Festival Update - Live music and media festival South by Southwest (SXSW) has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. Organisers of the annual event in Austin, Texas, said they had no choice but to call it off for the first time in its 34-year history. The move was ordered by Austin mayor Steve Adler, who declared "a local disaster".
In a statement on Friday, SXSW said it was "devastated" by the news, but respected the decision. Event organisers said: "'The show must go on' is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation." Some of the event's biggest exhibitors - including Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook - had already pulled out.
Last year SXSW drew nearly 74,000 people with over 19,000 coming from outside the US. In 2018, visitors spent $350m (£270m) during the festival, according to a study commissioned by event organisers.
Several other large tech conferences have been cancelled in recent weeks including Google's Cloud Next conference, Mobile World Congress and the Game Developers conference.
Theatre Update - Andrew Lloyd Webber has delayed the West End premiere of his new musical adaptation of Cinderella until October. A statement from the composer said: “The show will go on sale next week as planned, but in the current global circumstances the creative team and I feel that this later opening date is wise.”
The postponement came as the Society of London Theatre issued a statement on the
Security Measures - A new law proposed by the UK government will require venues to put measures in place to protect the public from a terrorist attack. Security minister James Brokenshire has announced plans for the new Protect Duty, following a manifesto commitment to improve the security of public spaces. The new law, which is to be consulted on this spring, would require owners and operators of venues and public spaces to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take “reasonable measures” to protect the public from such an incident. Venues can include concert halls, stadiums and conference centres.
Measures could include increasing physical security, staff training and incident response plans in case of an attack. According to the Home Office, the Protect Duty “reflects lessons learned following the terrorist attacks in 2017, as well as more recent attacks”. Brokenshire said: “Our first priority is keeping the public safe and preventing more families from suffering the heartbreak of losing a loved one. The devastating attacks in 2017, and more recently at Fishmongers’ Hall and Streatham, are stark reminders of the current threat we face.
“We are in complete agreement with campaigners such as Figen Murray [whose son was killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack] on the importance of venues and public spaces having effective and proportionate protective security and preparedness measures to keep people safe. Of course, it is important that this new law is proportionate. This public consultation will ensure we put in place a law that wil
Valley Aid - Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield will join Grammy award winner Amy Wadge in a fundraising event for flood victims hit by Storm Denis in the Welsh valleys. Bradfield will play at a two-day Valley Aid concert in March. Thousands were affected in Wales by widespread flooding and flood warnings and alerts are in place across Wales. Crowdfunding pages have already raised thousands for flood-hit communities. Now Welsh musicians are rallying to help raise funds for the valleys in a two-day festival at the Pop Factory in Porth on 13 and 14 March.
Mobile Menace - A conductor twice stopped an opera in Cardiff after mobile phones rang in the audience. Carlo Rizzi was conducting Welsh National Opera's new production of Verdi's Les Vêpres Sicilienes, at Donald Gordon Theatre at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday night. Audience members said Rizzi twice stopped and spoke to the audience about the distraction it caused.
Backstage Careers - A new research project is to take a workshop into schools that aims to introduce students to careers in backstage roles. The project will also investigate young people’s attitudes towards a career in theatre in a bid to improve backstage diversity. The Backstage Absences project is being led by associate lecturer at Bedford FE College and former costume supervisor, Isolde Walker, and former stage manager and freelance technician, Bex Foskett.
Walker and Foskett have developed a workshop which they will take into local secondary schools to introduce 14 to 16-year-olds
UK -The Second Edition of festival and outdoor event sustainability report The Show Must Go On has revealed the latest industry figures, trends and practices.
Five years since the first edition was published, the new 126-page report, which has been crowdfunded by the industry, gives an insight into sector sustainability, and reflects the progress made in technologies, materials and operational practices to reduce environmental impacts. Its main chapters, authored by experts in their own fields, cover Governance, Resources and Waste, Water, Food, Energy, Travel and Transport.
The report also marks the launch of an online Knowledge Hub, www.vision2025.org.uk, a free-to-access resource that will feature case studies, briefings and a supplier directory.
More than 100 festivals and events have made the Vision:2025 pledge and more than 60 suppliers have supported the report.
Chris Johnson, chair of Powerful Thinking and Vision2025, states: “After a decade of the Powerful Thinking industry steering group, this is a significant step in the journey. The industry has now come together around a vision and has crowdfunded world-leading resources to inspire meaningful action. This has been a huge collaborative effort and our thanks go out to all contributors, including Festival Republic, Continest and Nordic Wristbands, whose financial support underpinned the process.
“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date,
Cultural Affairs - Oliver Dowden has been appointed culture secretary in the first major reshuffle since December’s general election. Dowden was an aide to David Cameron before becoming an MP in 2015 and joins the cabinet in place of Nicky Morgan, who stayed on as culture secretary after the election despite stepping down as an MP. Her continued position was temporary. Prior to the EU referendum in 2016, Dowden campaigned for the UK to remain within the EU.
Dowden will now lead the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, becoming the fifth person in little over two years to hold the secretary of state role in DCMS. Responding to the appointment, shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin congratulated Dowden and said she hoped he would be a “force for change” on issues such as bridging the arts funding gap in the north. A statement from the union BECTU said Dowden must be a champion for the creative industries, with its members needing a government that is on their side.
Live Aid Reprise - Adam Lambert joined Queen to reprise the band's legendary 1985 Live Aid set for 75,000 people at a huge benefit concert in Sydney. The 22-minute set was part of a 10-hour fundraising event organised to raise A$10m (£5.15m; $6.71m) for communities devastated by bushfires. Joining Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage, Lambert filled in for the late Freddie Mercury as the band performed hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
Olivier Awards - Producer T
USA - Last autumn, Behind the Scenes conducted an online survey of industry members which received an unprecedented response. This was followed by two focus groups in January to delve deeper into some of the issues and concerns raised in the survey responses. One of the most frequent complaints heard was how difficult it is to find a therapist who knows anything about the entertainment industry and who is available to see people on nights and weekends or through teletherapy.
Says BTS, “As one of the first programmes of our mental health and suicide prevention initiative, we are partnering with HelpPro to create an online therapist finder specifically for the entertainment industry. This means that we are seeking therapists who either have personal experience in our industry or who have previously seen clients who work in the industry and learned about the unique pressures and stresses.
“In order to make this programme a valuable resource for the industry, we need the assistance of everyone in the industry who has seen a therapist they thought was helpful. If you or a family member have experience with a therapist you think should be listed on the finder, please send their contact information to email@example.com. We’ll reach out to them to let them know when the finder is ready for them to sign up.
“They’ll be asked about their experience in the industry and will complete an extensive questionnaire that includes their areas of specialty, what insurance they accept and whether they have a sliding scale for those not covered, whether they have
Stage Awards Winners - Sheffield Theatres, ATG Productions and an initiative to diversify theatre boards are among the winners of The Stage Awards 2020.
Winning two categories, Sheffield Theatres was presented with the regional theatre of the year award and the first ever achievement in technical theatre award for its production of Life of Pi.
ATG Productions won producer of the year, praised for its Pinter at the Pinter season and the Ian McKellen On Stage tour, while the innovation award went to Artistic Directors of the Future for its campaign to diversify the theatre industry’s boardrooms.
London theatre of the year was awarded to Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, which underwent a £1m refurbishment to make the venue more accessible while producing 14 shows across 2019, and London’s Bunker Theatre won fringe theatre of the year in recognition of its support for artists from under-represented backgrounds.
Other winners included Leeds Playhouse in the theatre building of the year category, following the venue’s £15.8m redevelopment, and producer Selladoor Worldwide for the international award in recognition of the company’s global expansion.
Madame X Back in Business - Madonna has resumed her Madame X tour in London after cancelling dates in the capital and Portugal due to injury. The 61-year-old pop superstar returned to the stage at the London Palladium wearing knee supports during the two-and-a-half hour gig and told fans "happy to have made it".
The show included throwbacks to Vogue
USA - The 2019 recipients of the annual Above & Beyond Awards were announced by the ESTA Technical Standards Programme (TSP) at the 2020 NAMM Show.
The awards celebrate volunteers, who have made a significant contribution or effort that advances the TSP, and are held in high esteem because the nominations are made by peers in the Programme.
The 2019 winners are . . .
Joseph Jeremy (Stage Machinery Working Group) as co-chair of the Stage Machinery Working Group, Joseph was cited for having been the principal author of the controls section of ANSI E1.42 - Entertainment Technology - Design, Installation, and Use of Orchestra Pit Lifts as well as significant contributions to a new standard currently in development - BSR E1.64 - Stage Machinery Motion Control
Chris Schmidt (Event Safety Working Group) was lauded for having kept the Event Safety Rigging Task Group on track through many challenging tasks. Event Safety Rigging is a complicated subject that needs to distill down numerous technical requirements to the widest variety of Event Safety standard readers. The subject is elusive to many event promoters and planners and it has been the daunting task of the group to find the precise wording in order to assure the reader's comprehension of this most important subject.
Peter Willis (Control Protocols Working Group) has been an active member of the CPWG for almost 20 years and has contributed significantly to many of its control standards. Peter has also provided exceptional leadership in gathering various manufactu
USA - Bandit Lites has hired David Sloan as IT manager, presiding over the entire information technology department, including overseeing the company’s computer equipment, hardware and software needs.
Sloan has worked with The Learning Company as a quality assurance tester of foreign language software. He was promoted to QA tech, where he was responsible for building and maintaining the computer laps with prefabricated and custom computer set ups. Sloan also worked as a network administrator for both Mattel Interactive’s Knoxville office and East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA).
“For the first eight years, I was the sole technical support for the whole agency,” explains Sloan. “ETHRA continued to grow over the nine additional years, and in the middle of a moving project, the opportunity to join Bandit Lites appeared. It was an opportunity that I did not want to pass up.”
“With all of the growth Bandit is experiencing on both the production and sales side of things, we really needed to update our infrastructure,” comments Bandit Lites director of operations, Roth Edwards. “David's background is in managing large networks with multiple remote locations and a large mobile workforce. Coupled with his passion for his trade and desire to learn new technologies, he is a perfect fit at Bandit.”
UK - Apt-GB, the creators of the >teleprompter.video comfort monitor, has announced a major product giveaway running until 5pm on 28 February.
Apt-GB’s comfort monitors have travelled around the world with UB40 during their 40th Anniversary Tour. The band found them to be “an invaluable addition to their touring kit”.
Artist managements, tour mangers and hire companies with European or global tours with major artists during 2020 are invited to apply.
Says the company: “If you’ve seen or heard about >teleprompter.video and you’re intrigued, Apt-GB are giving your band the opportunity to take up to four comfort monitors on the road with them - they will even engrave your logo on the back!
“If that sounds like you, or just would like to know more, then please e-mail: Graham Gosden (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name and company, the artist name, rough tour dates, and an indication of countries and venues to be visited.
Council Strategy - Arts Council England has unveiled the strategy that will guide its work over the next decade, aiming to address what it says are “momentous” sector-wide challenges that include inequality of opportunity and a widespread lack of diversity. There is particular emphasis on communities and young people in the document, published this week, which lists the Arts Council’s priorities for its work and the organisations it will fund between now and 2030.
Entitled Let’s Create, its contents are broadly similar to the draft document published by the Arts Council last year. It is based around a vision that by 2030, England will be a country “transformed by its culture” and “in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish”.
No Show - Madonna pulled out of the first London show of her Madame X tour, sparking calls for the singer to cancel the entire run. The 61-year-old was due to perform the first of 15 shows on Monday at the London Palladium but said she "must always listen to my body and put my health first". In an Instagram post, she wrote: "I am deeply sorry that I have to cancel my concert scheduled for Monday in London. Under doctors guidance I have been told to rest for a few days.” Last week, the singer cancelled a show in Lisbon, Portugal. The next show is due to go ahead at the London Palladium on 29 January.
Kobe Tribute - The 2020 Grammys ceremony opened with a tribute to basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday. "Tonight is for you Kobe," declared Liz
Family Tradition - Emily Eavis has been named a Godlike Genius by the NME, in recognition of her "outstanding contribution" to the Glastonbury festival. She will receive the title at next month's NME Awards, 24 years after her father Michael won the same prize. "I remember being at the NME Awards when I was 16 and being so proud to see my dad named Godlike Genius," said Eavis in a statement. "It's a huge honour to be given the same award all these years later."
The award comes as Glastonbury gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift have already been named as headliners, while Diana Ross will play the Sunday afternoon legend slot, but the rest of the line-up is still under wraps.
Foundation Grants - The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded 16 grants totalling more than £225,000 to organisations including Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre.
Bristol Old Vic was awarded £20,000 to support its ensemble of young performers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre also received funding towards their programmes for young people. Other projects to receive grants included an assistant director programme at the Gate Theatre in London, Graeae Theatre Company’s Ensemble training programme for young D/deaf and disabled people and the National Student Drama Festival.
The charity Arts Insight’s ‘Production Week’, which offers performing arts experiences in secondary schools, was awarded
UK - Marketing and PR agency Sound Marketing has appointed Megan Draper to the post of marketing, PR and events coordinator.
A business management graduate of the University of Birmingham, Draper gained experience spending a ‘Year in Industry’ at Disney Head Office. Upon leaving university, she specialised in the design and implementation of social media campaigns on behalf of a wide variety of brands and joins Sound Marketing after successfully coordinating a high-profile brand rollout in the London hospitality sector.
Steph Dell, Sound Marketing managing director, comments: “Megan has already gained a great deal of valuable experience in a comparatively short time. She has worked in demanding and fast-moving environments and shouldered a lot of responsibility. We’re confident that we have recruited an exceptional addition to the team.”
Draper adds: “Joining the highly respected Sound Marketing team is a great opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to a very wide-ranging brief. Having operated in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, the move into the AV arena feels like a natural step and one that I’m very excited to take.”
Brit Awards - Lewis Capaldi and Dave lead the Brit Awards shortlists for 2020, with four nominations each. Stormzy, Mabel, Michael Kiwanuka, Charli XCX, Harry Styles and Coldplay are also among the acts to receive a nod for this year's awards, which will be the 40th major Brits show.
Both Scottish singer-songwriter Capaldi and London rapper Dave are up for new artist of the year, and despite their relative infancy in the industry are also up for the big awards of best male solo artist, best album and song of the year, thanks to chart-topping debuts in the past 12 months.
The past 12 months have been very successful for both artists, with Dave's album Psychodrama winning the Mercury Prize, Capaldi topping the singles chart for seven weeks with Someone You Loved, and both playing bit sets at Glastonbury.
Male solo artists dominate this year's Awards, with the line-up for best album mirroring that for best male artist, with Capaldi and Dave up against Harry Styles, Michael Kiwanuka and Stormzy in both categories.
Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Freya Ridings, Mabel and Mahalia are all nominated for best female artist, while Bastille, Bring Me The Horizon, Coldplay D Block Europe and Foals are up for best group.
Festival Report - Glastonbury Festival bosses must ensure toilets are cleaned more often and plan for hot weather better, licensees say. There is also concern that camping areas might be overcrowded, says Mendip District Council, which oversees the licensing of the world-famous event.
The issues are raised in a repo
Fire Damage - North London music venue Koko has been damaged by fire. The London fire brigade said it was called to the scene in Camden, in north London, shortly before 9pm on Monday night (6 January). About a third of the roof of the venue, which in previous incarnations was known as The Music Machine and Camden Palace, was alight as firefighters tried to save the rest of the building. The former theatre is covered in scaffolding as part of a renovation. The venue was due to reopen in spring 2020 after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
Royalty Cheque - Bohemian Rhapsody's success at the box office in 2018 was replicated in the living room last year. The Freddie Mercury biopic was the biggest home video of 2019, selling 1.7m copies in the UK. Two-thirds of those copies were on DVD or Blu-Ray, with the rest coming from downloads.
Overall, UK consumer spending on video grew by 9.5%, making it the fastest-growing entertainment sector, fuelled by the popularity of streaming. Data compiled by the ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) shows that physical video sales - which include DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K UHD - decreased from £616.9m in 2018 to £477.2m last year, a drop of 22.6%. “There is no doubt retailers of physical product had a tough time in 2019,” said the Entertainment Retailers Association's CEO Kim Bayley.
United Queendom - Kensington Palace will host an immersive theatrical experience for the first time next month. The building will showcase Les Enfants Terri
USA - Entertainment technology charity Behind the Scenes has announced that the The Lightpower Collection’s work of famed Rock‘n’Roll photographer and author Neal Preston is returning to the NAMM Show (16-19 January, Anaheim). Neal’s pictures will be displayed in the BTS booth #10747 and will include pictures not previously seen at the show including Mötley Crüe, Kiss, and Bruce Springsteen.
Neal’s books Exhilarated & Exhausted and In the Eye of the Hurricane and posters, including his famous images of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, will be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit the charity.
Neal will be present in the Behind the Scenes booth to sign books and posters on Thursday, 16 January at 3pm and on Friday, 17 January at 11am and 3pm.
Neal’s archive is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant photo collections. Rock fans know him best as the photographer who has toured with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others.
Lightpower is an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art.
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses.
World - As the LSi office closes for the Christmas break, we would like to wish all our readers a very special holiday and a happy and prosperous 2020. We'll be back with more daily news here at LSiOnline in the New Year, kicking off on 2nd January. Until then, have a great time - and thanks for reading . . .
The LSi team
USA - Behind the Scenes (BTS) - the US charity that provides financial support to entertainment technology industry professionals who are seriously ill or injured - has now awarded $1,000,000 in grants.
The milestone has been reached with the support of the wider industry, with numerous companies and organisations backing the charity via direct donations or by donating portions of its sales profits or service fees. “Every person or organisation who has made a donation, bought a raffle ticket or a holiday card, organised or participated in a community fundraising event, or become a Pledge-of-Support Partner has made it possible for Behind the Scenes to bring help and hope to our colleagues during some of their most difficult moments,” says the charity in a statement.
Grants have been provided to individuals from across the US and Canada working in every facet of this industry, from live events to motion picture and television production, broadcast, concert touring, corporate events and beyond. BTS is also helping those seeking financial assistance to enter mental health or addiction counselling. Meanwhile, the charity is working to develop a mental health and suicide prevention initiative that will provide information and resources to those in need or who are concerned about their colleagues.
Big Issues - Industry bodies have highlighted the biggest issues for the arts following the general election result – with Equity stating it is “extremely concerned” about the impact of Brexit.
Following the Conservative win in last week’s general election, organisations, also including the Creative Industries Federation, UK Theatre, Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Back for the Future Campaign, have outlined their priorities for the creative industries.
Equity general secretary Christine Payne said: “As the largest union in the creative sector, representing more than 48,000 professionals, we strongly encourage the government to take up the offer we make today of expert guidance on matters that are crucial for the future health of the UK’s creative industries.
“Equity remains extremely concerned about the impact Brexit will have on our members, in particular the need for the government to prioritise continuing freedom of movement, which is also essential for employers and engagers in the entertainment industries.
“To date, we have not been satisfied that our voice has been heard and we would urgently invite ministers to meet with us to address the key issues of mobility, tax and social security arrangements, safeguards for employment rights, copyright, settled status and funding for the arts.”
Ed’s Decade - Ed Sheeran has been named the UK's artist of the decade by the Official Charts Company. Sheeran achieved the milestone after a combined run of 12 number one singles and albums between 2010 and 2019
USA - PixMob, a Montreal-based company designing crowd experiences through LED wearables, won the new Sustainability Award at this year’s LDI for the PixMob Recycling Programme.
Since the beginning of the programme in 2018 with Taylor Swift’s Reputation stadium tour, PixMob successfully recycled over 1m wristbands, an initiative recognised by the LDI Awards panel.
“It’s an honour for us to receive this award because the Recycling Programme represents the first step in our plan to reduce our environmental impact and eliminate single-use plastics in our supply chain,” explains Jean-Olivier Dalphond, president of PixMob. “To achieve this milestone, we had to reinvent how we work, from our deployment of the Recycling Programme at venues to our message to the audience.
“Artists have also sought to be involved and get the fans behind the effort. As a result, we’ve seen the rate of wristbands returned at events progressively increase from 20% in 2018 to upwards of 60% in 2019. We also had to create a refurbishing process at our headquarters, an essential step for the wristbands’ lifecycle to become a closed loop.”
PixMob was founded in 2010 by Vincent Leclerc and David Parent. The technology gained traction by creating massive human light shows at the 2014 Super Bowl, 2014 Winter Olympics, 2015 NBA All-Stars, and over 2000 events since, including tours with Shawn Mendes and the Spice Girls.
This is the second consecutive year PixMob is awarded at LDI. In 2018, PixMob won the Best Debuting Product Award for its Moving head an
South Africa - The South African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) has announced that the Council of Events Professionals Africa (CEPA) will be reconstituted as a special interest group under the SACIA umbrella.
CEPA was established in 2014 as the events industry’s professional body to develop and award professional designations to individuals working in the events industry. Originally formed as a three-way partnership between the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Africa and the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), the Council (CEPA) has broad buy-in from members of all three associations, and the CEPA Board members appointed by the founding associations will continue to oversee activities through their appointment to a governing council.
SACIA has been instrumental in establishing and implementing professional standards and ethical business practices across the communications industries for the past 10 years. The journey has included the development and roll-out of professional designations for practitioners in the Audio-Visual, Broadcast and Live Events sectors - traditionally areas in which experiential learning is more prevalent than formal qualifications. SACIA’s objective is to provide clearly defined career pathways for individuals working in these areas, to encourage a commitment to lifelong learning, and to protect the public against unethical and/or unprofessional behaviour from certified members.
Along with the
Festive Spirit - Theatre Royal Stratford East will make its pantomime available for streaming to local hospitals and care homes. Its production of Dick Whittington will be captured live at the venue and made available for streaming to hospitals, hospices and care homes in east London and Essex. The initiative expands on a 2017 scheme in which Rapunzel was made available to three organisations in and around the area.
TRSE head of learning and participation Flo Paul said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this streaming service to people in our local community who are not able to make it to Theatre Royal Stratford East to see our much-loved annual panto. This year we are expanding the offer to adults in care homes, as well as children in hospices and hospitals. At Stratford East, we believe it’s vital to offer a range of opportunities for people of all ages in Newham and the surrounding boroughs to engage with our theatre.”
Dick Whittington is directed by John Haidar and stars Sèverine Howell-Meri, Harry Jardine, Vedi Roy, Bree Smith, Lizzie Winkler, Francesca Zoutewelle and Tom Giles. It runs until January 11, 2020.
Chart Watch - Robbie Williams has become the joint most successful solo act in UK album chart history after scoring his 13th number one, level with Elvis Presley. Robbie's The Christmas Present moved to the top spot after entering at number two behind Coldplay last week. The Beatles hold the overall record with 15 UK number one albums.
Beyond The Fringe - A Morecambe arts venue i
USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that J-4 Design has become a Pledge-a-Service partner by pledging to donate a percentage of their fees from theatrical lighting equipment repair to the charity. This represents a percentage of the gross labour charges from every repair order or outsourcing contract.
J-4 Design focuses on architectural and theatrical systems sales and equipment repair services and work on all types of architectural and theatrical systems.
On announcing the pledge, founder Scott ‘Scooter’ Wasserberg states: “I’m doing this because I was once in pain and dealing with my own personal mental health crisis and trying to find ways to pay the bills and find a new job and just not feel down. Our Pledge-a-Service commitment speaks to the heart of the company’s mission, to build partnerships and find solutions. Behind the Scenes provides solutions for many in our industry. By repairing equipment, we in turn help to repair each other.”
Rick Rudolph, the chair of Behind the Scenes, comments: “We are so pleased to welcome Scooter and J-4 Design as our newest Pledge-a-Service Partner. Scooter has already demonstrated his long-standing commitment to supporting the charity with creative fundraising ideas and we are grateful he has chosen to take the next step of becoming a year-round contributor. Our Pledge-of-Support Programme participants play a key role in spreading the word that help is available, and we know Scooter is especially keen to make sure those who are in need of mental health support know they can turn to Behind th
Call to Arms - Industry leaders including National Theatre bosses Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger and Bristol Old Vic’s artistic director Tom Morris are calling on the sector to band together to fight for increased arts investment from a new government. They have issued the call to arms in an attempt to undo the effects of austerity-era cuts.
Their demands for increased arts funding from central government come alongside warnings that the regional theatre sector could “fall over” if support does not increase, and that the crisis facing organisations nationwide is “sharper and more acute” than has so far been publicly acknowledged.
As the UK prepares to head to the polls and with both Labour and the Conservatives promising a boost to public spending, theatre bosses have claimed now is the moment for a major policy shift around arts funding.
Morris said: “It is fantastic that militant austerity is now under review, and it is fantastic that there is more investment being talked about in health, social care, education and policing. But let’s not at the same time miss the opportunity of assessing what the impact of investment could be in the creative sector, the only sector of the economy that has grown year on year over the past 10 years.”
Theatre Collapse - Claims totalling more than £378,000 have been made against the collapsed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. The pop-up venue ran in York and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire this summer under the company Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd. However, the company began liquidation pro