Singapore - Content security provider Friend MTS has continued its recent expansion by opening a new office in Singapore.
The new office will serve the Asia Pacific region, providing sales and support services for customers throughout the territory. These teams will help rights holders, broadcasters, and OTT operators to enhance their content security and revenue protection strategies through the deployment of advanced, end-to-end content security solutions such as dynamic server blocking, large-scale monitoring, subscription and distribution-level watermarking and effective enforcement.
Friend MTS has continued to grow since the investment from North Edge in 2022 and has recently added many new senior staff to the team, including a CEO, and SVPs in sales and engineering roles. Additional resources have been added to the sales function in all territories, and the comp

Germany - The Rockharz Festival, originally started under the name Rock gegen Rechts (Rock against the Right), has constantly evolved and adopted new, important values: sustainability, environmental awareness, regionality, and inclusion.
At the beginning of July 2023, almost 24,000 music fans descended on the grounds of the Ballenstedt airfield for four days to enjoy the performances of Blind Guardian, In Flames, Arch Enemy, and many more for the festival’s 30th anniversary edition. To make this year’s Rochharz a great experience for all visitors, the organisers decided to use cable protectors from the Defender Midi 5 2D modular system.
"When it comes to accessibility, most people only think of wheelchair users," says Marco Spiller, chairman of Lebenshilfe Braunschweig and organiser of Rock in Rautheim, a metal festival that was awarded the Lower Saxony Inclusion

Finance for Growth - A £35m investment fund is aiming to grow the UK’s creative industries by £50bn and create one million extra jobs by 2030. The Creative Growth Finance II fund has been launched by membership organisation Creative UK and Triodos Bank to meet the targets set out in the government and Creative Industries Council’s recently published Sector Vision.
Creative Growth Finance II is the biggest single fund to be delivered by Creative UK and follows the first Creative Growth Finance fund, which launched in 2019 and has invested more than £17m into 30 creative businesses. Eligible companies in sectors including performing arts, music, architecture, design, film and TV, radio and audio, publishing, visual arts and video games, will be able to apply for loans of £100,000 to £1m to grow their businesses.
Caroline Norbury, chief executive of Creative UK,

UK - Music Support, the charity that provides help and support to anyone who works in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction, has announced a new partnership with The Christopher Meredith Foundation (CMF), enabling them to grow existing provisions and develop new programmes which support music industry peers and their loved ones.
The partnership includes funding which will contribute towards three key areas across three years:
Funding or part-funding qualifying beneficiaries to receive the treatment they need, including counselling, psychotherapy and residential addiction treatment.
Developing Music Support’s ‘Safe Hub’ backstage at festivals, a space where artists and crew can take time out or speak to a Mental Health First Aid trained individual. Thanks to the partnership, the charity has already run Safe Hubs this summer at

Bradford Calling - The UK's City of Culture 2025 is set to have a month-long event to celebrate its "rich and diverse" music scenes. Bradford Music Month in November will see concerts, workshops and other events across the district. Its team, made up of musicians, venue managers and record labels, hopes it will "entertain and engage" a range of communities through music. Promised highlights include a "bassline and bhangra sober rave" and a range of wellbeing-focused music workshops.
Further events are said to include public opera performances, world music showcases and opportunities for local musicians to receive funding and support to put on their own concerts. The full programme is set to be unveiled at the end of September.
The initiative, supported by Bradford Council, Bradford Producing Hub and Arts Council England, is being led by musician Sinead Campbell, QM Rec

Germany - With the Opus - German Stage Award, Prolight + Sound will once again honour outstanding productions that have created impressive shows through the innovative use of event technology. The award ceremony will take place at Prolight + Sound 2024 (19 to 22 March) in Frankfurt. Both participants and the audience can submit projects until 03 November 2023 at
"Although many large event companies are now generating high profits again, a significant part of our industry is dependent on subsidies. The Opus - German Stage Award sets a shining example for the creative power, innovation, courage and perseverance of all those involved in these challenging times - and pays tribute to those who pull the creative strings behind the stages," states Mira Wölfel, d

UK - The Nick Bache ABTT Cymru - Technician of the Year Award recognises the achievement of an individual who consistently delivers technical excellence.
Nick, who died earlier this year, had been technical and production manager at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre for 15 years.
This award is open to ABTT members and non-members alike working predominantly in Wales. The recipient will have usually pursued full employment in a backstage or production management role and they will have predominantly worked on the presentation of live performances in places of entertainment or on theatrical experiences in non-conventional spaces.
This award will be presented annually. The first award will be presented on 20 October at Aberystwyth Arts centre.

Concrete Crisis - St David’s Hall in Cardiff has closed temporarily to carry out checks on potentially dangerous concrete in the venue. The venue had initially said it was safe to remain open, despite the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) panels in the building.
However, Cardiff Council said in a statement that it was now closing the venue “in light of the recent change to advice on RAAC in public buildings issued by the Health and Safety Executive and following further discussions with the council’s appointed independent structural engineers, and the council’s insurers”.
“The council has been aware of RAAC in St David’s Hall and the need to manage it from a health and safety viewpoint since 2021, and it has always followed government guidelines and advice to ensure the building was safe,” it said. It added: “A building managem

UK - In step with the welcome return of the British summer, PLASA Show made a triumphant return to the Grand Hall of Olympia London from 3-5 September, spanning a third more floor space with a striking 28% increase in visitors.
Lee House, operations director for Ambersphere Solutions, says: “I was struck by a sense of nostalgia and excitement - PLASA Show has made a triumphant return! The hall was bustling with a diverse array of exhibitors and, most importantly, visitors who were eager to engage in meaningful conversations about their technological needs for the present and future. It was a jam-packed, unforgettable three days that left us eagerly anticipating what next year will bring."
Tom Mowat, hire account manager for Encore, concurs: “PLASA Show 2023 was absolutely incredible. It was fantastic to see the whole of the hall used by exhibitors. The attendance a

Building Concerns - The Royal and Derngate theatre in Northampton has closed for the rest of the month following the “unfortunate discovery” of RAA concrete in its infrastructure. It makes the venue the first major theatre to be impacted by the crisis involving reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which was used to build schools and other buildings between the 1950s and mid-1990s.
The government has described the concrete as “a lightweight form of concrete”. The concrete has since been found to be at risk of collapse, with schools across the UK having to close because of the potential danger. In a statement, the Royal and Derngate said: “Due to the unfortunate discovery of RAA Concrete in our buildings, Royal and Derngate is temporarily closed. During this closure period, entry to the building is prohibited, and all performances and events during Septembe

UK - Le Mark Group is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. It all began in September 1983 in the kitchen and garage of the family home in Alconbury, supplying a range of self-adhesive tapes to the Arts Entertainment TV and Movie industry. The company was run by Stuart and his ex-wife Linda Gibbons as joint MDs.
The company grew and evolved, moving several times until finally settling in their current location at Houghton Hill Industries.
By the 1990s the product range had grown to include custom, and award-winning products, such as their much sought after dance floors. The familiar 90s TV shows such as; BBC TV’s Top of the Pops, Morecambe & Wise, Play Your Cards Right - all used Le Mark flooring.
Blankety Blank termed the phrase “a shiny floor show’ using Le Mark’s Studiotak peel clean stage floor covering.
The comp

UK - Backup is once again the lead charity on the #WeMakeEvents Support Hub at this year's PLASA Show. The #WeMakeEvents Support Hub brings together multiple charities and organisations that have been playing an integral part in supporting the industry.
The team will be on Stand A80 (part of the #WeMakeEvents Hub) to offer support, raise awareness of mental health and help remove the stigma that surrounds it. Trained mental health first aiders from Backup and Music Support will be on hand to provide advice and information for anyone who wants to talk, either for themselves or for someone they want to signpost to get industry help, throughout the show, with PLASA also bringing in EventWell to provide a specific Wellbeing and Safe Space for anyone who needs immediate help at the show.
On Monday 4 September at 11.30am in Seminar Theatre 3, Backup will also host a session

UK - When Birmingham Festival 2023 took place from 28 July - 6 August to mark the one-year anniversary of the Commonwealth Games, JA Productions (JAP) delivered all event, site and operations management on behalf of organiser Birmingham City Council.
Building on the Commonwealth Games’ legacy, a cultural programme of entertainment was curated by JAP’s programme partner Opus with tens of thousands coming to Birmingham’s Centenary Square to enjoy local and international art, culture and entertainment.
A key consideration during both the planning and delivery phase was minimising the event’s environmental impact. JAP set out a sustainability strategy for Birmingham 2023 that took its own plan and objectives, along with the findings post Commonwealth Games into account.
Sustainability goals set for the event included a clear commitment and ownership from its

UK - ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group) and Preevue have announced the expansion of their View from Seat service to all UK ATG venues.
Following the successful implementation of the feature at select shows, including Moulin Rouge! The Musical at London's Piccadilly Theatre, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, ATG will now roll out this feature across all its UK venues. This service provides ATG customers with the ability to preview the exact view from each seat in every venue during the booking process, enriching the theatre-going experience overall.
Preevue's digital twins (3D models of ATG’s venues) are used to power the View from Seat system. The company’s experts utilise LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) laser scan data of the venues, accurate down to millimetres, to construct detailed 3D models of

Noises Off - Police escorted four theatregoers out of Grease the Musical in the West End after causing a disturbance. The audience members were removed from the Dominion Theatre during the evening performance of the musical, which stars Peter Andre and Jason Donovan, on 26 August.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Shortly before 8.40pm on Saturday, August 26, police received reports of two men and two women causing a disturbance at a theatre in Tottenham Court Road. Officers attended and the group were escorted from the premises." The spokesperson added that there were no arrests and no injuries reported.
A theatregoer told Sky News that the four audience members had reportedly been "rude and abusive" on the balcony but allegedly refused to leave after being spoken to by staff.
Classic Tracks - Classical music is set to be played at

UK - Global Motion, specialists in logistics solutions for live touring and entertainment, has furthered its commitment to educational practices by partnering with Music Managers Forum (MMF) to support existing and next generation music managers.
Founded in May 2003, Global Motion has supplied air, sea and road freight services, freight charters, hand carry, storage and ATA carnets to some of music’s biggest names - and up-and-coming talent - through the world’s most challenging territories.
Current and future music managers can now benefit from this experience through Global Motion’s newly announced partnership with the Music Managers Forum (MMF).
Founded in 1992, MMF works to educate, inform and represent UK managers, by supporting professional development, creating and highlighting opportunities to develop and grow business and advocating for a fairer mu

Brit School North - Plans to base a northern version of London's renowned Brit School in Bradford have been given the go-ahead by the government. The new Brit School North will be free to attend for 500 pupils aged 16 to 19. It will offer courses in dance, music and theatre.
The original Brit School in Croydon, south London, opened its doors in 1991 and has helped launch the careers of stars including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Tom Holland and Jessie J. The concept is backed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and graduates at the London school have collectively sold more than 250m albums and won 15 Brit awards over the past three decades.
Announcing that the BPI's plans had been approved, the government said the school will be supported by large music industry firms like Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK. No start date is being giv

UK - Backup has announced well-known industry figure, Koy Neminathan, as a new trustee of the organisation and head of its Ambassador Programme.
Koy, who is business development director at Elation Professional and PLASA manufacturer’s representative, is no stranger to the demands and pressures of the live entertainment industry. Following the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw the very real challenges the industry faced, and vowed to put the needs of others before himself.
“I felt like helping others was what had to be done, it was such an important thing for me,” says Koy. “You’ve got to help those who can’t always help themselves and, particularly during the pandemic, I felt it was imperative to do what I could to support our industry at a time where people were struggling in so many ways and mental health became a massive issue - people were suffer

Studio Sale - The BBC's historic Maida Vale studios, which have hosted sessions by stars ranging from The Beatles to Adele, have been sold to a group led by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer, who wrote the scores for films like The Lion King and Dune, has teamed up with Love Actually and Cats movie producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
The BBC said the complex would remain a "centre for pioneering music-making". It was valued at about £10m but the BBC did not disclose the purchase price. Built in 1909 as Britain's largest indoor roller-skating rink, the north-west London building was bought by the BBC in 1933. It is home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has hosted the world's biggest rock and pop stars - from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead and Jay-Z to Little Mix.
It also played host to John Peel's famous Radio 1 sessions and the

UK - Voting is now in process for this year’s Gottelier Award, which has received a record number of nominees. Named in memory of renowned industry innovator and commentator Tony Gottelier, this special award recognises the invaluable contributions of the people behind the products.
LSi readers, pre-registered PLASA Show visitors and PLASA members are eligible to vote for the Gottelier Award. The recipient of the award will be announced during the PLASA Awards for Innovation ceremony at PLASA Show on Monday 4 September. The nominees for the 2023 Gottelier Award are:
Mark Ager - XM Automation
Mark’s influence over the past 40 years has been intrinsic in creating and defining the theatre automation industry as we know it today. Known by some as the father of automation, he co-founded and managed Stage Technologies (STL) which developed many of

Backstage Upgrade - The National Theatre has submitted a planning application to bring some of its backstage departments - which have been largely unaltered since the 1970s - up-to-date and ensure they meet current health and safety requirements.
Submitted to Lambeth Council by architects and designers Tom Wilson Studio, the plans outline refurbishments to support the modernisation of the NT’s back-of-house facilities, including its textiles studio, costume and prop workshop, wig, hair and make-up department and laundry room, located on the building’s fifth floor.
According to the planning application, the fifth-floor production facilities have been "largely untouched since the 1970s and no longer support the working requirements and practices expected of a modern theatre, and in some cases are non-compliant with current health and safety executive guidelines for

UK - Following on from a record-breaking BikeFest in Spain earlier this year, the #WeMakeEvents fundraising bike ride returns to London this September to raise money for industry charities Backup Tech, Music Support and Stagehand – and the team is calling for new recruits.
Since being spearheaded by PLASA and Backup seven years ago, BikeFest has grown into a popular industry event, taking place in Spain and the UK each year in the lead up to ISE in Barcelona and PLASA Show in London respectively. Each BikeFest event raises thousands for industry charities, with BikeFest Spain 2023 raising an incredible £50,000, helping industry professionals suffering with ill health or financial hardship.
And soon the BikeFest London team will be back in the saddle, ready to cycle up to 80 miles on Saturday 2 September, in time for PLASA Show at Olympia London from 3-5 September. T

UK - SLX has announced its partnership with Wilderkind, an organisation that is dedicated to accelerating nature recovery in Great Britain through rewilding. The collaboration aligns with SLX’s commitment to sustainability and to having a positive impact on the environment and local community.
Founded in April 2023 Wilderkind collaborates with businesses in South West England to combat biodiversity loss, prevent ecosystem collapse, and foster climate resilience.
SLX has been on a journey to evolve its business to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. Following the release of its Impact Report earlier this year, and the announcement of attaining a B-Corporation status, this new partnership exemplifies SLX's commitment to making a visible environmental impact and aligning with the core values of its B-Corp certification.
Under the leadership of

Las Vegas Bound - Kylie Minogue is going to Las Vegas. The singer has announced her first exclusive residency in Sin City, following in the footsteps of Adele and Celine Dion. She has not toured in North America since 2011, so her shows at the Voltaire nightclub at The Venetian in Las Vegas will be a major US return.
Minogue has promised extravagant costumes and dances, saying that at this point in her career she has "earned the right to" play Las Vegas. "I've performed a couple of times at Vegas, but as part of a tour, and particularly when I did the Showgirl tour in 2004 - at that time we said, 'oh, this feels like a Vegas show', the Australian pop star said at a Los Angeles news conference.
The show will be based in a smaller venue that allows Minogue to give guests and fans a more personal show. "I want it to be the kind of essence of what a Kylie show has b

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