Platinum Party - An average of nearly 12 million people in the UK watched the Platinum Party in the Palace on BBC One on Saturday. The concert saw stars Diana Ross, George Ezra, Queen, Elbow and many others perform in front of a Buckingham Palace crowd that included members of the royal family. It attracted the BBC's biggest audience of the year, peaking at 13.4 million. The BBC states: "The Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC One was the most watched programme of the year so far."
Going Green - Directors and designers working at London’s National Theatre will receive additional pay if they contribute to the organisation’s sustainability goals, artistic director Rufus Norris has announced. The National Theatre boss said the financial incentive reflected the extra work that is required to deliver on the environmental objectives set out in the Theatre Gree

Peace Move - Ukrainian punk-folk quartet Dakha Brakha will bring an anti-war message to Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage next month. The band will play the festival's main stage on Sunday morning, shortly before Diana Ross makes her festival debut. For years, the band have called themselves ‘ambassadors of free Ukraine’ and punctuated concerts with cries of ‘Stop Putin!’ and ‘No war!’. They are currently donating proceeds from their shows to the Ukrainian army.
The quartet were one of several acts added to the Glastonbury line-up, as the festival revealed its full programme for 2022. Yungblud, AJ Tracey, The Libertines, Kae Tempest, Ziggy Marley and Little Dragon will join previously-announced headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar. On the festival's second-biggest stage, The Other Stage, Pet Shop Boys, Megan Thee Stallion and Foals will top the b

USA/Europe - HireHop, the cloud equipment rental software, has been adding new features and has just released its new route planner to help companies plan their deliveries, collections and service runs.
Deliveries, collections and other transports can be set to be automatically added when a user adds a delivery charge or collection charge to a job. There can be multiple deliveries, collections or service runs on each job, and all on different or the same dates. For some companies who need to schedule service runs over the duration of a rental, they can even schedule multiple runs at set or various intervals, for example a toilet hire company can schedule services every week to appear on the daily allocations in the route planner.
The planner also keeps track of weight, drivers and assistants and it can plot and display optimal delivery routes on a map. The delivery rou

Alienating Audiences - Expensive ticket prices risk alienating audiences and exposing theatre workers to “further vulnerability”, BECTU head Philippa Childs has warned. The union boss was addressing recent uproar caused by the West End production of Cock increasing its top-priced seats to £400, before reducing them to £175 following a social media backlash. Childs described the “steep rise” in ticket prices as “deeply concerning for a sector that is trying to get back to pre-pandemic audience levels”.
“When faced with soaring ticket rates amid the ever-increasing cost-of-living crisis, audiences will have little choice but to cut back on the expense of going to the theatre, leaving productions out of pocket and exposing workers to further vulnerability,” she said.
The BECTU head also argued that increased ticket prices were not being reflected

UK - IPS has added over 30km of power cabling and 300 distribution units to its hire stock. This significant stock increase has already been hard at work supporting both IPS productions onsite, as well as meeting the needs of IPS’ range of trade hire customers.
Over the last few months, IPS have been working hard to increase hire stocks all the hardware needed for the distribution of temporary power at events. Close working relationships with suppliers have been essential whilst battling supply restrictions and varying lead times along with all the other pressures associated with coronavirus, along with tireless work from Joe Martin who leads the IPS service department.
“It really has been a non-stop few months for me and the team, but despite all the obstacles, we are pleased to now have an expanded and upgraded range of fully tested cabling and power distributio

UK - Collaborative Creations has announced three new appointments in key positions.
Nic Farman has joined the CC team as its new lighting designer & business development specialist. Farman was previously a freelance lighting designer and will now be continuing his lighting design work in theatres internationally, but under the CC banner.
Farman has more than 10 years of experience lighting musicals, theatre and opera. He has worked extensively in the UK’s West End, as well as on shows in Lebanon, Dubai, and Kuwait.
The appointment comes following two further additions to the team at Collaborative Creations in recent months. Chris West joined as training and education director in February, offering a wide range of in-person and e-learning training courses.
West’s previous role was Global Training Manager for disguise. He has also worked in training

Review Programme - Arts Council England’s future is to be considered as part of a government review into all arm’s length bodies, which could see some bodies scrapped and significant savings demanded from those that remain. The newly launched Reviews of Public Bodies programme, run by the Cabinet Office, will examine the operations of all arm’s length bodies in England and assess whether "they should be abolished or retained", as well as whether money allocated to them is spent effectively. Savings of at least 5% per organisation should be identified as part of the review process.
The department will lead reviews in charge of each public body, meaning the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be asked to review the public bodies it sponsors, including the Arts Council, the BFI, the National Lottery Community Fund and Historic England.
At pr

UK - Le Mark’s head of export Karolina Wlodarczyk has been invited to be an ‘export champion’ for the UK’s Department of International Trade.
Karolina is a Polish citizen originally from the town of Raciborz, who studied (2004-2009) and graduated from Opole University with a master’s degree in English Language and Cultural Studies.
She is currently undertaking additional formal business training and education with an ambition to see a future graduation with ARU Peterborough.
Since joining Cambridgeshire based Le Mark Group, her career has grown from strength to strength. Karolina has built a reputation internationally, leading from the front at trade shows around the world. Since joining Le Mark she has represented the company at LDI Las Vegas, Prolight+Sound Frankfurt and Light + Audio Tec (formerly Prolight+Sound NAMM Russia). Karolina is now responsi

Ireland - Dublin-based Magic Kite has grown over the years to become one of the largest audio suppliers on the island. Along with sister company Just Lite, it is a one-stop shop for all technical aspects of a production including lighting, screens and professional audio equipment, delivering productions for international touring artists, festivals and stadium concerts of all sizes.
Magic Kite constantly upgrades its equipment to suit the many levels and specifications, and VDC has been instrumental in equipping the company with the kit required.
Recent provision includes a fully custom designed 48-channel line system, including a 48ch split, upstage looms, satellite boxes, a variety of 24 and 12 pair Veam to Veams, upstage socapex looms, 16a and 32a cables for mains distribution, and panel work.
VDC has also helped Magic Kite carry out a complete overhaul of it


Free Movement - UK hauliers working on music concerts, sporting and cultural events will be able to make unlimited international trips under new rules. Since Brexit, British specialist hauliers have been limited to three EU stops per tour, the government said. But from late summer they will be able to move freely between the UK, the EU and other countries, it said.
The change has been cautiously welcomed by industry experts but they said it did not solve the problem for everyone. Wob Roberts, production manager for Duran Duran and Sam Smith, told the BBC the move was good news for UK and European tours but did not help smaller UK-based operations which do not have another base overseas.
New dual registration laws will apply to haulage companies with a base in the UK and another abroad, the Department for Transport said. It means they will be able to transfer the

UK - Flight case manufacturers, 5 Star Cases believes in normalising discussions about mental health at work and breaking down barriers when it comes to the stigma of mental illness.
According to 5 Star’s accounts & HR manager Kirsty Locks, authentic human connections need to start with treating every member of the team as an individual and ensuring everyone feels that they belong. “This is what creates true diversity and inclusion, and that’s why we’ve been so passionate about advocating this within our team,” says Kirsty. “For everyone to feel they belong, this also means being vulnerable at times, which is why we have been integrating mental health and wellbeing services within our workplace to keep employees happy and in a healthy state of mind.”
The company has taken some important steps to ensure the mental wellbeing of its workforce is being l

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 years

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