USA - Xytech is hosting a four-day webinar series from 26-29 October showcasing the upgrades to its resource and asset management solution MediaPulse 10.
“Until we can once again meet in person, these webinar series are essential communication tools to the community. This begins a conversation where we inform customers of the advances of the product and help us to understand where our platform needs to be in the future,” comments Greg Dolan, Xytech’s CCO.
“With the version 10 update, MediaPulse provides every user with exactly the functionality they need, when they need it, on the device of their choosing, creating a reliable solution able to operate anywhere. Something the pandemic has made crucial.”
To register for any of the MediaPulse 10 Webinar Series, visit:

USA - From Halloween through Christmas and Hannukah, you can add holiday decorations to your home and support your colleagues who are seriously ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention initiative. These ornaments have been generously made and donated to Behind the Scenes by Mike and Sue Wood, so every penny goes directly to helping your colleagues in need.
Individual acrylic inserts are now available for the portable mini LED ghostlight so you can celebrate the holidays in style. Choose from the ighostlight, the pumpkin ghostlight for Halloween, the autumnal Cornucopia ghostlight for Thanksgiving, the Hanukkah menorah ghostlight, or the Christmas tree ghostlight. Purchase your first unit with the base and remote control and then stock up on inserts so you can complement the season.
There is also have an array of ghostlight and industry-t

Spain/UK - PLASA has reached an agreement with Spain’s AFIAL to strengthen their partnership and deliver more benefits to members.
The new relationship will allow the two trade associations to expand their joint activities, which in the past year have included collaborations for the #WeMakeEvents campaign. Described as “the most important national AV association on the Spanish scene”, AFIAL represents manufacturers and importers of sound, lighting and AV technology in Spain and owns the Madrid-based AFIAL exhibition.
A joint statement says: “This collaboration was born from a solid and necessary union during the pandemic, that has evolved allowing the associations to continue to work intensely to support their members and the sector. This agreement will bring benefits for the members of AFIAL and PLASA.”
PLASA MD Peter Heath, director Nicky Greet and bo

Passport Control - A consultation into the use of vaccine passports at venues in England has been launched by the government, which could come into force if Covid cases overwhelm the NHS this winter. It raises the possibility of vaccine-only certification being introduced for venues such as theatres, in the event that the government’s ’Plan B’ for autumn and winter is needed.
The Department of Health and Social Care is asking members of the public, and particularly event organisers and venue operators, for their views on vaccine certification. It asks whether the current list of settings in which it could be required – which does not currently include theatres – is too narrow, and if so, what additional venues should be in scope of certification.
If the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure due to Covid-19 cases, the government has prepared a Plan B for Engl

World Music - Ed Sheeran, Lizzo and Billie Eilish were among stars to take part in a 24-hour gig to raise awareness of climate change, vaccine inequality and famine. Over 60 artists performed in The Global Citizen festival in cities including New York, London and Seoul. The event kicked off on Saturday in Paris, where Elton John performed in front of the Eiffel Tower. He took to the stage following a pre-recorded performance by the K-pop band BTS.
The show, believed to be one of the biggest-ever international charity events, was organised by Global Citizen - a charity working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Unlike most events of this nature, organisers were not aiming to raise cash, but to use participation as evidence for world leaders that people support bold action on the issues.
"Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments,

India - Harman is taking strict legal action against manufacturers and distributors involved in producing and selling of counterfeit JBL products in India.
During a recent raid, Harman’s investigation team along with law enforcement officers, seized stocks of ‘spurious’ JBL consumer products from two mobile and accessories wholesalers in the city of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Similar raids were conducted in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, where the team confiscated counterfeit JBL Professional speakers and other brand accessories from manufacturing units.
Harman has taken appropriate criminal action against these offenders and says it intends to continue such investigations to curb the manufacturing and selling of counterfeit products across India.
“Over the last 75 years, JBL’s range of consumer and professional products have earned consumer trust a

UK - #WeMakeEvents, the campaign to amplify the voice of the live events supply chain, has now raised over half a million British pounds through fundraising efforts over the last 18 months, supporting charities which have helped industry professionals through the pandemic.
The milestone was reached during PLASA Show 2021, where #WeMakeEvents hosted a dedicated hub to promote wellbeing and mental health throughout the live sector which featured several industry charities and initiatives and welcomed a steady stream of visitors.
80% of the funds raised have gone directly to Backup, the campaign's chosen industry which supports professionals throughout the technical entertainment industry in times of ill health or financial need. In turn, Backup funnels vital funds to Acting For Others, Music Support, Stage Hand and Make It Blue UK, each one providing specially designed se

Punk Values - The "only known footage" of two Sex Pistols gigs which ignited Manchester's music scene and “spawned a generation of bands” has sold at auction for £15,000. Music fan Mark Roberts' Super 8mm films captured the punk band's shows at the city's Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976. Future members of Buzzcocks, New Order, The Smiths and The Fall, and Anthony Wilson, who founded renowned label Factory Records, were at the shows. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the gigs were "huge for bands that spawned off the back off them", adding: "It was the birth of punk."
No Fear - Noel Gallagher has said Oasis had "no fear" about playing to 250,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth, adding if his old band were to do it again now, they would be "petrified". The songwriter was talking before the premiere of the Oasis Knebworth 1996 documentary, marking 25 years since Bri

Insurance Fears - Further guidance about the government’s recently announced insurance scheme for live events has been released, which experts have warned “confirms all the worst fears producers had”. The scheme, which will run until September next year, has been criticised for being too narrow in scope to apply to most theatre productions as well as prohibitively expensive.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published an outline of the rules for the £750m scheme, prompting concerns that it will not help most theatre producers, who face ongoing risks of disruption, cancellation and closure. The guidance confirms that productions are protected only when they have been forced to cancel, abandon, relocate or postpone as a "direct result" of the introduction of new or amended COVID-19 laws.
This means that cancellations caused by self-isolation

UK - On Saturday 4 September, a cohort of industry professionals cycled from SFL in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London to raise money for Backup, the technical entertainment charity and mark the return of PLASA Show.
Fourteen cyclists made the journey, representing Autograph, Avolites, Backup, Collaborative creations, Creative Technologies, Event Decision, PLASA, SFL, SLX, TSL and White Light. One team cycled 40 miles direct to London, while the other traversed the challenging Surrey Hills - together they have so far raised over £1,300, with donations still coming in.
BikeFest follows several industry bike rides in recent years coinciding with PLASA Show, which have all raised funds while promoting mental health and support. In the wake of the COVID lockdowns, the 2021 cycle felt more pertinent than ever.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath, comments:

UK - East London art deco venue Troxy unveiled a substantial restoration project ahead of its 88th birthday on 11 September.
The venue, which reopens this month with a series of events, including a gig with ska band The Specials on 25 September, has completed the first stages of an ambitious transformation project. The team has been working for over 12 months, to create a new stage, enabling larger productions, restored the foyer and entrance area and created new facilities for visitors to the venue.
The project design has been led by historic building specialists Ian Chalk Architects with on site management by M Bradbrook Electrical Services. The owners of Troxy have invested heavily in the refurbishment with significant support from Arts Council England. The works have been championed by the Theatres Trust and Tower Hamlets Council, ensuring every element is in lin

USA - Magmatic atmospheric effects is offering two new snow machines in its Polar series of high-volume snow effects that ‘make it easy to create wintry scenes of natural-looking snow’. Suitable for any seasonal production, in stock and ready for delivery are the compact and lightweight Crisp and the road case-protected Crisp Max with 20-litre fluid tank.
With its small size and easy mobility, Crisp is a set-it-and-forget-it snow effect. The unit weighs 33.5 lbs. (15.2kg) with a hanging bracket that doubles as a convenient carrying handle. Crisp uses Magmatic’s specially formulated dry-on-impact snow liquid (APS-4L) to create a snowflake that mimics the look and feel of actual snow.
Crisp Max includes a 20-litre fluid tank hidden inside a road case with durable casters for extra protection and easier portability. The unit’s 10m-long hose can be rigged on a sta


Light Night Leeds - Digital lightning bolts and a light sculpture of a giant endangered marine mammal are among the spectacles set to light up Leeds as part of the city's annual Light Night festival. The two-day event starting on 14 October will see some of the city's well-known buildings and landmarks lit up with light projections - and this year's theme is nature and climate change.
More than 40 installations and artworks will be on show including a large-scale replica of the Earth by artist Luke Jerram and an illumination of lightning bolts on the front of Leeds Civic Hall by artist Seb Lee-Delisle, the city council said.
Last year a considerably slimmed-down festival saw lasers mounted on seven city centre buildings because of coronavirus and social distancing rules. Organisers say this year's event "will mark a return to a more familiar format" but the prog

UK - At this year’s PLASA Show, on stand D4, Data Strategy will showcase QC-Check’s integration with SimplyPATS, a software programme that specialises in providing the download of data from over 50 PAT Testers.
This integration was developed to allow QC-Check to import into its database the test results from other manufacturers’ Portable Appliance Testers. It offers the facility to use the powerful QC-Check database to selectively filter equipment requiring a test into manageable chunks of data and download it to the client testers.
The new SimplyPats integration will be demonstrated on an operational, two-bay QC-check workstation. New and existing customers will see the simplicity of adding test results to one database of equipment for which a portable PAT tester is the only logistical solution.
The two-bay QC-Check workstation, custom engineered for Data

USA - Behind The Scenes has reminded that September is National Suicide Awareness Month - “and while we may be getting back to work, the need for awareness and action is greater than ever,” says the charity.
“Underemployment, new demands in the workplace, and worry about the future are all contributing to the negative impact on mental health. The reality is that many are not coping well and reports of suicide are on the rise,” adds BTS.
Running from 5-11 September, National Suicide Prevention Week is an opportunity to learn what you can do to help those you may be concerned about on the job or at home, as well as find resources that may help you today or in the future. Visit btshelp.org/bethe1 to learn how to re

Socially Distanced - The Royal Shakespeare Company will host a series of socially distanced performances of its new musical throughout November and December to cater for audiences that do not want to attend a full-capacity show. Seven socially distanced performances of The Magician’s Elephant have been scheduled throughout the three-month run, which marks the reopening of the RSC’s main house in Stratford-Upon-Avon for the first time since the pandemic began.
At each of the designated performances, audiences will be seated with an empty row in front of and behind them, and with one empty seat between parties to ensure one-metre-plus social distancing. Audience members attending these shows will also be asked to wear a face mask throughout their visit unless exempt. The RSC is currently only staging shows at its outdoor theatre, which is running at full capacity. I

UK - Industry charity Backup has long recognised the technical entertainment industry as an exciting, but challenging place to work and is committed to helping those who face the pressure and stress involved by providing further help and support.
Now, the charity has launched a free helpline that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide a centralised access point for both urgent and non-urgent well-being support.
The helpline offers a number of options, from a dedicated Backup counsellor, to direct transfer to other industry charities, including the Music Support Helpline, Theatre Helpline and the Samaritans. Upon selecting one of the above options, you will be transferred directly to the support you require.
The Backup Counsellor option is a free, independent and confidential phone service with a certified counsellor who has a broad experience

Pilot Programme - Further findings from the government’s Covid pilot programme claim that mass participation events "can be conducted safely", with case numbers from four months of crowds remaining in line with, or below, community infection rates. Little to no coronavirus cases were detected among audiences that had attended several theatre pilots, including indoor and outdoor performance.
The second release of data from the Events Research Programme, covering phases II and III of the pilot scheme, concluded that major events can take place in a safe way and demonstrates how certification can be "effectively implemented at large events". The findings cover all 37 test events, which took place in England across a four-month period between April and July, however the latest research includes pilots specifically intended to test events of increased size and scale.
Acco

USA - After a storied career in the entertainment industry, ESTA’s membership manager, Frances Thompson, will be retiring at the end of 2021. For over two decades, she has been a vital force in the growth of the association and a galvanizing presence at trade shows and events.
In 1996, Frances was appointed to the ESTA Board of Directors, after being a part of the Business Resource Group for several years. She then served as manufacturer director until early 2000, when she was appointed as an affiliate director. Around 2001, Frances joined the ESTA staff and has since held several titles.
On her retirement, Frances remarked, “I will miss engaging with members and staff. We are irreverent, creative, resourceful, opinionated, and uproarious. But most of my family and friends are as well, so I will be happy.”
As her successor, ESTA has appointed Laura Hoepker

Reselling Regulations - The UK's competition watchdog has said ticket resale firms such as Viagogo and StubHub should face tighter rules. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said current laws meant it was not possible to act swiftly and effectively against touts. Another problem came from resellers who speculatively sold tickets they did not own, the regulator said.
The CMA has previously taken action against both Viagogo and StubHub, which have made changes as a result. In February, a year after Viagogo bought StubHub for $4.1bn (£3.1bn), the regulator told Viagogo to sell all of StubHub's business outside North America to satisfy competition concerns. The CMA's latest intervention comes as big music and sporting events are set to resume in the UK in the next few months after the Covid pandemic, fuelling fans' demand for tickets.
The watchdog's recommendation

USA - Behind the Scenes reports that NATEAC, the North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference, has made a $10,000 donation to support the work of the charity. NATEAC is a quadrennial conference which had been scheduled to take place in New York City last summer and was turned into a highly successful virtual conference held 20-22 July, 2021.
On presenting the cheque, NATEAC founder, Bill Sapsis, commented, “All of us at NATEAC are very happy to provide this donation in support of the terrific work the Behind the Scenes Foundation offers through its grants program and mental health initiative.” In 2016 NATEAC donated the proceeds from its conference dinner at Sardi’s to the charity. In 2021 the pandemic forced NATEAC to cancel the dinner but the conference organisers were determined to continue the support for BTS.
NATEAC’s mission is to promot

Virtual Fundraising - Musicians including Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran and Sir Mick Jagger will join with Bollywood stars to raise funds for Covid relief work in India. A virtual fundraising event entitled We For India: Saving Lives will take place on Sunday 15 August, in both London and Mumbai.
The three-hour event, ran by social impact enterprise The World We Want, will be livestreamed over Facebook. It will feature more than 80 Indian performers such as composer AR Rahman. Nile Rodgers, Sister Sledge, Jay Shetty and Nancy Ajram will also take part in the event. Rajkummar Rao, star of Oscar and Bafta-nominated film The White Tiger, will host the event.
Prohibitively Expensive - Theatre heavyweights Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Harrison and Sonia Friedman have criticised the government’s recently announced insurance scheme, labelling it “prohibitiv

UK - The live events sector is set to get a boost with a government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750m, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday (5 August).
The news comes after many months of campaigning by the events sector and the wider music industry for the introduction of such a scheme. However, it comes too late for many, with over fifty per cent of scheduled festivals – both large and small – cancelled or postponed.
The government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.
This scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public - such as music festivals and business events. It will cover

China - Resulting from the heightened popularity and massive growth within the eSports industry, Tencent China and Riot Games recently joined forces to create TJ Sports, Asia’s first large-scale eSports remote production centre. As the eSports industry continues to expand across the globe, production companies are looking to streamline operator workflow.
Providing a technologically advanced, yet simple-to-operate control solution, TJ Sports selected TSL Products’ TallyMan Advanced Broadcast Control System to accomplish the management of large-scale video switchers, audio mixers and the AV matrix for its events.
“TSL enables us to produce more events that are more intensive and complex,” says Zhang Xuming, head of broadcast technology planning at TJ Sports. “The TSL TallyMan controller greatly reduces execution risk during production while improving the overal

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