UK - Specialist set designer Diagon has created a new 40,000sq.ft workshop in Erith, southeast London. The facility doubles the company's indoor footprint and will house specialist departments for carpentry, engineering, paint and CAD.
A provider of bespoke scenic build and installation services for the retail, exhibition and event sectors, Diagon works with clients including Christie's auction house, George P Johnson, the BRIT Awards and artist and stage designer, Es Devlin.
Tom Sabin, managing director, comments: “This fabulous new facility marks a huge milestone for Diagon. Coming just after our 21st anniversary, we have doubled our fabrication capacity, created a new studio department with incredible draughting and design capability and added some fantastic staff to the team. With a busy summer ahead, we now have the ability to further step up the scale and quantity of projects we can take on.”
Diagon has expanded each workshop department and invested in new equipment, machinery and storage including a new dedicated assembly area of 120sq.m where clients can see work in progress or full test builds with tech integration.
The workshop’s internal height of 7.5m gives Diagon space for large scale builds with the addition of another 20,000sq.ft of hardstanding yard area for easy truck access and outdoor test build space. Within the facility there is a dedicated area of 5000sq.ft for client storage where sets and installations can be kept in a secure, dry area in pristine condition for future use.
Other improvements include larg
Platinum Party - An average of nearly 12 million people in the UK watched the Platinum Party in the Palace on BBC One on Saturday. The concert saw stars Diana Ross, George Ezra, Queen, Elbow and many others perform in front of a Buckingham Palace crowd that included members of the royal family. It attracted the BBC's biggest audience of the year, peaking at 13.4 million. The BBC states: "The Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC One was the most watched programme of the year so far."
Going Green - Directors and designers working at London’s National Theatre will receive additional pay if they contribute to the organisation’s sustainability goals, artistic director Rufus Norris has announced. The National Theatre boss said the financial incentive reflected the extra work that is required to deliver on the environmental objectives set out in the Theatre Green Book.
Speaking at an event marking a year of the Theatre Green Book, hosted at the NT’s South Bank home, Norris admitted his own productions had historically "not been the best models of practice", and pledged to work to the Green Book’s standards on all shows he makes in future.
The book, described as a "one-stop shop" to help the industry nurture more sustainable practices, was launched last year. It offers three levels of environmental standards that theatres should adhere to in order to cut carbon emissions in both the making of shows and running of buildings.
Back Home - Fans of Robbie Williams at his concert in his native Stoke-on-Trent
Peace Move - Ukrainian punk-folk quartet Dakha Brakha will bring an anti-war message to Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage next month. The band will play the festival's main stage on Sunday morning, shortly before Diana Ross makes her festival debut. For years, the band have called themselves ‘ambassadors of free Ukraine’ and punctuated concerts with cries of ‘Stop Putin!’ and ‘No war!’. They are currently donating proceeds from their shows to the Ukrainian army.
The quartet were one of several acts added to the Glastonbury line-up, as the festival revealed its full programme for 2022. Yungblud, AJ Tracey, The Libertines, Kae Tempest, Ziggy Marley and Little Dragon will join previously-announced headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar. On the festival's second-biggest stage, The Other Stage, Pet Shop Boys, Megan Thee Stallion and Foals will top the bill.
Fighting Fund - Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian band which won this year's Eurovision Song Contest, have sold their trophy for £712,000 to raise money for the war in Ukraine. The crystal microphone was auctioned on Facebook, with the aim of buying drones for Ukraine's military. The sale coincided with the band's appearance at a charity concert at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. It aimed to raise money for medical care and supplies.
Speaking at the concert, band member Oleh Psiuk appealed for people not to get used to the war, which has left at least 4,031 civilians dead and 4,735 injured, according to the UN, along with an unknown number of combatants. “I think it shoul
USA/Europe - HireHop, the cloud equipment rental software, has been adding new features and has just released its new route planner to help companies plan their deliveries, collections and service runs.
Deliveries, collections and other transports can be set to be automatically added when a user adds a delivery charge or collection charge to a job. There can be multiple deliveries, collections or service runs on each job, and all on different or the same dates. For some companies who need to schedule service runs over the duration of a rental, they can even schedule multiple runs at set or various intervals, for example a toilet hire company can schedule services every week to appear on the daily allocations in the route planner.
The planner also keeps track of weight, drivers and assistants and it can plot and display optimal delivery routes on a map. The delivery routes can be emailed to drivers who can open them on Google Maps for preset satnav guidance for the day’s delivery route. The route planner is available for free to all HireHop users.
HireHop has also released a new feature that breaks down as well as total profit and margins for jobs and projects. This enables users to decide if the job or project is profitable enough to undertake or see if the profit margins are within target.
For scanning barcode or QR codes, HireHop now has a built-in barcode scanner that uses the devices camera. This means that you don’t need any external barcode scanner and can just use your phone to scan.
There have been many other updates, such
Alienating Audiences - Expensive ticket prices risk alienating audiences and exposing theatre workers to “further vulnerability”, BECTU head Philippa Childs has warned. The union boss was addressing recent uproar caused by the West End production of Cock increasing its top-priced seats to £400, before reducing them to £175 following a social media backlash. Childs described the “steep rise” in ticket prices as “deeply concerning for a sector that is trying to get back to pre-pandemic audience levels”.
“When faced with soaring ticket rates amid the ever-increasing cost-of-living crisis, audiences will have little choice but to cut back on the expense of going to the theatre, leaving productions out of pocket and exposing workers to further vulnerability,” she said.
The BECTU head also argued that increased ticket prices were not being reflected in workers’ pay. “The shutdown of the industry during the pandemic prompted many to leave the theatre industry in search of alternative work that provided better terms and conditions, resulting in a significant skills shortage across the sector. Poor pay is a major contributor to this issue and will continue to harm the industry if the problem is not addressed,” she warned.
Breakout Cancelled - A three-day music festival in Fife featuring Midge Ure and Big Country has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. The inaugural Kirkcaldy Breakout Festival was due to take place on the town's Esplanade from 27 -29 May. But organisers have confirmed the event, which would have rais
UK - IPS has added over 30km of power cabling and 300 distribution units to its hire stock. This significant stock increase has already been hard at work supporting both IPS productions onsite, as well as meeting the needs of IPS’ range of trade hire customers.
Over the last few months, IPS have been working hard to increase hire stocks all the hardware needed for the distribution of temporary power at events. Close working relationships with suppliers have been essential whilst battling supply restrictions and varying lead times along with all the other pressures associated with coronavirus, along with tireless work from Joe Martin who leads the IPS service department.
“It really has been a non-stop few months for me and the team, but despite all the obstacles, we are pleased to now have an expanded and upgraded range of fully tested cabling and power distribution equipment ready to hire,” says Joe.
In total, around £750,000 has been spent on hardware that will provide many years of reliable service. All the new cabling has been made with tough black H07 cable and fitted with either CEE Form or PowerLock connectors. IPS now has an available hire inventory of more than 80km of mains cabling consisting of both single and three phase options, in 16A, 32A, 63A, 125A, 200A, 400A and 600A variants.
The 200A Power Lock range is new for 2022, with sets stocked in 5m, 10m, 25m and 50m lengths. All cabling is colour coded and labelled with length and ID details and has been electrically tested and logged on the IPS barcode-based inventory syste
UK - Collaborative Creations has announced three new appointments in key positions.
Nic Farman has joined the CC team as its new lighting designer & business development specialist. Farman was previously a freelance lighting designer and will now be continuing his lighting design work in theatres internationally, but under the CC banner.
Farman has more than 10 years of experience lighting musicals, theatre and opera. He has worked extensively in the UK’s West End, as well as on shows in Lebanon, Dubai, and Kuwait.
The appointment comes following two further additions to the team at Collaborative Creations in recent months. Chris West joined as training and education director in February, offering a wide range of in-person and e-learning training courses.
West’s previous role was Global Training Manager for disguise. He has also worked in training roles for MA Lighting, White Light, Martin and Avolites.
In December 2021, Collaborative Creations also appointed Tyler Holpin as business development specialist. Holpin’s previous role was sales manager at console manufacturer Zero 88
Collaborative Creations managing director Tom Wilkes comments, “We continue to add more strings to our bow with these three appointments. Nic, Chris and Tyler are all well-known faces in the industry who are at the very top of their game. They bring a huge amount of experience, a deep roster of contacts and a powerful set of skills to our clients and the industry at large.”
Review Programme - Arts Council England’s future is to be considered as part of a government review into all arm’s length bodies, which could see some bodies scrapped and significant savings demanded from those that remain. The newly launched Reviews of Public Bodies programme, run by the Cabinet Office, will examine the operations of all arm’s length bodies in England and assess whether "they should be abolished or retained", as well as whether money allocated to them is spent effectively. Savings of at least 5% per organisation should be identified as part of the review process.
The department will lead reviews in charge of each public body, meaning the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be asked to review the public bodies it sponsors, including the Arts Council, the BFI, the National Lottery Community Fund and Historic England.
At present, arm’s length bodies in England spend more than £220bn each year and employ more than 300,000 people. The review programme, launched by Jacob Rees-Mogg, minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency - will seek to ensure public bodies are both a “necessity” and “accountable, efficient and effective”. Rees-Mogg said: “Reviews will consider whether the body should be abolished or retained; whether it should continue to deliver all of its functions; and whether it has an effective relationship with its department.”
Supper Songs - A diner featuring singing waiting staff who will serenade customers with musical theatre songs is to open in the West E
UK - Le Mark’s head of export Karolina Wlodarczyk has been invited to be an ‘export champion’ for the UK’s Department of International Trade.
Karolina is a Polish citizen originally from the town of Raciborz, who studied (2004-2009) and graduated from Opole University with a master’s degree in English Language and Cultural Studies.
She is currently undertaking additional formal business training and education with an ambition to see a future graduation with ARU Peterborough.
Since joining Cambridgeshire based Le Mark Group, her career has grown from strength to strength. Karolina has built a reputation internationally, leading from the front at trade shows around the world. Since joining Le Mark she has represented the company at LDI Las Vegas, Prolight+Sound Frankfurt and Light + Audio Tec (formerly Prolight+Sound NAMM Russia). Karolina is now responsible for over 70 international Le Mark distributors, either directly, or overseeing via her export department team.
“Karolina has worked with me on several DIT initiatives, both regionally, internationally, and more recently in London at the DIT headquarters in Old Admiralty Building,” says Le Mark managing director Stuart Gibbons. “She is respected by many. I believe her skills were recognised at high level where she was formally invited to take on the position of ‘export champion’ by DIT.
“She will now represent both her company and the UK, encouraging and developing companies to export and develop their overseas trade skills. It’s a pleasure to share this story of
Ireland - Dublin-based Magic Kite has grown over the years to become one of the largest audio suppliers on the island. Along with sister company Just Lite, it is a one-stop shop for all technical aspects of a production including lighting, screens and professional audio equipment, delivering productions for international touring artists, festivals and stadium concerts of all sizes.
Magic Kite constantly upgrades its equipment to suit the many levels and specifications, and VDC has been instrumental in equipping the company with the kit required.
Recent provision includes a fully custom designed 48-channel line system, including a 48ch split, upstage looms, satellite boxes, a variety of 24 and 12 pair Veam to Veams, upstage socapex looms, 16a and 32a cables for mains distribution, and panel work.
VDC has also helped Magic Kite carry out a complete overhaul of its on-stage monitoring cabling and sub boxes completing the transition to a standardised system for all its on-stage monitors and loudspeakers.
Steven Montgomery, senior project manager and system designer at Magic Kite Productions, comments: "Since I was introduced to Adam and Herpreet at VDC several years ago, they have been my first port of call for any cable or panel work projects. They always go above and beyond to understand the end goal of the project, providing valuable experienced input and keep in touch every step of the way. The quality of products from VDC really are second to none – surviving years of rigorous use and 1000s of connections with a near zero fail rate, givin
Free Movement - UK hauliers working on music concerts, sporting and cultural events will be able to make unlimited international trips under new rules. Since Brexit, British specialist hauliers have been limited to three EU stops per tour, the government said. But from late summer they will be able to move freely between the UK, the EU and other countries, it said.
The change has been cautiously welcomed by industry experts but they said it did not solve the problem for everyone. Wob Roberts, production manager for Duran Duran and Sam Smith, told the BBC the move was good news for UK and European tours but did not help smaller UK-based operations which do not have another base overseas.
New dual registration laws will apply to haulage companies with a base in the UK and another abroad, the Department for Transport said. It means they will be able to transfer their vehicle between both operator licences without the need to change vehicles or have their journeys limited. They will also not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the UK for six months. The new rules will apply to travel not just to the EU, but also to other countries.
Industry group UK Music said the rule change was "important progress for UK musicians and crew looking to tour the EU". But chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin told the BBC there were still issues around the transport of goods or passengers.
Breaking Point - Theatre workers are at "breaking point" after enduring decades of long hours and low wages, BECTU has warned, as it demands “substantial and me
UK - Flight case manufacturers, 5 Star Cases believes in normalising discussions about mental health at work and breaking down barriers when it comes to the stigma of mental illness.
According to 5 Star’s accounts & HR manager Kirsty Locks, authentic human connections need to start with treating every member of the team as an individual and ensuring everyone feels that they belong. “This is what creates true diversity and inclusion, and that’s why we’ve been so passionate about advocating this within our team,” says Kirsty. “For everyone to feel they belong, this also means being vulnerable at times, which is why we have been integrating mental health and wellbeing services within our workplace to keep employees happy and in a healthy state of mind.”
The company has taken some important steps to ensure the mental wellbeing of its workforce is being looked after. “We’ve always known how important our staff’s mental wellbeing is, but during the pandemic we realised just how vital it is, so we did something more about it. We signed up for The Healthy Workplace, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and delivered by Everyone Health.
“The Healthy Workplace service supports workplaces across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. 5 Star is also running an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) in partnership with Peninsula and Health Assured, which includes mental and wellbeing support for all employees and their families, including phone and face to f
Europe - Sound system manufacturer Nexo is teaming up with asset financing specialists Medialease to launch new funding projects in Europe. The financial solutions will be available to venues, rental companies and system integrators and will use local funding partners appropriate for the end user client.
The option to use finance will enable Nexo clients to access the performance, operational and commercial benefits inherent in an investment in Nexo technology whilst managing their costs and cashflow monthly, rather than as a cap-ex project, says the manufacturer.
Initial engagement will be through local Nexo country or regional contacts, who will then engage Medialease and their team.
“Finance is driving technology change across all sectors, and we’re delighted to be working with an established industry leader such as Nexo to offer this option,” comments Medialease business development director Paul Donkin.
Nexo sales and marketing director Gareth Collyer says, “It’s great to be working with a partner that understands the unique requirements of customers in each of the industry sectors we serve. We’re confident that this new funding program will deliver real value for our customers.”
Freedom Orchestra - An orchestra of Ukrainian refugees will take centre stage at this year's Proms, alongside concerts by Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Cynthia Erivo. The newly-formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra features players who recently fled the war, alongside Ukrainian musicians from European orchestras.
Ukraine is granting an exemption to the military-age male musicians, allowing them to leave the country and play. Conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson said they would "honour those who have died". The orchestra will perform at the Proms on 31 July, two weeks after the season launches.
Off Stage - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella is to close in the West End after a disjointed 12-month run. The musical, which is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, will close on 12 June, having begun previewing in June 2021. It comes as the creative team of the show prepare to launch the musical on Broadway, where it will preview from February 2023, ahead of a March opening.
Lloyd Webber said in a statement: “I am incredibly proud of Cinderella. Not only did it get some of the best reviews of my career, but we led the charge to reopen the West End, ensuring that theatre and live entertainment remained relevant and in the news. While mounting a new show in the midst of COVID has been an unbelievable challenge, we held the government’s feet to the flames throughout their changes of heart during the pandemic.”
He added: “Now, I am really excited to get to work putting together a new production with [production company] No Guarantees for Broadw
USA - Behind the Scenes holiday cards have become a tradition in the industry for those who want to spread holiday cheer while supporting their colleagues in need. Proceeds from card sales help provide grants to entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate dependent family members, who are seriously ill or injured, and support the charity’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative.
Each year designs have been created and donated to the charity by everyone from Tony Award winners to high school students. The design guidelines (btshelp.org/carddesign) are very simple and you can also view previous examples (btshelp.org/cardexamples).
If you are interested in designing a card, Behind the Scenes will need your commitment no later than 15 May and your artwork by 15 June. Please contact Lori Rubinstein at email@example.com or 212-244-1421.
Concert Revenues - Royalties from live performances of music fell almost 30% in 2021, despite concerts resuming in the summer. Concert revenues were just £8m, down from £11.3m in 2020 and £54m in 2019, said PRS for Music, the body that collects royalties for songwriters. Only 19,300 setlists were reported last year, it added, marking a huge decline from the 124,000 reported pre-pandemic.
"It's a huge decrease," said CEO Andrea Martin, "but we will see a bounce back this year." She said there was "renewed optimism" in the sector, with more than 240 major tours planned for the UK this year. Acts like Dua Lipa, Little Mix and Stormzy are already on the road, while stadium shows by Harry Styles, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Adele are planned for the summer. However, Martin said, revenues are not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
Despite struggles in the live sector, PRS had a good year, collecting £777.1m in royalties - only slightly down on the pre-pandemic figure of £810m. "I'm very excited and proud of these results because they show that the music industry is very resilient," said CEO Andrea Martin. "It really shows that music connects and engages people and that we can bounce back."
The company said it processed 27 trillion "performances" of music last year, including streams, downloads, radio and TV broadcasts, as well as music played in pubs, clubs, hairdressers and concert venues.
Big Weekend - Harry Styles has been confirmed as a headline act for Radio 1's Big Weekend. He'll be performing a full so
USA - In partnership with Netflix, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has announced its Equitable Workplace Initiative (EWI) to create a pipeline for individuals from historically underrepresented groups into the motion picture and television industry. The programme aims to improve equity and diversity in the workforce, develop well-trained workers, and increase representation over time within rental company management.
Launching later this summer, EWI will provide grants to eligible members of the Production Equipment Rental Group (PERG) to cover costs for the first six months of employment for entry-level new hires. PERG members include professional rental companies from every media market sector, from large international brands to local boutique companies.
ESTA’s executive director, Erin Grabe, said, “We are thrilled Netflix has given ESTA the nod and provided the wherewithal to launch this exciting programme. The PERG task group has done excellent work, and the collaboration with the Netflix team has been seamless. We’re really looking forward to further developing this initiative.”
Rental companies that participate in the programme will provide trainees with industry insight, educational opportunities, and mentorship to support participants, and spark a career. Applicants will be selected from within the entertainment industry, local community organizations, and colleges and universities.
The programme is a part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity and will be administered by ESTA with oversight by the
Germany - Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt opens today, returning after a two-year break due to the pandemic. It is also the first event of this year at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre.
Around 400 companies from more than 30 countries are taking part. The trade fair is rounded off by a programme covering issues such as the roadmap for event operations that are both safe and as derestricted as possible, the increasing shortage of skilled workers and the responsible use of natural resources.
“Prolight + Sound 2022 represents a milestone after months of hard challenges” says Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer, Messe Frankfurt. “For us as a fair and exhibition company, the tasks faced over the last two years have bonded us even more closely together with the professionals of the event industry. Just as our halls had to remain unused for long periods, concert halls, theatres, discotheques and clubs also had to remain empty.
Thus, there could hardly be a more appropriate event for the kick-off to the trade fair season. I am delighted that hundreds of companies are pulling together with us to ensure that Prolight + Sound is the economic driving force the sector needs and deserves. In particular, I am looking forward to an emotional and inspiring reunion bursting with optimism.”
The current shortage of qualified employees is a focus theme with Prolight + Sound being a valuable contact interface between companies and talents. A Job Market, where companies can enter into direct contact with potential employees, has been org
Mandela Musical - A new musical about Nelson Mandela has been announced as part of the Young Vic’s summer to autumn season. The London theatre has also announced a series of events called Taking Part 25 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the theatre’s engagement programme.
Mandela, which tells the story of the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, will run from 28 November to 4 February. It has a book by Laiona Michelle, music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, and is directed by Schele Williams with choreography by Gregory Maqoma. The musical has been developed in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family.
Family Matters - The final four dates of The Addams Family UK tour have been cancelled, with producers blaming the ongoing impact of Covid-19. The musical is still due to visit Manchester Opera house this week and Norwich Theatre Royal from 26-30 April. However, the final four dates of the tour at Eastbourne Congress Theatre, Oxford’s New Theatre, His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and Edinburgh Festival Theatre are no longer on sale online.
A statement from the show’s producers, posted online by Edinburgh Festival Theatre, said: "Due to the continued impact of the effects of COVID on our audiences and their willingness to return to the theatres, we have unfortunately had to take the decision to close the tour of The Addams Family earlier than planned. We apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience this might cause."
Olivier Awards - A stage adaptation of Life of Pi and a revival of the musical Cabaret were the big winners at last Sunday's Olivier Awards. It was a celebratory night for theatre at the Royal Albert Hall as the stage industry celebrated a year in which performances resumed after lockdown.
Cabaret stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley won acting prizes while the show was named best musical revival. Life of Pi, based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, was named best new play and scooped several technical prizes. Cabaret's success at the first Olivier ceremony since 2020 follows a sell-out run for the show which saw London's Playhouse Theatre transformed into the Kit Kat Club.
Best set design went to Tim Hatley for Design and Nick Barnes & Finn Caldwell for the puppets for Life of Pi; Best lighting design was awarded to Tim Lutkin and Andrzej Goulding for Life of Pi and Nick Lidster Best took sound design for Cabaret.
Global Rankings - The Royal College of Music has been ranked the top institution in the world for performing arts, according to a new listing that includes four British colleges in the top 10. London’s Royal College of Music was placed second in the QS World University Rankings last year, with New York’s Juilliard School taking the top spot for performing arts. It has now risen to number one, which it described as a measure of the strength and quality of its teaching and its international reputation.
The college’s director, Colin Lawson, said: "To be ranked
Grammy Awards - Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and jazz musician Jon Batiste shared the top honours at the 64th Grammy Awards. Batiste's soul record We Are won album of the year, while Rodrigo won best new artist and best pop album. Silk Sonic's soul throwback anthem Leave The Door Open took home both the record and song of the year prizes.
Apart from the awards, the ceremony saw a tribute to Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins, and a video plea from Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. In a pre-taped message, he urged musicians to "fill the silence" left by Russian bombs "with your music". His speech was followed by a performance by John Legend, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton; and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
Foo Fighters won three prizes - best rock album for Medicine at Midnight, rock performance for its opening track, Making A Fire and rock song for Waiting On A War. Presenter Jimmy Jam accepted the prizes in the band's absence, "with prayers to their loved ones". The ceremony, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, also saw performances from Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish and BTS, while Joni Mitchell made a rare on-stage appearance to introduce Brandi Carlile.
Drama School - A troubled drama school has closed down without warning, saying it was no longer "financially viable". The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) announced 44 members of staff would be made redundant on Monday with immediate effect. Students will be helped to find "alternative courses". Students had previously acc
UK - Backup has joined forces with Big Drop, brewers of alcohol-free beer, to generate wider awareness and increased funding for the live events/entertainment technical supply chain.
“We’re all painfully aware of the devastation that the pandemic caused to our industry around the globe,” says John Simpson, Backup chairman. “The generous response to Backup’s fund-raising efforts over the past two years has been phenomenal, and we’ve been able to offer help to our colleagues in the UK who were and still are in desperate need, both financially and for the impact the situation has had on their mental health.”
As theatres open, and concerts and festivals start to re-emerge, the pandemic is viewed as being over. But it has left serious scars. Help is still needed, as it was pre-pandemic, but now even more so, to allow Backup to continue to address mental health, addiction, poverty, loan repayments, loneliness, and food-bank reliance.
So far, the funds to provide assistance have come primarily from within the industry itself. Whilst Backup is incredibly grateful for their support and belief in the work the charity does, it also recognises there is now a need to reach a wider audience. Big Drop provides an ideal avenue to do just that.
Plans include using the Backup logo on its packaging to help build awareness, running a competition to find the best ‘Big Drop Pour’ in the most extreme or picturesque locations and supporting Backup’s range of mental health initiatives.
Big Drop was conceived by friends, bandmates and brewers
Germany - GFR (Gesellschaft für Regelungstechnik und Energieeinsparung) has been part of Bosch Building Technologies since 2019 and is changing its name to Bosch Building Automation effective 1 April.
The company’s portfolio comprises complete automation solutions for the operation of buildings on a sustainable basis and related services with a comprehensive range of hardware and software. “We are achieving strong growth with connected building automation and energy efficiency solutions that are planned and implemented on a highly customized basis in close cooperation with our customers. The Bosch brand will open more doors for us and give us the opportunity to position ourselves even more prominently on the market for building automation,” explains Volker Westerheide, managing director of GFR.
The building automation specialist will continue to market its products under the Digicontrol product brand.
GFR has over 40 years of experience and currently employs around 300 associates at nine locations in Germany. Its building automation solutions are used in numerous sectors, from kindergartens to major cultural and educational institutions, shopping malls and hospitals. For example, solutions from GFR form the control centre for the technical building equipment at the prestigious Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.
“We are pleased to now work with Bosch Building Automation under the Bosch brand together. This underlines our strength as a system integrator to offer our customers holistic solutions from a single source for building se
South Korea - JYP Entertainment, one of the biggest record labels and music production businesses in South Korea, has discovered and produced some of the most popular and successful K-pop artists such as Stray Kids, ITZY, TWICE and NiziU.
It was founded in 1997 by South Korean singer-songwriter Park Jin-Young (named after his stage name, J. Y. Park). JYP’s first girl group, Wonder Girls, became a commercial success and was the first South Korean group to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009 when their song Nobody charted at No. 76.
Over the last couple of years, JYP Entertainment has grown rapidly. This meant that it needed to find a new, bigger studio, with larger music production rooms to accommodate the increasing numbers of artists it now works with.
The project took two years to complete and was finished just before the global pandemic started in 2020. Working with Gearlounge, all the systems had to be built from scratch and Van Damme cables were selected for all six main rooms because they carry audio sound very transparently and flexibly. Cables included Van Damme Blue Series Studio Grade 16 Pair, Van Damme Blue Series Studio Grade 8 Pair and Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE.
Taewon Seo from Gearlounge comments: “We recommended Van Damme Cables for JYP’s studios because we knew they would work, especially as we have a lot of artists with different music genres recording here. K-pop involves a lot of vocal recording, so Van Damme cables are a good choice since they are stable and carry all signals without any distortion.”