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

UK - The partners behind 5G Festival have successfully completed the second set of trials to test critical aspects of the technology that will be used to deliver a music collaboration toolset and experience for artists, audiences and venues. The results will deliver the world’s first 5G powered hybrid immersive festival experience early next year.
The social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the live music industry has been severe. 5G Festival is part of efforts across the sector to create innovative platforms for musicians and artists to write, rehearse and produce music despite geographical barriers, and deliver new, engaging ways for audiences to interact with live performances.
5G Festival will showcase creative talent blended with the power of advanced digital technologies, broadcast live directly to audiences at remote locations from world-le

Vaccination Proof - Delfont Mackintosh Theatres has become the second major theatre group to require audience members to show proof of vaccination before seeing a show. The company follows Ambassador Theatre Group in introducing the requirement, after all social-distancing measures were lifted.
DMT owns eight West End theatres, including the Novello, the Noël Coward, the Sondheim and the Prince Edward Theatre. The company states on its website: “As capacity restrictions are lifted, we ask that all audience members bring with them proof of double vaccination, a recent negative lateral flow test or natural immunity.”
Audience members providing “proof of full vaccination” can do so through the NHS App. Those without both vaccinations are able to “present proof of a negative lateral flow test”, either via the NHS App or from a text message, and this test must

UK - SES is moving from its Datchet base to a new facility in Colnbrook. Having continuously expanded over the last few years, SES has taken the decision to move to much larger facilities which will enable the company to expand further over the next few years.
“Our new home enables us to have all our manufacturing, design and production under one roof,” says group director Gordon Cooper, “and allows us to continue to develop industry leading products and facilitate customers’ requirements in a more efficient manner.
“The space that we will have will allow us to purchase our third CNC router, increase the number of production staff and increase stock holding of raw and finished goods. We will also have a separate R&D workshop, which allows us to increase the capacity of our already large test and inspect facility.”
SES is planning open house days c

UK - Global event specialist, The Spendlove Group has announced the launch of THE Production TEAM. The new company will combine the skills and expertise that exist within the group to deliver a global event recruitment business.
Launched as the event industry makes a welcome return, THE Production TEAM will offer ‘a myriad of recruitment services to event management companies, venues and production houses operating within film & TV, events and theatre’. Offering complete transparency for both clients and freelancers with competitive rates of pay, all candidates will be vetted, pre-qualified and selected to fill job vacancies globally.
For UK clients interested in its contract recruitment services THE Production TEAM will renumerate employees, including sickness and holiday payments. This will also be the case in the Middle East, but the company will also faci

Hardest Hit - Music, performing and visual arts has been the creative sector hardest hit by the pandemic – losing 80,000 jobs and an estimated £4bn in gross value added for the UK economy, according to new data.
Before the pandemic, music, performing and visual arts contributed £10.6bn in GVA and employed 314,000 people. However, new data from Oxford Economics, published in a report by the Creative UK Group, estimates that these sectors have lost 39% of GVA, equating to a loss of £4bn to the UK economy. According to the report, music, performing and visual arts have also lost 26% of jobs – 80,000 – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The creative industries as a whole – made up of nine sub-sectors also including film, tv, video, radio and photography; design; architecture; and museums, galleries and libraries – are estimated to have lost nearly £12bn in GVA, wi

UK - On Saturday 4 September, a group of industry professionals will band together for BikeFest, a fundraising bike ride from SFL’s headquarters in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London. BikeFest aims to raise funds for industry charities and mark the return of live events and entertainment following 18 months of unparalled challenge. 

The organisers of BikeFest are calling for fellow cyclists to sign up and follow them on one of two routes: a relaxed 40-mile ride direct to London via flat roads and cycle paths, or a more strenuous 80-mile ride traversing the Surrey Hills. The two routes will cater for all levels of cyclists, from casual and commuting cyclists to serious road bikers. London-based cyclists are also invited to join for the last leg through the capital. 

All money raised will go

UK - The Kingshakes, an old-school neo rockabilly band has kicked off its post-pandemic gig calendar. Van Damme cables have been at the core of every performance, most recently at the Hot Rod and Custom Car Show in Peterborough.
Formed in 2013 The Kingshakes are a three-piece ensemble, consisting of guitarist Andy Kandil, drummer Steve Clark and double bass player Dan Clark. Prior to the global COVID-19 outbreak, they played all over the world and across the UK.
Dan Clark explains: “I’ve been using Van Damme cables since I was in my teens. I was trying out lots of different equipment and found that all Van Damme leads and jacks were exceptional. Ever since that day, all of the wiring inside my double bass has been Van Damme. I’ve never used anything else because the brand has never let me down - the leads have never broken, and none of the ends have come loose.

Blunt Instrument - Future performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella have been cancelled, with the composer blaming the “blunt instrument that is the government’s isolation guidance”. Lloyd Webber said “Freedom Day has turned into closure day” as he announced the decision not to open the musical, which was due to have its press night on 19 July and a gala performance on 20 July. It follows the cancellation of two shows at the weekend, which Lloyd Webber said had been a "precautionary measure".
Producers have not yet indicated when Cinderella will return, however a spokeswoman for the show said: "It’s hard to see a route forward under current rules, but we will do everything else we can to come back as soon as possible."
Lloyd Webber said that, despite negative test results following one cast member testing positive, he had been forced

UK - The Scottish events industry is appealing to the Scottish government to provide a further financial boost and additional support to secure a safe and sustainable return of the sector devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) is recommending an extra £40m in re-start funding be made available along with a raft of other initiatives including continuation of the Job Retention Scheme on a flexible basis from this September to March next year.
The group warns that failure to act could cost the country its status as a world-class event destination and the sector’s associated £6bn annual visitor spend within the Scottish economy.
The EIAG, which represents the events and festivals sector, has been lobbying Holyrood through pandemic and earlier this year presented Scottish Government ministers with a submission

Turning Point - Most COVID safety measures will remain in theatres from next week, including a "strong recommendation" for the continued use of face masks, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre have announced. As the government confirms that Step 4 of the reopening roadmap will go ahead on 19 July, SOLT and UK Theatre said that, despite key measures such as social distancing being relaxed, theatres in England will maintain many of the mitigations brought in to limit the spread of COVID-19. These include face coverings, enhanced cleaning and restricted stage-door interactions.
UK Theatre president Fiona Allan said the body was "relieved" at the news of full reopening, describing it as a "turning point on the road to recovery", while SOLT and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird stressed the importance of preserving audience confidence as theatregoers return.
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USA - The 2021 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are on sale now at the BTS Boutique. It’s important to let family, friends and colleagues know you are thinking of them and these unique holiday cards say it perfectly. They are also a personal and inexpensive way for a company to keep in touch with its customers and let them know “We are here and you are important to us”.
Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your recipients know you are supporting industry colleagues who are ill or injured as well as the BTS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Cards are available in a variety of options: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalized cards with a company logo and custom message, and electronic cards in multiple file formats and an array of price points starting at just $20.
This year’s cards featu

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