UAE - With the delivery of a large batch of over 500 pieces of LiteDeck staging platforms, Prolyte Group and Fruition Events LLC embark on a fruitful cooperation in the Middle East region.
Prolyte Group will deliver the LiteDeck staging elements in two batches, the first to be completed in September, just in time for the start of the season in the Middle East region. The second to complete later in October.
Fruition Events aims to become a recognised event delivery partner in the Middle East region.
They choose to achieve this through continuous investment into a world-class team of industry professionals and sustainable product lines that can meet creative challenges. They focus on offering a professional and full-service infrastructure for the events sector. Fruition Events have extensive regional experience and can boast varied strategic partnerships, guaranteeing expertise and knowledge.
“Investigating the opportunity of local production with the Prolyte Group fulfilled our commitment to not only invest into a sustainable product line, but also to enhance availability in the UAE market,” comments Warren Barlow, managing director of Fruition Events. “Prolyte Group manufactures leading products, which are widely recognised and used across the globe. LiteDeck offers a clean aesthetic look in comparison to existing steel products, whilst retaining simple functionality and creative design principles.
“Coupled with the extensive backup of the Prolyte network, we will have the added capability of developing special components locall
UK - East Anglia-based CEG has recently launched its new website (www.ceghirepro.uk) which includes a hire catalogue allowing customer to get a real-time view of inventory information and availability.
Working closely with rental management software experts, Current-RMS, CEG has created its website using the API (Application Programming Interface) provided by Current to help build these industry-first features, which give CEG’s customers access and control as never seen before.
CEG’s director Ben Bowles explained: “When we started this project back in 2016, we worked closely with Chris Branson and his team at Current RMS to see how we could build our new website using the functionality built within Current. From the start of the project we were keen to incorporate some ground-breaking features into the hire catalogue and rental account sections of the website - all designed around saving our customers time and money.
“The top priority was to be able to have our hire catalogue running live from our rental inventory - pushing new products, photography, statistics and other sales information without any extra data entry. This was the starting point of the project, we then utilised Current’s extremely sophisticated API to be able to incorporate product availability and custom pricing into the customer facing parts of the site.
“As well as this we were also very keen to be able to give our customers the opportunity to see their current rentals, PAT testing and diagnostic records as well as digital delivery notes. We also wanted our cust
UK - Martin Audio has announced a series of webinars that will kick-start a new monthly education programme for its bestselling product ranges and software platforms.
A major development in Martin Audio’s training initiative, these live sessions will initially be conducted by members of its product support group and in time start to introduce guest speakers featuring end users who will share their experiences, insights and expertise.
These sessions will be offered to audio professionals wishing to leverage Martin Audio’s technologies and optimise their advanced tools for problem solving in field applications. These webinars can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and all sessions are available free-of-charge.
Martin Audio’s director of marketing, James King, commented, “Our brand has started to become pervasive around the world and it follows that we need to accelerate our education offering to reach these new end users and to maximise learning for system integrators and rental companies of our products and software platforms.
“The sessions start with our new Wavefront Precision optimised line arrays – sales of which have outstripped all our expectations – and are followed up with sessions on Display software, CDD and O-Line as well as topics like noise pollution management.”
USA - The deadline for ordering 2017 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards is just one week away. These cards were created especially for Behind the Scenes and are a great way to spread holiday cheer while bringing help and hope to your colleagues in need. The order deadline is 29 September - so place your order now at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards!
Three card ordering options are offered: personalised cards with a company logo and custom message, card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, and electronic versions for delivery by email. All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured.
This year’s designs are particularly evocative of the season and include the work of four students - Taylor Brooks, William Gerton, Delayne Henderson, and Cassidy Woodburn - from the Fine Arts Academy at Mt. Vernon Senior High School in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Robert Mendoza returns with another of his popular whimsical creations and Brian Fockler contributes a striking card featuring the BTS ghostlight.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenedscharity.org.
UK - SLX has announced the launch of its new student bursary scheme. The scheme is aimed at second and third year lighting design, technical and event management students across England and Wales, providing five successful candidates with equipment, support and opportunities throughout the academic year.
SLX has supported and sponsored students in many ways through its history, employing student casuals, offering sponsorships and apprenticeships across the business.
Jo Sunners, business development manager at SLX describes the inspiration behind the scheme: “We’ve decided after a few months of consulting with drama schools and industry professionals to launch a new way of supporting the next generation of talent in our industry, something myself and SLX are extremely passionate about. I’m really excited to work with and support the successful applicants in the coming months.”
The bursary will be awarded annually going forward and will help the students who can best display a passion, dedication and enthusiasm for the industry, to grow their network and increase the tools at their fingertips.
Applications are already open for the bursary and the deadline is 11 October, after interviews of the shortlisted students have taken place, the recipients will be announced. The application form is now available at www.SLX.co.uk.
UK - On its first ever public outing at PLASA 2017, Le Mark’s new PAL Label Challenge was attempted by some of the shows strongest visitors and exhibitors, but remained completely undefeated.
“The PAL Label Challenge is so much fun. It gets really competitive between friends and colleagues but so far, no one has made it budge.” Said Le Mark’s marketing & strategy manager, Mark Gibbons.
What’s the PAL Label Challenge? Le Mark wanted an entertaining way to demonstrate the raw strength of the adhesive they use in selected PAL Road Case Labels. With the help of with 5 Star Cases, they designed a set of flight case plates, fitted with heavy duty handles and stuck them together using the very same super-strength foam adhesive used in their foam-backed PAL Labels. The challenge is to see if anyone has the strength to pull them apart.
With no one successfully completing the Challenge at PLASA, the search continues…
UK - Storm Ltd. of the UK has optimised its large inventory of ProPlex Data Distribution units, installing them in rugged, touring racks, a solution for their work on productions throughout the UK and Europe.
“ProPlex provides a truly versatile and reliable solution for our networking demands,” says Storm’s hire coordinator, James Price. “Much of our work involves ‘rolling’ entire systems in and out of venues quickly, and by installing ProPlex in dedicated racks we have our entire networking ‘brain’ in a single package. Some of our racks include the GBS 10-port, Opto-Splitter 2x8, and IQ DMX-Ethernet nodes. We also have IQ Minis for truss-mounting. Everything is wired with ProPlex cable, making our network arsenal ready for anything.”
Storm’s director, Dave Knapp adds, “The ProPlex software and devices are intuitive and very easy to use, as well as powerful, reliable, and bullet-proof. The flexibility offered by the IQ Two and ProPlex Opto-Splitters makes data routing via both hard-switchable and soft-patched universe outputs extremely easy when dealing with corporate events and other rental applications. We have racks going to Prague and currently at a corporate event in Vienna, as well as on the UK theatre tour of Dirty Dancing. Loving the kit and of course, the support from TMB.”
Since 1996, Storm has provided full technical production services including, lighting, rigging, sound, video, and staging throughout the UK and Europe. Serving a wide range of events from small conferences to large arena shows and tours, Storm al
Virtual Reality - Benny Andersson has confirmed to a Swedish newspaper that plans for a virtual reality tour featuring all four members is in the works. He told Expressen: "We see each other every now and then, we've done a few different things, and now we've got a project ahead of us" The tour, featuring digital avatars of Benny, Bjorn lveaus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog is planned to kick off in 2019. “It will take a bit of time, it takes time to digitalize a face,” he said, adding: "It's fun that it's so technologically advanced. It will be interesting."
Refurbishment - London’s Aldwych Theatre is undergoing a multimillion-pound refurbishment. The refit is taking place over 15 weeks between the closure of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and the opening of La Soiree on 24 November. The refurbishment has been funded by a restoration levy of £1.25, which is added onto ticket prices. However, theatre operator Nederlander Theatres declined to confirm the total cost of the project.
It will include the redecoration of the auditorium and the foyer of the West End theatre, as well as the retouching of ornate plasterwork throughout the building. Seating in the auditorium and carpets throughout the building will be entirely replaced, and the toilets will also be redone. The stalls, dress circle and grand circle bars will also be refurbished, and a glass dome above the dress circle is to be entirely replaced. Additionally, a new surround system is being installed.
Steve Hughes, operations director
Pop-Up Shakespeare - City of York Council has given its approval to plans for a pop-up Shakespearean theatre in the city centre. The council’s executive gave its backing to the plans put forward by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. The plans are for a 12-sided pop-up theatre, which will be Europe’s first full-scale, pop-up replica of a traditional Shakespearean theatre.
If the plans go ahead, the pop-up, which will be modelled on the 16th-century Rose Theatre, will run between May and September next year. The council has negotiated a package with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions that will include educational opportunities, an area to showcase local food and drink, and tickets from £12.50. Under the educational offer, schools in York will be offered material for lessons, discounted tickets and pre-show talks with cast and crew.
No Hope - The company behind a "chaotic" music festival that was pulled on the second day has gone into liquidation while owing almost £890,000 to creditors. Hope & Glory Festival in Liverpool was called off on 6 August amid reports of overcrowding, long delays for artists and acts axed at the last minute. Insolvency firm Butcher Woods said 32 creditors were owed £888,984, including Liverpool City Council. The council said it was "seeking recovery of costs associated with the clean-up operation" for the festival at Liverpool's St Georges Quarter.
Ticket selling websites Eventbrite and Skiddle said they had given full refunds to people with tickets for the cancelled day and a 50% refund for weekend ticket
In Flight Entertainment - German live music promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG has bought out British entertainment producer the Flying Music Group, as it looks to expand into the UK theatre market. Established in 1976, producer and promoter the Flying Music Group is behind theatre productions including Thriller Live and The Kite Runner, both of which are currently running in the West End, and forthcoming musical The Toxic Avenger. DEAG has now acquired a majority shareholding of the company through its British subsidiary Kilimanjaro Holdings.
Through the £5m deal with Flying Music Group, DEAG will expand its activities in the UK, moving into the touring plays and musicals market. A statement from DEAG said its sales in the UK are expected to increase to more than €100m in 2018 following the acquisition of the Flying Music Group. Stuart Galbraith, chief executive of Kilimanjaro Live, said the deal was "another important step in [DEAG's] expansion into West End touring musicals and theatre".
Twins Return - Eighties boy band Bros returned to the stage for the first time in nearly 30 years and thanked fans for supporting their comeback. Twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss performed at a sold-out O2 Arena in London last Saturday. They told fans they hoped their comeback show would be the "first of many concerts".
Bros announced their comeback show in October. It sold out in seven seconds and prompted the band to expand to a full UK tour. However, they cancelled all of their concerts outside of London and Manchester due to "un
UK - ER Productions is an innovative laser specialist providing cutting edge laser products and choreography to some of the most iconic shows internationally.
“We use Le Mark because of their good quality products; not just flight case labels but other items we have ordered. Le Mark's Hannah Tuoy in business development is always speedy with our requests and keeps us updated as to our orders,” said Hannah Williams, production assistant at ER Productions.
The PAL case labels that ER Production bought were used on flight cases, which contain the kit required to make the show a success, and go all over the world to the variety of shows they work on.
“Each case is clearly labelled which aids us not only when packing the kit in the warehouse, but also at the gig for set up & de-rig,” explained Hannah.
Le Mark’s PAL case labels are not restricted by layout, size, colour or shape.
South Africa - Not tip-toeing around what’s wrong and very wrong in the Rainbow Nation, South Africa, Mamba Republic is a rapidly-paced satirical sketch theatre comedy which reunites the talents of Ben Voss (Beauty Ramapelepele) and John van de Ruit (Spud). This brutally amusing production, from its opening at Durban's Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre through to its performances on the Main programme at the National Arts Festival in July, and its current run at The Theatre on the Square in Sandton ending 19th August, has continually had its audiences in stitches.
The Mamba Republic team generously donated R13 000 towards the SOS Charity Fund from ticket sales.
With their blend of sharp wit, hopeless optimism and clever characterization, the duo sank their fangs into the fiascos and foibles of South African life.
“As a theatre show, Mamba Republic is very pleased and proud to be pledging support to SOS,” commented Julia Clarence, from the Mamba Republic team. “We became aware of the charity through conversations with long term colleague and friend Michael Taylor-Broderick. He offered us his superb eye in an advisory capacity and in turn, we decided to pledge some money to the charity as a thank you. Michael's vision has been key to the look and aesthetic of our show, and we are grateful to have had his wisdom on our team. It is not often that theatre show can find such a direct avenue to give back to charity, so we are delighted that this venture was made possible by Michael and DWR Distribution.”
The SOS Charity
Ticket To Ride - Amazon could soon be entering yet another new market - working with US venue owners to sell event tickets. Sources told Reuters news agency that Amazon was in talks to offer event ticketing in America, seeing the market as ripe for a new entrant. If such a move were to go ahead, it would be the latest effort by the Seattle-based online retailer to use its huge customer base and bargaining power to enter a big market.
It would also challenge Ticketmaster, which has a strong grip on the market. Ticketmaster is currently the exclusive seller of tickets for many top US venues, generating $1.6bn in revenue from initial sales in 2016, according to estimates by research firm BTIG. That figure does not include revenue from reselling tickets, which BTIG estimates at $250m.
Price Sensitive - Producer Thelma Holt has become the latest figure to rail against “dreadful” West End ticket prices, claiming they promote a culture of exclusivity. Holt, who began her career as an actor before moving into producing in the 1970s, said British theatre had copied its "cousins" in the US in increasing ticket prices, particularly for premium seats. Premium tickets to West End shows can cost more than £200 each.
Other theatre figures who have spoken out against West End ticket prices include actor Andrew Scott, who insisted that an affordable ticket allocation at each performance was written into his Hamlet contract. Last month Andrew Lloyd Webber claimed that prices were “incredibly reasonable” given the cost of putting a show on.
Australia - TDC – Technical Direction Company supplies innovative video technologies to high profile live events, light festivals, TV productions and live performance.
The recent TDC Open House held at TDC’s Alexandria Headquarters on 2-4 August enabled production professionals to get their hands on the latest technologies, talk to expert TDC teams about how these new tools can be used in future projects, and to peek at the latest tools and technologies coming out of worldwide R&D labs.
“While we’ve always been known for using the latest video technologies in innovative ways to realise our clients’ projects, we’re now getting ahead of the game by developing and deploying technology such as automation, motion tracking and real time content generation that will be the future of live entertainment,” said Michael Hassett, managing director at TDC. “Throughout the open house event, our clients rebooked for double appointments and brought their important clients with them. The audience included many of Australia’s leading production people from TV, corporate, theatre, artistic groups, graphics houses along with eager students from NIDA and the Australian Film and television institute.”
These VIP guests had the opportunity to see some of the world’s latest and best video technologies.
TDC has expanded their capabilities to include show pre-visualisation, motion tracking, automation with technology demoed by TDC experts using d3, Notch, Blacktrax, the latest UDX projectors from Barco, along with TDC’s broadcast OB capabili
Creative Issues - Cultural organisations and universities are being encouraged to work together as part of an £80m programme designed to address issues within the creative industries. The scheme is seeking to come up with new ways of working or create new services that tackle problem areas such as skills shortages, equality and diversity, and finance models.
Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Creative Industries Clusters Programme will support eight research and development partnerships, each led by a university working with a range of creative organisations. Beginning in 2018, the groups will use money from an £80m pot to fund research and development projects. These will be aimed at improving the creative industries’ development in areas such as cross-sector collaborations, new ways of financing, equality and diversity and skills shortages.
Almost half (£39m) of the investment will come from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will be matched by university and private sector funding to make the total £80m. The programme, announced by business secretary Greg Clark, will be established alongside a Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Clark claimed the new programmes would "deliver a real boost to the country's already burgeoning creative industries", as well as grow the skills base across the UK.
Family Friendly - There should be a radical shake-up of Edinburgh's festivals to make them more family-friendly, it has been claimed. The city's culture chief is leading calls for the Edinbu
UK - Event design and technical production company Maestra London has expanded its team with three new staff.
Leonie Cumisky joins as PA and office manager, Paul Hayes comes on-board as assistant technical manager and Frank Uhl is the new warehouse manager.
Says Maestra London director Justin Hammond, “We’ve had a fantastic year and it’s very exciting to strengthen the team with more excellent personnel. Leonie, Paul and Frank come from a diversity of backgrounds and their dynamics, vitality and excellent personalities will be a great asset to our collective vision and goals.”
Leonie graduated from Goldsmith’s College, London, with a BA in Media & Modern Literature and previously worked for over three years as office manager for a leading UK design practice. Prior to that, she freelanced in the worlds of advertising and digital media.
Paul’s previous work experience includes gaining a degree in Music Production & Business at the University of Westminster and since has worked freelance for a number of different event and technical production companies and music venues, honing his technical skills.
Frank attended a Jazz conservatoire in France after which he completed a BA in Music Performance in London and then focused on audio and music production. He’s also taught world music production and digital drumming at West Herts College.
USA - At iWeiss, ProPower means continuity in more ways than one. Their oldest ProPower Rack Power Distribution (RPD) rack has been in continuous service for 17 years, in the most challenging and hostile theatrical conditions. With over 1,500 ProPower racks in service across North America, the story of this reliable workhorse product is worth telling.
“After 17 years of continuous use in the construction and renovation of venues, amidst all the associated debris, dust and dirt, our oldest ProPower rack still functions flawlessly,” says Richard Parks, VP of rigging and installation at iWeiss. “I can’t praise this product enough. It always saves us time and money with a single tie that the crew can work without an electrician, and it always passes the OSHA and AHJ inspections.”
Parks adds, “This rack has supported dozens of crews, rigging, welding and hoisting, year after year. It’s been used to power everything from power tools to sophisticated motion control and stage machinery. We’ve gotten more than our money’s worth from our ‘Old Faithful’ ProPower distros.”
For 40 years, New Jersey’s iWeiss has provided quality drapery and rigging solutions to the entertainment industry. Offering a variety of products and services, including project management; draping; installation; steel fabrication; backdrops; rigging; automation; and more, iWeiss takes great pride in superior performance and personalized service.
Custom-configurable ProPower power distribution systems offer a comprehensive range of distro panels incorporatin
Factory News - Designs for Manchester's £110m arts centre the Factory are being redrawn after a review found the originals to not be fit for purpose. The project received planning permission in January but the council will now have to spend an extra £1.65m changing the designs.
The Factory was first announced in 2014. It has been given a £78m grant from central government, as well as a £9m annual grant from 2018-19. It is designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA, with theatre consultancy from Charcoal Blue.
According to The Stage, The ‘novelty’ glazed and concrete exterior in the original plans will "compromise the acoustic performance of the venue", a review submitted to Manchester City Council claimed. Elsewhere, the theatre's design was found to be too complex and the orchestra pit too small.
The review, conducted by Manchester City Council, has put forward a revised scheme in which the building's facades will be altered to stay in keeping with the original design concept but without any associated acoustic issues. The theatre will be simplified and made "more intimate and balanced", and its capacity reduced from 1,700 to 1,500 seats.
The report said that after testing the with other venues and promoters, it was agreed that the orchestra pit must be in line with "the expectations of a venue of this size and quality", and should therefore be increased from a 50 to 80-player capacity.
The Factory is due to open in September 2020. It was originally scheduled to open in time for the 2019 Manchester International F
Ireland - The annual Galway International Arts Festival is one of Ireland’s largest cultural events. This year’s line-up features musical performances by Dublin’s own Gavin James, England’s Passenger, original Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and many others. Lighting for the eclectic series of nightly concerts in the festival Big Top is provided by Light Source, with data networking by ProPlex.
“We have used ProPlex cable and devices for every show over many years,” says Light Source general manager, Ciaran Donnelly. “This gig has two GBS 10-port switches, four Opto-Splitters including two Minis in the truss, and an IQ Two 1616 16-universe DMX node. Tying the system together are over 200m of ProPlex Fibre, and 200m of ProPlex Cat 5e and DMX cables.” Donnelly added, “Additionally, we are using 200 meters of ProCable Multicable, fanouts, and 16 amp TRS mains cables.”
Light Source system tech, Brendan Cummins, adds: “The flexibility offered by the IQ Two and Opto-Splitters makes data routing via both hard-switchable and soft-patched universe outputs extremely easy when dealing with touring bands and artists. The ProPlex devices and software are intuitive and very easy to use, as well as powerful, reliable, and bullet-proof.”
USA - With just under a month of setup, DNJ Pro’s west coast office is now complete.
“I am very excited to now have an office in California,” said Doug Brown, CEO of DNJ Pro. “Initially with only one office in Baltimore, I was concerned clients thought we were partial to the East Coast, which was not the case at all, but now everyone can see that we are dedicated to the entirety of the United States.”
DNJ Pro’s west coast office is based in Glendale, California, about 20 minutes from Los Angeles and features a larges showroom and demo space with all of the products that the company represents. “I am also excited to announce that we now have a dedicated west coast outside sales team,” Brown said, “This is going to be great for us and our clients and I am very much looking forward to the future.”
USA - Theatre Projects has announced that industry veteran Robert Young is rejoining the company after eight years away. Robert has over 25 years of experience as a designer and theatre consultant, and he’ll be returning to help the design team create dynamic, versatile, and engaging performance spaces across the globe.
Robert began his career in theatre consulting with Theatre Projects in 1999 and spent the next decade designing and specifying theatre systems and managing the technical production department. His work contributed to the creation of more than 150 projects - including many award-winning and acclaimed performance spaces. During this time, Robert established a reputation for taking a hands-on approach to designing innovative, flexible theatre equipment systems utilizing the latest theatre technology.
In 2009, Robert joined the Acoustics, Audiovisual, and Theatre Consulting practice within Arup, leading the firm’s West Coast operations for Theatre Consulting. He established himself not only as an inventive designer, but also as a talented project manager capable of delivering large-scale projects efficiently.
“I look forward to bringing my knowledge and skill set back to Theatre Projects,” Robert said. “I’ve gained a global perspective, a wealth of leadership experience, and created some remarkable performance spaces along the way. I’m thrilled to come back and join a team solely focused on delivering the best venues for their clients - Theatre Projects.”
UK - Flight case hardware and 19-inch racking manufacturer Penn Elcom continues to invest in all its facilities to ensure the production process stays efficient, and meeting the increased demands following the launch of global online sales portal, pennelcomonline.com in January 2016.
A range of new engineering equipment has been installed at the Washington, Tyne & Wear HQ over the last 18 months, including new metal brake presses, plastic injection moulding machines, riveting assembly lines and machinery to enhance processes like wood laminating, PVC / HPL, zinc plating and powder coating.
There have also been upgrades to the warehousing and distribution departments.
Consolidating all these key manufacturing processes under one roof and minimising sub-contracting enables Penn Elcom to have a high degree of control over its products, which guarantees meticulous quality control and the high standards for which the brand is renowned.
“It also makes the company versatile, agile and responsive to client needs,” explained David Brown, MD of Penn Elcom UK.
The 105,000sq.ft Washington plant is divided between manufacturing and warehousing and currently employs 133 full time staff, out of a total of 194 in the UK. The others are based at the Hastings facility in East Sussex, giving Penn excellent coverage and fast deliveries all over the UK and beyond.
The company also has major manufacturing bases and distribution centres in Mexico and China. These four facilities are the bedrock of a highly successful worldwide trade operation.
USA - ESTA’s Happy Hour to benefit Behind the Scenes returns for its fourth year as one of the biggest parties of the year and will take place on Thursday, 16 November 1from 6pm-8pm at the Havana Room located in the Tropicana Hotel. Tickets are $65 in advance and are on sale now at www.behindthescenescharity.org/btshh.
The Happy Hour features an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and music with all ticket sales going to benefit Behind the Scenes, our industry’s only charity specifically for entertainment technology professionals in need due to illness or injury. Since its inception in 2014, ESTA’s Happy Hour for Behind the Scenes has raised over $160,000 in sponsorships and ticket sales.
Sponsorships are available at all levels. Information on how to become a sponsor is available online at www.esta.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current sponsors for the 2017 Happy Hour for Behind the Scenes include: Executive: Altman Lighting; Platinum: Ultratec, Gold: Barbizon Lighting, Robe, Sapsis Rigging, Inc., Stage Rigging; Silver: CommuniLux, iWeiss Theatrical, OSRAM, Stan Pressner, Taylor & Taylor Associates; Bronze: ENTTEC Americas; Event Lighting: A.C. Lighting, Inc.; Media sponsors: Protocol, Lighting&Sound America.
Live and Kicking - More people are going to see live music than ever before, with attendance at concerts and festivals at an all-time high. The total gig-going audience soared by 12% to 30.9m in 2016, according to UK Music, contributing £4 billion to the country's economy. But there was a 13% drop in the amount of money being spent at small venues - those with a capacity of under 1,500. Those venues have been particularly under pressure in recent years.
The chief executive of trade body UK Music, Michael Dugher, stressed that small venues were a "vital part of the live music industry". "UK Music will continue to campaign to safeguard smaller music venues, many of which are fighting for survival," added the former Labour MP.
UK Music's Wish You Were Here report also found that 4m people attended a festival in 2016; and that 823,000 people travelled to the UK from abroad specifically to watch live music, spending an average of £850 per visit. Since 2011, the UK has seen a 76% rise in music tourism - but the live music industry has expressed concerns that Brexit could negatively affect those figures.
There are fears that artists might have to scale back European tours, especially if they are forced to apply for costly visas and £1,000 "carnet" documents - temporary import/export agreements - in order to transport equipment across borders. It may also prove harder for European musicians, technicians and fans, to travel to the UK. Dugher said he would be "pressing the government" to limit the impact of Brexit on the industry.