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.

UK - VDC Trading has promoted Herpreet Kaur Singh to the role of commercial director. She will now be responsible for the commercial aspect of the business for the whole of the UK and export and will oversee and assist the continuing growth of VDC and the Van Damme brand in multiple markets across the world.
Herpreet, who joined VDC in 2014, previously managed VDC’s export and customer services department. “I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be able to expand my role in this way,” she says. “We have weathered an incredibly difficult time during the pandemic and have emerged more resilient with so much to look forward to. Van Damme as a brand has never been stronger and VDC has many interesting projects in the pipeline - both domestically and internationally. I’m excited to drive the commercial side of the business and look forward to continuing to

UK - Peterborough-based technical production company Pearce Hire has received the accolade of Best Power Supplier at the recent Event Production Awards 2022.
The company specialises in temporary power and lighting systems for outdoor events on greenfield sites across the UK, including Royal Parks, stately home gardens and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
During the last two years, founder and managing director Shaun Pearce has campaigned for government support of the sector at local and national level, whilst working tirelessly to safeguard and future-proof the business he has built.
“It really has been one of the most difficult periods of Pearce Hire’s history but this really signifies the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Pearce. “Like the rest of the industry my company has battled to get through the past two years and we couldn’t have done

Solidarity - All remaining performances of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia in the UK have been cancelled following the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, venues began to cancel planned performances by the company, with the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, the Royal and Derngate in Northampton and the New Theatre Peterborough, run by Selladoor, all pulling planned appearances by the company. Ambassador Theatre Group also cancelled performances planned at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Bristol Hippodrome.
Now, Raymond Gubbay, which was producing the tour, has cancelled all remaining dates. “In view of the current shocking circumstances unfolding in Ukraine, the remaining performances by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia of their 2021/2022 tour will not be taking place,” it said.
English National Opera performed the Ukrainian national anthem before its

Reconnected - The organisers of the T in the Park and TRNSMT festivals have announced their newest event will be held in Edinburgh. The Connect Music Festival will take place at the Royal Highland Centre near Edinburgh Airport from 26 to 28 August. Promoters DF Concerts said the line-up for the weekend-long event will be announced this Wednesday. There have been two Connect festivals before, in 2007 and 2008, both at Inveraray Castle in Argyll.
Announcing the festival's revival, Geoff Ellis, chief executive of DF Concerts and Events, said: “During initial planning discussions around the relaunch of Connect, we realised that we had to make some changes and to remaster the original festival proposition for today's audiences. One of the biggest considerations we had was around public transport and ensuring the event was accessible to festival goers from across the country. Th

China - DJ Wengweng, well-known electronic musician, the main founder of Acupuncture Records and the Lantern Club, has recently opened Solo, a new electronic music room in Bejing, with the help of Van Damme Cable.
Measured at only 18sq.m, the music space will be used to record live sets of or other artists, and make their musical talents and ideas better known through the internet.
The key aim is to establish increasingly strong relationships with domestic artists, labels and club operators, start discussions around the development of electronic music culture in China and create development opportunities together.
Despite its size, the sound, lighting, DJ and acoustic processing equipment are all professional standard. Installation was achieved with the help of Phoenix Audio, Van Damme’s Chinese distributor.
The audio configuration uses Funktion-One seri

Massive Losses - Commercial theatre companies including Ambassador Theatre Group and HQ Theatres have revealed losses they incurred to March 2021, with theatre closures leading to 90% falls in revenue in some instances. Cameron Mackintosh Limited suffered pre-tax losses of £16.2m to the end of March last year, with the company’s turnover tumbling to just £20.8m. This is down from £206.7m in 2020.
The organisation, which operates eight West End theatres blamed the “disappointing trading results” entirely on the pandemic and warned that conditions remained “challenging”. It said a “consistent return to pre-pandemic audience attendance levels will take time to rebuild”, as domestic visitors, workers and international tourists return to London.
According to the accounts for International Entertainment Holdings Ltd, the parent company of ATG, the group saw

Brit Awards - The 2022 Brit Awards take place at the O2 Arena tonight, with Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dave and Little Simz leading the nominations. All four artists are up for the night's biggest prizes - artist and album of the year - alongside Sam Fender. It will be broadcast live on ITV, and on YouTube for viewers outside the UK.
Last year's Brit Awards took place as part of the government's pilot scheme for the return of live events. COVID restrictions necessitated a mixture of live and virtual performances, with artists like Coldplay, The Weekend and Elton John appearing on tape.
This year, organisers have vowed to "keep everything in the room" - even when that meant scrapping a planned performance from US star Doja Cat, after members of her team tested positive for COVID. As a result, tonight's performances are exclusively coming from British artists - including all fiv

Ireland - In late 2021, VDC Trading was approached by Murt Whelan Sound to create a 48-channel stagebox which will be core to much of the company’s work in 2022.
Murt Whelan Sound (MWS) is a pro-audio rental and installation company based in Limerick in the Republic of Ireland. It provides professional services nationwide and is a one stop production shop, offering support from initial concept and design right through to the realisation and management of any large-scale event.
MWS constantly invests in responsive, state-of-the-art equipment to ensure it stays ahead of the market and exceeds its customer expectations. It therefore approached VDC Trading to design a custom 19” rack mountable, 48 channel stagebox, which will be central to many of the concerts it plans to do in 2022.
The stagebox has three passive splits for FOH / MON and REC, on 24 channel VDMs.

On The Beach - The BBC Concert Orchestra will take up a three-year residency in a seaside town to "raise aspirations". Its arrival in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, is due to a collaboration with the charity Orchestras Live and arts organisations in the county. The aim was to "provide learning pathways and improve people's wellbeing", the charity said. It will run workshops in every primary school in the town and hold a free schools concert.
Part of the Create Yarmouth strategy, it hopes to encourage students to get creative with music. “The programme aims to raise aspiration, provide learning pathways and improve people's wellbeing through collaborations with world-class musicians, digital artists, producers and arts managers”, an Orchestras Live spokeswoman said. Pop-up performances in public spaces, as part of a Heritage Action Zone, will also be held.
Pride Restor

UK - Abbey Road Institute is a specialist music production school and the training ground for the next generation of music producers and sound engineers. Its foundations are the expertise and innovation created at Abbey Road Studios.
Originally based in St Johns Wood as part of the famous studio’s complex, the school’s diploma became so popular with students that it needed to expand its facilities to accommodate the growing demand. During the summer of 2021, the Institute moved into and revived the historic Angel Recording Studios in Islington, near Kings Cross. VDC provided the Institute with a variety of Van Damme cabling as the foundation for the refurbishment; from custom manufactured D25 assemblies on 8 pair Studio Blue to microphone, speaker and console cabling.
The Institute opened the doors to its new home in June 2021. Building on the success of the existi

Cover Up - Theatres across England have indicated they will continue to ask audiences to wear masks for the safety of their staff and other theatregoers, despite restrictions being lifted later this week.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last week that Plan B measures - including mandatory mask wearing in theatres - would be lifted this week. Following his announcement, numerous theatres have said that they plan to continue requesting face coverings inside their venues.
Sheffield Theatres said it had taken the decision to continue with mandatory face coverings beyond 27 January, with this decision reviewed every two weeks in light of the number of cases locally.
“Since the theatres reopened last summer we have been encouraging audiences to wear masks during their visit. We took the decision to introduce mandatory face coverings before Plan B in early Dece

USA - Symetrix has launched Symetrix Professional Services, fee-based services that “leverage the experience and knowledge of Symetrix applications engineers to provide engineering support for their customers’ projects”.
Symetrix Professional Services include site file programming, custom intelligent module creation, and remote or on-site commissioning.
There is a dedicated in-house team of Symetrix applications engineers who can review the system design to ensure that the selected hardware will work seamlessly in a system. Because it is being reviewed by Symetrix, customers will have the peace of mind that it is approved by the original equipment manufacturer.

Coachella Returns - Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Kanye West - known as Ye - will headline this year's Coachella festival. It's being held for the first time since 2019 after the 2020 festival was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival runs across two weekends in April in Indio, California, with the same line-up appearing on them both. Swedish House Mafia, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, Doja Cat and Run the Jewels will also perform. Billie Eilish will become the festival's youngest ever headliner.
Celtic Connections - The organisers of Celtic Connections have launched a ‘hybrid’ online version of the musical festival after shows had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions on crowds. Performances will now be shown online with some screened to smaller audiences at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. A small number of larger-scale shows will b

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