PLASA recently hosted its AGM, complete with Christmas drinks and canapes, at the Victory Services Club in London on Wednesday 30 November, bringing members together from across the industry for a festive get-together.
Official proceedings began with PLASA Chair Adam Blaxill giving an overview of the association’s recent achievements and future plans, followed by Treasurer Mark Surtees for a recap of the figures detailed in the latest annual report.
The event continued to be lively and productive, with keynote talks from Richard Parry from the Department for International Trade, Lewis Keller from the CBI, and renowned behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg.
Parry gave recent examples of what the DIT has been doing to support the live sector, including the ongoing partnership between PLASA and LDI trade show in Las Vegas. He also urged people to get in touch

USA - Magmatic atmospheric effects is offering the first dedicated fog generator in its Magma series of dependable haze and fog machines. Now in stock and shipping is the Magma Fog 1500 IP, a durable, water-based fog machine with advanced technology and IP65 rating that provides a high output fog for professional applications of all types.
The Magma Fog 1500 IP is a tough, all-purpose fogger whose powerful output can be used to add atmosphere to stages in busy venues and demanding rental projects alike, indoors or out, says the company. A thermally-protected 1500W heat exchanger produces an impressive output of 60,000 CFM (cu ft/min) and when operating at 100%, the unit can shoot a 40-second burst of all-enveloping dense fog.
The unit is ‘hard to break but easy to use’ with an onboard LCD touchscreen control panel with manual and timer control options, intuitive D

UK - UKCA is a new product marking that will soon be required for manufactured products placed on the market in Great Britain. The UKCA marking is intended to eventually replace CE marking and requires that certification of construction products, such as voice alarm control and indicating equipment, is performed by a ‘UK based approved body’.
Baldwin Boxall confirms that all VIGIL2 and VIGIL3 voice alarm products and systems are certified to UKCA and the certificate is available to view on the company’s website (baldwinboxall.co.uk/ukca-certificate-for-vigil2-vigil3-voice-alarm).
Further guidance and information regarding the new UKCA mark can be found on the Government website (gov.uk/guidance/placing-manufactured-goods-on-the-market-in-great-britain).

UK - Birmingham-based event services partner Taylex Group has unveiled its new look to mark significant post-pandemic growth and expansion of its event and exhibition services.
During 15 years of continued expansion, Taylex Group’s team has been synonymous with the delivery of exhibitions and event builds for the likes of Kawasaki, Raleigh, Commonwealth Games 2022 and BST in Hyde Park. Following post-COVID reflection, the business is now primed to enter 2023 with an evolved, expanded range of services and solutions.
The all-new Taylex Group offers full in-house CAD and technical expertise, production and fabrication of state-of-the-art special projects, events, interiors, environments, design and exhibitions.
A supportive and collaborative approach is taken with all clients, reflected by the launch of Taylex located at the NEC, providing modular solutions for

Germany - Kramer has announced its distribution partnership in Germany with Exertis Pro AV, headquartered in Uhingen.
With this new partnership, Exertis Pro AV will be able to market Kramer's entire portfolio while delivering the most intuitive audio-visual experiences through its wide network of resellers, integrators, planners and architects in Germany. Customers will now have access to a dedicated team offering reliable support that drives the business forward.
Marc Issan, global VP sales at Kramer, said: "Partnering with a distributor as credible and professional as Exertis Pro AV makes me excited for the future of this collaboration. With each other’s help, customers in Germany will gain access to Kramer’s secure and reliable AV products while experiencing seamless support from Exertis Pro AV through innovative audio-visual experiences that power creativity,

Spain BikeFest, the fundraising cycle event, will return to Spain for a second year from 27-29 January 2023, cycling up to 400km towards ISE in Barcelona. By doing so, the BikeFest team will raise money for industry charity Backup Tech and create lasting friendships across the live events and AV industries.
Organised by PLASA, #WeMakeEvents and AFIAL, the growing BikeFest team is seeking new members to join them for the upcoming ride, as well as sponsors who are interested in aligning with important industry values. Furthermore, those who wish to support the event from afar can donate or buy branded merchandise.
The three-day route will begin in Valencia and travel along the stunning Mediterranean coast via Peñiscola and Tarragona toward Barcelona. Once at ISE, the BikeFest team will be invited to a drinks reception and presented with their medals, where they can cele

Europe - Nearly 45 years after founding Belgian event staging pioneer Stageco, Hedwig De Meyer is stepping down from his leadership role, and has named Hans Willems as Stageco Belgium’s new executive CEO, effective 1 January 2023.
The move, says De Meyer, 68, was intended to take place two years ago but was delayed due to the pandemic lockdown. “Now that our business has begun to stabilise after a very busy summer, the time feels right to pass the baton to Hans, who gave us every confidence that he was the most logical choice of successor,” he explains.
Formerly head of R&D at Stageco, Willems, 51, established his own business, Wicreations nearly 18 years ago. As CEO, he has driven his company to become one of the global live industry’s leading creative players in motion technology. Together, Stageco and Wicreations have collaborated on many of the world

Germany/UAE - Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik has sold its subsidiary companies for the Middle East and system integration as a spin-off. The current managing directors of the two companies, Jens Gießler and Felix Erdmann, take over 100% of the two and will run them under the name BeWunder. They will act independently in the Middle East event market with a new brand.
N&M projects were previously planned and executed by two Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik subsidiaries. The teams in Dubai, Berlin and Munich created technical solutions such as those for national and thematic pavilions at Expo 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) and the World Expo2020 in Dubai; other system integration jobs include projects for Porsche in Stuttgart and Topgolf in Oberhausen. The team for the Middle East implemented large-scale events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhab

USA - At LDI 2022, Behind the Scenes’ booth (#2551) will promote all the tools and resources available through BTS’ Mental Health Initiative alongside industry-themed holiday cards and decorations.
Visitors can also order signed copies of Queen: The Neal Preston Photographs with a show special of free shipping in the US. All proceeds go to support your colleagues in need who are seriously ill or injured and the Mental health Initiative.
On Saturday at 3:30 on the LDI Stage in the Circle Bar and Lounge join Steven Michelman, Founder of EPS, and Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, for an in depth look into mental health challenges and the available support in our industry. Steven will be speaking publicly for the first time about his own mental health journey and about trying to provide a psychologically safe workplace for his employees.

Creative Careers - The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched a £950,000 careers programme aimed at giving young people from under-represented backgrounds opportunities in the creative industries. The Creative Careers Programme, which will include theatres, is being led by ScreenSkills, and will target 53 priority areas across the country, including Barking and Dagenham, Wolverhampton, Rotherham, Slough and Swindon, the DCMS said.
Delivery partners include Get Into Theatre, One Dance UK, UK Music, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre. The programme aims to help young people from under-represented backgrounds "break into the creative industries" and will offer guidance on careers, help pay for lesson plans, establish a dedicated careers website and provide training for careers advisers.
ScreenSkills chief executive Seetha Kumar said: “I

USA - More than 350 touring professionals, students and mentors gathered at Nashville's SoundCheck rehearsal studios for the 11th Annual Touring Career Workshop (TCW). There they participated in workshops and heard from experts from a variety of fields including affordable health care, tax and savings advice, mental health wellbeing, personal safety, diversity and touring as well as giving back.
Bandit Lites chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland delivered the keynote address where he addressed current legislation before Congress and the industry’s need of The Entertainment Association.
“As we returned back live to our flagship event after a three-year hiatus, we were truly honoured to have Michael Strickland join us to talk about the work he has been doing with Congress and his fantastic initiative with the Entertainment Association,” said Chris Lisle, co-fo

UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has launched Guidance Note W2: Mental health and well-being in the workplace – A practical guide to conducting Stress Risk Assessments and creating well-being policies. This is the second in the ABTT’s ‘W series of Guidance Notes which deal with legal duties and best practice for ensuring the welfare of all workers.
Guidance Note W2 is launched to coincide with International Stress Awareness Week 7-11 November 2022.1 The guide provides guidance for risk assessing stress in the workplace. It is closely aligned with the HSE’s current advice provided as part of the Working Minds campaign2 . The guidance note offers concise guidance and a step-by-step methodology by which to begin risk assessing work related stress.
Guidance Note W2 is part of the Code of Practice for the Theatre Indus

Open Air Abba - Mamma Mia! is to perform outside at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre next year to celebrate 24 years since the show premiered in London in April 1999. The show will run at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, the largest open-air concert arena in the UK, from 14-18 June 2023, as part of the show’s UK & International Tour. It marks the return of theatre to the venue, which has hosted music acts in recent years. More than 30,000 tickets are on sale for the six performances.
Creator and producer Judy Craymer said: “We are so excited to be bringing Mamma Mia! to Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer. With its heart-warming story told through the wonderful music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! lends itself perfectly to the outdoors.”
Closure Threat - The future of a Manchester music venue which has hosted bands such as Wet Leg, Elbow and the Arctic M

UK - Following the extensive report released by PLASA and #WeMakeEvents last winter, they have now released a follow-up survey, investigating the ongoing recovery of the supply chain to the live events, entertainment and installation industries. Companies and individuals are invited to complete the survey, which closes at midnight on Sunday 20 November.
This new survey will build upon last year’s findings which were sourced from nearly 2,000 industry professionals in over 40 countries. The subsequent 2021 report revealed huge challenges: 45% of companies took on additional debt to survive the lockdowns, 94% of manufacturers experienced delays in components, 69% of companies faced skills shortages, and full-time freelancers in the industry dropped by 52%.
With last year’s survey serving as a solid benchmark, the new follow-up survey will accurately measure the progr

UK - The live production industry faces mounting pressure to operate more sustainably, despite a multitude of persistent challenges. A newly published whitepaper by Sony aims to present the key opportunities for businesses within the industry to implement change.
The report underlines that sustainable practices are not one-size-fits-all, as each production has unique requirements. By analysing the key areas of challenge for the industry, Sony has been able to look for spaces where creating change that benefits business and the environment is possible.
The report suggests that the key challenges at hand are:
Quantifying environmental footprint: Without clear knowledge of current emissions, it is difficult for companies to accurately perceive their carbon impact and justify the disruption and cost of moving to new systems and processes.
Considering indivi

Germany - DirectOut has named Aspen Media (UK) as ‘Distributor of the Year’ for the third time in the history of the company, while Tonspur AG (Switzerland) and tm stagetec systems (Australia) are recognised with the ‘Best Sales Performance’ and the ‘Prodigy of the Year’ awards.
Aspen Media previously received the accolade in 2013 and 2018. Chris Collings, director of Aspen Media accepted the 2021 award.
Jan Ehrlich, CEO of DirectOut, comments: “This award is our special thanks to Aspen Media for a great and long-lasting cooperation and for the very special commitment Aspen Media shows according to their clients and us as a manufacturer. The last few years have been quite challenging for everybody, but Aspen Media is one of the very few examples which is always demonstrating comprehensive performance at its best.”
The second award handed out by Di

USA - A 3D stage production featured at the Red Rocks amphitheatre in late September for Rowdytown X, the 10th anniversary edition of Big Gigantic’s flagship party. Lighting and production designer, Justin Casey of Helms Projects and the production team created a deep and evocative stage presence that made it easy for fans to feel like they were entering a 3D space as they watch performances by the event’s hosts, as well as guests Joyryde, Mitis, Jantsen, and INZO.
A variety of design elements, from a curved set that wrapped around the artists on stage, to blow-through video walls with generative content, were seamlessly fused to create this immersive panorama. Contributing to the overall effect was a collection of 40 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Helms Projects and Brown Note Productions.
“This production took a village to complete, so big thanks to

Austria - With the new Mythos Mozart exhibition, situated right in the heart of downtown Vienna, visitors are introduced to the life and work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the form of an immersive experience.
The timeless beauty of the musical genius’s legacy meets the latest audio-visual technology, with this process becoming a work of art in its own right that succeeds in entertaining both young and old.
“Mythos Mozart connects tradition with modernity, art and music, creativity with technology and creates a new space for innovation and culture to honour Mozart in a way that’s never been seen before,” explains Mythos Mozart managing director Hans Gasser.
Mythos Mozart enchants and informs across more than 1,500sq.m, at precisely the same location where the composer, who was born in 1756, spent the last year of his life and created unforgettable masterp

UK - Andy Bell, former operations director at KB Event, has joined Truckingby as events operations director.
Andy has over 23 years' experience in live event trucking, working with bands and artists such as Ed Sheeran, Rod Stewart, the Stereophonics and many more.
“I’m looking forward to bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge into Truckingbyand being a valuable part of their team in expanding their live events division,” says Andy.
Kevin Hopper, Truckingby managing director said Andy’s appointment to the company adds additional strength and knowledge to our live events logistics operation, we are all looking forward to working with him, and wish him all the best for the future with Truckingby.”

Expensive Tastes - Tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival will cost £340, organisers have confirmed. Festival-goers will be charged £335 plus a £5 booking fee for standard tickets, plus a £50 deposit. The last time tickets went on sale, in 2019, they cost £265 plus the booking fee for what should have been the 2020 festival, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The music event will return to Worthy Farm in Somerset from 21 to 25 June 2023, and tickets - which usually sell out in minutes - will go on sale on 6 November. Fans must register before purchasing in a bid by organisers to stop ticket touts.
Bittersweet - The Lord Mayor of Liverpool said winning Eurovision was "bittersweet" and vowed to do his utmost to honour the Ukrainian sister city. Councillor Roy Gladden has written to the Mayor of Odesa after Liverpool secured the right to host the 202

USA - This month, the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) welcomed Michael Nishball as its newest full member. Membership into the ASTC, follows a highly selective process that considers a candidate’s range of capability and experience, their past industry achievements, and the quality of service they provide to clients.
“I can think of no person more deserving of full membership,” offered Scott Crossfield, Theatre Projects principal and fellow with the ASTC. “Michael’s experience in equipment and systems design is unparalleled, and he is the type of person we want in the ASTC: committed to the industry, dogged about the appropriate use of technology in the design of performance spaces, and invested in safety for audience and performer as his number one priority.”
Michael is Theatre Projects’ principal theatre equipment designer and one of the

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’s Breakthrough Awards, presented in association with TPi magazine, recognise the impact of up-and-coming talent in all areas of production, with nominations made by tutors, mentors, colleagues or peers.
This year, the six winners received their awards at the Production Futures ON TOUR event which took place in late September at Production Park in Wakefield. The event was the first of a series taking place across the UK in the coming months and saw more than six hundred young people through its doors. Thirty-five brand partners from the worlds of audio, lighting, TV, virtual events and global logistics, were on hand to offer in

USA - From 2014 to 2017, the University of Houston Cougars football team won 16 straight games on its home gridiron - the John O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium - marking the longest active home winning streak in the nation at the time. However, the PA system for the facility, which opened in August of 2014, didn’t share quite the same success, quickly falling victim to the area’s increasingly volatile weather and early component failures.
In response, LD Systems was recently able to step in and remedy the situation with a loudspeaker design from L-Acoustics that offered vastly better audio quality via a streamlined combination of K, A, and X Series products.
TDECU Stadium - its official name derived from the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, the largest credit union in Houston - is built on the site of the former Robertson Stadium and also hosts the XFL's Houston R

The Netherlands - Indie rock stalwarts Kensington have been widely praised by critics for bringing layers of added dimensions to their music without sacrificing any of its immediate power to engage emotionally. For six days this September, the quartet from Utrecht were supported by a light and video show that reflected the multi-faceted appeal of their songs.
The intricate and tightly coordinated show turned the 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome into an immersive 3D galaxy of images that flowed in perfect harmony to the music being produced on stage. At the centre of it all was a massive 800m² ‘tree’ made of blow-through and solid LED panels that worked cohesively with intense, fast-moving displays of light.
Like the entire production, the mesmerizing video-and-light combination was the product of intense collaboration, as well as some seamless integration between two Ch

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