USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative will present a free webinar Bystander Intervention in the Entertainment Workplace once a quarter over the next year.
These webinars follow on the success of last spring’s trainings, with previous attendees commenting, “This is the type of training that will help us transform both our working and personal lives for the better,” “This workshop was so helpful in concisely identifying issues and strategies to deal with them. I feel empowered to address awkward situations in my future,” “This training is engaging, good for participation and interaction, and is full of great examples and a variety of methods to use to help others who may need help,” and “The best part of the Bystander Intervention training for me was the many different ways of approaching a situation which I'd never thought of. We all have

UK - Backup Tech has launched the Backup Photographic Competition, aiming to capture live entertainment, the people that make it possible and the backstage atmosphere. The competition is held in association with headline partner and sponsor the Lightpower Collection, and was launched at this year’s PLASA Show at Olympia London.
The Lightpower Collection is a long-time supporter of Backup and was looking for an idea that would shine a light on Backup and the work it does within the industry, that directly related to its impressive photographic collection.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Lightpower Collection on this new and exciting way to raise awareness of our industry and in particular the people that make live entertainment possible,” says Backup’s vice-chair Piers Shepperd. “The overall theme of the competition is ‘Entertainment Production’,

Energy Efficient - London mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged £1.2m to help creative spaces, including theatres, become more energy efficient, as heating costs spiral. Local authorities within Creative Enterprise Zones – which were established across London in 2018 with the aim of giving artists more affordable workspaces – will have access to the fund. Grants of up to £200,000 will be made available to invest in practical solutions that will lead to greater energy efficiency, aiming to help organisations counteract the pressure of rising heating bills.
Last month, theatres across the UK, including Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and the Lowry in Salford, warned of extortionate increases to their heating bills. Theatres and other cultural spaces within the nine Creative Enterprise Zones – Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Hounslow,

Europe - Blumano, engineering consultancy and advisers for safety and stage machinery design, has announced its expansion with Blumano Deutschland. This base, located in the heart of Western Europe, will work closely with Blumano’s network of offices in Ireland, the UK, Italy, South Korea and the Netherlands.
Laura van Haperen joins this organisation and brings impressive experience and her qualifications as a DGUV V 17/18 (formerly BGV C1) expert in Germany. Her career as a safety expert in machinery and equipment for stages and other production facilities includes collaborating with leading companies in the entertainment industry. She has also improved quality management issues regarding business and technical processes throughout her work with automated stage machinery manufacturers.
Laura and Blumano's other directors met during standardisation meetings within CE

Theatres at Risk - The Theatres Trust has launched a new programme, Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities, to help reduce the threat to at-risk theatres and strengthen theatre communities. The national advisory body for theatres, has been awarded a grant of more than £294,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as funding from the Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust to establish the initiative. The three-year project will focus on supporting communities operating a theatre building and communities considering taking over a theatre building.
Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities will feature a grants programme to fund strategic and organisational development work for three to six theatres a year, a new training and knowledge-sharing programme, and a series of free webinars open to all theatres to develop expertise across the sector.


Pay Offer - West End backstage and front-of-house workers have voted to accept a revised pay offer from the Society of London Theatre – which includes a 10% increase to minimum pay rates. The accepted pay offer will see a number of other revisions implemented in the SOLT/BECTU Collective Bargaining Agreement, which covers pay and working conditions for front-of-house and backstage staff in roles including wardrobe, sound, box office and stage door.
These include the removal of a ‘force majeure’ clause - allowing for lay-offs in the event of further Covid restrictions - which was among a series of variations to the agreement that were negotiated to get the industry back on its feet after the pandemic lockdowns, from 31 March, 2023. The new rates of pay will apply from August 22, with other arrangements in the variation agreement to also end on this date. These i

Eurovision Countdown - The shortlist of UK cities that could host next year's Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed, with seven locations in the running. Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will vie to stage the event in May. Twenty cities expressed an interest, the BBC said, and those not making the shortlist include London and Belfast.
The BBC said the seven-strong shortlist was based on the cities' ability to show they have "the capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity".
A statement added that the process was "heavily weighted towards demonstrating past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate their credentials in hosting a celebration of contemporary music".
London would have met those criteria but didn't make the cut, at a time wh

UK - This year’s Gottelier Award nominations have been announced, with voting now in process. 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, registered PLASA Show visitors and PLASA members are eligible to vote for the Gottelier Award. The recipient of which will be announced during the PLASA Awards for Innovation ceremony at PLASA Show on Monday 5 September. The nominees for the 2022 Gottelier Award are:
David Edelstein – Managing Director of Triple E
David Edelstein, founder of Triple E, invented the Loose Pin Hinge in 1984 after spotting a huge gap in the market. The product went on to receive an ABTT Product of the Year award and has since inspired many imitations. David went on to design and launch UniTrack in

Tribute to Olivia - Producers of the West End production of Grease have dedicated the rest of its run to the memory of Olivia Newton-John, who has died aged 73. Newton-John, best known for playing Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, died on 8 August, with a statement from her family saying she passed away “peacefully” at her Ranch in Southern California, surrounded by family and friends. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” it said.
A stage production of Grease is currently running at the Dominion Theatre in London, which is produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre Productions, Donovan Mannato, Playing Field, Gavin Kalin and Curve.
Paying tribute, the producers said: “Olivia Newton-John is an icon who has inspired countless young performers across the world, not least our compa

UK - Martin Audio recently introduced a dedicated environment page to its website, detailing its approach to the climate emergency. Now they have taken that a step further, announcing the funding completion for planting 50,000 trees, plus an ongoing commitment to plant another new tree for every line array cabinet sold.
Managing director, Dom Harter, takes up the story: “As a global leader in the pro audio industry, and as part of the wider Focusrite Group, environmental sustainability is a major opportunity for us to demonstrate climate leadership and values, define good environmental practice, and benefit from an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our staff, customers, and the wider audio community. Working alongside Andy Land, head of sustainability for Focusrite Group, we have been outlining our approach and commencing the work.”
Land added, “Our approac

UK - Exhibiting at this year’s PLASA Show (4-6 September, Olympia London) on stand D3, Data Strategy will demonstrate their cable and electrical safety workhorse, the QC-Check workstation, as well as some of the QC-Check’s most popular add-on modules, including VeriCal, PowerCheck LOLER inspection and SimplyPATS integration software.
Embedded as part of the warehouse process – with integration realised for most equipment hire software - Data Strategy’s QC-Check provides practical safety inspection solutions that allow hire companies and venues to simply fulfil statutory requirements (including PAT testing). Simply put, QC-Check ensures electrical appliances and equipment are always safe to use.
As a networked, multi-user application that controls Out Board’s PAT-4 (single or 3-phase in 16A, 32A & 125A ratings) to deliver PAT, CABLE and RCD testing requir

USA - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the incoming officers and governors following the 2022 board of directors and board of governors elections.
The Society’s membership has elected Leslie Gaston-Bird, as president-elect. Also on the board of directors, Valerie Tyler has been re-elected as secretary and Marina Bosi re-elected as treasurer.
In the AES Elections for the board of governors (BoG), Angela Piva has been elected vice president Eastern region, USA/Canada, David v.R. Bowles has been elected vice president Western region, USA/Canada and Jamie Angus-Whiteoak has been elected as vice president Northern Europe region. Additionally, newly elected governors-at-large are Lesley Fogle, Toru Kamekawa and Marcela Zorro.
Save for the president-elect, each newly-elected individual will serve a two-year term and Bosi and Tyler with have their current te

UK - The deadline for entries for this year’s PLASA Awards for Innovation is fast approaching. Those wishing to enter products for this year’s awards are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, with the deadline for entrants to enjoy maximum publicity being Friday 5 August. After that, entries will be accepted until Wednesday 17 August but will miss out on key marketing opportunities associated with the awards. PLASA Show 2022 exhibitors, PLASA members and non-exhibitors are invited to enter their products to be in with a chance of winning one of the coveted awards.
Organised in association with LSi, the awards celebrate innovative products from across the live entertainment technology industry that can demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.
Each successfu


In Decline - Britain has 20% fewer nightclubs than it had when the country first went into lockdown in March 2020. Nightclubs have been in decline for the last 15 years or so and figures released by the Night Time Industries Association highlight that the trend of closures is continuing. That's despite the government offering billions of pounds in grants and loans throughout the pandemic to support hospitality businesses which were forced to shut down.
The NTIA recorded the lowest number of nightclubs on record - 1,130 - in its latest set of data, based on the situation in England, Wales and Scotland. In March 2020, when the figures were last published, the number was 1,418. The body is now warning that the "culmination of pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increase

Eurovision - The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the UK next year after show organisers decided it could not be held in the winning country, Ukraine. The ongoing war following February's Russian invasion prompted the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to look for an alternative host.
The UK's Sam Ryder came second this year, which prompted the EBU to open talks with the BBC last month. Several UK cities have already expressed interest in hosting. The UK has a number of places with suitable arenas, accommodation and international transport links, with London, Sheffield and Manchester already confirming that they will put in an official bid.
The bidding process to decide which city will host will begin this week. The BBC and the The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will consider all official approaches and will publish the longlist later this summer.
"We

UK - The UK Music workforce diversity survey tracks progress to boost diversity and inclusion in the UK’s music industry. This survey focuses on those who work behind the scenes in the industry, rather than those who are on stage. The final date for completed forms to be included is 8 August.
Led by UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, the survey collates data from across the music business including studios, management agencies, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.
Launched in 2016, the findings of the survey give the music industry, Government and other stakeholders a critical insight into where improvements are needed regarding diversity and inclusion – and highlights where positive change is already under way.
The survey takes place every two years and UK Music will publish th

Red Tape - The government should appoint a touring ‘tsar’ to unravel the red tape facing British musicians in Europe, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said. They would need to tackle the soaring costs of obtaining visas and transporting instruments that bands have encountered since Brexit. Some orchestras face bills of £5,000 every time they play abroad, said the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. It added the industry faced a "crisis" that required "urgent" action.
The call came in a major report into the state of touring post-Brexit, that warned musicians and their crew were "facing more costs, more complications and getting fewer opportunities" since the UK left the EU at the end of January 2020. "It's over two years since Brexit, yet there is still a mountain of red tape," said Labour MP Kevin Brennan, who chairs the all-party group. "Ultimately, it's a

USA - In a 2019 survey of entertainment industry workers, over 40% of respondents said they had experienced alcohol or substance misuse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiety, fear, uncertainty, stress, and isolation experienced by so many in our industry significantly increased those numbers. Many of us saw ourselves or colleagues, friends, or family members turn to substances as a way to cope with the disruption in our lives. Many found recovery difficult to sustain.
Along with significantly increased usage comes increased overdoses. Deaths due to overdoses have spiked during the pandemic, primarily driven by opioids. Over 93,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in 2020 – the highest on record and nearly a 30% increase over 2019.
The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced the launch of a website to provide resources fo

UK - To mark the centenary year of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the Stephen Joseph Committee of the ABTT last year established a new Award to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius.
Following the success of the competition in 2021, the Award will again be offered in 2022 as an ongoing tribute to Stephen’s contribution to theatre culture.
Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence. His pioneering work has given rise to the myriad forms of theatre and open staging that are commonly used today. At the heart of his practice was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, h

USA - The 2022 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are now on sale at the BTS Boutique. This year’s collection features a mix of seven different designs created especially for the charity by Phil Foster, Jennifer Gillette, Robert Mendoza, Nancy Orr, Todd Potter and Lauren Press.
Cards are available in a variety of options: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalized 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 and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Orders for printed cards will be taken until 27 September, 2022 to arrive by late November. Electronic card orders will be taken

UK - Following in the footsteps of other industries that have taken steps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, Backup has created an industry specific mental health first aider logo to help signpost people in need of support on a production, raise awareness and promote discussion around the subject of mental health in our industry.
Backup’s goal is to ensure that in every crew there is at least one trained mental health first aider crew member for every 20 crew members. “We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts,” says Backup vice chair, Piers Shepperd. “We hope this logo will become a recognised standard on shows, events and in our industry workplaces, helping to destigmatise mental health issues and make our industry a happier, healthier place to work.”
Backup, i

Theatre Funding - York Theatre Royal and Northern Stage are among 10 venues to be awarded funding from the Theatres Trust’s small grants programme. Through a partnership with The Linbury Trust, the Theatres Trust is awarding £49,476 to support 10 UK not-for-profit theatres with funding that will allow them to make repairs and improvements, enhance accessibility, and improve sustainability measures and facilities.
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust said: "The wide array of projects funded this round show the many challenges that theatres continue to face. We are pleased to be able to help these theatres with projects that protect future use, remove barriers to participation and attendance, and make them more welcoming spaces."
The funding will allow the York Theatre Royal to buy equipment to capture immersive recordings of live performances and will deliver them

USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of two new full-time staff members to their team. Chris Smith joins the firm as the marketing and content manager and Ashley Keen joins their strategic planning team as a senior consultant. Both bring significant expertise in their respective fields, have backgrounds in the performing arts.
Chris joins the company’s New York office to lead marketing and PR efforts. Over the past decade and a half, Chris has worked with a wide array of non-profit organizations in Chicago, Texas, and Oregon. His experience includes content creation, digital communication, writing, brand and marketing strategy, and data analysis. Prior to Theatre Projects, Chris worked with Oregon State University, The Black Sheep Agency, 4th Wall Theatre in Houston, Echelon Design, Chicago Art Department, and the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Ashley

UK - RentalPoint Software has released a fully web browser-based version of their Small Business Edition rental management software package designed for event technology rental and production companies.
This new release, says RentalPoint, is a re-imagining and updating of their Windows based product first released in 1998. It incorporates many of the features expected in software these days including online signatures for equipment deliveries and proposal/contract acceptance, dashboard, electronic pick list for prepping gear as well as scaling down to fit on smart phone screen sizes or scaling up to fit on desktops.
Additionally, the software offers many of the powerful features that the company has developed over the last 30 years such as equipment, crew planning & scheduling tools and optional multi location.
You can find the software at https://rentalpoint

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