South Africa - Carolyn Steyn, South African philanthropist, actress, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and Classic FM1027 radio host personality, has donated R100,000 (around £4,400) to the Feed Our Crew initiative established to help theatre and entertainment crew and freelancers who most need assistance.
As an accomplished actress, Carolyn was concerned about the welfare of the theatre crew, especially after the lock-down in South Africa was extended. The entertainment business has been one of the hardest hit industries in the country. When Carolyn saw a Facebook post by one of her friends, Debra Batzofin, theatre practitioner in the industry for the past 46 years, it ultimately enabled her to pay it forward.
“Carolyn immediately assisted me, and we were able to feed 50 people,” explains Debra Batzofin. “But when she wanted to donate additional funds, I suggested we approached Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution and the SOS Charity fund to help come up with the best solution.”
Riley advised the monies would make an enormous difference to the Feed our Crew campaign. “Everyone is fighting a financial battle right now, but there are those who are unable to feed their families, and this is where Feed our Crew comes in,” comments Riley. “I was humbled by this act of generosity and believe that if there were more people like Carolyn and Debbie, the world’s problems would be so much less. Thank you so much for this contribution.”
Missouri Breaks - Missouri is the first US state to resume live events. The latest measure was included in Gov. Mike Parson’s Show Me Strong recovery plan, which also outlines how the state’s economy will begin reopening this week, Billboard reports. Large events and gatherings are no longer forbidden; residents will be able to attend concerts and go to movie theatres and stadiums, where “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements”.
A Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services rep explained that concerts don’t have to follow the same capacity guidance as retail businesses. Still, concertgoers must remain at least six feet from each other. “There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan states.
These new measures don’t apply to the state’s bigger cities, St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City, where lockdown orders are still ongoing. “We will continue to be guided by data, not dates,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted on Friday.
Venues in smaller cities, like The Blue Note in Columbia, will also not reopen on Monday. The venue has chosen to continue livestreaming its Social Distraction concert series through May 15.
“We are currently assessing the details of the announcement and the latest information from health experts,” Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which manages The Blue Note, told Bill
UK - Le Mark Group has switched its production focus from its well-known Road Case and Cable Label labels to a new range of tapes and heavy-duty floor stickers aimed at helping shops and places of work adjust to new social distancing requirements brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK - Music Support has launched weekly online support group meetings to allow the music industry’s 12 Step recovery community to continue to connect during the Covid-19 lockdown. Meetings will take place every Monday 18:00-19:00 GMT from 27 April to 28 September 2020.
Available to any music industry peers throughout the summer, Music Support will provide a confidential and non-judgemental space for people to share and encourage one another on the journey of recovery.
Music Support Services Officer, Joanne Croxford, states: “It might be that someone is in need of a secure virtual space to share their experiences, while others may want to take part in these meetings simply by listening in and feeling accepted and connected during isolation. Music Support will offer strength and hope as we all navigate our way through these testing times.”
Music Support Managing Director, Eric Mtungwazi, adds: “The 12 Step Support Group Meetings have been a key part of our work backstage at festivals during the typical summer season. This year, as we’re unable to offer this service in-person due to the Covid-19 lockdown - which has resulted in the cancellation of festivals across the UK - we’re delighted to be able to offer support online and keep this community connected.”
To receive personalised login instructions, please email: email@example.com with the subject ‘12 Step Support Group Meetings’. All data remains confidential.
UK - When Projects Department Ltd won the contract to create two live studios and two breaking news spots for the Financial Times TV studio in London, Doughty Engineering was quickly brought on board to supply a range of broadcast kit.
Peter Daffarn, managing director, Projects Department Ltd explains: "The client briefed us to create the studios and news spots for presenting live news bulletins at short notice and for occasional use and, with Doughty being our go-to company for hoists and grids, we knew they'd be fundamental to the project from the start."
Building a bulletin studio meant that Projects Department Ltd had a smaller than usual space to work with, therefore the design and build needed to be imaginative. The studios were required to be integrated into a working office space and, with a number of high-profile guests visiting, the client wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. The lack of height in the studios was a major factor as Daffarn explains: "Due to limited space, Doughty's Dan Phillips and I spent time creating a grid that was both aesthetically pleasing and functionally slimline. Dan has been central to the reason I work a lot with Doughty. I often share early design thoughts with him and we bounce ideas between us as no two studios are ever the same. Once we are on site installing, I know I could call Dan on a Sunday and he would try his best to help."
Doughty and Projects Department Ltd designed and installed the ‘Flat Grid’ which was first used at the Tate Modern and was essential to the clean look
Eurovision Again - In the absence of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, fans are reliving old competitions every Saturday night. Eurovision Again - watched in sync at 8pm British time on YouTube - connects fans across Europe online and has been the top UK trend on Twitter every time it's been on.
"It brings a sense of togetherness and let's me be with all of my friends every Saturday," 20-year-old Nana-Ama Ewusi-Emmim told BBC Radio. "It's something to look forward to."
Twitter says there have been 100,000 tweets about the fan-organised watch-a-long, which trends higher than shows like Britain's Got Talent - broadcast at the same time on TV. The most recent contest chosen was 1997, which was the last time the UK won with Katrina and The Waves - who also joined in with Eurovision Again online. Around 200m viewers watch Eurovision each year and it's become a huge hit for younger audiences with nearly half of all under 24-year-olds in Europe - who were watching TV - seeing 2019's final.
The Band on Film - Take That have confirmed a film version of their new musical The Band is in the works. Gary Barlow confirmed on ITV's Lorraine that a movie based on their musical will start shooting later this year. The script is being written by Tim Firth and it will be shooting next year. Tim also wrote The Band musical, which opened in September 2017 went on an extensive two year UK tour and ran in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
The project is currently
UK - In a bid to iron out inconsistencies in the financial help offered to the UK’s smallest businesses, chancellor Rishi Sunk has introduced 100% taxpayer-backed loans for small firms.
The Bounce Back Loans scheme, launching on 4 May, is a response to the slow take-up of emergency bank lending during the COVID-19 crisis, which has meant businesses could fold before getting loans.
The scheme will require filling in a two-page self-certification form online and will unlock loans of up to £50,000 “within days of applying”.
The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
To be eligible, a business:
- must be based in the UK
- must have been negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis
- was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
Loan terms will be up to six years, with no repayments due during the first 12 months.
The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.
Businesses cannot apply if they are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), but it’s possible to transfer a CBILS loan into the Bounce Back Loan scheme until 4 November.
UK - PASMA’s new Safety Practitioner Zone and its partnerships with the Association for Project Safety, British Safety Council, IIRSM and RoSPA aim to help workers stay safe on scaffold towers.
From 1 May 2020, members of these associations get access to a library of PASMA resources for updating their tower knowledge and sharing good practice. The library includes toolbox talks, tower reference guides, bitesize safety videos and details of upcoming changes to EN 1004, the design standard for mobile access towers.
In the lead-up to launch, PASMA is celebrating by releasing a series of Toolbox Talks on social media, freely available to anyone who wants them. These one-page documents contain the content needed to deliver a safety briefing on five tower-related topics, reinforcing key messages that are taught on PASMA training courses: Monday: Never stand on an unprotected platform; Tuesday: Using scaffold towers in windy conditions; Wednesday: How to safely move a mobile access tower; Thursday: No instruction manual means no scaffold tower, and Friday: Inspecting scaffold towers.
A new Toolbox Talk will be released at 11am each day this week (on PASMA’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Each one will be available for only 24 hours. After the time is up, the series, along other material, will be available in the Safety Practitioner Zone.
Jason Carlton, head of strategic engagement at PASMA, states, "We’re delighted to have partnered with leading safety associations on this initiative becau
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has launched Be Scene - Be Heard, an anonymous, peer-to-peer chat app for backstage staff.
“It’s often hard to talk with family and friends about how you’re feeling and what may be troubling you, but you may not feel quite ready to see a mental health professional,” says the charity. “Sometimes it’s easier to talk to people who don’t know you, but who can relate because they’re in this industry too. They get the crazy hours, the pressures of getting the show on every night or the right shot on set, and the void felt when the gig is over.
That’s why Behind the Scenes has partnered with iRel8 to launch Be Scene – Be Heard. A platform to interact with your peers, talk about what’s on your mind, find comfort and knowledge from one another, and, perhaps, offer insight to someone who is going through something you already have. Chats are instantly translatable into 54 languages. Be Scene – Be Heard is available “wherever you are, whenever you need it, for whatever is on your mind”.
“Signing up for the app requires an email address and costs $0.99 a month and can be done here: btshelp.org/chat.
Users will find a “room” for general conversation and one for industry resources. As participation grows, sub-groups will be formed for more focussed discussion on topics such as, but not limited to anxiety and depression, sta
USA - In conjunction with Earth Day 2020, global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks celebrated its latest award. The Howard County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services, Recycling Division selected Vectorworks as the winner of the 2020 Business Recycling and Waste Reduction Award. This accolade recognises local businesses for their recycling and waste reduction efforts during the 2019 calendar year.
The winning submission, Greenworks, is an environmentally-based project presented at the company’s regular innovation discussions and focuses on methods to create a sustainable work environment. Employees from various teams and departments collaborated on the project that went into full effect a few months later. The project outlined implementing proper traditional recycling techniques and adding a new system to include recycling plastic bags and film packaging, which ultimately becomes Trex decking. Additionally, other initiatives involved purchasing utensils instead of plastic cutlery and replacing water bottles with a water filtering system.
“One might expect an innovation project from a global design software company to be a technology-focused project; however, we chose to focus on sustainable ways to improve our environment,” said Janet Coppage, operations coordinator at Vectorworks and one of the employees behind the Greenworks project.
“Not only are we pleased to see this initiative have a significant impact on our nearly 200 employees at our Columbia headquarters, but we also see this as an oppor
Pirate Radio Pioneer - Tributes have been paid to Ronan O'Rahilly, the founder of Radio Caroline, the first pirate radio station off the UK, who has died aged 79. His death was announced by the current Radio Caroline, which still operates off the Essex coast. The station was founded in 1964 to compete with the BBC and launched the careers of many well-known DJs, achieving enormous popularity. O'Rahilly, who lived in Ireland, had been diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013.
Radio Caroline was the first of several pirate radio stations that challenged BBC radio's dominance in the 1960s. The station played pop music all day, while the BBC only played pop for an hour a week. After the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act was passed in 1967, Radio Caroline continued to broadcast from ships until 1991, when the Ross Revenge was shipwrecked off the Kent coast The station, which started broadcasting again on medium wave in 2017, helped pave the way for modern commercial radio.
One of the presenters who started on the station, Johnnie Walker, tweeted: "Farewell to Radio Caroline founder Ronan O'Rahilly, The man who made the impossible possible and changed radio forever. Thanks Ronan for the incredible experience of being a Caroline deejay and to challenge the Government in 1967. You were an amazing man."
One Night Only - The original West End cast of Dreamgirls has reunited online to perform One Night Only to raise money for charity. Composer Henry Krieger, Amber Riley and other cast members have got back together online to perform the son
Europe - Optocore's AutoRouter has enjoyed a growing popularity in the past 12 months, says the company.
Now Optocore has announced the new OptoSplitter, a device which, when paired with AutoRouter, will achieve redundancy.
Take two identical AutoRouters - a main and backup device. All connections from any external equipment will now connect, not directly to the AutoRouter as previously, but to this new OptoSplitter. This splits the fibre signal into two and distributes it to both the main and backup AutoRouter. Both routers communicate leaving only one active at a time and automatically switching to the backup router when the active one is absent.
“This allows the system to work flawlessly even when one AutoRouter fails or is powered off,” confirms Optocore’s technical sales manager, Maciek Janiszewski. “Despite a bullet-proof design, without a single hardware failure since its launch, some customers have requested hardware redundancy.” And OptoSplitter is the company’s dynamic response to market feedback.
Finally, he adds that since it is a passive device it is not a point of failure. “Each connection splits within the independent optical splitter - the redundancy switchover takes place automatically and independently.”
While OptoSplitter is available as a complete new solution, all customers who already own an AutoRouter or BroaMan Route66 can add redundancy to their existing system.
UK - Fairport Convention’s annual Cropredy Convention in Oxfordshire and The Eden Sessions in Cornwall are the latest major music events to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Both are being rescheduled for 2021.
Since its first staging in 1980, the Cropredy festival has taken place annually since on farmland near Banbury, Oxfordshire.
This year’s three-day event had been scheduled to take place on 13-15 August. It will now be staged over 12, 13 and 14 August 2021 (the equivalent weekend) on its usual site.
The line-up of acts will be carried forward: artists booked to appear this year have agreed to switch to 2021. Highlights include Trevor Horn Band, Clannad, Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited, Richard Thompson, Matthews Southern Comfort and host band Fairport Convention.
Tickets purchased for Cropredy 2020 remain valid for the rescheduled festival and Fairport Convention hopes festival-goers will hang on to their tickets for Cropredy 2021. However, the organisers are offering refunds to those affected by the postponement.
Festival director Gareth Williams said: “We have no alternative but to postpone Cropredy until 2021. The safety of our festival-goers, performers, suppliers, crew and local residents must come first.
“This postponement is a massive financial blow to Fairport Convention. It comes hard on the heels of having to reschedule this year’s Spring Tour. Our many suppliers and crew will also be hit financially (as indeed, will Milly and myself here in the FC office). I will keep the office going on a par
UK - Music Support, the peer-led music industry charity that provides confidential mental health and addiction services, has partnered with Thrive, the UK’s only NHS-approved mental health app.
As a clinically-effective app that offers 24/7 support for mental health and wellbeing, Thrive helps with the early detection, prevention and management of common disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as building resilience so that users can feel empowered to improve their mental health.
It tackles common stressors such as sleep, bereavement, work issues and more via the use of evidence-based therapies such as CBT, meditation, deep muscle relaxation, breathing exercises and distraction games. A mood metre and diary tracks daily fluctuations of mood and records what specific stressors the individual might be facing on a daily basis, thus becoming more personalised to the user over time.
The app uses official GAD7 and PHQ9 questionnaires to screen for anxiety and depression and uses the results to prescribe the appropriate help.
There are a range of benefits that come with using the app, most importantly it improves overall wellbeing for users both inside and outside of work by building personal awareness and allowing them to nurture their own mental health. This can lead to a culture which normalises mental health, enabling people to feel more comfortable about discussing their own needs as well as being open to the advice they need for finding the right support.
Eric Mtungwazi, Managing Director Of Music Support, sa
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative, in partnership with HelpPRO, has announced the launch of its Entertainment Industry Therapist Finder. The Finder only includes listings for mental health professionals who have previously worked with clients in the entertainment industry or who have personal professional experience in the industry themselves.
Users are able to search for a therapist using a simple search form which includes location, insurance accepted, what areas the therapist specialises in, and therapist availability such as whether they see clients remotely or on nights and weekends. An advanced search is available which also includes such criteria as theoretical approaches, credentials held by the therapist, specific populations they have experience with, and languages spoken. Both searches indicate whether the therapist is accepting new clients.
The Entertainment Industry Therapist Finder has been developed in response to an industry survey conducted last fall. The results revealed just how prevalent the problem of finding therapists who understand something about the unique culture and stresses of the entertainment industry is. Many respondents expressed frustration with therapists who consistently made suggestions that were unrealistic given the long working hours and employment challenges so many in the industry face.
Therapists with the required experience can register at btshelp.org/therapist_registration or email their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behind the Scenes has come
UK - With UK hospitals warning that personal protective equipment (PPE) is of short supply, technology enthusiasts have started various initiatives to produce the crucial gear and deliver it nationally.
Thousands of volunteers have joined 3D Crowd UK’s initiative to produce PPE. By 10 April, over 6,000 of 3D printer owners from across the UK had created more than 39,000 face shields, which have been dispatched to 90 NHS Trusts.
More funding is needed to meet requests for further 500,000 shields however, with a fundraiser set up on GoFundMe.
Another fundraiser was started by Duncan Coombe of DCLX at the end of March. Coombe asked for donations in order to purchase 3D printer filament to produce face shields, but in just 24 hours, the fundraiser had collected around £2,500, enabling him and his team of volunteers to expand the operation, which currently comprises 34 3D printers and two laser cutters.
In an update from 11 April, Coombe said: “There is now a team of 14 of us across 10 sites running this kit pretty much 27/4. Literally in bedrooms, kitchens, front rooms, (clean) workshops and so on. The contributions made by the selfless volunteers is breath-taking.” Find out how to get involved or to donate: www.gofundme.com/f/3d-print
USA - The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) has announced that at the ‘Online’ Annual Business Meeting, Jack Hagler, Todd Hensley, and R. Duane Wilson were recognised and awarded the title of Fellow of American Society of Theatre Consultants (FASTC.)
Jack Hagler, a theatre consultant for over 25 years, is a partner at Schuler Shook where he manages the Dallas office. An ASTC member since 1994, he has been the ASTC liaison to the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) since 2005. He has given educational presentations to many industry conferences across the United States.
Todd Hensley has been a theatre consultant for over 32 years and an ASTC member since 1998, during which he has served on the Board of Directors and president and is currently active on several committees. Hensley has consulted on over 400 projects with Schuler Shook where he serves as partner in their Chicago office.
R. Duane Wilson has been an ASTC member for 32 years and has served as the secretary-treasurer since 2013 providing an invaluable service to the Society. Wilson is a graduate of Yale School of Drama in Theatre Engineering, and joined theatre consultant pioneer, George C. Izenour in his practice in the mid-eighties and he remains part of the firm.
With only a maximum of three fellowships awarded every two years; only a small percentage of members attain this honour. ASTC was founded in 1983 and currently has 79 full members representing 31 consulting companies in the US and Canada.
Admitted into membership at the same meeting
On The Dark Side - Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned that theatres are likely to remain closed until the end of September. He said forecasts that venues may be able to reopen in June were “ridiculous”. “The industry says theatres reopen 7 June. My opinion? Optimistic. Ridiculous. I think this peaks in June, and theatres remain closed until end of September.
He told New York publication Page Six: “We need these places, many [of which] are old, [to be as] safe as possible. In South Korea, they take everyone’s temperature. We’ll self-clean handles, wipe doors, utilise every safety measure. People won’t wish to crowd into small clustered seats again. But we must reopen. Some, with leftover money to spend, need the theatre.”
Lloyd Webber’s next show is Cinderella, which is due to open later this year at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre. The Society of London Theatre recently issued new advice to theatregoers, stating venues would be closed until at least May 31. Industry leaders have warned that some audiences could be reluctant to go back into auditoriums once the lockdown is lifted.
Freelance Support - Arts organisations across Greater Manchester – including the Royal Exchange Theatre, Home and the Lowry – have joined together to support freelances during the Covid-19 outbreak. GM Artist Hub is a collaboration between a group of more than 10 organisations in the region and will provide artists with opportunities to sign up for sessions with producers and directors to explore the “challenges, ideas and opportuni
USA - As the nation and entertainment industry navigate the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic, all Bandit offices have made available to local governments and hospitals, power distribution systems, IT data distribution systems, and portable structures and lighting, completely free of charge. Bandit has also made available, free of charge, its Nashville rehearsal facility, Venue One, for use by any artist that needs a place to perform a live stream event during this critical time.
“Tennessee has been known as The Volunteer State since The War of 1812, and it was only right that Bandit step up and offer this free support,” said Bandit Lites chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland. “While all Bandit offices are under Safer-At-Home Orders, the entire staff is on full payroll. No one has been laid off at Bandit.
“When individuals are needed to accomplish a task, they are covered by the legal exemptions and the Bandit team jumps in and performs the task at hand.”
As the live entertainment industry went dark on 13 March, Strickland jumped into action. By Saturday he was on the phone with Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn working hand in hand all weekend and through the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Strickland was representing the interests of everyone in the live entertainment segment, from full time employees to freelancers. The Senators were not completely aware of the fact that the entire industry went to zero revenue in a single moment, and once Sen. Alexander and Sen. Blackburn fully unders
UK - The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has launched a support fund aimed at contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry whose source of income has been severed without warning due to lost work in April and May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund starts with assets of £500,000 committed by AIM and its members, with further contributions invited from all sectors of the music industry and beyond.
The target is to distribute £1,000 to each of 1,000 workers within two months.
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico comments: “Despite government initiatives and the groundswell of support from the music industry, there are still many thousands of workers being left behind without the help that they need to get through this difficult time. Many of these people have suddenly found themselves with no source of income and with families to support, while government support measures for microbusinesses are hard to access for creative businesses and those for the self-employed are not expected to kick in before June.
“The independent sector’s strength lies in its sense of solidarity and community. We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do. This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.”
The AIM fund is open to any contractors due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels who have lost committed income because of cancelled artist projects. This includes tour crews, studio producers,
UK - A survey carried out by PLASA has revealed the financial struggles faced by businesses in the entertainment technology industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conducted from 18 March and completed by 145 PLASA members, the study shows the early impact that various restrictions triggered by the pandemic have had on the industry, with PLASA currently conducting a follow-up survey to gain insight into the ongoing challenges that the sector is facing.
From those surveyed, half said that they’ve lost at least 50% of the business for the year, with a fifth saying they’ve lost between 80% to 100% of all their business.
PLASA is currently pushing for the government to include the events supply chain in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business category in order to qualify for much needed Business Rates cash grants which are already available to shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres and music venues. Alongside asking the government to insist that landlords of rented business premises support business tenants through the coronavirus crisis.
PLASA says it is also concerned about "the number of freelancers who operate as limited companies who are not receiving a fair amount of support in comparison to their sole-trader colleagues. Many were forced to operate as a limited company to comply with off-payroll tax rules, are now unable to claim for dividends meaning they lose out on fair government support."
PLASA has a dedicated web page to support businesses and individuals during the pandemic, as well as closed groups on Facebook and L
USA - As Covid-19 impacts almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, ETCP Certified Technicians, with support of the IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), are stepping up to put their expertise and available equipment to good use.
Michael Barnes, IATSE international vice-president and business agent for Local 8 said, “This is spreading way too quickly, and we felt like we have to do something to help. If you are helping you can’t feel helpless, and that is not where we want to be. IATSE Locals across the country are contacting governors state-by-state to offer their expertise in the installation of temporary structures to assist in the development of emergency field hospitals for Covid-19.”
Barnes continued, “I sincerely believe the model that is traditionally deployed in situations like this can be drastically improved upon. Implementing the use of rigging and lighting techniques we use every day to create temporary structures will result in a safer and more productive environment. The pre-engineered truss that we install for any temporary arena or outdoor stage allows much more flexibility; with the touch of a button, we can give health care personnel exactly what they need to operate most efficiently.
“No one is better prepared to solve a dilemma creatively than an entertainment industry professional. ETCP Certified technicians are very well-versed in setting up large volumes of equipment for touring shows in under 12 hours. The fact that we can use our skills to help save lives in a time of crisis b
UK - LW Theatres has committed to paying all staff – including those employed on a show-by-show basis – and has confirmed no redundancies are currently planned while the coronavirus outbreak continues.
In related news, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals are to be screened on a new YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On.
Lloyd Webber sent an email to staff in which he acknowledged “how very difficult it is to be denied the ability to be together, not only with our theatre community, but more importantly with many of our loved ones” at this time.
Rebecca Kane Burton, chief executive of LW Theatres, also wrote to all staff outlining the company’s plans for the foreseeable future. “Our priority is to steer our staff and the company through these unprecedented times, so that we can continue to serve customers and provide jobs in the West End for many years to come. I want to thank all our staff for their support, understanding and commitment.
”As things stand we are not making any redundancies. All our staff will either continue to work or become furloughed workers. We have honoured our commitment to pay staff including those who normally only work with us when shows are running. We will continue to support our staff and help them through these difficult times.”
In his own address to staff, Lloyd Webber said, “We have all been affected in a multitude of ways by the horrific and invisible virus which has a stranglehold on the world right now. I know that all of you will be feeling the effects of this pandemic and st
UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and production team joining for