General News

epa-2022Pearce Hire powers to a win
Wednesday, 2 March 2022

UK - Peterborough-based technical production company Pearce Hire has received the accolade of Best Power Supplier at the recent Event Production Awards 2022.
The company specialises in temporary power and lighting systems for outdoor events on greenfield sites across the UK, including Royal Parks, stately home gardens and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
During the last two years, founder and managing director Shaun Pearce has campaigned for government support of the sector at local and national level, whilst working tirelessly to safeguard and future-proof the business he has built.
“It really has been one of the most difficult periods of Pearce Hire’s history but this really signifies the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Pearce. “Like the rest of the industry my company has battled to get through the past two years and we couldn’t have done it without the absolute support and resilience of the entire Pearce Hire team and all our clients.
“The award really does acknowledge the excellent service that my team offer our clients, and with a very busy 2022 schedule ahead of us, we can’t wait to return to doing what we love, out there in the thick of the industry.”

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Solidarity - All remaining performances of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia in the UK have been cancelled following the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, venues began to cancel planned performances by the company, with the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, the Royal and Derngate in Northampton and the New Theatre Peterborough, run by Selladoor, all pulling planned appearances by the company. Ambassador Theatre Group also cancelled performances planned at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Bristol Hippodrome.
Now, Raymond Gubbay, which was producing the tour, has cancelled all remaining dates. “In view of the current shocking circumstances unfolding in Ukraine, the remaining performances by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia of their 2021/2022 tour will not be taking place,” it said.
English National Opera performed the Ukrainian national anthem before its show on Sunday in support of the people of Ukraine. The opera company’s orchestra performed the anthem at the London Coliseum ahead of its final performance of La Bohème. ENO said it wanted to perform the piece "in solidarity with the people of Ukraine".
Russia will no longer be allowed to participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has said. The EBU, which produces the event, said Russia's inclusion could bring the competition into disrepute "in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine".
Going Green - Members of Equity have pledged to campaign for arts institutions to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry as part of a

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Reconnected - The organisers of the T in the Park and TRNSMT festivals have announced their newest event will be held in Edinburgh. The Connect Music Festival will take place at the Royal Highland Centre near Edinburgh Airport from 26 to 28 August. Promoters DF Concerts said the line-up for the weekend-long event will be announced this Wednesday. There have been two Connect festivals before, in 2007 and 2008, both at Inveraray Castle in Argyll.
Announcing the festival's revival, Geoff Ellis, chief executive of DF Concerts and Events, said: “During initial planning discussions around the relaunch of Connect, we realised that we had to make some changes and to remaster the original festival proposition for today's audiences. One of the biggest considerations we had was around public transport and ensuring the event was accessible to festival goers from across the country. The Royal Highland Centre provides a purpose-built event site that is readily accessible by public transport for each of the three days. This not only makes it easy for festivalgoers to attend but hugely supports our ambition to deliver a more sustainable festival now and into the future.”
Bristol Fashion - The biggest music festival to ever take place in Bristol has been announced for this summer. Forwards, a new event on the city's Downs green space, will have a capacity of 60,000 over two days. The festival in September will be headlined by The Chemical Brothers and feature artists such as Little Simz, Jamie xx and Sleaford Mods.
COVID Concern - Theatres are bein

solo-club-6Beijing's Solo opens with Van Damme Cable
Wednesday, 16 February 2022

China - DJ Wengweng, well-known electronic musician, the main founder of Acupuncture Records and the Lantern Club, has recently opened Solo, a new electronic music room in Bejing, with the help of Van Damme Cable.
Measured at only 18sq.m, the music space will be used to record live sets of or other artists, and make their musical talents and ideas better known through the internet.
The key aim is to establish increasingly strong relationships with domestic artists, labels and club operators, start discussions around the development of electronic music culture in China and create development opportunities together.
Despite its size, the sound, lighting, DJ and acoustic processing equipment are all professional standard. Installation was achieved with the help of Phoenix Audio, Van Damme’s Chinese distributor.
The audio configuration uses Funktion-One series: two R1 full-frequency main amplifiers and two F101 supplementary speakers. One BR218 double 18’’ bass. Van Damme Tour Grade Classic XKE starquad microphone cable, Black Series Tour Grade 8 pair multicore and Black Series Tour Grade 4 x 4.00mm multicore were also used in the Solo Club install.
Herpreet Kaur Singh, commercial director at VDC Trading, comments: “We’re delighted that we were able to support Phoenix Audio with this install. It’s a privilege to be involved with Solo, a space linked to such a high-profile artist and one of the important personalities in the development of Chinese electronic music culture.”
Chris Zhang, director of Phoenix Audio, adds:

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Massive Losses - Commercial theatre companies including Ambassador Theatre Group and HQ Theatres have revealed losses they incurred to March 2021, with theatre closures leading to 90% falls in revenue in some instances. Cameron Mackintosh Limited suffered pre-tax losses of £16.2m to the end of March last year, with the company’s turnover tumbling to just £20.8m. This is down from £206.7m in 2020.
The organisation, which operates eight West End theatres blamed the “disappointing trading results” entirely on the pandemic and warned that conditions remained “challenging”. It said a “consistent return to pre-pandemic audience attendance levels will take time to rebuild”, as domestic visitors, workers and international tourists return to London.
According to the accounts for International Entertainment Holdings Ltd, the parent company of ATG, the group saw revenue fall to £41.6m in the year to March 2021, compared with £476.7m in 2020 - a drop of 91%.
The organisation said this was the result of COVID forcing “the closure of all the group’s venues for the full year”. It made a pre-tax loss of £147.1m in 2021, compared with a £33.9m loss in 2020. After tax, its loss was £138.9 million in 2021, compared with £25.9m the year before.
Vegas Calling - Adele has said the Las Vegas residency she recently postponed will "absolutely 100%" happen later this year". Last month, the singer posted a tearful video the day before her first show, saying it wasn't ready. She has now told TV host Graham Norton she and her team are

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Brit Awards - The 2022 Brit Awards take place at the O2 Arena tonight, with Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dave and Little Simz leading the nominations. All four artists are up for the night's biggest prizes - artist and album of the year - alongside Sam Fender. It will be broadcast live on ITV, and on YouTube for viewers outside the UK.
Last year's Brit Awards took place as part of the government's pilot scheme for the return of live events. COVID restrictions necessitated a mixture of live and virtual performances, with artists like Coldplay, The Weekend and Elton John appearing on tape.
This year, organisers have vowed to "keep everything in the room" - even when that meant scrapping a planned performance from US star Doja Cat, after members of her team tested positive for COVID. As a result, tonight's performances are exclusively coming from British artists - including all five artist of the year nominees: Adele, Dave, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz and Sam Fender.
TikTok Tickets - The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced a partnership with social media platform TikTok in a bid to attract more young people to theatre. In a scheme dubbed ‘TikTok tickets’, people aged 14 to 25 will be offered subsidised travel and entry to shows. The Stratford-upon-Avon group will also create more content with the platform, including TikTok takeovers and behind-the-scenes films.
Launching in June, young people will be offered £10 tickets for performances. The RSC said the move aimed to "inspire the next generation of theatre audiences" and would particularly tar

vdcVDC Trading designs custom stagebox for MWS
Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Ireland - In late 2021, VDC Trading was approached by Murt Whelan Sound to create a 48-channel stagebox which will be core to much of the company’s work in 2022.
Murt Whelan Sound (MWS) is a pro-audio rental and installation company based in Limerick in the Republic of Ireland. It provides professional services nationwide and is a one stop production shop, offering support from initial concept and design right through to the realisation and management of any large-scale event.
MWS constantly invests in responsive, state-of-the-art equipment to ensure it stays ahead of the market and exceeds its customer expectations. It therefore approached VDC Trading to design a custom 19” rack mountable, 48 channel stagebox, which will be central to many of the concerts it plans to do in 2022.
The stagebox has three passive splits for FOH / MON and REC, on 24 channel VDMs. The system also has 4 x SAT inputs on VDM 37 s to patchable XLR tails and 12 channel multicores and SAT boxes.
Adam Jafrabadi, VDC’s export director, worked closed with Carmen Wagner, VDC’s head of production to make this request a reality within a two-week timescale.
Adam commented: “We have a long-standing relationship with MWS and have built similar systems for MWS’ business in the past. We therefore had a very good idea of what Murt and the team wanted. Because they have the capability and expertise to deliver flawless projects, every piece of kit needs to be work at a high level to ensure an exceptional level of service. We are proud that we were able to deliver wh

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 February 2022

On The Beach - The BBC Concert Orchestra will take up a three-year residency in a seaside town to "raise aspirations". Its arrival in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, is due to a collaboration with the charity Orchestras Live and arts organisations in the county. The aim was to "provide learning pathways and improve people's wellbeing", the charity said. It will run workshops in every primary school in the town and hold a free schools concert.
Part of the Create Yarmouth strategy, it hopes to encourage students to get creative with music. “The programme aims to raise aspiration, provide learning pathways and improve people's wellbeing through collaborations with world-class musicians, digital artists, producers and arts managers”, an Orchestras Live spokeswoman said. Pop-up performances in public spaces, as part of a Heritage Action Zone, will also be held.
Pride Restored - Paloma Faith is the first main stage headline act to be announced for this year's Brighton Pride. The Brit Award winner will appear this summer after the event was cancelled two years running due to Covid-19. The three-day festival will run from 5 to 7 August and it has previously attracted crowds of about 250,000.
Park Life - Parklife's return to a summer slot has led to a "huge demand" for tickets, its co-founder has said. The festival at Heaton Park will take place on 11 and 12 June after it was cancelled in 2020 and moved in 2021 to September due to the pandemic. Its line-up will include rappers 50 Cent, Megan Thee Stallion and Tyler, the Creator, singers Lewis Capa

abbey-rd-1-2053Van Damme plays key role at Abbey Road Institute
Wednesday, 26 January 2022

UK - Abbey Road Institute is a specialist music production school and the training ground for the next generation of music producers and sound engineers. Its foundations are the expertise and innovation created at Abbey Road Studios.
Originally based in St Johns Wood as part of the famous studio’s complex, the school’s diploma became so popular with students that it needed to expand its facilities to accommodate the growing demand. During the summer of 2021, the Institute moved into and revived the historic Angel Recording Studios in Islington, near Kings Cross. VDC provided the Institute with a variety of Van Damme cabling as the foundation for the refurbishment; from custom manufactured D25 assemblies on 8 pair Studio Blue to microphone, speaker and console cabling.
The Institute opened the doors to its new home in June 2021. Building on the success of the existing professional one-year Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering, the move has included the launch of a new five-month Advanced Diploma in Audio Post Production for Film and TV to meet the needs of students and the industry.
Alex Watson, technical services manager at Abbey Road Institute, says: “Abbey Road Institute is an amazing school that benefits from the knowledge of creative cutting-edge producers, technical experts, business professionals and established names across the music industry. We’ve seen demand grow rapidly over the years, and it’s been a privilege to be able to reopen Angel Studios and offer the space again to the future of the music and recor

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Cover Up - Theatres across England have indicated they will continue to ask audiences to wear masks for the safety of their staff and other theatregoers, despite restrictions being lifted later this week.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last week that Plan B measures - including mandatory mask wearing in theatres - would be lifted this week. Following his announcement, numerous theatres have said that they plan to continue requesting face coverings inside their venues.
Sheffield Theatres said it had taken the decision to continue with mandatory face coverings beyond 27 January, with this decision reviewed every two weeks in light of the number of cases locally.
“Since the theatres reopened last summer we have been encouraging audiences to wear masks during their visit. We took the decision to introduce mandatory face coverings before Plan B in early December and this remains an important part of our measures to protect staff, cast and audiences,” it said, adding there would be exceptions for those who are exempt from wearing face coverings, those under 12 years of age, and when people are eating or drinking in the building.
The Mayflower in Southampton also said it would be continuing to ask audience members to wear masks. “As the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory, our staff will not confront members of the audience who do not comply. The government guidance is clear that people are advised to wear face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces," it said.
Not Ready - Adele postponed her entire Las Vegas residen

symetrixSymetrix Professional Services launches
Tuesday, 25 January 2022

USA - Symetrix has launched Symetrix Professional Services, fee-based services that “leverage the experience and knowledge of Symetrix applications engineers to provide engineering support for their customers’ projects”.
Symetrix Professional Services include site file programming, custom intelligent module creation, and remote or on-site commissioning.
There is a dedicated in-house team of Symetrix applications engineers who can review the system design to ensure that the selected hardware will work seamlessly in a system. Because it is being reviewed by Symetrix, customers will have the peace of mind that it is approved by the original equipment manufacturer.

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Coachella Returns - Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Kanye West - known as Ye - will headline this year's Coachella festival. It's being held for the first time since 2019 after the 2020 festival was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival runs across two weekends in April in Indio, California, with the same line-up appearing on them both. Swedish House Mafia, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, Doja Cat and Run the Jewels will also perform. Billie Eilish will become the festival's youngest ever headliner.
Celtic Connections - The organisers of Celtic Connections have launched a ‘hybrid’ online version of the musical festival after shows had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions on crowds. Performances will now be shown online with some screened to smaller audiences at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. A small number of larger-scale shows will be rescheduled for later in the year.
Last year's festival was also forced to go ahead online due to the pandemic. Covid restrictions in Scotland currently mean that no more than 200 people are allowed at indoor seated events. That rule is expected to be lifted in the weeks ahead, but would not come in time for the start of the 18-day programme on Thursday 20 January. More than 1,000 musicians were due to take part in the event, which spans traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul and world music.
Music in Schools - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s foundation has pledged a further £1m to support a programme that gives disadvantaged children access to classical musical tuition

amberAmber Solutions Enabler available in kit form
Tuesday, 18 January 2022

USA - Amber Solutions has announced that its AC Direct DC Enabler is now available as a demo kit for technical evaluation by consumer, commercial and industrial electrical products manufacturers and semiconductor companies, such as Infineon Technologies, who have already announced an alliance around Amber.
This breakthrough Amber AC direct power system enables DC extraction directly from AC Mains without the use of transformers, rectifiers, or filtering. It eliminates many of the old-tech electromechanical components that are still standard today, enabling a dramatically smaller size footprint, while simultaneously delivering a much more dynamic, configurable power delivery capability. The result is an unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers and semiconductor companies to reinvent how electricity is leveraged, designed and feature-scoped in all electrical products, according to Amber Solutions Founder Thar Casey.
“Our success in integrating Amber’s patented technologies into next generation products will change how the world manages electricity and powers daily life,” Casey explains. “We are making our patented AC Direct DC Enabler available for testing by major global manufacturers and product designers who are eager to innovate and launch powerful new electrical devices and products based on our revolutionary architecture. Our efforts across a range of technology demo kits brings the vision of a new standard for silicon-based digital control of electricity a major step closer to market availability.”
The new AC Direct DC Enabler eval

5-starjustin-locksinguslasinskis5 Star launches customised packing crate range
Wednesday, 12 January 2022

UK - For the past 40 years, 5 Star Cases has been manufacturing flight cases that are already trusted by a vast range of industries, ensuring the safe transport of vital equipment around the world, even in the most challenging of environments, safely and securely.
Taking its four decades of experience and expertise, 5 Star is now producing a new range of custom-designed packing crates, which can be used as a cost-effective alternative when flight cases are not required, or as an added level of protection when they are.
Using the same advanced production techniques and extensive infrastructure at its dedicated manufacturing facility in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens, 5 Star packing crates are constructed with strength and durability in mind. They can be used for storing and transporting products across different industries and applications, from AV, entertainment, engineering and motor racing to medical and catering equipment. In fact, with an optional foam lining for additional equipment protection, 5 Star’s packing crates can be used to transport almost anything, anywhere, says the manufacturer.
“As with our flight cases, our packing crates are custom-designed to the specific requirements of our customers’ products,” says 5 Star’s operations director, Ingus Lasinskis. “Like all our products, they’re designed and built quickly and efficiently, but if you want something off the shelf, we also have a range of standard sizes you can choose from.”
5 Star’s packing crates are constructed from high quality 18mm durable Orient

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Overwhelming Loss - Bring It On the Musical has cancelled its planned UK tour dates after suffering an "overwhelming loss of income" due to omicron disruption. The show was forced to cancel 13 performances during its six-week run at the Southbank Centre in London due to self-isolation requirements, losing hundreds of thousands of pounds, producers said. It continues at the Queen Elizabeth Hall until 22 January, however producer Selladoor Worldwide has now announced that the touring dates that followed will not go ahead. It had been due to visit locations across the UK until 30 July.
A statement from Selladoor said: "Cancelling 13 performances has resulted in an overwhelming loss of income for the production during a peak period that would otherwise have provided a vital financial backbone of the tour. This lost income, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, has sadly rendered the remainder of the tour financially unsustainable. It would be irresponsible for us to continue, and we therefore have no option but to cancel the remainder of the tour."
Hard Times - Welsh arts organisations have warned of further income losses and threats to their recovery, as the government confirms heightened Covid-19 restrictions will continue. At present, theatres and cinemas in Wales have capacity limits of 200 people and social distancing must be in place between groups. These measures have been in place since 26 December, and will now remain for at least another week because of the continuing rise in omicron cases.
Big Night Out - The Nat

chameleonChameleon Entec UVC SafeClean saves the day
Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Austria - The experience of Chameleon Event Production’s personnel, combined with the advanced pathogen eradication tools from sister company Entec UVC SafeClean, twice saved the day, and enabled a fashion-based sales meeting from one of their most loyal and long serving clients to go ahead - in spite of COVID lockdown.
Having worked with global sports and fashion headwear specialists, New Era, since 2014, they were booked to stage an interactive sales meeting for their sales force at the Hilton on the Danube in Vienna, and had done 90% of the prep when Austria announced its lockdown on 19 November 2021.
Chameleon production manager, Sam Parkins, explained how the flexibility of his team, coupled with the trust invested by the client, resulted in the production house reconfiguring its studio in Milton Keynes and staging the event virtually, in a simulated COVID-secure environment.
The event was to have been one of four staged each year for New Era. And while it was set to have been a lavish live show featuring full room projection mapping and turnkey production, Chameleon have been well accustomed to producing filmed events for streaming and content delivery, since the first lockdown.
“We were two days away from having the carnet ready to go,” he explains. “All technical CADs were developed, signed off and all the custom scenic had been created ready to be trucked.
“Immediately we got wind of the situation I spoke to my client and we agreed the only way to get the job delivered was to consider what would be needed for a st

usitt2022-raffle-logoLRLR raffle and boutique benefit BTS
Thursday, 6 January 2022

USA - The Long Reach Long Riders and Behind the Scenes will host their annual fundraising raffle at the USITT Conference 3-5 March in Baltimore.
This year’s raffle will celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Long Reach Long Riders annual charity motorcycle ride. The Riders, who have raised over $800,000 for charity in their years of touring, will be riding 18-24 June on the Blue Ridge Ramble tour through the Appalachian Mountains.
The Behind the Scenes Boutique will also be open for business during the show featuring an assortment of great Behind the Scenes swag and the famous Long Reach Long Rider T-shirts and kazoos.
Tickets for the raffle are an affordable $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased at the Behind the Scenes booth throughout the show. Winning tickets for nine regular prizes and one grand prize will be drawn at 1pm on Saturday, the final day of Stage Expo.
The prizes, provided by donors, are: Grand Prize, Spotlight with Renderworks from Vectorworks; Ghostlight from Altman Lighting; SpotFX unit with battery pack and gobos from Apollo Design, American Express Gift Card from Barbizon; Event Safety Summit 2023 Registration from the Event Safety Alliance; Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother from IA Stage; $250 Gift Certificate to from Musson Theatrical; $250 Gift Certificate from Sapsis Rigging; ProPlus Rope Access Harness from Showtech Australia; and a USITT 2023 Full Conference Registration from USITT.
All proceeds from the raffle and boutique sales benefit Behind the Scenes, which provid

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Further Action - Labour is calling on the government to urgently take further action to support the arts sector - including widening eligibility for the Culture Recovery Fund - warning many “treasured theatres” face collapse without support. The call on the government follows an announcement from chancellor Rishi Sunak that £30m has been added to the CRF.
However, Labour said more needs to be done to ensure the “support is effective” and reaches “those most in need”. The party’s demands include: widening the scope of the Culture Recovery Fund Emergency Resource Grant so that previous recipients, commercial productions, and individuals can apply; speeding up payment through the Culture Recovery Fund so that the self-employed, and freelancers in the culture sector can have their contracts honoured, and an urgent review of the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, which sector leaders have previously warned does not meet theatre’s needs.
Freelance Aid - Creative Scotland has released details of an £8m fund for creative freelancers as part of a £21m package of emergency COVID relief. The fund is the £20m that was announced in Holyrood last week, as part of a wider £100m package, with an additional £1m from existing events sector funds. Creative Scotland will administer the £8m Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers and a £10.2m fund for organisations and venues. The remaining funds will go towards the wider events supply chain and will be administered by EventScotland.
Creative freelancers will be able to apply for between

lsi-xmasLSi’s daily online news will resume on 4 January
Thursday, 23 December 2021

World - As the LSi and PLASA teams finish up for the festive break, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued readership throughout 2021.
Whilst the pandemic continues to cast its long shadow, it has been encouraging to see the gradual return of the full spectrum of live events, and to bring you technical reports from some of the brightest concert touring, theatre and festival productions across both LSi Online and the magazine.
Our daily online news service will resume on Tuesday, 4 January 2022. Until then, if you fancy a read, you can access LSi’s full 36-year back catalogue free online here.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays - we wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
The LSi team

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 December 2021

More Cancellations - Almost half of London's major theatres were forced to cancel performances last weekend because of Covid infections, as Omicron plays havoc with live events. Of the 46 full members of the Society of London Theatre that had shows running, 22 scrapped performances.They included Hamilton, Matilda, Wicked, The Lion King, Cinderella, Cabaret and Come From Away.
Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh said it was "hugely disruptive" and the industry was in a "dreadful state". He told BBC News: "It's literally day-to-day. We spend all morning trying to work out if we can do the show or not. The important thing is, when we do it, it is safe, and the public have been remarkable in that they are, in our experience, turning up mostly to the shows."
Bookings for the first part of 2022 are well below expectations, which is "really worrying for almost everybody across the business", he said. "It's understandable why, but this is why we desperately need the government to step in and help the commercial theatre, because by and large the commercial theatre hasn't had any help at all across the pandemic.
"We've all used our reserves to get the shows back up. At the point that we're trying to recoup some of our losses, we are in a dreadful state at the moment and desperately need the government to help commercial theatre going through the next few weeks."
Most commercial theatres, which covers the mainstream West End and big regional venues that host hit shows, were not eligible for the government's Cu

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Record Spend - A record £4bn was spent making TV shows in the UK in the past year - almost double the figure before the pandemic. TV production slumped during lockdown but rebounded to a new high between October 2020 and September 2021, the British Film Institute (BFI) has said.
Some £4.14bn was spent filming British and foreign shows like Bridgerton and Peaky Blinders in the UK in that time. That compares with the £2.3bn spent in the same period in 2018-19 and is 10 times more than was spent in 2013. The latest figure includes money spent by British TV channels on home-made series like Doctor Who, The Bay, Shetland and Ghosts.
It also includes forthcoming streaming shows like The Essex Serpent from Apple TV+, Andor from Disney+ and Netflix productions like The Sandman and the new series of Bridgerton.
Netflix alone spent £740m making 60 TV shows and films in the UK in 2020, the BFI said, and has recently announced plans to double the size of its base at Shepperton Studios in Surrey.
Seaside Sounds - Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Stereophonics and Sugababes are among the first acts to be confirmed for next year's Victorious Festival in Portsmouth. Liverpudlian three-piece The Wombats and Mancunian indie group James are also set to feature at the event in Southsea between 26 and 28 August. Andy Marsh, the festival's director, said it was "nice to get excited about Victorious this side of Christmas". He said the acts confirmed so far were a "little taste of what to expect".

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Freelancers in the Dark - The coronavirus lockdowns have had a major impact on theatre freelancers, leaving them pessimistic for the future, says the leader of a study. Dr Holly Maples, of the University of Essex. said the "stops and starts" of the lockdown prevented freelancers from being able to plan ahead. She said many did not know whether they would be able to carry on in their profession.
The first part of the report, called Freelancers in the Dark, found 72.4% of respondents felt more pessimistic about their future as a theatre freelancers. Dr Maples, a senior lecturer at the East 15 Acting School at the Colchester university, said: "The closures of theatres greatly affected people's ability to plan and to carry on with the work they had been doing. A lot of people were kind of left high and dry, both by the organizations they were working with [that] couldn't pay them with the lack of ticket sales, obviously, and a large proportion, perhaps 60% to 70%, didn't get the government protection [of furlough payments]."
She said the project, which will produce a final report in 2022, had also found that many freelancers had found new skills. "Freelancers have also been networking and organising and built up a sense of solidarity as they felt the government and the public were not necessarily valuing what they do."
Mask Plea - Audiences visiting venues across the country are being urged to wear face coverings when seeing shows, in a push by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre to limit the spread of Covid-19 among theatregoers

top-50-scnSolotech maintains SCN ranking
Thursday, 2 December 2021

Canada - After another uncommon year, Solotech has maintained its ninth position in Systems Contractor News’ Top 50 systems integrators.
At the same time, Solotech confirms its place as Canada’s prime integrator, being the only Canadian company to make it on to the list. The acquisition of CBCI, a Solotech company, in May 2021, has further strengthened Solotech’s expertise in systems integration from coast to coast.
‘’This recognition is the result of the hard work of our team of experts,” said Philip Giffard, global president, sales & systems integration division. ‘’We have kept our place of choice in the market thanks to our strategic approach based on diversification and a wider geographic footprint. Our employees’ innovation and passion remain at the heart of our success, despite the many challenges they had to overcome. I am very proud of them.’’
For the second year in a row, SCN’s ranking is based on the annual average revenue from 2019 to 2021 rather than the previous year’s revenue. Thus, SCN wishes to celebrate the success of companies that met the new challenges brought about by the pandemic.

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Sondheim Remembered - The lights in London's West End were dimmed on Monday night as theatres payed tribute to US composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim who has died aged 91. The composer and lyricist, famous for creating the musical Sweeney Todd, was described as one of theatre's "greatest geniuses" after his death on Friday.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh said the world had "lost one of its greatest and most original writers". The theatrical producer renamed his Queen's Theatre venue after the composer in 2019. During his illustrious career, he wrote the scores of some of Broadway's best-known shows including Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story.
In The Courts - Two ticket touts who made millions of pounds reselling tickets to theatre shows and gigs including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have had appeals against their conviction rejected. The decision is being hailed a "major milestone" in the fight to clean up the secondary ticketing market and could have "far-reaching ramifications" for other online touts, experts have said.
Peter Hunter and David Thomas Smith were convicted on multiple counts of fraud in 2020, after reselling hundreds of sought-after tickets at inflated prices for events including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End, as well as Ed Sheeran and Madness gigs.
They used nearly 100 different names, 88 postal addresses and more than 290 email addresses to evade restrictions set up on primary ticketing platforms that


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