Europe - Sound system manufacturer Nexo is teaming up with asset financing specialists Medialease to launch new funding projects in Europe. The financial solutions will be available to venues, rental companies and system integrators and will use local funding partners appropriate for the end user client.
The option to use finance will enable Nexo clients to access the performance, operational and commercial benefits inherent in an investment in Nexo technology whilst managing their costs and cashflow monthly, rather than as a cap-ex project, says the manufacturer.
Initial engagement will be through local Nexo country or regional contacts, who will then engage Medialease and their team.
“Finance is driving technology change across all sectors, and we’re delighted to be working with an established industry leader such as Nexo to offer this option,” comments M

Freedom Orchestra - An orchestra of Ukrainian refugees will take centre stage at this year's Proms, alongside concerts by Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Cynthia Erivo. The newly-formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra features players who recently fled the war, alongside Ukrainian musicians from European orchestras.
Ukraine is granting an exemption to the military-age male musicians, allowing them to leave the country and play. Conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson said they would "honour those who have died". The orchestra will perform at the Proms on 31 July, two weeks after the season launches.
Off Stage - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella is to close in the West End after a disjointed 12-month run. The musical, which is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, will close on 12 June, having begun previewing in June 2021. It comes as the creative team of the show prepare to laun

USA - Behind the Scenes holiday cards have become a tradition in the industry for those who want to spread holiday cheer while supporting their colleagues in need. Proceeds from card sales help provide grants to entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate dependent family members, who are seriously ill or injured, and support the charity’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Each year designs have been created and donated to the charity by everyone from Tony Award winners to high school students. The design guidelines (btshelp.org/carddesign) are very simple and you can also view previous examples (btshelp.org/cardexamples).
If you are interested in designing a card, Behind the Scenes will need your commitment no later than 15 May and your artwork by 15 June. Please contact Lori Rubinstein at info@btshelp.org or 212-244-1421.


Concert Revenues - Royalties from live performances of music fell almost 30% in 2021, despite concerts resuming in the summer. Concert revenues were just £8m, down from £11.3m in 2020 and £54m in 2019, said PRS for Music, the body that collects royalties for songwriters. Only 19,300 setlists were reported last year, it added, marking a huge decline from the 124,000 reported pre-pandemic.
"It's a huge decrease," said CEO Andrea Martin, "but we will see a bounce back this year." She said there was "renewed optimism" in the sector, with more than 240 major tours planned for the UK this year. Acts like Dua Lipa, Little Mix and Stormzy are already on the road, while stadium shows by Harry Styles, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Adele are planned for the summer. However, Martin said, revenues are not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
Despite stru

USA - In partnership with Netflix, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has announced its Equitable Workplace Initiative (EWI) to create a pipeline for individuals from historically underrepresented groups into the motion picture and television industry. The programme aims to improve equity and diversity in the workforce, develop well-trained workers, and increase representation over time within rental company management.
Launching later this summer, EWI will provide grants to eligible members of the Production Equipment Rental Group (PERG) to cover costs for the first six months of employment for entry-level new hires. PERG members include professional rental companies from every media market sector, from large international brands to local boutique companies.
ESTA’s executive director, Erin Grabe, said, “We are thrilled Netflix has given E

Germany - Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt opens today, returning after a two-year break due to the pandemic. It is also the first event of this year at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre.
Around 400 companies from more than 30 countries are taking part. The trade fair is rounded off by a programme covering issues such as the roadmap for event operations that are both safe and as derestricted as possible, the increasing shortage of skilled workers and the responsible use of natural resources.
“Prolight + Sound 2022 represents a milestone after months of hard challenges” says Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer, Messe Frankfurt. “For us as a fair and exhibition company, the tasks faced over the last two years have bonded us even more closely together with the professionals of the event industry. Just as our halls had to remain unused for long per

Mandela Musical - A new musical about Nelson Mandela has been announced as part of the Young Vic’s summer to autumn season. The London theatre has also announced a series of events called Taking Part 25 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the theatre’s engagement programme.
Mandela, which tells the story of the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, will run from 28 November to 4 February. It has a book by Laiona Michelle, music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, and is directed by Schele Williams with choreography by Gregory Maqoma. The musical has been developed in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family.
Family Matters - The final four dates of The Addams Family UK tour have been cancelled, with producers blaming the ongoing impact of Covid-19. The musical is still due to visi

Olivier Awards - A stage adaptation of Life of Pi and a revival of the musical Cabaret were the big winners at last Sunday's Olivier Awards. It was a celebratory night for theatre at the Royal Albert Hall as the stage industry celebrated a year in which performances resumed after lockdown.
Cabaret stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley won acting prizes while the show was named best musical revival. Life of Pi, based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, was named best new play and scooped several technical prizes. Cabaret's success at the first Olivier ceremony since 2020 follows a sell-out run for the show which saw London's Playhouse Theatre transformed into the Kit Kat Club.
Best set design went to Tim Hatley for Design and Nick Barnes & Finn Caldwell for the puppets for Life of Pi; Best lighting design was awarded to Tim

Grammy Awards - Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and jazz musician Jon Batiste shared the top honours at the 64th Grammy Awards. Batiste's soul record We Are won album of the year, while Rodrigo won best new artist and best pop album. Silk Sonic's soul throwback anthem Leave The Door Open took home both the record and song of the year prizes.
Apart from the awards, the ceremony saw a tribute to Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins, and a video plea from Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. In a pre-taped message, he urged musicians to "fill the silence" left by Russian bombs "with your music". His speech was followed by a performance by John Legend, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton; and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
Foo Fighters won three prizes - best rock album for Medicine at Midnight, rock performance for its opening track,

UK - Backup has joined forces with Big Drop, brewers of alcohol-free beer, to generate wider awareness and increased funding for the live events/entertainment technical supply chain.
“We’re all painfully aware of the devastation that the pandemic caused to our industry around the globe,” says John Simpson, Backup chairman. “The generous response to Backup’s fund-raising efforts over the past two years has been phenomenal, and we’ve been able to offer help to our colleagues in the UK who were and still are in desperate need, both financially and for the impact the situation has had on their mental health.”
As theatres open, and concerts and festivals start to re-emerge, the pandemic is viewed as being over. But it has left serious scars. Help is still needed, as it was pre-pandemic, but now even more so, to allow Backup to continue to address mental health

Germany - GFR (Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung) has been part of Bosch Building Technologies since 2019 and is changing its name to Bosch Building Automation effective 1 April.
The company’s portfolio comprises complete automation solutions for the operation of buildings on a sustainable basis and related services with a comprehensive range of hardware and software. “We are achieving strong growth with connected building automation and energy efficiency solutions that are planned and implemented on a highly customized basis in close cooperation with our customers. The Bosch brand will open more doors for us and give us the opportunity to position ourselves even more prominently on the market for building automation,” explains Volker Westerheide, managing director of GFR.
The building automation specialist will continue to market its produ

South Korea - JYP Entertainment, one of the biggest record labels and music production businesses in South Korea, has discovered and produced some of the most popular and successful K-pop artists such as Stray Kids, ITZY, TWICE and NiziU.
It was founded in 1997 by South Korean singer-songwriter Park Jin-Young (named after his stage name, J. Y. Park). JYP’s first girl group, Wonder Girls, became a commercial success and was the first South Korean group to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009 when their song Nobody charted at No. 76.
Over the last couple of years, JYP Entertainment has grown rapidly. This meant that it needed to find a new, bigger studio, with larger music production rooms to accommodate the increasing numbers of artists it now works with.
The project took two years to complete and was finished just before the global pandemic started in 2

USA - ESTA has announced the North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference (NATEAC) as the newest addition to its community. The association is to be the new host of the quadrennial conference, the fifth iteration of which will take place July 2024 in New York.
Created by Bill Sapsis of Sapsis Rigging, NATEAC was first produced in 2008. Since then, it has been bringing together the architects, engineers, consultants, and manufacturers who are responsible for designing, building, and renovating theatres. NATEAC also facilitates communication between those groups and end users. Over the course of a weekend, conference-goers attend panels and exchange ideas at social events like an evening boat cruise in New York Harbour, dinner at Sardi’s, and a cocktail reception.
“I believe ESTA and NATEAC will be a natural fit,” Sapsis explains. “After 14 yea

UK - Crewing platform Entourage Pro (EP) has launched its free to use and join freelance production crew resource. The service connects and sources freelance production crew and underpins traditional word-of-mouth methods for finding work and sourcing crew.
Partnered by major manufacturers of production technology including Robe, Avolites, Yamaha, d&b audiotechnik, MDG, Chainmaster and Marshall, EP is an online network of crew that has already secured thousands of members from over 60 countries around the world.
Initial uptake is being extended by EP’s partnership with Showcase Music, with the platform being promoted to over 350,000 rental companies, artists, labels, management, venues and production and tour managers from across the globe.
Searches by role, experience, availability, credentials, visas, rates, languages, qualifications and much more, gives


In the Dark - COVID-19’s impact on the UK’s theatre industry has been widely understated in public discourse due to an "ongoing devaluation of the live arts", according to a report. Freelancers in the Dark is a research project undertaken between July 2020 and March 2022, funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Economic and Social Research Council. It investigated the economic, cultural and social impact of COVID-19 on theatre’s freelance workforce and was led by Holly Maples at the University of Essex, in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and Queen’s University, Belfast.
The report includes a series of recommendations for the industry informed by the previously published findings from a survey of 397 freelancers from November 2020 to March 2021, as well as 135 one-to-one interviews, focus groups and creative workshops. In the survey,

USA - Theatre Projects has announced two additions to their team in North America - Peter Wilson and Thomas Bukovac. Both have joined the firm as associates.
A licensed architect, Peter is an accomplished venue designer who previously worked at architectural firms such as Gensler and Barton Myers Associates. He is passionate about designing theatres and says he’s “thrilled to share my knowledge with new clients and new colleagues, and to learn as much as possible from each of them in turn.” His past projects include the renovation of the Madrid Theatre for the City of Los Angeles, several theatres at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, and a new 600-seat theatre for the Television Academy’s Saban Media Centre in Los Angeles.
Thomas joins Theatre Projects as their new audiovisual and integrated technology team leader. A licensed professional e

USA - Rosco Laboratories continued their long-time support of the charity with a cheque presentation at USITT 2022, reflecting sales of Roscolux #359 Medium Violet.
Henry Cowen, live entertainment sales manager - North America, presented the cheque on behalf of Rosco, saying, “I am truly honoured to able to present this donation to our friends at Behind the Scenes this year. The work you do is so important to the industry we all call family, particularly in the past two years when so many of our colleagues and their families were negatively impacted by the pandemic. I speak for the entire Rosco family when I say Thank You for the work you do. We appreciate you, and we are committed to you.”
Tobin Neis, a BTS Board member, accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity, and commented, “It’s so gratifying to accept this donation from Rosco who was our very first Pl

Concert For Ukraine - Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol will all play at next week's Concert For Ukraine, which will be broadcast on ITV and STV. Emeli Sande, Becky Hill, Gregory Porter and Chic are also in the line-up, with more acts to be confirmed. Tickets for the concert, which will take place at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, go on sale today.
Proceeds from the concert will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine Humanitarian appeal, which is providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance to refugees in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
ITV has also pledged that all sponsorship and advertising revenue generated from the broadcast - an estimated £3m - will be donated to the appeal. “I will be singing to try to help every human being forced to flee their home and in solidarity with those being racially discriminated against eve

USA - The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) has announced Scott Crossfield as a new Fellow of the Society. Crossfield has a distinguished body of work in performing arts design. He has consulted on the design of over 600 performing arts venues. He had been an ASTC Board member and vice-president. He is a director at Theatre Projects having joined the company in 2007.
Christopher Ochocki has been admitted into membership of ASTC. Ochocki was approved by the ASTC Board of Directors after having met the requirements for membership including leadership experience as theatre consultant on multiple projects over the past 16 years. He is a senior theatre consultant at PLA Designs in Portland, Oregon.
Finally, industry veteran Ted Ohl has been named an Associate of the American Society of Theatre Consultants. He is a principal consultant at Schuler Shook Theatre P

USA - On the show floor at USITT, Westview Productions presented a check to Behind the Scenes to honour their Pledge-a-Service commitment to the charity. Westview is an entertainment, energy, and immersive technology solutions firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Their project process encompasses all aspects of design that integrates with all construction trades to ensure a cohesive and seamless project experience.
On presentation of the cheque, Eric Bloom, president, stated, “Westview is honoured to be able support Behind the Scenes, and to be able to give back to the community that has given so much to us all.”
Eddie Raymond accepted the cheque along with other members of the Behind the Scenes Board of Directors. Eddie commented, “We are very grateful to Westview for their contribution, and their understanding that it takes long-term commitment to truly mak

Ukraine Support - International dancers from companies including the Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and English National Ballet are coming together for a fundraising gala in support of Ukraine. Directed by former Royal Ballet stars Ivan Putrov - who is Ukrainian born - and Alina Cojocaru, the charity gala will take place at the London Coliseum on 19 March. All participating dancers have donated their services for free, the English National Opera has waived its rental fee for the Coliseum and the chorus has volunteered to support the evening. Money raised by the event will go to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Ticket Pricing Fears - Music industry leaders are urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to abandon a large increase on concert and live event tickets, due to come into force on 1 April. The 7.5% hike would see the tax return to its pre

USA - InCord made their 2022 donation to Behind the Scenes on the show floor at USITT reflecting a percentage of profits from sales of their Theatrical Safety Netting Systems.
Joe Menhart, InCord’s theatre division sales manager, comments: “We are delighted to provide this needed support to BTS especially when so many more are still in need due to the ongoing global pandemic that is now stretching over two years. Our hearts go out to all those who benefit from the grants and resources provided by BTS.”
Todd Spencer accepted the cheque along with other members of the Behind the Scenes Board of Directors. He comments: “We are so appreciative of InCord’s donation. Their concern for the safety of industry workers is built into their product and their commitment to Behind the Scenes. Our Pledge-of-Support Programme is the perfect vehicle for InCord and their cust

Ukraine - Nearly 50 European cultural networks - representing thousands of theatres, arts festivals and venues - have pledged to receive and host Ukrainian artists and to stage performances and events in a show of support for the country. The organisations are urging policymakers across the continent to help them "actively support Ukrainian colleagues" by facilitating international collaboration.
In an open letter to national and European stakeholders, 49 networks and bodies have come together to declare that the "European cultural sector is united" in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to offer solidarity with Ukraine’s people. An adjoining petition has also been signed by more than 600 individuals, including National Theatre director Rufus Norris and Thomas Ostermeier, director of the Schaubühne in Berlin.
"We are extremely concerned about the impact of

UK - The Version 2 team at the Old Grain Store HQ will cross hands to show their support for International Women’s Day on Tuesday, 8 March.
The pose ties in with this year’s theme, Break the Bias, which promotes a world of gender equality, free of stereotypes and discrimination. The annual International Women’s Day event celebrates women’s achievements from political and economic to social and sport.
"Version 2 is especially proud to be ‘shining a light on women’s sport’ through partnerships with Saracens Women’s rugby and Saracens Mavericks netball team, as well as the sponsorship of WBO World Champion Boxer Savannah Marshall," says the company.
“There has been a fundamental change in media coverage of women’s sport in recent years with increased programming allocated to matches.” says Nick Edwards, Version 2 managing director.

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