UK - The ABTT has announced that Liz Sillett will be its new chief executive officer, starting in the role later this month.

Liz joins the ABTT having been at The Old Vic where she was director of operations and external relationships since 2017, having worked in the arts in the UK for over 25 years. This has included senior leadership roles at Orion Management working in and supporting multiple venues across the UK, several senior roles at The Old Vic and various consultancy projects.

Liz’s experience spans traditional theatres, unconventional venues including immersive experiences, temporary spaces and pop-ups as well as events and hospitality.

Liz brings to the role a thorough understanding of venue operations (both front of house and backstage) as well as extensive experience of capital projects. Liz has been a member of the ABTT for ma

Opening Time - The new Co-op Live arena is set to open this evening after three weeks of delays, false starts, and chaos behind the scenes. Elbow will open the £365m Manchester venue later, after an inspection gave the venue the all-clear.

Comedian Peter Kay had been due to open the 23,500-seater venue on 23 April,

The eleventh-hour postponement of A Boogie With Da Hoodie's gig on 1 May saw other shows moved to the nearby AO Arena. Kay's shows were twice postponed over issues including power supply and emergency communications, while a Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's show was pulled over a problem with the ventilation system.

Bosses said they were "thrilled" to be opening the venue after being "disappointed to have delayed our introduction and frustrated so many in the process". "We now look forward to welcoming fans to Elbow's opening performance on

UK - PLASA Focus Leeds returns to the city’s Royal Armouries from 14-15 May with two sold-out show floors and a bigger-than-ever programme. A record number of people have registered to attend the popular trade show, which promises to deliver an abundance of brands from across the pro audio, AV, lighting and staging sectors alongside a packed programme of seminar sessions, panel discussions, training events and more.

On the show floor, over 200 brands will span two halls, with Ambersphere proudly returning as headline sponsor. Many of the exhibitors will showcase their latest products, with several UK debuts to look out for.

Lighting brands include Avolites, Beamz, Chauvet Professional, Elation Professional, ETC, GLP, Highlite International, Martin Professional, Prolight, Robe, Roxx, TMB, and Vari-Lite.

Pro audio brands include Allen & H

UK – The Profile Awards, dedicated to TV and theatre lighting design, will take place on 6 June at Alexandra Palace. In the run up to the inaugural ceremony, the judging teams are hard at work whittling down the many shows and productions they have seen to select their winners.

Theatre Awards chair, David Benedict explains the process: “The theatre section of The Profile Awards is judged by eight of the UK’s leading theatre, dance and opera critics. Every single new production we see is automatically eligible for consideration.”

He continues: “At our lengthy judging session, we drew up a long list of 30 pieces of outstanding lighting design from the literally hundreds of productions we saw in person across the year. That list was then whittled down to a shortlist of 18. From there, we chose to salute the work of eight of the most exciting t

UK - The Power of Events is releasing results to date of its Schools Engagement Programme pilot in the East of England. Launched in January 2024, the pilot aims to refine the process of inspiring the next generation of event professionals, by introducing pupils aged 13-18 to the dynamic range of opportunities within the events industry.

In the Spring term, the programme has so far engaged over 3,000 pupils from 17 schools, significantly enhancing their understanding of the events industry as a viable career path. The engagement numbers rose to a promising 65% average in pupils' awareness of the sector and career consideration post-presentation, up from an initial 2% pre-presentation.

Following this initial success, The Power of Events is set to expand the programme across additional regions in the UK, starting in the Autumn term in September 2024. Th

Rio Beach Party - Madonna put on a free concert in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night with throngs of fans flocking to see the pop idol on Brazil's Copacabana beach. "Rio, here we are in the most beautiful place in the world," she declared, as the performance got under way. The show was the final stop on the 65-year-old's Celebration Tour, celebrating her 40 years in music.

More than 1.6m fans were estimated to have attended the show. Crowds of fans were seen dancing along to Madonna's songs played from speakers on the stage, hours before the American superstar arrived. In what many have called a "historic" show, Madonna impressed the audience with multiple set and costume changes and light displays. The signer performed some of her greatest hits, including Nothing Really Matters, Like a Prayer and Vogue, and was joined on stage at o

Late Opening - Comedian Peter Kay and indie rock duo the Black Keys have rescheduled dates at the Manchester Co-op Arena due to the venue still not being “ready”. The £365m venue, which is meant to be the biggest indoor arena in the UK, was meant to open on Tuesday 23 April, with Kay set to perform an opening show. But the date has been pushed back several times amid safety problems and technical setbacks.

Writing to his fans on X on Friday, Kay said: “To everybody with tickets, my apologies once again but unfortunately the Co-op Live still isn’t ready and so, as yet, remains untested for a large-scale audience. Consequently, they are having to reschedule my two shows yet again (I know I can’t believe it either).”

On Monday the arena said that Kay's performances would take place on 29 and 30 April, but that has now been moved to 23 and 2

USA - ESTA’s Technical Standard Programme has announced seven documents now in public review. These documents, along with their respective public review forms and instructions, are available from the TSP’s Public Review Documents download page, found at Return the public review form, and any comments you may have, before the deadline shown.

BSR E1.31, Lightweight streaming protocol for transport of DMX using ACN

This draft is a revision of ANSI E1.31 – 2018, which describes a mechanism to transfer DMX512A packets over a TCP/IP network using a subset of the ACN protocol suite. It covers data format, data protocol, data addressing, and network management, including support for both IPv4 and IPv6. It also outlines a synchronization method to help ensure that multiple sinks can process this data concurren

Investment Opportunity - Industry body Creative UK has launched a general election manifesto urging the next government to treat the arts as an "investment opportunity, not a cost".

The Royal Shakespeare Company, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and London’s National Theatre are among the organisations quoted in the manifesto, which is entitled Our Creative Future. New funding models, advocacy for freelancers, intellectual property protection and protections for UK creatives in international trade deals are among the hallmarks of the manifesto’s "vision for the future" ahead of a general election later this year.

The manifesto calls for "radical new action" towards these aims, including greater access to creative education and the upholding of the UK’s "gold standard" IP protections for the cultural and creative industries "in the age of arti

UK - The recently announced Profile Awards have created much interest within the industry, with sponsorship take up for all the 16 Awards. The Headline Sponsor is Ayrton with the TV Awards being sponsored by ChamSys, ELP, LCR, Light Initiative, Roxxlight and Version 2 Lights. The Theatre Awards are sponsored by Chauvet, Elation, ETC, Fix8, GLP, TSL, SLX and Vari-Lite; the pre-show bar is sponsored by Ambersphere Solutions and the Goody Bags at the end of the evening are sponsored by JLL.

The Profile Awards have been created and are coordinated by Durham and Jennie Marenghi in association with the ABTT, the ALPD and the STLD; the Awards recognise lighting design excellence in theatre and television in the UK and the inaugural event will take place at the Alexandra Palace theatre on 6 June 2024.

Alongside eight specific Theatre awards and six TV awards

Europe - Two years ago, Shure announced aggressive goals to increase recyclable and/or renewable packaging for new products. The company has now revealed that it has achieved its goal to convert to 75% by 2023 and is on track to grow to 90% by 2025 and 100% by 2030 for new packaging. The goal for existing product packaging in 2025 is 75% recyclable and/or renewable.

As part of its continuous environmental improvement efforts, Shure is a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. With more than 1,500 different packaging pieces for a variety of different products, converting to sustainable packaging is a significant undertaking, especially for high-performance electronic equipment which is shipped to various locations globally to reach customers all over the world.

Key sustainable packaging initiatives include: Replacing thermoform trays with more

Seven Up - Sunset Boulevard was the big winner at this year’s Olivier Awards, equalling the record for the most prizes for a musical at the ceremony. Its seven wins included best musical revival and acting awards for its stars Nicole Scherzinger and Tom Francis, plus best lighting design for Jack Knowles and best sound design for Adam Fisher.

The musical’s seven wins means it ties with Cabaret, Matilda and Hamilton for the most trophies ever for a musical in a single night. The revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical was staged with a monochrome colour scheme and a minimalist set design. LSi’s current cover star, Sarah Snook, was also celebrated as Best Actress for her role in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Gender Pay Gap - The gender pay gap in the cultural sector has increased for the second year running and is now wider than the overall UK gender pay gap, latest figures reveal. Data published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last month shows an estimated gender pay gap of 15.2% in the cultural sector as of April 2023, up from 14.2% the previous year. This means that for every £1 men were paid, women were paid just under 85 pence.
This disparity is greater than the average gender pay gap for all employees in the UK, which stood at 14.2% as of April 2023. The culture sector includes performing arts, literature, visual arts, public broadcasting, museums and galleries, libraries and the visual arts. The data marks the second successive year of increase in the gender pay gap in these industries. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the gap increased by 3.1 percentage

Funding Cuts - West End stars and creatives including actors Beverley Knight and Sheridan Smith and playwright Jack Thorne have called for local arts funding to be protected, warning that "terrifying" cuts will be irreversible and damage services such as youth theatre. They join Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton, in speaking out about the importance of the arts – particularly at local level – in the face of swingeing cuts that have seen venues warn that they will have to scale back their operations.
In recent weeks, Nottingham City Council and Birmingham City Council have both announced 100% cuts to arts funding, following a previous cut to Suffolk County Council’s funding for the arts. The Nottingham Playhouse said: "The cut is approximately the same cost of running our Shine youth theatre groups or providing very low-cost and free tickets through our 50:50, HotHouse a

UK - This year, ALPD will again be awarding in three categories - Lighting Design, Production Electrics and Programming, with each of the prize bundles being tailored to the specific needs of that speciality.
The Lighting Design Award is by application. The candidates for the Fred Foster Production Electrician Award and the Anne Valentino Award for Excellence in Programming are by nomination. The ALPD encourages lighting professionals who work alongside a production electrician or programmer whom they consider to be exceptional and worthy of recognition, to nominate them. There are full details on the ALPD website (
The Michael Northen Award is sponsored by the Go Live Theatre Projects (previously the Mousetrap Foundation) Vectorworks and ETC. The winner of this award will receive a £500 voucher prize, a 512 ETC nomad package, a Vectorworks licence f

Australia - Andy Ciddor’s passionate and committed career in technology, production and live performance of over five decades came to an end on 30 March after taking advantage of Tasmania’s Voluntary Assisted Dying programme to end his struggle with stage-four bile duct cancer.
Starting in high school, out of frustration at the state of a school production his career spanned theatre, broadcast, production, teaching, consulting writing and editing – sharing his passion and mentoring the next generation of designers and technicians. He was followed into the industry by his brothers Jonathan and Braham and most recently, his daughter Rivka.
From working at GTV9 on productions like Hey Hey It’s Saturday and various tonight shows, he moved to Perth to join STW9 where he earned the title ‘Captain Kilowatt’. Andy’s teaching career began at the WA Academy

On The Campaign Trail - Leading arts organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic are joining together for a UK-wide campaign aimed at creating a “powerful sector voice” that will advocate for the industry and lobby for additional public funding to help struggling venues and companies.
Culture Makes...will run from May this year and throughout 2024, creating what its organisers have called "a bold new vision for the value and impact of culture and heritage in society and as a human right which urgently needs investment" in the run up to the next general election.
It has been developed by the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, with others that have already committed to being part of the campaign including 20 Stories High, An Tobar and Mull Theatre, Cardboard Citizens, Edinburgh International Festival, Javaad Alipoor Company, Lyric Theatre

Headliners - Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA will headline this year's Glastonbury Festival, organisers have announced. It marks the first time in the event's history that female acts have taken two of the three headline slots. Country star Shania Twain will play the coveted ‘legend slot’ on Sunday afternoon. The singer told BBC News she was "over the moon" to be taking part. "Everyone always talks about it being the pinnacle of festival slots," she said. "The only advice everyone gives me is to bring my wellies.”
Other acts on this year's line-up include Afrobeats star Burna Boy, who is taking his first stride onto the Pyramid Stage; and award-winning rapper Little Simz, who will play immediately before Coldplay. Thirteen-piece boyband Seventeen will become the first K-pop group to grace the main stage - an indication of how dominant the genre has become over the last five

UK - Thursday 11 July will see Backup Tech’s The Village Fete return to Daytona Sandown Park in Surrey for more fun and frivolity. So, dig out your best tweed and flowery dresses, dust off your cake recipes and get ready to purchase your tickets, which will go on sale at 9am on Monday 25 March for Backup’s Partners and at 9am on Wednesday 27 March for general sale.
“We had such great feedback about last year’s fete that we’re adding more fun and frivolity,” says Backup’s Lee Dennison. “Last year, we changed the whole look and feel of the day to make sure the Village Fete appealed to so many more people outside of the karting.
“This year, we’re building on the success of the fete by adding more fete stalls, a ‘Veg Off’ to complement our very successful ‘Bake Off’, bringing back the Lions Barbers Collective, The Straw Stage for live music an

Germany - Since 1999, Sommer cable has not only been soldering, but also making contacts. Despite the advancing digitalisation and further development of radio technologies, we still need cables and signal connectors in large quantities, be they analogue or digital. Cables still offer the highest signal transmission quality and data (interception) security.
Sommer Cable GmbH was founded in 1999 by Rainer Blanck and Friedhelm Sommer. Together with friends, cable specialist Pascal Miguet, musicians, sound people, electronic engineers and event specialists, they began to develop cables and connectors which became known for their sound quality and user-friendly design.
Today, Sommer Cable stands as a premier cable manufacturer, offering a comprehensive array of products spanning the audio, video, multimedia, broadcast, and hi-fi sectors.
"The foundation of our soluti

Capital News - London has topped a ranking of Europe’s best cities for a second year in a row, with its star spot underpinned by a number one rating for culture. The UK capital pipped Paris to first place on Resonance Consultancy’s list - while Nottingham, currently reeling from council arts cuts, placed 72nd for its "visionary local leadership" and "public spaces".
The 2024 Europe’s Best Cities report ranks the overall performance of metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents, according to various different metrics. Ranging from rental prices and cultural attractions to visitor numbers and green space, these metrics are analysed through three key considerations - liability, lovability and prosperity, with London ranking number one for each.
Manchester jumped six places on the 100-strong list, rising to number 27 in part for a "creative rebirth" attribut

On The Campaign Trail - The estate of Sinéad O'Connor has asked Donald Trump to stop using her music at his political rallies. Last month, Trump played O'Connor's best-known song Nothing Compares 2 U at a campaign event in Maryland. The singer's estate told BBC News it was "no exaggeration to say that Sinéad would have been disgusted, hurt, and insulted" by his use of her music.
A joint statement from O'Connor's estate and her longtime label Chrysalis Records said: "Throughout her life, it is well known that Sinéad O'Connor lived by a fierce moral code defined by honesty, kindness, fairness, and decency towards her fellow human beings. It was with outrage therefore that we learned that Donald Trump has been using her iconic performance of Nothing Compares 2 U at his political rallies.
"It is no exaggeration to say that Sinéad would have been di

UK - On Friday, 8 March 2024, Adlib is hosting an open day in celebration of International Women’s Day.
The open day is tailored for young women who are navigating their professional development journey. This year's theme, Inspire Inclusion, aims to provide insight into our industry through the perspectives and achievements of women already established within it.
The day will feature short film screenings and women-led panel discussions, in a relaxed and inclusive setting. Adlib’s experienced female staff members will be available throughout the event to engage in conversations and share their personal stories from the live events industry. Additionally, there will be practical equipment demonstrations led by Adlib engineers to highlight the available technology.
The event will follow a ‘trade show’ format, allowing attendees to come and go as they please

USA - EAW has welcomed Robert Scovill to the position of senior live sound market manager.
Scovill’s new role will be to work tightly with existing teams on product definition and positioning, in-person demos and trainings, as well as providing thought leadership. This will include refining and shaping all public-facing communication. These duties will include assisting with written product descriptions, as well as the listening and voicing of new and existing production-level audio systems. Scovill will drive the creation of educational how-to pieces on industry topics such as tuning and deploying large-scale ADAPTive systems, passive and active articulated systems and subwoofer arrays.
“We are excited to welcome Robert to the team - he brings decades of pro audio and live sound expertise to EAW and further demonstrates our commitment to being a leading loudspeak

Latest Issue. . .