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

USA - The recently launched music community platform We Are Giant has announced the addition of live music and entertainment executive David Rappaport to its board of directors. The chief operating officer of global touring at AEG Presents will serve as a strategic advisor to We Are Giant founding CEO Andy Apple and his executive leadership team.
Rappaport is an industry professional who brings a deep tenure of experience across live entertainment and artist relations. Before joining AEG Presents, Rappaport also served as head of artist relations (Americas) at YouTube Music / Google, where he spearheaded new education and strategy initiatives geared towards artists, management companies, and agencies.
“David’s leadership and many years of experience executing deals - in addition to building deep relationships across genres - will contribute to our success as we co

UK - The theatre industry is mourning the loss of Martin McCallum (6 April 1950 - 14 January 2024), FRSA, who passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on 14 January. Former president of the Society of London Theatre and advisor to the Arts Council, McCallum was a pioneering British theatrical producer who left a long-lasting mark on the world of theatre. With a career spanning over 500 shows, McCallum’s contributions to the theatre sector were ground-breaking and transformative.
Starting his career as an assistant stage manager at the Castle Theatre in Farnham, under the mentorship of Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic, Martin became a production manager for the National Theatre of Great Britain. His contributions were instrumental in the National’s move to London’s South Bank, where he managed notable productions such as Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journe

Sinéad & Shane - A tribute concert for Sinéad O'Connor and The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan is set to take place in New York City's Carnegie Hall on 20 March. The one-night-only show called Sinéad & Shane at Carnegie Hall will be a celebration of both their lives. Artists such as Mountain Goats, Cat Power, and Dropkick Murphys are set to cover a number of O'Connor and MacGowan's songs.
Many of the artists performing at the concert had previously performed with O'Connor and MacGowan when they were alive. They include Glen Hansard, who performed a rendition of Fairytale of New York at MacGowan's funeral in December, and David Gray, Amanda Palmer and Gordon Gano. More acts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Concrete Crisis - The Broadway Theatre in Barking has become the latest venue to close due to the discovery of potenti

UK - The Academy of Live Technology confers Honorary Fellowships upon individuals in recognition of their significant commitment and contribution to the live entertainment and creative industries. The 2023 Graduation Ceremony, hosted on Saturday 2 December in Production Park’s Studio 005, saw the Honorary Fellowship awarded to Sarah Rushton-Read.
Her career spans over 30 years. Having initially stepped into the creative industries as an actress, she moved into stage management in 1985 and then successfully into lighting design and management for theatre, opera and ballet, working at leading venues including The Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne Opera.
After a brief stint as a production manager at PRG, Sarah swerved into garden and architectural lighting design, whilst also co-running an events lighting company.
In 2002, Sarah became assistant editor at LSi a

Australia - RentalPoint Software has just released a new feature in their software that allows clients a way to generate new sales leads from their website, simply by adding a link to it.
This new link goes to an online form which prompts for a general outline of the event such as the general type of equipment they require, the event name and date, room size and other details plus the contact details of the person enquiring.
Once the form is submitted it can be loaded straight into RentalPoint software without having to retype anything. The form is configurable and the hyperlink can be added to online advertising or email signatures etc. This feature is available as standard at no additional cost.

Ovation - The Who's Roger Daltrey has announced he will step down as curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust gigs, after this year's set of concerts. The shows have been running at the Royal Albert Hall since 2000, raising more than £32m from ticket sales. Daltrey will kick off his final year by staging two orchestral sets with The Who. Noel Gallagher, Young Fathers and The Chemical Brothers will also play.
The series will end with a celebration of the series of shows. Titled Ovation, the concert will feature Daltrey himself, accompanied by artists who helped establish the gigs as a fixture of the music calendar. The line-up will include Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, The Stereophonics' Kelly Jones and Daltrey's long-time musical foil, Pete Townshend.
From 2025, the concerts will be overseen by a series of guest curators. Daltrey will c

Arise, Sir Michael - Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis was among those recognised in the 2024 New Year Honours list. Eavis, 88, who founded the Glastonbury Festival on his Somerset farm in 1970, is awarded a knighthood for services to music and charity. Each festival contributes more than £2m to charity. "We started with 500 people and we've finished up with millions wanting to come every year," he says. "That's quite extraordinary, isn't it?"
BBC Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright dedicated his MBE "to all the people in broadcasting who gave comfort and public service during the pandemic". Fellow broadcaster Tony Blackburn says his OBE is "the icing on a very lovely cake" after almost 60 years in the "best job" on BBC and commercial radio stations. Dame Shirley Bassey, 86, who has sold 135m records, says she is "truly humbled" to become the 64th living member of the Order of

World - The LSi team is getting ready for their festive break, but before we go, we’d like to thank you for reading and supporting us this year.
Our daily online news service will resume on Tuesday, 2 January 2024, but if you find yourself missing LSi in the meantime, all 38 years’ worth of our back catalogue is accessible for free, HERE.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
The LSi team

UK - Provider of AV and IT services Tateside, is marking 15 years of operations. In 2008, amid the challenges of a global recession, Tateside emerged out of a conversation among the co-founders, Andy Sullivan, Graham Agambar and Richard Day, who were all previously employed by Astro Communications, based in Kent. The trio recognised an opportunity to deliver fully managed services encompassing telecommunications, networks and audio-visual solutions. Their inaugural client, Time Inc. (formerly IPC Media), entrusted Tateside with a comprehensive service contract, marking the beginning of the young company's success story.
Based at the Blue Fin Building, nestled behind the Tate Modern on Bankside, Time Inc.’s offices were the focal point of Tateside's early operations. Under the direction of Andy, Graham and Richard, the team managed an extensive technology infrastructure, f

Germany - As the current fiscal year draws to a close, Neumann & Müller Veranstaltungstechnik presented an initial assessment at its shareholder meeting and examined the prospects for 2024.
The conclusion reached by the N&M managing board was that, following the disruptions caused by the corona pandemic, the company is now on an "absolutely stable long-term course". In view of this assessment, the shareholders of the service provider for technology for live communication expressed their confidence in the management.
Following on from a period lasting almost three years in which the event sector was forced to absorb considerable losses due to the COVID19 pandemic, commissioning has picked up significantly in the current fiscal year.
N&M can also look back on 2023 with satisfaction: "We are on an absolutely stable long-term course," said Christoph Rup

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