysalis Records said: "Throughout her life, it is well known that Sinéad O'Connor lived by a fierce moral code defined by honesty, kindness, fairness, and decency towards her fellow human beings. It was with outrage therefore that we learned that Donald Trump has been using her iconic performance of Nothing Compares 2 U at his political rallies.
"It is no exaggeration to say that Sinéad would have been di

UK - On Friday, 8 March 2024, Adlib is hosting an open day in celebration of International Women’s Day.
The open day is tailored for young women who are navigating their professional development journey. This year's theme, Inspire Inclusion, aims to provide insight into our industry through the perspectives and achievements of women already established within it.
The day will feature short film screenings and women-led panel discussions, in a relaxed and inclusive setting. Adlib’s experienced female staff members will be available throughout the event to engage in conversations and share their personal stories from the live events industry. Additionally, there will be practical equipment demonstrations led by Adlib engineers to highlight the available technology.
The event will follow a ‘trade show’ format, allowing attendees to come and go as they please

USA - EAW has welcomed Robert Scovill to the position of senior live sound market manager.
Scovill’s new role will be to work tightly with existing teams on product definition and positioning, in-person demos and trainings, as well as providing thought leadership. This will include refining and shaping all public-facing communication. These duties will include assisting with written product descriptions, as well as the listening and voicing of new and existing production-level audio systems. Scovill will drive the creation of educational how-to pieces on industry topics such as tuning and deploying large-scale ADAPTive systems, passive and active articulated systems and subwoofer arrays.
“We are excited to welcome Robert to the team - he brings decades of pro audio and live sound expertise to EAW and further demonstrates our commitment to being a leading loudspeak

USA - After nearly 45 years of landmark project deliveries and designs, Michael Nishball, principal equipment designer at Theatre Projects, is retiring at the end of this month. As a company emeritus, Michael will continue to offer his expertise as an international leader in stage machinery and will act as a sounding board on major projects and the continued expansion of Theatre Projects.
“‘Departing,’ ‘leaving,’ ‘ceasing,’ ‘re-careering,’ ‘transitioning,’ ‘bowing out’... anything but ‘retiring,’” shares Michael. “My confidence in being a stage equipment designer and theatre technical planner emerged directly from my youth spent as a rigging installer and contractor.
“I often say that we are in the construction industry and the skills required to make a contribution to the project should be informed as much from how it gets built as

Budget Cuts - Birmingham City Council will make cuts to all funding for culture projects and local-arts development, with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Royal Ballet facing a 100% reduction to their support in the next financial year. Europe’s largest local authority has taken drastic measures to tackle a £300m budget shortfall over the next two years, including ending its £350,000 funding to Birmingham International Dance Festival.
Grants to organisations in receipt of regular funding will be hit with 50% cuts this year and 100% from the 2025/26 financial year, with those impacted including Birmingham Opera Company, dance development organisation FABRIC and B:Music - home to the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and operator of Symphony Hall.
Planning News - A film studio plans to invest millions of pounds in local infrastructure in a bid to receiv

Australia - Creative Technology Australia and New Zealand opted for Data Strategy’s QC-Check to address three main needs in terms of product inspection: socapex cable testing, the safe inspection of twin-frame distribution boards, and the ability to set up the specific testing processes needed to be carried out by anyone in the warehouse.
Maintenance manager, Myles Barlow, explained that the company’s highest priority was to be able to test multipin connectors such as Socapex three-phase cables, as “there’s just no safe way to test them”.
In addition, he found that “standard PAT testers fail products that have lots of internal relay, control voltages and several limit points. They see it as a dead short when there’s actually not a problem”. So without, QC-Check there was no effective way of PAT testing products like twin-frame distribution boards or oth


Size Matters - The UK's largest indoor arena will open its doors for the first time with a headline act performed by Peter Kay. The Bolton comedian will perform at the opening night of the new 23,500-seater Co-op Live venue in Manchester on 23 April. Liam Gallagher, Take That, Pearl Jam and Olivia Rodrigo are also set to separately perform at the £350m arena.
Co-op general manager Gary Roden said Kay was the "perfect" opening act who "embodies what this city is about". The new venue, set to open opposite Manchester City's Etihad stadium, features a "unique bowl design" that would bring fans "closer to the artist than at other arenas of equivalent size", a spokesman for the Co-op said. The arena is set to surpass the Manchester Arena and O2 Arena in size to become the UK's largest indoor arena.
Get Back - Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with the bass

Global Icon - Kylie Minogue is set to receive a Brits global icon award at this year's ceremony. Taking place on 2 March, it will recognise Kylie's career over five decades. She is also nominated for international artist of the year alongside Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Lana Del Rey. Kylie has also been confirmed to perform on the night and will join the already-announced Dua Lipa and Raye on stage.
Speaking about the announcement, Kylie said: "I am beyond thrilled to be honoured with the global icon award and to be joining a roll call of such incredible artists. The UK has always been a home from home so the Brits have a very special place in my heart. I have some amazing memories from the awards over the years and I can't wait to be back on the Brits stage."
The Brits icon award is the highest accolade given by the award organisers and is "reserved for truly exc

UK - The 2023 ABTT Virtual Ideas Platform winner was revealed on Thursday 1 February in a ceremony at the annual ALPD and White Light New Technology Showcase in the Embassy Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
This annual industry event features the latest in lighting technology and felt like an appropriate opportunity to speak on the Virtual Ideas Platform and its winner, whose innovative idea is now being developed by Triple E.
Presented by ABTT co-chair Mig Burgess and introduced by platform developer Charles Haines, David Ripley was awarded the ABTT Hook Clamp Award and Certificate for his winning idea, The Counterweight Caddy.
The Counterweight Caddy is a method of storing weights and addressing the manual handling issues associated with work on the loading gallery.
Speaking of his award win, Central’s Head of Technical and Pr

UK - LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has partnered with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to launch a survey, The Hidden Side of Freelancing 2024, to understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.
The new survey will explore pay transparency and the personal experiences of freelancers at live music events. It aims to help freelancers understand their true value and benchmark their own experience whilst also celebrating what makes live music a great industry for freelancers. The results will then be assessed, culminating in a publicly available report that will be published in April 2024.
Industry organisations such as Entourage Pro, Production Futures, NOWIE, Rego, and Power of Events are all key sup

Germany Calling - Adele has announced four concerts in a specially-built stadium in Munich this summer - an idea she described as "a bit random, but still fabulous!" The shows will take place in an 80,000-capacity open-air venue in the German city on 2, 3, 9 and 10 August. It will be the first time the singer has performed in mainland Europe since her last tour in 2016.
She said she hadn't been planning any more shows after her current Las Vegas residency and two London shows in 2022. But the star said she had been tempted by the offer of "a one off, bespoke pop-up stadium designed around whatever show I want to put on", which was "pretty much slap bang in the middle of Europe".
Grammy Awards - Taylor Swift stole the show at this year's Grammy Awards, becoming the first performer to win the prize for album of the year four times. The superstar had previously bee

UK - Vision: 2025 and Julie’s Bicycle launched a Sustainable Materials and Waste Management Toolkit for Festivals at AIF Congress, Bristol on 1 February.
This new resource condenses years of research around industry practices to give organisers a spread of practical, easy to implement waste management processes, to help improve practices, and encourage re-use of materials and reduce waste.
Chris Johnson, Vision: 2025 chair, unveiled the new, free-to-access toolkit, followed by an in-depth presentation by Julie’s Bicycle project lead, Richard Phillips, and Vision: 2025’s comms manager Bethan Riach. The toolkit, which is part of an ongoing industry project, Towards Zero Waste Festivals, focused on improving waste management practices in the festival sector, funded by the Dixon Foundation.
The AIF Congress audience represented over 80 festivals,

UK - PLASA has acquired BPM, the UK’s only dedicated trade event for the DJ sector. The annual show is set to take place at Birmingham’s Cranmore Park from 12-13 October 2024, spanning the mobile, radio, club and karaoke DJ markets. The event offers a unique opportunity for professionals and enthusiasts to get hands-on with pro equipment and discover services available to support a successful DJ career.
The show’s acquisition by PLASA means that BPM will now align with the association’s market-leading trade events for live entertainment technology: PLASA Show and PLASA Focus Leeds. These events span the entire live entertainment technology sector, ranging from pro audio and lighting to AV technology, staging and rigging. PLASA Show has been the UK’s flagship event for over four decades, welcoming 6,500+ visitors and 200+ brands each year. Meanwhile PLASA Focus Leeds

Spain - #WeMakeEvents BikeFest returned to Spain with the 18-strong team cycling over 360km towards ISE in Barcelona. Together, they have so far has raised £16,000 for industry charity Backup Tech but are hoping to reach £20,000 with your donations.
This year, the BikeFest team included representatives from AELTC, Autograph Sound, AVIXA, Clair Global, Equipson, FLUX Creative Consultancy, PLASA, Reclaim Audio, Sharp, Stage One Creative Services, and Wonder Works. Furthermore, due to the strong community element of the event, BikeFest is now seeing familiar faces returning each year, including Backup Tech chair Piers Shepperd who was cycling for the second year running.
Starting in Valencia, the team cycled along the Mediterranean coast, stopping off in Valencia, Peñíscola and Tarragona. On day three, the exhausted riders finally arrived at Fira de Barcelona ready

Grammy Debut - Joni Mitchell will make her Grammy Awards performance debut at this year's show on 4 February. The singer-songwriter is nominated for best folk album. She has previously won nine Grammys and received a lifetime achievement award in 2002. The 80-year-old only recently returned to performing after suffering a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2015. In June, she played her first headline show in more than 20 years after she re-learnt how to walk, talk and play guitar. Billed as a ‘Joni Jam’, Mitchell performed for nearly three hours and was accompanied by famous admirers like Annie Lennox, Marcus Mumford and Brandi Carlile.
In 2002, when collecting her lifetime award at the Grammys, she was described as "one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era" and "a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination and integrity." Ov

UK - LIVE has partnered with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to launch a survey, The Hidden Side of Freelancing 2024, to understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.
Launched this week, the new survey will explore pay transparency and the personal experiences of freelancers at live music events. The survey aims to help freelancers understand their true value and benchmark their own experience whilst also celebrating what makes live music a great industry for freelancers. The results will then be assessed, culminating in a publicly available report that will be published in April 2024.
Industry organisations such as Entourage Pro, Production Futures, NOWIE, Rego, and Power of Events are all key supporting partners of

UK - Production Futures reports that it has been chosen as a partner for the BBC’s Bring the Drama Festival. This initiative sees the BBC joining forces with some of the UK’s leading cultural organisations to create the first festival of its kind, aimed at bringing together stage and screen and opening up the doors to the next generation of behind-the-scenes talent.
The BBC is supporting the UK’s world-beating creative industries by trying to ensure that the brightest and best people want to work in theatre, film and TV, and helping them to identify where the opportunities lie. This mission aligns with Production Futures’ aim 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.
Just as is the case for Production Fu

Mobo Awards - Sheffield will host a "dynamic series of events" to celebrate the Mobo Awards coming to the city for the first time. Mobo Awards Sheffield - The Fringe will take place ahead of the awards show on 7 February at the Utilita Arena. It will feature workshops and a market to shine a light on the city's African and Caribbean communities, organisers said.
Sheffield city councillor Martin Smith said the festival would be "an unforgettable experience". He added: "It will see the city embrace both the beats and flavours of Africa and the Caribbean and is a testament to the power of the music and culture on offer in our city. Mobo Awards Sheffield - The Fringe is going to be an unforgettable experience for Sheffield and our communities, and I hope everyone is able to get involved and enjoy what's on offer."
Frozen Out - Disney’s Frozen will complete

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