General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Freelance Survey - A quarter of freelance theatre workers have been unable to access emergency income of any kind and a third are considering leaving the industry, a survey of more than 8,000 participants has found. The research also revealed that 36% of the freelance workforce in the performing arts received no support from the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme or coronavirus job retention scheme.
The statistics came from the Big Freelancers Survey, conducted by Stage Directors UK, Freelancers Make Theatre Work and Curtain Call in June 2020. They have been revealed amid widespread calls for the government to ensure its recently announced £1.57 billion support package will reach all areas of the industry, including freelancers. The statistics were published as part of the report Covid-19: Routes to Recovery, which looks at challenges faced by freelancers in three areas: emergency relief, sustaining the workforce, and the recovery of the industry.
Fringe Alternatives - A crowdfunding campaign, live-streamed shows and a digital pick’n’mix platform are among the programme of alternative digital plans announced by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for 2020. The activities will support live-streamed and online versions of work from Edinburgh Fringe creatives and venues that will run from August 7-31, when the now-cancelled festival would normally take place.
The society will be also be launching a listings site that will act as a central navigation system for the various digital fringe options. In the meantime, i

bethe1toenglishusBTS launches suicide prevention campaign
Monday, 13 July 2020

USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative has rolled out a number of suicide prevention tools as part of joining the #BeThe1To campaign run by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its partners. These tools are available at btshelp.org/bethe1to.
A BTS survey of the industry revealed that most people want to help if they see someone at risk for suicide but they don’t know what to say or do, or are afraid they will make things worse or damage their relationship with the person. Evidence shows this is not the case and it is critical to reach out.
The first part of the campaign is called Know the Warnings Signs because the more familiar someone is with the warning signs of suicide the more likely they are to recognize them. BTS has created posters listing some of the key warning signs in English, Spanish and French and they are available for download in three different sizes. The posters are a simple design so they can be easily printed out and posted on call boards, notice boards, breakrooms, and anywhere other company or safety information is shown.
The second part of the campaign is the #BeThe1To poster which lists the five steps that can be critical to saving a life. The more familiar everyone is with them, the more comfortable they will be taking those steps. These posters are available in the same sizes and languages with the addition of a JPG for sharing on social media. They also include a QR code which leads to additional information. Each of the five steps is very straightforward but acting on them can sometimes be

 
 
lightitinred-main2Over 670 buildings join #LightItInRed across the UK
Friday, 10 July 2020

UK - Trending in Twitter’s top 3 on the night, the #LightItInRed campaign saw over 670 buildings, monuments, landmarks and structures all over the UK illuminated in ‘Emergency Red’ on 6 July (Monday) to highlight the vast challenges facing the live events, music and performing arts sectors.
The action was organised by Steven Haynes from Clearsound Productions and Phillip Berryman from The Backstage Theatre Jobs Forum. It energised theatres, arts centres, live music venues, technical production and rental companies and associated individuals and freelancers everywhere, who were able to enjoy the camaraderie of working together once again on a massive national event with real purpose, after many months of the industry being closed and shuttered.
On the eve of the event (Sunday) the government announced a £1.57bn financial assistance package for arts and culture including live music venues, independent cinemas and heritage sites which has been widely welcomed by everyone.
Noted structures illuminated in red included The Eden Project in Cornwall - where GLX lit all eight of the inter-linked geodesic transparent domes; Blackpool Tower which turned its permanent LED lighting scheme red for the night and the elegant metal skeleton of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in Somerset, which shimmered red thanks to the work of locally based rental company, Fineline.
The furthest North red installation on the UK mainland was Aberdeen Art Centre Aberdeen in Scotland and the furthest South the Apollo Theatre in Newport, Isle of Wight. To the West, it was t

 
freelancersFreelancers resource hub launched
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

UK - A resource for freelancers working in the performing arts sector has been launched to help drive the community’s bid for further government support.
Freelancers Make Theatre Work is described as “an inclusive community for the 20,000+ self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera, dance and live performance”.
It has been designed as an information hub for the freelance theatre workforce and will also act as a platform that will communicate the community’s visions and concerns to theatre management, production companies, industry bodies and government.
The website is run by a voluntary group comprising Adele Thomas, Andrew Whyment, Beth Steel, Bill Bankes-Jones, Chinonyerem Odimba, Hazel Holder, Neil Austin, Ola Ince, Polly Bennett, Paule Constable, Peter McKintosh, Prema Mehta, Simon Manyonda, Tom Piper and Vicki Mortimer.
“We aim to encourage more transparent and inclusive conversations within the theatre industry by listening to and articulating theatre freelancers’ needs to theatre managements, production companies, industry bodies and government,” the organisation states.
Visitors to the website (www.freelancersmaketheatrework.com) can find resources such as legal, financial and mental health support; information about unions and advocating bodies; petition and surveys, campaigns and protests; studies and seminars, and more. The website also enables visitors to contact government by providing MP letter templates.
Freelancers Make The Theatre Work recently carried out a poll e

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Big Birthday - Ringo Starr celebrates his 80th birthday today (7 July), even though it will now be online due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I've got a huge birthday; I am going to be 80,” says Starr. “But I am going to celebrate it a little differently this year from the last 12 years, where we had the peace and love moment at noon.”
This annual tradition began in 2008 at a 100-guest gathering for his birthday at the Hard Rock in Chicago. Since then it has expanded to 27 countries, with its epicentre on a big stage in Hollywood. The Beatles drummer celebrates the event with music performances from himself and his friends, in front of 100s of fans. But he had to cancel the event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, he will put on a virtual charity concert on YouTube called Ringo's Big Birthday Show. He'll be joined by Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr and Sheila E to benefit Black Lives Matter, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid.
"I've asked several of my friends to either send me footage from a show they've done and I'm using some of mine from the All-Starrs [his band] last year and I'll be there introducing. We're putting the show on at 5 o'clock (PST). But it's still my birthday and still peace and love," says Starr.
Park Life - Virgin Money and SSD Concerts will hold a music festival in Gosforth Park in Newcastle with the crowd separated to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Acts will be announced at a later date. A spokeswoman said people c

 
msolavoipfrontpanelMSolutions releases IP Network Analyser
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Israel - MSolutions has announced the immediate availability of its IP Network Analyser software introduced at ISE 2020 in February. Available for use on its MS-TestPro portable test device, the specialised, secure software gives integrators an affordable toolset to test AV signal integrity and performance over IP networks.
The MS-TestPro is one of the first HDBaseT testers to integrate AV over IP test capabilities, eliminating the need for an expensive standalone network tester. The initial software release is compatible with Cisco network switches and is activated upon connecting the MS-TestPro to the network switch. Customers can download the IP Network Analyzer software to their existing MS-TestPro devices for an immediate 14-day trial, or purchase the software for use on new devices.
The software provides immediate, detailed feedback on network and switch information and settings, and a general overview of IP network conditions and connections. The information received allows integrators to quickly confirm if network settings fit AV over IP performance requirements, and that the switch configuration can support smooth video streaming.
“This industry-first innovation represents an affordable value-added option for technicians seeking to minimise the number of testers they carry from job to job,” said Eliran Toren, CEO, MSolutions. “As Cisco switches are among the most widely used network switches in AV over IP installations today, the software will provide a near-immediate ROI for our customers installing complex AV over IP systems today.

 
 
lighti-it-red-montage2UK landmarks join #LightItInRed campaign
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

UK - Last night (6 July), some of the UK’s most iconic venues and landmarks were lit up in ‘emergency red’ as part of the #LightItInRed campaign to draw attention to the critical condition of the live events and entertainment industry. A glimpse of hope was given to Britain’s arts industry on Sunday evening (5 July), as £1.57bn was pledged by the government – yet the supply chain behind the production of live events and festivals, including many freelancers, is still awaiting clarification as to what support they will be offered.
Unlike other industries, live theatre, outdoor events, concerts, festivals and performances have been unable to safely resume due to social distancing guidance and other restrictions. Many predict these events may not resume until 2021. The #LightItInRed campaign aims to draw attention to the often hidden workforce behind such events, many of whom are not eligible for any of the government COVID-19 financial schemes – putting further strain on the sector.
Inspired by Germany’s #NightOfLight protest which took place in June, the #LightItInRed campaign saw hundreds of buildings and landmarks across the UK illuminated, from Cornwall’s Minack Theatre, Glastonbury’s bare Pyramid stage, Brighton’s famous pier and the Biomes of the Eden Project, to London venues including The Royal Albert Hall and the National Theatre, and further north to the Blackpool Tower, Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, Theatre Royal Dumfries and countless other sites. Industry companies taking par

 
theatreCOVID-19: UK arts to receive £1.57bn
Monday, 6 July 2020

UK - After weeks of relentless campaigning, the British arts sector has been promised a coronavirus bailout worth £1.57bn.

The funding was announced late on Sunday evening, with the UK government stating it represents “the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”.

The package includes:
- £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, comprising £880m grants and £270m loans;
- £100m of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust;
- £120m capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England;
- extra £188m for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33m), Scotland (£97m) and Wales (£59m).

The news follows the government’s announcement of a roadmap to reopening, which was heavily criticised by the sector for lacking investment and timeframes.
Commenting on the funding scheme, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture. That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for."

The industry reacts


Julian Bird, chief executive o

 
 
eric-nolfo-joins-7thsense-as-project-manager7thSense Design expands US operations
Friday, 3 July 2020

UK/USA -Media serving and pixel management specialist, 7thSense Design, has appointed Eric Nolfo as project manager as the company expands its North America operations to the West Coast.
Eric’s twenty-year career in the entertainment industry has seen him work in a wide range of project management and technical direction positions, including most recently with The Producers Group as technical coordinator for Bollywood Parks Dabangg Stunt Show and Motiongate Theatre’s Step Up Dubai
Matt Barton, CEO, 7thSense Design comments: “We are excited to be expanding our global operations with a new presence on the West Coast of the United States, and we’re very pleased that Eric has joined us in our first step of that expansion. Eric brings with him a wealth of project management experience that will be invaluable to the many exciting projects we have in the pipeline.”

 
letthemusicplayMusic industry demands government support
Thursday, 2 July 2020

UK - Artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, The 1975 and Blur are among the names demanding immediate action to save live music in the UK by signing an open letter to the UK government's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. The move is a bid to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.

The full letter reads as follows:
“Dear Secretary of State,
“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
“As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5billion to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
“Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
“This sec

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Brit Awards - Next year's Brit Awards have been pushed back by three months to May, to have a better chance of staging a full live ceremony featuring live performances. The 41st edition of the music awards show was due to take place in February at London's O2 Arena. But uncertainty around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the music industry to delay it.
Organisers said they want “outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement”. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of The Brits and industry body the BPI, said: "We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May. We are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times."
On The Campaign Trail - The Rolling Stones have warned US President Donald Trump that he could face legal action if he continues using their songs at his campaign rallies. A statement from the band's legal team said it was working with the performing rights organisation, the BMI, to stop the unauthorised use of their music.
The Trump campaign used the song You Can't Always Get What You Want at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The same song was used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.
In a statement released on Saturday, representatives for the group said that “further steps to exclude” Mr Trump from using Rolling Stones material in future presidential campaigning was necessary after previous “cease and desist directives” had bee

 
btsholidaycards300x200Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards available now
Wednesday, 24 June 2020

USA - The 2020 Behind the Scenes holiday cards are on sale now at the BTS Boutique.
This year, BTS is offering new file formats and customisation options for the electronic cards and an expanded array of price points starting at $20. These join the printed card packs of 10 with a standard greeting and personalised cards with a company logo and custom message.
Six new designs are featured this year. Robert Mark Morgan and Lynn Muniz join returnees David Gallo and Robert Mendoza, and Scenic Art Studios has contributed designs by Michalyn Monson and Angelina Vyushkova.
Sending a BTS holiday card helps spread the word about the charity and lets your recipients know it’s important to you to assist industry colleagues who are seriously ill or injured as well as support the Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Orders for printed cards will be taken until 1 October, 2020 to arrive by late November. Electronic card orders will be taken until 18 December. View and order cards at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenedscharity.org. For more information about Holiday Cards please contact 212-244-1421 or holidaycard@behindthescenescharity.org.

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Operatic Moves - Glyndebourne Opera House in East Sussex is planning to present live opera outdoors in August, seven weeks on from cancelling its entire summer season. Mesdames de la Halle (1858), Jacques Offenbach's one-act opera about vegetable sellers in Paris, will be staged with 12 singers but no chorus. Props and costumes will come from past operas, while the number of musicians will be reduced from 40 to 13. The audience will be limited to 200 people, with tickets costing £100 each.
Audience members will be seated outside in accordance with social distancing guidelines, while performances will be cancelled on the event of bad weather. "Experiencing live music and theatre, together, in an inspiring environment is what Glyndebourne is all about," said artistic director Stephen Langridge. "We are fortunate in having plenty of outside space available to us, and with a little imagination, we saw exciting musical and theatrical opportunities for performance in the gardens."
With coronavirus lockdown measures being gradually scaled back nationwide, some UK opera and theatre companies are tentatively contemplating a return to live performance. Last month the organisers of the BBC Proms said they hoped musicians could perform at the Royal Albert Hall for the last two weeks of the two-month classical music festival.
Cease and Desist - The family of late singer Tom Petty has issued Donald Trump with a cease and desist notice after he played one of his songs at a rally. The family said the president was not authorised to use the singer's m

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Coachella Cancelled - The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals have been cancelled this year. Both events were meant to have taken place in California in April, and had been rescheduled for October. But health officials have said they are "not comfortable moving forward" - especially given how Coachella is one of the world's biggest music festivals, bringing half a million fans to an open-air site east of Los Angeles.
Cameron Kaiser, who signed the order cancelling the festivals for 2020, said: "I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall. Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward." Kaiser stressed that the decision was not taken lightly - and he acknowledged many people will be affected. "My first priority is the health of the community," he added.
Fringe Benefits - The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has been given a special funding package from the Scottish Government to help the festival survive its cancellation this year. A £1m interest-free loan has been granted to the Fringe Society, which is the charity that oversees the annual performance festival. It will also receive £249,000 in grants from the City of Edinburgh Council (£100,000) and the Scottish government’s relief fund for businesses deemed vital to the country’s economy (£149,000).
This year’s fringe, along with all of Edinburgh’s summer festivals, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time the event has not taken place since it was founded more than 70

 
 
le-markLe Mark releases protective vinyl screen
Thursday, 11 June 2020

UK - Le Mark has released a rolling screen suitable for protection against sneeze and cough particles suitable for enclosed spaces, such as rehearsal studios.
Originally designed for hairdressers and beauty salons that require a simple, clear screen that could be regularly sanitised yet remain as unrestrictive as possible, the vinyl screen has lockable castor wheels and a metal frame and measures 122.5cm wide by 188.5cm high. (4ft x 6ft 2). It is available for purchase online.

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Arts Sector Exposed - A cut in public funding has left the arts sector more exposed to the threat of COVID-19, new figures suggest. The latest Arts Index, published annually, showed public investment in arts per head of the population fell by 35% in the last decade. However, earned income by arts organisations from things like box office ticket sales increased by 47%.
The Arts Index is published by The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), and acts as a snapshot report of the health of England's arts and culture. It is published in partnership with the Creative Industries Federation and King's College London and compares year-on-year figures using 20 key indicators.
The latest index, published on Monday, puts the recent figures in the context of the last decade, which saw a UK recession prompt a shift in the income streams for arts organisations.
After the 2008 financial crash, the arts sector witnessed a significant drop in public funding, business support and philanthropic giving. The chair of the NCA, Samuel West, said: "Arts organisations rose to the challenge following the financial crash; we salute them for increasing earned income in response to a triple whammy of cuts to public funding, business sponsorship and philanthropic giving.
"It's bitterly ironic that the arts sector's resourceful response to the 2008 financial crash is now the very thing that makes it vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis, with theatres closed and income from tickets and bars dropping off a cliff."
Providence Pays - Sky News reports that

 
 
theo-roodViral Armour Sanitiser available at DWR
Tuesday, 9 June 2020

South Africa - Due to the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa all events and large gatherings have been put on hold. As a result, Theo Rood from MJ Event Gear is taking on extra work as a forklift driver and warehouse manager for Viral Armour Sanitiser based in Johannesburg. Viral Armour Sanitiser is also now also available for purchase at DWR Distribution.
“I was very fortunate as a good friend of mine owns Mad Giant Brewery, the makers of my favourite craft beer,” Theo explains. “I have been a fan of their product for a few years.” With a ban on alcohol sales in South Africa - which was only lifted at the start of June - the Mad Giant Brewery has ingeniously been converted into a sanitiser manufacturing plant. Not long after, Theo was offered a job to keep himself busy during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, DWR Distribution is now, thanks to Theo, also selling Viral Armour Sanitiser. “In a time where people are adapting to continue to employ their staff, we have to commend Mad Giant Brewery,” comments Duncan Riley of DWR. “I realised that Viral Armour Sanitiser was a well-priced product and that it was something that we could offer to churches, schools, theatres and businesses or for personal use. Discount will be given on bulk orders and clients can expect the same level of service - with a smile - from our team, whether they are purchasing sanitiser or equipment. We look forward to hearing from you.”

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Blackout Tuesday - The music industry is calling for a ‘Blackout Tuesday’ in response to George Floyd's death. Major record labels have shared a message on social media promising "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community". Employees have been given Tuesday off as "a day of action", intended to "provoke accountability and change". Interscope vowed not to release new music this week, while Apple Music's Ebro Darden cancelled his radio shows.
"We stand together with the black community against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence," said Columbia Records, which is home to Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Lil Nas X, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Adele. "Now, more than ever, we must use our voices to speak up and challenge the injustices all around us."
"In the words of Dr King, 'There comes a time when silence is betrayal.' When you have a responsibility to raise your voice for change. That time has come," added Universal Music Group on social media.
Universal's chairman, Sir Lucian Grainge, also issued a memo to staff laying out plans for a task force, headed by chief counsel Jeff Harleston, to "accelerate our efforts in areas such as inclusion and social justice".
The British record industry's trade body, the BPI, also confirmed it would participate in the ‘Blackout Tuesday’. "Like many of our members, we will suspend normal business tomorrow," it said in a statement. "Our staff will share in this moment to reflect on the recent tragic events, stand in solidarity with all those who suffer discrimination and enco

 
 
ethan-headshot-squareLD launches Artistic Finance podcast
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

USA - A theatre lighting designer has launched a podcast to explore what it takes to financially sustain a career in the arts.
The Artistic Finance podcast is the brainchild of New York City-based LD and producer Ethan Steimel, who speaks to workers in the entertainment field on how they deal with their personal finances, addressing questions such as why some practitioners do well whilst others never break through to financial security.
“Our first interview is with Tony-award winning theatrical lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski,” says Steimel. “We learn how he came from Buffalo, New York all the way to Broadway. His career has spanned more than 40 years, and we learn what his finances looked like through it all.”
Steimel is a theatrical lighting designer from Saint Charles, Missouri, who moved to New York City in 2013. He has designed lighting for Masters of Illusion--Live! (US/Canada tour), La Boheme (El Paso Opera), Boys From Syracuse, (Theatre Row), Julius Caesar (Trinity Shakespeare), The Graduate (Forestburgh Playhouse).
New episodes of Artistic Finance are published every Monday and are available from all popular podcasting apps.

 
airtameExertis ProAV appointed Airtame distributor
Thursday, 28 May 2020

Australia - Exertis ProAV Australia has announced that it has been appointed to distribute the Airtame wireless screen sharing and collaboration platform in Australia and New Zealand.
“Airtame’s wireless screen sharing and Digital Signage platform creates a better environment for learning, sharing and creating together,” Exertis ProAV Australia president & CEO Kevin Kelly says. “The addition of Airtame to our portfolio of offerings means that resellers will have an innovative new communications and collaboration solution to offer their business and education customers.
“Airtame has helped more than 20,000 businesses and schools across the world cut the cables, unlock collaboration and use screens better and our team of sales professionals is going to help many more schools and enterprises do the same.”
Alongside its wireless screen sharing solution - which help schools and businesses increase productivity and engagement in meetings and classrooms - Airtame recently launched Airtame Cloud, which provides customers with one unified platform to remotely manage and monitor their Airtame devices, along with a range of digital signage features.
According to Thomas Ibsen Nielsen, head of sales at Airtame, “We are excited to partner with Exertis ProAV Australia to bring the benefits of Airtame to a large market of corporate and education customers throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Exertis team’s track record of providing their partners with outstanding sales, support and training is going to help us achieve our business dev

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Royal Patronage - The Prince of Wales has raised concerns about how orchestras and theatres will survive the coronavirus crisis. He said it was important to “find a way of keeping these orchestras and other arts bodies going”. The prince, who is patron of dozens of arts institutions, noted they were of “enormous importance” to the economy. “It's absolutely crucial that they can come back twice as enthusiastic as before,” he said in an interview with Classic FM.
The heads of the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Southbank Centre have all warned they are facing financial collapse without additional government assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Royal Opera House, of which Prince Charles is a patron, says it has seen 60% of house income fall away since the start of the crisis. “They're in terrible difficulties, of course, because how are they going to be able to restart?” said the prince. “It is a very expensive art form, but it is crucial because it has such a worldwide impact... and so we have to find a way to make sure these marvellous people and organisations are going to survive through all this.”
“I was completely inspired by that... Which is why it's so important, I think, for grandparents and other relations to take children at about the age of seven to experience some form of the arts in performance.”
Southbank Warning - The UK’s largest arts and cultural organisation, the Southbank Centre, has warned that it will have used up its financial reserves by September, forcing its clo

 
robe-peachy-productions-guildford-cathedral-03-photo-by-steve-parsons-pa-mediaPeachy Productions delivers food and light
Friday, 22 May 2020

UK - Philip French of UK technical production company Peachy Productions has just relocated to Wiltshire after being based in Guildford, Surrey for eight years.
But during the coronavirus crisis, he is making the journey back twice a week to volunteer for the Surrey Drive Campaign.
This is a locally-based crowd-funded initiative that delivers around 2,500 cooked meals - with locally sourced ingredients - each week for hardworking staff at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust hospital.
The Surrey Drive Campaign includes some of Surrey’s live event experts. After seeing heart-breaking stories of exhausted NHS workers finishing their arduous frontline shifts and being unable to buy food at this critical time, Steve Page and Hannah Sheppard thought it was time to step up.
Having furloughed all his staff while the UK continues in a largely restricted lockdown scenario with no live shows and events, Philip volunteered for some Surrey Drive driving / delivery slots and has been part of this operation ever since.
One day whilst dropping off meals at the Surrey Royal he was gazing at the city’s famous cathedral opposite and thought it would be amazing if it were lit up at night to show support for everyone! He thought that this could tie in with the nationwide Clap for Carers action every Thursday evening.
“Worldwide people are sending messages of goodwill and support using the medium of light to everyone battling and dealing with the pandemic,” he commented, “and I thought that this could also happen in Guildford.”
He ap

 
 
music-supportThe BRIT Trust backs Music Support
Friday, 22 May 2020

UK - Record industry charity the BRIT Trust has announced a donation of £30,000 to Music Support, the peer-led music industry charity that provides confidential mental health and addiction services.
The funding will help Music Support at a critical time when many people in the artist and music industry community are in urgent need of its help. It will also go towards Music Support’s ambition of giving 10,000 people access to Thrive, the NHS-approved mental health app.
Matt Thomas, chair of trustees of Music Support, comments: “We are hugely grateful to The BRIT Trust, the BPI and the recorded music sector for their valued support when we are seeing a sharp rise in the number of vulnerable industry peers coming to us for help. Technology has provided a lifeline to many during the of COVID-19 emergency, and this timely funding will enable us to give thousands of people access to the Thrive app so that we can support their well-being and mental health.”
John Craig, chairman The BRIT Trust, adds: “The music ‘family’ can always be relied on to come together to help those in times of great need. The BRIT Trust was primarily founded to promote education and well-being through music, but it also recognises the vital importance of supporting mental health - in particular during this exceptionally challenging time for the artist and music creator community.
“We've supported this great charity since its inception and have a long relationship with Music Support’ and their innovative Thrive app helps to do just that.”

 
unusualUnusual backs Mental Health Awareness Week
Friday, 22 May 2020

UK - During Mental Health Awareness Week, Unusual Rigging is urging its industry counterparts to consider what mental health in the workplace will look like in a COVID-adapted world.
As the entertainment industry has been knocked sideways by the global crisis, Tom Harper, managing director at Unusual Rigging believes the time is right to tackle the growing problem of work-related mental health problems head-on and to nip it in the bud rather than simply putting a sticky plaster on it.
MD Tom Harper comments: “If ever there was a time for it to be OK to not be OK, it’s now. With the world as we know it turned on its head, those who can put their hands up and say they’re ‘absolutely fine’ are, without doubt superhuman. With lives and livelihoods lost or at least put on hold, this year’s Mental Health Awareness week is really shining the light on the problem – but also on the solution. What can we do to look after our own mental health, but also ensuring the wellbeing of our friends, family and colleagues?"
He continues: “Our business revolves around theatre, museums, live events, sporting events - all of which have been closed until further notice, postponed or cancelled. A number of our staff have been put on furlough while we navigate this tricky period. But they’re still our colleagues and friends and so we embrace the amazing technology that wouldn’t have been accessible a decade or two ago.
“WhatsApp and Microsoft Team meetings are vital to help employees that are on furlough stay in touch with others. We’re also mak

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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