USA - Automated lighting manufacturer High End Systems has announced a new global sales team for 2016. With a potent mixture of experienced industry personnel and newer talent, the company is in their best position to date to support the company's wide range of lighting and control products on a global level.

Leading the 2016 High End Systems sales team is general manager Chris Ferrante, joined by HES veterans Jeff Pelzl (APAC/Oceania regional sales manager), Sean Hoey (Eastern US regional sales manager), Bobby Hale (director of fixed installations) and sales administration manager Betsy Childers.

Rounding out the new sales force are Paul Hancock (Central US regional sales manager), Noel Garcia (Latin America regional sales manager), Ruediger Haeming (Western US regional sales manager) and Scott Kinnebrew (Eastern US technical sales manager) and Shayla Johnson (inside sales)

UAE - Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC, has appointed Denis Bramhall as its new managing partner. Denis, who has been with Unusual Rigging for 15 years, will be taking over from Alan Thomson, who is retiring after nearly eight years in the region. The appointment will become effective early in the second quarter of 2016.

Denis joined Unusual in 2000 from Tomcat, as operations manager, taking on the role of general manager in 2014. Based at the company's Northamptonshire headquarters in the UK, he has overseen the company's expansion, including the opening of a new 1200sqm facility in Autumn 2015.

Denis said, "The decision to take the job in Dubai was not an easy one; the work Unusual Rigging does in the UK is inspiring and it's been my pleasure to work for a company that is held in such high regard across the industry. From production managers to museum curators, eve

Star Tribute - The life of David Bowie was celebrated with a tribute concert at a London chapel. Hundreds of fans packed out Islington's Grade I-listed Union Chapel to pay homage to the musician who died of cancer on 10 January. The service saw an eclectic mix of artists, including the Magic Numbers and ex-Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, perform the star's music.

Fans filled the small north London chapel as Bowie's best-known tunes, played by an organ, echoed around the hall. A huge screen showed images of the star in his many guises, before the part gig, part remembrance service kicked off with a rousing mass sing-along of Starman. Maggie Ronson, sister of late Bowie guitarist and collaborator Mick Ronson, was joined by The Featherz to sing Ziggy Stardust, paying tribute to Bowie's "massive influence".

Black January - A month of depressing n

Europe - The European Intellitix team attended the company's Europe 2016 conference in Groningen, NL, earlier this month, before attending Eurosonic Nooderslag.

Eric Janssen, Intellitix chief revenue officer, operating from the company's global head office chaired the three-day meeting, with a full day of product overview and software updates imparted by the company's chief product officer, Barna Jardany. Attending were representatives from the UK, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, with colleagues from Canada and Brazil.

Adding to operations manager Carl AH Martin's experience working across the European live events and venues sectors in the UK are Gavin Barnard, director of partnerships (UK Intellitix) and Gareth Deakin, director of business development (UK Intellitix). Gavin's eight years combined digital a

USA - VER, the global provider of production equipment and engineering support, announced that it has acquired the business of DPS Inc., a production services company. In a sale ordered by the bankruptcy court, VER acquired more than half of the company's lighting and film equipment, nearly all of its audio, video, and rigging equipment, its 70,000sq.ft facility near Burbank, CA and retained nearly half of the company's employees.

VER is already consolidating its rapidly growing, industry-recognized lighting division at DPS's former location. The new VER Light Lab is being expanded to create the most significant facility in Southern California, enabling clients to design, test, and prep systems in real time, supported by the VER engineering team, enabling even more creative solutions and a streamlined programming and design process.

VER will invest further to enhance the alr

UK - Lex Products, has expanded its EverGrip line of cable assemblies to bring breakthrough technology and innovation to CEE extensions.

To help resolve the long-time industry problems of loosened screw terminals, damaged housings and ineffective cable strain reliefs, Lex Products has developed the new EverGrip Moulded CEE Extension, the first-ever over-moulded CEE cable extension.

The Evergrip Moulded CEE extensions feature a UV stabilized mould material to prevent degradation of housing when used outdoors, ergonomic hand grip to provide a firm gripping surface for easy connector mating and un-mating and integrated tie loop hole for ease of storage or rigging.

Available in single phase 16 amp and single/three phase 32 Amp PCE plugs and sockets with Titanex HO7 cable, the extensions are offered under a three year limited warranty. Personalised company logos moulded into t

UK - On 21 January 2016, as it welcomed members of the industry to its Embassy Theatre for the annual Association of Lighting Designer's (ALD) New Technology Showcase, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was delighted to announce the establishment of the Richard Pilbrow Scholarship.

With special thanks to alumnus and renowned lighting designer Richard Pilbrow for his generosity, the Richard Pilbrow Scholarship will support a young lighting designer at the School as they undertake the training necessary to embark upon their professional career.

Richard Pilbrow is both a graduate and an Honorary Fellow of Central, as well as an internationally renowned stage lighting designer, author, theatre design consultant and theatre, film and television producer. He is a pioneer of modern stage lighting in Britain, and his work has been seen in London, New York, Paris, Berlin, V

UK - The Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) 2016 has launched and submissions are already coming in for its Television and Concert Touring and Events categories.

This year marks the 9th KOI Awards, which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK in the sectors of TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events.

The 2016 edition will see the event moved from its usual date in early October to the 18th September to coincide with the PLASA London 2016 exhibition. The venue for the sparkling awards ceremony and dinner has also moved to join the PLASA show at its new location of Kensington Olympia.

Submissions are open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016 in the UK are eligible. As with previous years the Theatre sectio

Independents' Days - This week, the UK music industry celebrates the third Independent Venue Week (IVW) with a week-long series of gigs all across the country. Led by London-based agency I Like The Sound of That, the seven-day long campaign is supported by the Arts Council through its Grants for the Arts funding programme. Its reach is expanding with 120 venues now taking part, from Aberdeen to Exeter and Belfast to Norwich. Among venues joining this year are Quay Arts (Isle of Wight), The Soundhouse (Leicester) and Nambucca (north London).

Helen Sprott, director of music at Arts Council England, says, "Arts Council England is pleased to be supporting I Like The Sound of That and their brilliant Independent Venue Week project for the second year running. It is vital that independent venues are recognised for the value they bring both to their local communities and the nati

USA - Shure Incorporated announced yesterday with great sadness the passing of their chairman, Rose L. Shure. Mrs. Shure passed away peacefully at her home.

A company statement said, "For more than 60 years, Mrs. Shure has served as an inspiration to all Shure Associates, past and present. She was a role model for Shure's Core Values and basic principles, created by her husband and company founder, Sidney N. Shure, that have guided the company.

"The welfare of Shure and its associates was her highest priority. Business integrity, respect, and fair treatment for all were her motivators. She provided a work environment that inspired creativity, fostered pride in making products of the highest quality, and encouraged all Shure associates to reach their personal potential."

Sandy LaMantia, Shure's Chief Executive Officer stated, "We have had the privilege

UK - Behind the Scenes UK Golf Day will take place on 13 April at The Drift Golf Course in West Horsley, Surrey. This extremely popular event to raise funds for the charity is almost sold out so register your team now and don't miss out. Teams already signed up include Autograph, Crewsaders, Creative Technology, Delta Sound, Media Lease, Meyer Sound, Shure, Stage Technologies/Tait, White Light, and Wonder Works.

"We have a fantastic day planned based around a very competitive 18-hole team game. Bring your best shots for a day of fun, food, networking, competition and fund raising for the industry's charity. Once the golf is done, we roll into evening with a BBQ, raffles, prizes and the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues. Set in the beautiful surroundings of The Drift Golf Club, this is the only BTS golf day for 2016 so make sure you are registered with your tea

UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd.'s dedicated new film & TV sales division will be showcasing the latest lighting, control, grip and associated technologies from leading brands in the company's extensive portfolio - including Chroma-Q, Jands, Fiilex, Mole-Richardson, Manfrotto, Avenger, Spotlight and LumenRadio - at the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC) Expo 2016 tradeshow, Battersea Evolution, London, on 29-30 January (stand 213).

Drawing on the company's many years of experience supplying to this sector, the new division was formed to offer a comprehensive one-stop inventory of lighting and related equipment solutions for film, television, studio and location applications. A.C. Film & TV's range of key brands - many of them exclusive to AC-ET in the UK - have been selected for their class-leading performance and expertise in this market. The portfolio

UK - TSG Policing has recruited former Avon & Somerset and Metropolitan Police Superintendent, Kevin Instance, as a task commander.

Kevin Instance was a Gold and Silver firearms and public or-der commander. He oversaw policing at the likes of international cricket matches, Glastonbury Festival and Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, as well as leading the UK police delegation for England football matches overseas.

In his role with TSG, Instance is tasked with assessing risk and making sure the right resources from the company are properly deployed at events.

David Boswell, managing director at TSG Policing, says, "Kevin's wealth of experience as a senior police officer, looking at event safety, assessing safety officers and stewards and raising standards, is an absolute fit with TSG. I'm delighted to have him on the team."

(Jim Evans)

UK - The British Safety Council's International Safety Awards recognise and celebrate organisations who have demonstrated a real commitment to protecting their workers from the risk of injury and ill health during the 2015 calendar year. The deadline for submission has been extends until 15 February.

These awards are open to organisations of all types, sizes and sectors in the UK and internationally - both members of the British Safety Council and non-members - and are independently adjudicated. What's more is that these awards help promote the social, economic and business benefits of employers maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for all.

Mike Robinson, chief executive of the British Safety Council, said, "Winning an International Safety Award enables organisations to share their achievement with their employees, clients, contractors, local community and

UK - Award-winning acoustics and theatre consultants, Sound Space Design and Anne Minors Performance Consultants have combined to form Sound Space Vision. The move formalises their long-standing working relationship and will continue to build on their success in performance, education and assembly spaces, as well as broadening their reach within the built environment.

Sound Space Vision enhances the rapport between performers and audiences, combining excellent spatial and technical design by AMPC with superb acoustics from SSD. Popular with audiences and operators, their performance environments are held in high esteem by artists. The creative, dynamic team includes specialists in acoustics, lighting, sound, stage engineering and audio-visual design to provide a complete acoustics and theatre consultancy service that touches all the senses.

Anne Minors Performance Consultant

On The Campaign Trail - Adele has issued a statement to distance herself from Donald Trump, after he used her music at his rallies. The Republican presidential candidate, whose slogan is "Make America great again", has recently been playing Adele's hit Rolling In The Deep as his "warm-up" music. "Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," her spokesman confirmed.

It is not the first time Trump has been criticised for appropriating pop songs. Lawyers for Aerosmith star Steven Tyler sent Trump's campaign a cease-and-desist letter last year, after the politician played the band's hit single Dream On at numerous rallies around the US.

Politicians using songs by musicians who do not support them has been a thorny issue for decades, since Bruce Springsteen castigated President Reagan for plann

UK - Backstage Academy has seen several new appointments over the past few months, gearing them up for the next phase in their expansion, application for university titleship, and to meet the needs of greater student numbers.

Managing director Paul Barton has been working in the events industry since he was 15 in a wide variety of sectors ranging from events structures to production, site management and sponsorship across Europe, the UAE and Southern Africa. Paul's last industry post was with GL Events as site manager for London's 2012 Olympic Rowing and Canoeing events at Eton Dorney. Paul's career in education started in 2008 at the University of Exeter where he launched the first Events Management module in any Russell Group university, building it from 35 students to 350.

Associate dean, Paul Walters has 15 years' experience in Higher Education with a focus on the event

South Africa - A 'Fall Arrest & Basic Rescue' course will be hosted at DWR Distribution from 22-24 February 2016. This will be of interest to riggers and technicians, tower climbers, workers on elevated platforms and site managers - any person who may share in conducting a possible rescue, the company says.

The three day course has been approved by SETA, SAQA, DOL, Eskom, Vodacom, Cell C, MTN, MSN, Huawei Technologies Africa, ZTE, Anglo Coal & Platinum and Exxaro. Delegates who pass this course will receive a certificate valid for three years.

Delegate requirements include: A certified copy of ID document; Valid Medical Certificate stating fitness for work at height (valid for at least 3 months from training date); Learners must be proficient in English Reading and writing, up to the level of Grade 10; Delegates are welcome to bring their own harnesses and rigging gear.


UK - Blinding Light, the corporate and event lighting specialist has announced that following the company's success and significant growth in 2015, it has now completed a move to new larger premises.

Consisting of over 20,000sq.ft, the new facility has warehouse space to provide ample storage to support the company's expanded inventory and growth for the future. There will also be dedicated prep & pre-production spaces for incoming crews to oversee and prepare larger shows prior to despatch to site, plus a dedicated space to allow clients to hold production meetings.

The new facility is set within a large secure compound with several loading bays and storage for multiple trucks. The expansion will also result in further growth of the Blinding Light team, with a number of new warehouse technicians coming on board to support the additional workload. The new site is well locate

UK - One of world's largest temporary power generation companies was recently (25 January 2016) fined a total of £36,000 for failing to ensure that workers were not exposed to risk. The company, Aggreko PLC, appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to two charges, one under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the other under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. They also agreed to pay the Royal Borough's costs of £90,000.

The charges followed an electrical incident where a man suffered electrical burns during the fitting out of the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Aggreko PLC had been appointed as the main contractor to provide a temporary electricity supply to the Exhibition Centre which was to host the Olympic volleyball tournament.

In order to carry out this work the company engaged a numb

UK - Central Theatre Supplies has announced the appointment of Jo Beaumont-Ward to their management team. Jo formally of Lancelyn Theatre Supplies (now National Stage Technology) and Stage Electrics, had taken a health break from work but is delighted to be back working within the industry.

"Jo has 25 years' industry experience and we welcome both her technical and management skills," said David Harwood of CTS. "We are looking to drive the company forward and face the challenges ahead and her dedication to supporting the education and amateur sector fits well with our company's position in the market."

In addition to her office based managerial role, Jo will continue to design projects and be actively involved with the installation aspect of the business. Jo said, "It is a very competitive market at the moment and we need to change with the times, I

UK - PRG XL Video has announced that Rob Brown has joined their corporate team, as a senior account manager, based at the company's Hemel Hempstead location.

Brown has more than 14 years' experience in the AV and technical industries, working with 360? production companies, mostly in the financial sector. He now brings his expertise to PRG XL Video, to help the Corporate team better serve multi-discipline event production agencies and their end clients.

He comments, "I'm delighted to join the team at PRG XL Video at such an exciting time in their history. With PRG and XL Video coming together, now is the ideal time for someone with my expertise to join them. I look forward to helping the team expand their technical knowledge into more 360? events."

On a day to day basis, Brown will report to Guy Vellacott, head of PRG XL Video's corporate events business.


UK - The Theatres Trust reports that five small theatres in London will benefit from the first round of its new London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, made possible through a donation from the Mackintosh Foundation.

The five successful projects are:

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) in Wandsworth is awarded £5,000 to replace their temporary wheelchair ramp leading to the café / bar and first floor performance space with a new permanent ramp. This improves access to BAC and contributes to the major Haworth Tompkins-led BAC capital redevelopment and restoration project.

Bush Theatre in Hammersmith & Fulham is awarded £5,000 to repair the pitched roofs and dormer windows of their former Old Library building. These repairs help to maintain the condition of this locally listed theatre's façade.

The Cockpit in Camden is awarded £5,000 to repair their leaky

USA - Technical Productions, Inc. has added award-winning lighting/set/production designer Seth Jackson as a full time member of its executive creative team.

"This is a huge step forward for both of us, and we're both able to service our existing and potential clients better because of this synergy," says Michael O'Keefe, CEO of Technical Productions Inc. (TPI). "For Seth, he has better facilities at his disposal and the support of a full service office. And TPI gains full-time access to his design talent - Seth is absolutely one of the most creative designers working today."

This merger comes at an opportune time for both. "TPI is expanding in a lot of new areas, and we need what Seth brings to the table on a daily basis, from conceptual ideas to final design," he says. "At the same time, Seth found himself increasingly in demand and spend

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