General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Eurovision - The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the UK next year after show organisers decided it could not be held in the winning country, Ukraine. The ongoing war following February's Russian invasion prompted the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to look for an alternative host.
The UK's Sam Ryder came second this year, which prompted the EBU to open talks with the BBC last month. Several UK cities have already expressed interest in hosting. The UK has a number of places with suitable arenas, accommodation and international transport links, with London, Sheffield and Manchester already confirming that they will put in an official bid.
The bidding process to decide which city will host will begin this week. The BBC and the The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will consider all official approaches and will publish the longlist later this summer.
"We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us," said Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of Ukraine's public broadcaster, UA:PBC.
Soho News - The West End's first new large-scale theatre in 50 years is set to open in the autumn. @sohoplace is located on the first newly-named street created in Soho for 72 years, also called Soho Place. The theatre is part of a £300m regeneration project in the area which will see offices, retail space and a new piazza built.
Owner Nica Burns called the 12-year project an "affirmation of faith" in the industry. The first production expected to be announced soon will be a play, she said. @sohoplace will feature a 602-seat auditoriu

diversityUK Music workforce diversity survey deadline set
Wednesday, 20 July 2022

UK - The UK Music workforce diversity survey tracks progress to boost diversity and inclusion in the UK’s music industry. This survey focuses on those who work behind the scenes in the industry, rather than those who are on stage. The final date for completed forms to be included is 8 August.
Led by UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, the survey collates data from across the music business including studios, management agencies, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.
Launched in 2016, the findings of the survey give the music industry, Government and other stakeholders a critical insight into where improvements are needed regarding diversity and inclusion – and highlights where positive change is already under way.
The survey takes place every two years and UK Music will publish the results of the survey later this year as part of a report.
Forms can be found at
Last year’s report found:
The proportion of women increased from 45.3% in 2016 to new high of 49.6% in 2020.
The number of people from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities at entry-level rises from 23.2% in 2018 to new high of 34.6% in 2020.
The number of women in the 45-64 age group drops from 38.7% in 2018 to 35% in 2020.
Representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities at senior executive levels rises from 17.9% in 2018 to new high of 19.9% – but that means they fill just one in five senior

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Red Tape - The government should appoint a touring ‘tsar’ to unravel the red tape facing British musicians in Europe, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said. They would need to tackle the soaring costs of obtaining visas and transporting instruments that bands have encountered since Brexit. Some orchestras face bills of £5,000 every time they play abroad, said the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. It added the industry faced a "crisis" that required "urgent" action.
The call came in a major report into the state of touring post-Brexit, that warned musicians and their crew were "facing more costs, more complications and getting fewer opportunities" since the UK left the EU at the end of January 2020. "It's over two years since Brexit, yet there is still a mountain of red tape," said Labour MP Kevin Brennan, who chairs the all-party group. "Ultimately, it's a self-inflicted wound that doesn't have to be there."
In response, a spokesperson said the government was "supporting the UK's brilliant musicians to adapt to the new arrangements and make touring easier".
Mandarin Musical - The Phantom of the Opera is to be performed in Mandarin for the first time when it opens in China in 2023. Since it premiered in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical has been performed in 183 cities around the world in 17 languages. Presented by SMG Live, the Mandarin language production will be co-created by the Really Useful Group, which is the producer of The Phantom world tour, and Troika Entertainment.
SMG Live and the Really

btsboutiqueBTS addresses alcohol and substance misuse
Monday, 18 July 2022

USA - In a 2019 survey of entertainment industry workers, over 40% of respondents said they had experienced alcohol or substance misuse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiety, fear, uncertainty, stress, and isolation experienced by so many in our industry significantly increased those numbers. Many of us saw ourselves or colleagues, friends, or family members turn to substances as a way to cope with the disruption in our lives. Many found recovery difficult to sustain.
Along with significantly increased usage comes increased overdoses. Deaths due to overdoses have spiked during the pandemic, primarily driven by opioids. Over 93,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in 2020 – the highest on record and nearly a 30% increase over 2019.
The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced the launch of a website to provide resources for industry professionals to answer questions about alcohol and substance use. It offers information about how to spot the signs of misuse in yourself or others and the potential long-term effects. There is practical guidance on getting help for yourself as well as how you can respond if you are concerned about a co-worker or friend. It also addresses situations where you may be concerned about someone you report to or someone who reports to you. There are also links to a variety of resources.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, you don’t have to feel alone. Just as an industry we work collaboratively to create our magic, we are all in this fight together. There are m

tony-jackonNominations open for Stephen Joseph Award
Friday, 15 July 2022

UK - To mark the centenary year of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the Stephen Joseph Committee of the ABTT last year established a new Award to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius.
Following the success of the competition in 2021, the Award will again be offered in 2022 as an ongoing tribute to Stephen’s contribution to theatre culture.
Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence. His pioneering work has given rise to the myriad forms of theatre and open staging that are commonly used today. At the heart of his practice was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre in the round as a legitimate form of theatre in the U.K.
This award was created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which still informs many aspects of theatre practice. The Stephen Joseph Award, in recognising inclusive theatre excellence in the present, was conceived to best reflect and promote that legacy.
The recipient of the Award will be a living individual or a twenty-first century company or a non-conventional performance environment whose work will have exemplified a creative and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.
The award is open to work produced or environments created in the UK. Submissions should include evi

gillettejenniferBehind the Scenes reveals 2022 Holiday Cards
Wednesday, 13 July 2022

USA - The 2022 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards are now on sale at the BTS Boutique. This year’s collection features a mix of seven different designs created especially for the charity by Phil Foster, Jennifer Gillette, Robert Mendoza, Nancy Orr, Todd Potter and Lauren Press.
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 $20.
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.
Orders for printed cards will be taken until 27 September, 2022 to arrive by late November. Electronic card orders will be taken until 16 December. View and order cards at

mfhaBackup launches mental health first aider logo
Wednesday, 13 July 2022

UK - Following in the footsteps of other industries that have taken steps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, Backup has created an industry specific mental health first aider logo to help signpost people in need of support on a production, raise awareness and promote discussion around the subject of mental health in our industry.
Backup’s goal is to ensure that in every crew there is at least one trained mental health first aider crew member for every 20 crew members. “We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts,” says Backup vice chair, Piers Shepperd. “We hope this logo will become a recognised standard on shows, events and in our industry workplaces, helping to destigmatise mental health issues and make our industry a happier, healthier place to work.”
Backup, in conjunction with industry leading MHFA course providers Music Support and the ABTT, will be providing the logo pack to all attendees of courses going forward. If you have previously attended the course via one of the afore mentioned providers, then please contact your relevant course provider for the logo pack.
If, as individual, you have attended an MHFA course from a provider outside of the industry, please contact Backup who will verify (MHFA England certified*) and send you the logo pack.
“Music Support is proud to be a preferred training provider working in partnership to support this much needed initiative for our industry,” says Eric Mtungwazi, chief executive, Music

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Theatre Funding - York Theatre Royal and Northern Stage are among 10 venues to be awarded funding from the Theatres Trust’s small grants programme. Through a partnership with The Linbury Trust, the Theatres Trust is awarding £49,476 to support 10 UK not-for-profit theatres with funding that will allow them to make repairs and improvements, enhance accessibility, and improve sustainability measures and facilities.
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust said: "The wide array of projects funded this round show the many challenges that theatres continue to face. We are pleased to be able to help these theatres with projects that protect future use, remove barriers to participation and attendance, and make them more welcoming spaces."
The funding will allow the York Theatre Royal to buy equipment to capture immersive recordings of live performances and will deliver them using virtual reality technology. South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell, Malvern Cube Community and Arts Centre and the Space on the Isle of Dogs have all been awarded funding to improve front-of-house accessibility for audiences, with the Y Theatre in Leicester using the funding to address accessibility issues for performers and crew backstage.
Fringe Matters - Producers and venues have warned of the increasing barriers international artists are facing at Edinburgh Fringe, with some reporting a significant decline in overseas work at the 2022 festival. There has been a particular decline in work from countries where Covid restrictions are still in place, including China, wi

theatre-projectsChris Smith and Ashley Keen join Theatre Projects
Tuesday, 12 July 2022

USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of two new full-time staff members to their team. Chris Smith joins the firm as the marketing and content manager and Ashley Keen joins their strategic planning team as a senior consultant. Both bring significant expertise in their respective fields, have backgrounds in the performing arts.
Chris joins the company’s New York office to lead marketing and PR efforts. Over the past decade and a half, Chris has worked with a wide array of non-profit organizations in Chicago, Texas, and Oregon. His experience includes content creation, digital communication, writing, brand and marketing strategy, and data analysis. Prior to Theatre Projects, Chris worked with Oregon State University, The Black Sheep Agency, 4th Wall Theatre in Houston, Echelon Design, Chicago Art Department, and the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Ashley specialises in helping performing arts organizations and venue managers plan for the future. She combines experience working in flexible spaces and multi-venue arts centres with a love of creative problem-solving to find solutions that support an organization’s strategic goals. Her new role will include working on feasibility studies, needs assessments, business planning, community engagement efforts, and more.

rentalpointRentalPoint debuts web browser-based package
Tuesday, 12 July 2022

UK - RentalPoint Software has released a fully web browser-based version of their Small Business Edition rental management software package designed for event technology rental and production companies.
This new release, says RentalPoint, is a re-imagining and updating of their Windows based product first released in 1998. It incorporates many of the features expected in software these days including online signatures for equipment deliveries and proposal/contract acceptance, dashboard, electronic pick list for prepping gear as well as scaling down to fit on smart phone screen sizes or scaling up to fit on desktops.
Additionally, the software offers many of the powerful features that the company has developed over the last 30 years such as equipment, crew planning & scheduling tools and optional multi location.
You can find the software at

abttABTT Annual Awards winners announced
Monday, 11 July 2022

UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians’ Annual Awards took place on the evening of Wednesday 22 June, after the first day of the 2022 ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London.
Engineering Product of the Year: XM Automation’s XMove
Sound Product of the Year: Clearcom’s Arcadia Central Station
Lighting Product of the Year: Robe’s T11
Widget of the Year: CallQ’s Showcaller Training Software
Stand of the Year: Prompt Side
Technician of the Year: Daniel Ewing
Award for Emerging Excellence: Kat Ellis
Virtual Ideas Platform, Idea of the Year 2021: Matthew Dean
Additionally, commendations were made for d&b’s 5d amplifier, ETC’s Eos Apex, Whirly Reeler and trackingThis’ plug-in.
The next ABTT Awards will take place on the evening of 7 June 2023 at the 43rd ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace.

backup-kartfest-teamReturn of Kartfest raises £35k for Backup
Monday, 11 July 2022

UK - The atmosphere was electric at Daytona Sandown Park as the industry gathered for the first Kartfest in three years. With Chauvet once again headline sponsor, Backup was anticipating the biggest and best Kartfest yet. With more teams and more spectators joining than ever before, and a grand total of £35K raised, it certainly did not disappoint.
In opening proceedings, Backup trustee Lee Dennison paid tribute to Backup chair, John Simpson, who was instrumental in starting the charity and worked tirelessly to ensure it fulfilled its remit and sadly passed in June, whilst welcoming the 33 teams who were about to take their places on the starting grid, with the hope of becoming Kartfest 2022 champions.
Adding to the fun, was the first Roadie Games, which started with the Flight Case Team Relay on the main track, which was almost as fast and furious as the racing itself, closely followed by field events to test the strength, endurance and industry skills of the teams taking part. Also new this year was ‘KraftFest’, which saw Backup partner, Big Drop Brewing, Signature Brew and Green Room Distillery’s gin on site with their delicious drinks.
As well as the familiar faces of the industry, including Music Supports chief executive, Eric Mtungwazi, and Backup’s Jess Allen, who highlighted the importance of Backup’s Mental Health First Aider courses, Kartfest welcomed its future stars, students from Ravensbourne College's Creative Capital and Solent University's Sonar TV societies who filmed the fun and live streamed the action during the day, s

bizzyBizzy Studios cables up with Van Damme
Thursday, 7 July 2022

Germany - Bizzy Studios in Cologne is a specialist recording and mixing studio geared towards rap and pop music, with five fully kitted-out studio rooms. European artists such SSIO, Jamule and Kollegah are regulars, attracted to the ambience that studio owner Bizzy Mo has created, and the skills of the talented production and sound engineering teams.
In the main studio, Van Damme XKE Starquad Series microphone cables and Van Damme Pro Grade XKE Pro-Patch Series balanced patch cables are used to connect outboard equipment.
Bizzy Mo has also recently used Van Damme Toslink cables to connect digital audio between Dangerous Music and Universal Audio AD/DA converters, replacing Toslink cables from another German manufacturer.
He commented: "I've relied on high-priced cables from well-known brands in the past and didn't think I could do much better at a fair price until I discovered Van Damme. Van Damme cables have elevated my recording and mastering chain, enabling us to create music that sounds incredible. And on top of this, the customer service provided is professional and flexible enough to allow specific requests, which is very important to us as a busy recording studio."
Herpreet Kaur Singh, commercial director at VDC Trading says: “We feel privileged that Bizzy Studios has put its faith in Van Damme cables. Christian and Andre at Audiosteps have fulfilled the requests that have come in from Bizzy Mo and provided a first-class service to the team. We look forward to hearing more about the artists that record their albums in Cologne.”

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Festival Funding - A free music festival which has been running for 15 years may not go ahead this summer due to a shortage in funds, organisers say. The charity-run Local and Live event, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said the cost of living crisis was hampering sponsorships. A petition has been started calling for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to help fund the festival.
The council said it was working to find a solution. The volunteer-run event began in 2006 and hosts local musicians playing and works to promote grassroots music and musical education in the area through the Local and Live Charity. Festival organiser and charity chairman Paul Dunton said: "Everyone is feeling the pinch. We've just found things considerably more expensive this year. So it's just added to the burden I suppose. Getting the funding is proving a little bit more difficult this year and we've got more costs than ever, but we're determined to make it happen." Local and Live 2022 is due to take place from 26 to 29 August.
Fundraiser - A ballet company formed of Ukrainian dancers who have fled their homeland will make its West End debut this year. United Ukrainian Ballet will perform at the London Coliseum on 17 September to raise funds to support the people and culture of Ukraine. The company was formed by dancers who fled Ukraine and now live and train at The Hague in the Netherlands. The city has given them the former Royal Conservatoire to live and work in.
Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, a Ukrainian citizen, is creating a new interpretation of Gisell

musiciconauctionStars sign up for Music Support auction
Monday, 4 July 2022

UK - Music Support, the charity that helps those who work in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction has announced its latest fundraising auction: Music Support’s Music Icons featuring exclusive prizes from four music artists.
With music festivals well and truly back in Summer 2022, artists and crew alike are under pressure to perform at levels that have not been seen for years. The funds raised through this auction will contribute towards Music Support’s core services, including its peer-led confidential Helpline that saw a 60% increase in volume of calls during the global pandemic.
Music Support’s Music Icons auction prizes are as follows:
Coldplay, has donated a Fender Squier guitar, signed by all four members of the band. Of their donation, the band said:
“The music industry can present a very specific set of mental health and addiction challenges which, like many artists, we know all too well. Music Supports provides life-changing help and expert guidance for anyone struggling with these issues. We are proud to support this crucial charity by donating this guitar, signed by all of us, to their Music Icons auction.”
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, signed a striking Fender Stratocaster guitar especially for this auction in March 2022.
Topper Headon of The Clash was happy to sign and donate one of his favourite snare drums, used at the last gig he ever played in Canterbury.
Finally, the ink is barely dry on the Fender Stratocaster signed and donated by all six memb

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Top Ticket prices - Prices for top tickets to see West End shows have risen by 21% since before the pandemic, according to research by The Stage. The average top ticket price is currently £140.85, up from £116.09 in June 2019, the publication says. The most expensive show in the survey is Cabaret at the Playhouse, for which some tickets will set you back £303.80. But the research found that the lowest-priced tickets have risen by an average of just 3.3% since 2019, up to £22.56.
The most expensive seats for West End musicals now cost an average of £154.36, although that was a relatively modest increase of 3.5% since 2019, The Stage said. Plays had an average top ticket price of £114.69 - a jump of 38% compared with three years ago.
One factor in the high ticket prices for Cabaret was the redesign of the theatre to accommodate the production. Several hundred seats were stripped out, reducing the Playhouse's capacity.
The Stage editor Alistair Smith said that on the surface, the average face value of top-price tickets has "skyrocketed", but that overall it "is more of a mixed picture than previous years", partly because London's lucrative international tourist market has not fully recovered.
Reasonable - Andrew Lloyd Webber has said ticket prices for West End shows are "incredibly reasonable" given the cost of bringing a production to the stage. The composer, whose hits include Cats and Evita, is charging from £15 to more than £99.50 - for premium seats - for his London musical S

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Eurovision - Ukraine should be given the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, the UK prime minister has said. Speaking to journalists after returning from its capital, Kyiv, Boris Johnson said the streets there were lively and Ukrainians were "confident". As winners of the contest in May, Ukraine should normally host the show, but organisers said on they thought it would be too unsafe. Its planners are discussing holding it in the UK instead, which came second.
Cities across the UK, including Cardiff and Birmingham, have expressed interest in staging the 2023 contest if it ends up in the UK.
“We would relish the opportunity to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 here at Principality Stadium, Cardiff,” said a spokesman. “We have a 20-year history of successfully hosting the biggest music artists and sporting events in the world, and to add Eurovision, the world's biggest and much-loved music competition to the list, would be the cherry on top of the last two decades.”
Most-Played - Ed Sheeran was the most-played artist in the UK last year, according to new data from music licensing body PPL. The singer also had the most-played song of the year with Bad Habits. It's the fourth time in five years that Sheeran has been named the UK's most-played artist, calculated by plays on radio, TV, pubs, clubs and shops.
Tom Grennan had the second and third most-played songs of 2021. His Calvin Harris collaboration, By Your Side, took the runner-up spot, with his solo single Little Bit of Love in third plac

lrlr2022rideday1500Long Reach Long Riders reach $1m milestone
Monday, 20 June 2022

USA - The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) have raised more than $1m for charity thanks to thousands of individual and corporate sponsors. The Riders are about the embark on their 19th annual ride this summer.
This milestone could not have been reached without the tireless dedication of volunteers and donors who have given of their time, talent and money to help those less fortunate, says LRLR. Over the years, three charities have benefitted from the fundraising: AFC (Canada), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and (primarily) Behind the Scenes Foundation.
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, comments: “It’s truly amazing what can be accomplished when like-minded people come together for a common purpose. Even though a major milestone has been achieved, the need is greater than ever, especially with Behind the Scenes’ new mental health initiative. The Long Riders are setting the example of affinity-based fundraising as a way to assist others.”
LRLR are a group of riders from across the US who work in the entertainment industry and share both a love of motorcycles and a desire to help their colleagues in need. Since 2004, well over 100 riders and chase vehicle drivers have banded together in this common cause.
The Long Riders are already looking ahead to future fundraising adventures, and donations will be accepted for this year’s ride through the end of August. To donate or learn more, go to

xzd0jrvhArtech FX and Pyrofoor deliver SFX for Eurovision
Friday, 17 June 2022

Italy - Eurovision returned to its full splendour in Turin for 2022 after the challenges of the pandemic in 2021. Even the continuing horror of war in Europe failed to affect the event, in fact, only serving to intensify the joy, the magic and the music that Eurovision brings to the world every year.
To bring a kaleidoscope of SFX to the stage in Turin, Luca Toscano, CEO of Artech teamed up with Lucas Gerritzen of Pyrofoor de Amsterdam who supplied the FX for the 2021 show in the Netherlands. Artech is a group of companies, that specialise in delivering SFX and show solutions across the globe.
Appointed by this years’ host broadcaster RAI Television as the Eurovision 2022 SFX, pyro and laser supplier, Toscano sees the event as a glorious celebration of the entertainment industry, a showcase for the best of the best. Across the two companies, more than 20 people were involved in delivering the dizzying array of SFX at the PalaOlimpico in Turin. Flames, smoke machines, CO2 launchers, spark machines, close proximity pyrotechnics were all part of the extraordinary package that were offered to the delegations to enhance and excite their Eurovision performances.
“Each delegation has its own director and artistic director,” explains Toscano. “They have a list of the special effects we can supply for them along with the positions embedded on the stage area. Of course, it depends on what each entry has in mind for their visuals - not everyone will choose to employ SFX - it is entirely up to them, but our team work tirelessly to

grammyVan Damme cables Memphis’ Southern Grooves
Thursday, 16 June 2022

USA - Matt Ross-Spang, an American record producer, Grammy award-winning engineer and mixer has just opened the doors of Southern Grooves, a custom-designed studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
Located in what was once the Sears cafeteria on the second floor of Crosstown Concourse, a “vertical urban village”, the build started pre-pandemic, in August 2020. With the expertise of acousticians Steven Durr and Matt Schlachter, a 3,000sq.ft recording studio was designed where sound and feel are prioritised in every room.
The space consists of a live room, control room, a long hallway (for reverb) echo chamber, plus a lounge, office, tech Shop and EMT plate room. The fact that the live room has an undulating ceiling and emphasises no 90° angles or parallel surfaces, means that the sounds created gives the impression that the space is a lot bigger than it actually is.
VDC Trading supplied 30,000ft of Van Damme cable for the Southern Grooves install - specifically the Ecoflex and PVC AES series cables. These cables can do AES, DMX512, RS422 and even analogue audio in one slim, elegant flexible cable solution. Van Damme LSZH Purple Series, 2, 4 and 8 core, as well as the Van Damme Green Series, single, two, eight and 24 cores, were used throughout.
Matt Ross-Spang said: “This has always been a dream of mine and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of folks to help realise it. I have been fortunate to work in some legendary studios, built by my heroes. This was my inspiration for Southern Grooves. From the very first visit, Steven Durr was indispen

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Rural Theatre - Theatre companies working in rural Northern Ireland will benefit from the creation of a £1.5m fund set up to cater for local communities that might not otherwise have access to the arts.
The Rural Engagement Arts Programme, announced by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is designed to tackle isolation and loneliness, and promote social inclusion among rural communities as the country emerges from the pandemic. It has been given National Lottery funding over three years and will provide grants of up to £10,000 each to community groups, arts organisations and rural local authorities delivering arts projects.
Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council, said the "vital" new funding programme would help realise "meaningful arts activities" that could enrich the lives of the people that engaged with them. "We know that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, boost confidence and motivation, as well as alleviate isolation and loneliness. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns across the UK have taken a toll on individual lives, with mental health and well-being adversely effected as families and friends were separated for sustained periods of time, especially intergenerational. This has been particularly compounded in rural communities, which are characterised by smaller and more dispersed populations," McDonough said.
COVID Cancellations - Mick Jagger tested positive for COVID-19, prompting The Rolling Stones to cancel a performance in Amsterdam. The band said the show at the Johan Cruijff Arena wou

workshopdiagon-3Designer Diagon opens workshop space
Monday, 13 June 2022

UK - Specialist set designer Diagon has created a new 40,000sq.ft workshop in Erith, southeast London. The facility doubles the company's indoor footprint and will house specialist departments for carpentry, engineering, paint and CAD.
A provider of bespoke scenic build and installation services for the retail, exhibition and event sectors, Diagon works with clients including Christie's auction house, George P Johnson, the BRIT Awards and artist and stage designer, Es Devlin.
Tom Sabin, managing director, comments: “This fabulous new facility marks a huge milestone for Diagon. Coming just after our 21st anniversary, we have doubled our fabrication capacity, created a new studio department with incredible draughting and design capability and added some fantastic staff to the team. With a busy summer ahead, we now have the ability to further step up the scale and quantity of projects we can take on.”
Diagon has expanded each workshop department and invested in new equipment, machinery and storage including a new dedicated assembly area of 120sq.m where clients can see work in progress or full test builds with tech integration.
The workshop’s internal height of 7.5m gives Diagon space for large scale builds with the addition of another 20,000sq.ft of hardstanding yard area for easy truck access and outdoor test build space. Within the facility there is a dedicated area of 5000sq.ft for client storage where sets and installations can be kept in a secure, dry area in pristine condition for future use.
Other improvements include larg

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Platinum Party - An average of nearly 12 million people in the UK watched the Platinum Party in the Palace on BBC One on Saturday. The concert saw stars Diana Ross, George Ezra, Queen, Elbow and many others perform in front of a Buckingham Palace crowd that included members of the royal family. It attracted the BBC's biggest audience of the year, peaking at 13.4 million. The BBC states: "The Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC One was the most watched programme of the year so far."
Going Green - Directors and designers working at London’s National Theatre will receive additional pay if they contribute to the organisation’s sustainability goals, artistic director Rufus Norris has announced. The National Theatre boss said the financial incentive reflected the extra work that is required to deliver on the environmental objectives set out in the Theatre Green Book.
Speaking at an event marking a year of the Theatre Green Book, hosted at the NT’s South Bank home, Norris admitted his own productions had historically "not been the best models of practice", and pledged to work to the Green Book’s standards on all shows he makes in future.
The book, described as a "one-stop shop" to help the industry nurture more sustainable practices, was launched last year. It offers three levels of environmental standards that theatres should adhere to in order to cut carbon emissions in both the making of shows and running of buildings.
Back Home - Fans of Robbie Williams at his concert in his native Stoke-on-Trent

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Peace Move - Ukrainian punk-folk quartet Dakha Brakha will bring an anti-war message to Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage next month. The band will play the festival's main stage on Sunday morning, shortly before Diana Ross makes her festival debut. For years, the band have called themselves ‘ambassadors of free Ukraine’ and punctuated concerts with cries of ‘Stop Putin!’ and ‘No war!’. They are currently donating proceeds from their shows to the Ukrainian army.
The quartet were one of several acts added to the Glastonbury line-up, as the festival revealed its full programme for 2022. Yungblud, AJ Tracey, The Libertines, Kae Tempest, Ziggy Marley and Little Dragon will join previously-announced headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar. On the festival's second-biggest stage, The Other Stage, Pet Shop Boys, Megan Thee Stallion and Foals will top the bill.
Fighting Fund - Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian band which won this year's Eurovision Song Contest, have sold their trophy for £712,000 to raise money for the war in Ukraine. The crystal microphone was auctioned on Facebook, with the aim of buying drones for Ukraine's military. The sale coincided with the band's appearance at a charity concert at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. It aimed to raise money for medical care and supplies.
Speaking at the concert, band member Oleh Psiuk appealed for people not to get used to the war, which has left at least 4,031 civilians dead and 4,735 injured, according to the UN, along with an unknown number of combatants. “I think it shoul


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