UK - Production Park has secured a £12million Government loan which it plans to use to expand and develop its Wakefield campus over the next decade.
Production Park is one of the latest 11 major arts and heritage organisations across the UK to have received loan offers from the £1billion Cultural Recovery Fund, a combination of grant and loan cash from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), targeted to support a culture sector that has been devastated by the effects of COVID-19.
Other organisations to have benefitted from the £165m in repayable finance – and a further £58m in capital funding for ongoing construction and maintenance projects in the sector – announced by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden include the Royal Albert Hall, National Theatre, English National Opera, Alexandra Palace and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“The Cultural Recovery Fund is very much a lifeline for many in the culture sector and has enabled them simply to survive in the short-term, but we have taken a much longer-term view by securing a loan that we will use to grow our business, create jobs and opportunities, and generate revenue in the sector for years to come,” said Lee Brooks, CEO of Production Park.
The £12m loan will drive investment by facilitating ambitious growth plans at Production Park. As well as providing rehearsal space for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Coldplay, Little Mix and Peter Kay, the South Kirby site is home to more than more than 20 live events and creative businesse
USA - Magmatic atmospheric effects has introduced Rocket, a line of powerful CO2 cryogenic simulation effects that produce ‘dense white clouds of fog for visually stunning atmospherics. Capable of generating a heavy blast of fog that engulfs an area in just a few seconds yet dissipates instantly, each effect is arrayed with high-output RGBA LEDs.
Rocket is making it easier for designers and production houses to implement high-impact cryogenic-type effects into projects of all types - tours, special events, clubs, theme parks and more, says the company. The advantages over traditional liquid CO2 or liquid nitrogen cryogenic effects are many. With the Rocket series there are no cumbersome, high-pressure liquid CO2 or liquid nitrogen cylinders to deal with, making for a safer, less expensive and faster setup that requires no local authority approvals.
Three Rocket series effects are available – Javelin, Sidewinder and Tomahawk – all wrapped in a durable, tour-ready aluminum housing designed to withstand travel and repeated use.
Javelin is a high-velocity CO2 simulator fog machine in a compact and lightweight mobile design. It features 34 x 2-watt RGBA LEDs for bursts of dynamic coloured effect and can rotate 90-degrees for horizontal or vertical bursts of fog. Max throw distance is 20-ft with a 50,000 cu.ft per minute output and max continuous output of 10 seconds at full. Fluid capacity is 2.5 litres. Its compact size and easy mobility means Javelin is easy to position virtually anywhere.
Sidewinder features 22 x 2-watt RGBA LEDs for b
USA - Chauvet Professional has announced it is extending its ReSet Fund programme through 31 December during 'the season of giving' to help individuals in the live event industry impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Chauvet kicked off the programme, which helps fund grants through Behind the Scenes (BTS), with a $25,000 donation to BTS in October, the brand has been offering a matching donation for all merchandise sold on its website. With hundreds of orders in, Chauvet is committed to extending support during the holiday season.
“We are in the season of giving and during a year when everyone has given so much,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “We see the ReSet Fund as a way to demonstrate the critical importance of supporting our community during good times and challenging times like now. As we emerge from the pandemic, we believe programmes like this will help make the industry even stronger.”
Fundraising merchandise is available through Chauvet Professional’s website (www.resetfund.store). More information on BTS resources can be found at btshelp.org. The final donation will be made in December.
For those who wish to support the ReSet Fund without monetary contribution, Chauvet Professional is sharing messages of solidarity and support via its social media platforms.
“This is not just about charitable contributions,” Chauvet said. “This is also about the message that together we will overcome these trying times to get to an even be
On Stage - Many West End theatres have started reopening their doors for the first time since March. Among those reopening their doors for the first time since closing eight months ago are the Garrick Theatre, the Lyric Theatre and the Sondheim Theatre, which is home to the Les Mis concert. The development comes as Andrew Lloyd Webber revealed plans to open six of his West End theatres by the summer of 2021, in a move that is being seen as a major boost for the sector.
Nimax venues staged 12 performances over the weekend, including four performances of Six at the Lyric. Nimax chief Nica Burns had previously indicated her intention to begin a phased reopening of her six theatres earlier this year, and had already brought Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt to the Apollo, which opened in October shortly before the second lockdown in November. “It was a very emotional, very exciting weekend,” Burns said.
RAH Celebrates - Chic's Nile Rodgers will compose a ‘pop anthem’ to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall. The musician joins an all-star line-up, including Eric Clapton, Patti Smith and Matthew Bourne, who will honour the venue next year. A birthday concert on 29 March will see the unveiling of a new work by composer David Arnold.
The celebration comes at one of the most precarious times in the venue's history, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The independent venue in Kensington, London, reported a loss of £18m, plus £6.5m in refunded ticket sales, earlier this year. Chief executive Craig Hassall t
Doorstepping - Actors Maria Friedman and Adrian Der Gregorian have launched a new production company to take the West End to the nation’s doorsteps. Backed by theatre figures including Cameron Mackintosh, Nica Burns and Sonia Friedman, well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Doorstep Productions will stage personalised performances from hit shows, in full costume, on streets, driveways and in gardens across the UK.
It is promising a "song-and-dance spectacle" featuring up to six performers, with audiences able to choose songs and scenes from shows including Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera and Dreamgirls. The company will also be offering a Dickensian carol singing experience over the festive period.
Alongside Der Gregorian, who is her husband, Friedman has assembled a group of West End actors, singers, musicians and dancers, who will travel across the country to stage the socially distanced shows. "Everything seems to be deliverable these days, so why not the West End?" she said. Prices for the performances will be bespoke, but a fully costumed performer within London will cost around £250. With each booking, Doorstep Productions will make a donation to theatre charities.
National Streams - The National Theatre has launched a streaming service for its archive of filmed plays, which feature stars like Dame Helen Mirren and Olivia Colman. National Theatre at Home will make plays available for either a one-off payment or a subscription. They include Dame Helen's
UK - Apparel and tech brand STNDBY has launched its flagship range of sustainable clothes and accessories, designed for crew and creatives.
STNDBY (www.STNDBYworld.com) was conceived by lighting and production designer Tom Campbell and host, producer and entrepreneur James Murden to offer clothing and accessories that are ‘as functional as they are fashionable’. With partnerships in place with companies such as Avolites and Dirty Rigger and offering customisation, gifting options and tour swag, STNDBY’s products are designed ‘to work and built to last’.
“We’ve spent almost two years researching the problems crew face finding work gear and developing these products to solve those problems,” said Campbell. "We’re so proud of the incredible feedback we’ve had throughout our testing phase and can’t wait to start seeing STNDBY out in the world.”
STNDBY’s flagship range includes T-shirts, rigging gloves, power banks and digital storage solutions, as well as their signature launch product, the Leitch Security Backpack. Named after the late lighting designer Bryan Leitch, this travel-friendly bag embodies the STNDBY philosophy by packing in hidden compartments, charging ports, water resistance and even a stab-proof protective layer.
“With STNDBY we set out to create clothes and accessories that are fit-for-purpose but still look good in the bar after the show,” says Murden. "In our industry, 'stand-by' means “get ready for action”, so it was the perfect name for us - a bran
Onerous Restrictions - Theatres have criticised new restrictions planned for December, claiming they are “more onerous” than previous ones and will have major financial ramifications for the sector. Prime minister Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier system that will come into play when lockdown ends on 2 December, and the system will be "made tougher" than before. This includes a requirement for indoor entertainment venues to close in Tier 3, meaning theatres in these areas will be prevented from reopening to audiences next week.
In Tiers 1 and 2, public attendance at performances is limited to whichever is lower, 50% capacity or 1,000 people indoors. The London Palladium is due to start performances of Pantoland in December. LW Theatres chief executive Rebecca Kane Burton said the new measures are more “onerous than they were before” and demanded to see the evidence driving the latest decision.
“Operating with a wide range of safety and social distancing measures, many of which exceeded the government guidance at that point, the London Palladium was open from September until the start of the current national lockdown. During this period, and since, we have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or any of our customers, to suggest that a single coronavirus case might be linked back to our theatre,” she said, adding: “Now the government is set to make the restrictions on theatres more onerous than they were before, we look forward to understanding the evidence which will have informed this decision.”
Live in L
USA - Last year, US-based charity Behind the Scenes’ Mental Health Initiative conducted a survey that revealed that bullying, harassment and intimidation are “a common experience” in our industry. Respondents said: “Emotional abuse is part of the culture,” and “harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are rampant”.
As a result, the Mental Health Steering Committee has launched a campaign (btshelp.org/stopbullying) to help workers and employers alike understand the signs and consequences of this behaviour. The aim is to raise awareness and encourage all who experience or witness bullying, harassment or intimidation, to speak up.
The resources provided include a set of posters to raise awareness of words, actions and behaviours that constitute bullying, harassment or intimidation; information to empower individuals to Be Informed, Be Aware, Show Support, and Take Action; and a sample policy and procedures to identify, investigate and resolve instances of bullying, harassment or intimidation and to provide support to those who experience these behaviours.
One survey respondent wrote: “My workplaces are decades behind in helping people with emotional wellness. That starts with the aggressive behaviour, belittling behaviour, yelling, throwing objects, etc. that I see on the jobsite constantly. Most folks feel that they have to just have a tough skin and take the abusive behaviour in their
Planning Ahead - Theatres in England will no longer be at risk of demolition without planning permission, thanks to new laws introduced this week by the government. Housing and communities secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that theatres, concert halls and live music venues will no longer be subject to permitted development rights, which allow certain buildings to be demolished without full planning permission to encourage growth and redevelopment.
The changes cover venues that are not listed buildings. Many theatres are listed, and require listed building consent before any alterations can be carried out. The government said it had put the new laws in place to protect the country’s arts venues, which it said "cannot easily be replaced and are an intrinsic part of our cultural heritage". As such, permitted development rights have been removed for performance venues, and planning permission will now be required to demolish any theatre.
The Show Goes On - The Theatre Support Fund, which created The Show Must Go On merchandise, has raised more than half a million pounds for performing arts charities during the pandemic. Set up six months ago by Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton to help theatre workers affected by Covid-19, the Theatre Support Fund has taken more than 40,000 orders for its The Show Must Go On! merchandise and raised more than £500,000.
Bonnie Langford and Christopher Biggins have also now launched a range of festive merchandise for the Theatre Support Fund, which will continue to raise money for the charities support
USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that Light Touch Designs has become its newest Pledge-a-Service member by pledging fees from speaking engagements and online training to the charity.
Light Touch Designs is a Chicago-based design firm supplying lighting design services to the corporate meeting and special event industry. Owner Michael Sharon, a 30 year veteran of the profession, is happy to share his knowledge of design, programming and Vectorworks drafting with the community.
On making his commitment to the charity, Michael commented, “As freelance workers in a high-risk industry, we are all just one accident away from financial ruin. BTS has provided a crucial safety net to help people back on their feet. In times of pandemic, when we are all working to share knowledge and keep the industry alive, it seems right that I should take my teaching income and put it back into the community.”
BTS Foundation chair, Rick Rudolph, commented, “We were so pleased when Michael contacted us about joining the programme. As he rightly guessed, funds are needed now more than ever to care for our colleagues’ physical and mental health. This industry has always been a family and Michael’s desire to help those in most need during this time is a shining example of that. There is so much wonderful online training and webinars happening right now and we hope others will follow Michael’s example of giving.”
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate dependent family, who are seriously ill or i
UK - Le Mark donated 38 home-practice dance mats to The Sarah England Dance School to enable participants to perform in aid of BBC Children in Need.
The Greater Manchester school is set to participate in “Tapathon”, the national dance marathon, which will take place on 15 November as an online event, with participants recording their performances at home.
Ahead of England's second national lockdown, school owner and tutor Sarah England had the foresight to prepare, and had everything in place to bring back online classes when the restriction measures were re-introduced. But how could she get 38 tap dancers to take part outside, on hard ground, without damaging their tap shoes and respecting social distancing rules?
Not wanting her students to miss out on this opportunity, Sarah called Le Mark’s flooring manager, Hannah Tuohy. "When I spoke to Sarah, she told me what the mats would be for," says Tuohy. "I was so excited to help. We always recommend our Nocturne flooring for hard shoe work such as tap, so what better floor to donate."
Le Mark offered all 38 dance mats free of charge, enabling the students at The Sarah England Dance school to perform and help raise money for an amazing charity whilst keeping their floors at home protected during home-practice.
“We can now take part individually, and will be tapping away in our kitchens, gardens and safe open spaces," explains England. "We will happily and probably most appropriately be 'Singing & Dancing' in the rain. Well, this is England!”
USA - Elections for the ESTA board of directors concluded at midnight on Saturday, 31 October. An outstanding number of ballots were submitted this year, the organisation reports.
There were four positions up for election to the board. Tracey Cosgrove will fill the office of vice president; Elmer Veith of Reliable Design Services will serve as secretary; Evan Williams of Riverview Systems Group is the new production services director, and Mark Wofford of PC&E was elected to serve as rental company director. All will begin their three-year term of office on 1 January 2021.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Orestes Mihaly (PRG) and John Cini (High Output) for their dedicated service.
South Africa - Viral video footage of an African National Congress (ANC) rally held at the Luthuli 9L Sports Grounds in Polokwane on Sunday, 8 November, attended by thousands not adhering to the social distancing regulations, has infuriated the region’s live events industry who have not been able to work for over eight months.
“We as the TPSA, SACIA and SA Events Council have lodged a complaint with the South African Police, in particular with the Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba,” said Sharif Baker, chairman of the TPSA. “We are absolutely disgusted at what has happened. It’s a smack in the face for the lives at stake, and literally a smack in the face of us in events who are abiding by the law.”
The Siyanqoba Rally in Ward 14 in Pokowane and issued by the ANC Peter Mokaba Region, included live entertainment and was attended by a massive crowd, with most attendees not wearing masks. The event disregarded the 500 outdoor capacity restrictions as dictated by the ANC government. The current Level 1 risk reduction strategy implemented to slow the spread of Covid-19, allows up to 500 people for outdoor gatherings and a maximum of 250 people for indoor gatherings.
“This event has taken place where thousands of people did not follow a protocol whatsoever while the live events industry starve,” said Baker. “We have not left this alone and have been in communication with Nkosinathi Emmanuel 'Nathi' Mthethwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture while copying in Khumbudzo Phophi Silence Ntshavheni, th
Freelance Pressure - The government has been urged to do more to help performers and other arts freelancers as venues are shut again during lockdowns in England and Wales. Labour MP Chris Elmore told the House of Commons there were "growing numbers of freelancers, musicians, performance artists who are excluded" from support. Theatre workers face "adding to the queues at food banks", another MP said.
Arts minister Caroline Dinenage said the government was "working very hard" to help freelancers access support. She said Arts Council England had allocated £119m for individuals, on top of the £1.57bn available to venues in England through the government's Culture Recovery Fund.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden acknowledged that a third of freelancers in all walks of life had not been able to access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which the government confirmed on Thursday would be extended to cover 80% of average trading profits. "I understand the many challenges faced by freelancers and I hear about it every day," Mr Dowden said. "It is the case that across the economy 66% of freelancers are able to benefit from the Treasury scheme, which has been increased again by the chancellor."
Responding to chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement, Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said she was "delighted" but that "expanding the eligibility criteria remains essential for preventing an exodus of highly skilled talent from our world-leading arts sector".
Green Shoots - Westminster MP Nickie Aiken has
USA - Chauvet Professional has presented a cheque to Behind the Scenes for $25,000 from its recently launched ReSet Fund to be used to support entertainment technology members and their immediate dependent family who are seriously ill or injured, and to fund emotional wellness resources and training.
Chauvet announced last week that it will be donating up to $50,000 in funds to help live event industry members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this initial $25,000 donation, Chauvet will match donations up to an additional $25,000 from participants who buy special fundraising ‘ReSet’ jackets, caps, truss gloves, and other merchandise at www.chauvetprofessional.com/resetfund through 30 November.
Behind the Scenes executive director, Lori Rubinstein, commented, “Chauvet Professional’s generous donation comes at a particularly important time for the charity and those we help. ReSet is aiding us in continuing to develop programmes under our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative that will assist industry members in maintaining their emotional and mental wellness through the pandemic and as they return to work.
“The Steering Committee for the mental health initiative has some wonderful ideas on how the funds can be used to have a direct and lasting impact on our industry.”
Chauvet CEO, Albert Chauvet, said, “Our goal is to get these funds into programmes that provide hope and support as our industry prepares for the good to come. We’ve watched with admiration, respect and empathy as members from every segment of o
South Africa - The South African live events industry once again joined hands with #WeMakeEvents to participate in charity bike ride #TheSurvivalTour and raise awareness of the plight of event industry affected by the COVID-19 disruption.
Similar to the action that took place in the UK, the South African cyclists embarked on a lengthy route, passing by some of the country’s iconic venues, now closed due to the pandemic. As many as 24 cyclists participated in a 60km route, visiting Constitution Hill, Teatro at Montecasino, Sandton Convention Centre, Nelson Mandela Square, Joburg Theatre, Market Theatre, Mary Fitzgerald Square, and the TicketPro Dome on 24 October in Johannesburg.
Many industry players cut their teeth at some of the venues on the journey, and there was a tangible feeling of loss amongst the riders, seeing the once busy spaces now standing empty. “A venue like the Sandton Convention Centre is where I learnt the trade and started my career in my younger days,” said Chris Pugh, who led the pack. “We all felt a sense of nostalgia and sadness, seeing the devastation COVID-19 has left behind.”
“Everyone loved #TheSurvivalTour South Africa,” adds Pugh. “There were a few complaints about the hills and heat, but there was great spirit amongst all the riders. It was so popular that I’ve had requests to do it again, and we hope to add a new route with more venues in the near future.”
UK - Arts Council England has opened its £18m Developing your Creative Practice (DYCP) fund to a wider pool of creative practitioners in light of the COVID-19 effects on the workforce.
Able to apply for a grant this year will be DJs, performer/creators, arts and cultural educators, community practitioners/engagement specialists, movement directors, cultural conservators, creative enablers and creative technicians.
“We know that COVID-19 has had a significant impact for individuals, and many will need to develop themselves and their work to respond to the new environment,” says the Arts Council. “We want to support as many people as possible to reshape and redefine their work and continue to make a positive impact on creativity and culture.”
The grants, ranging from for £2,000 to £10,000, will be awarded for development activities from practitioners working across music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, libraries, combined arts, and museums practice. This includes professional development or researching or creating new work.
The money will be allocated in four rounds running until October 2021, with the first round now open to applicants. To be eligible, practitioners need to have one year’s experience, be based in England, have a UK bank account, and be aged 18 or over.
The first round closes at noon on 5 November, with decisions announced in the week commencing 21 December.
To apply, visit artscouncil.org.uk/DYCP.
Recovery Grants - Twenty-eight performing arts organisations have been awarded a share of £75m in the latest round of Culture Recovery Grants. Theatres including London’s Old Vic, Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Northampton Royal and Derngate and Shakespeare’s Globe have all been granted between £1m and £3m each in the first of two rounds for this strand. Six museums and one visual arts organisation were also awarded grants as part of the scheme.
Recipients include: Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust - £3,000,000; English National Ballet - £3,000,000; Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust - £3,000,000; The Old Vic Theatre Trust - £3,000,000; Shakespeare’s Globe - £2,985,707; Sadler’s Wells - £2,975,000; Adlib Audio - £1,650,356; Fabric Life - £1,514,262; Lights Control Rigging Productions - £1,076,179 and The Octagon Theatre Trust - £620,232.
Virtual Awards - The Olivier Awards 2020, held virtually for the first time because of the pandemic, saw three shows lead the field, with three accolades each, while Matthew Bourne made history, having now won the most Oliviers ever by one person, and Sonia Friedman Productions picked up the best new play prize for the fourth year running.
The most awards won by a single show, shared equally by & Juliet, Dear Evan Hansen and Emilia. & Juliet won three out of the four musical performance categories – which went to Miriam-Teak Lee, Cassidy Janson and David Bedella – while Dear Evan Hansen’s Sam Tutty picked up the fourth.
Death of a Sa
Lockdown Priorities - When asked what the government should keep open in the event of a second national lockdown, just 2% of people said theatres should be the highest priority. A YouGov poll of more than 1,640 people asked each to rank what the government should keep open in order of priority. Top was schools and nurseries, with 57% putting this as the highest priority.
Only 2% said theatres, cinemas and art venues should be the top priority, just below pubs at 4%, while 12% said arts venues should be the government’s lowest priority. When it comes to pubs, 4% said reopening them should be the government’s top priority, compared with 24% who said they should this should be the lowest priority. Only 8% of the public said the government should prioritise universities above the other types of establishments. But almost two in five people (39%) ranked them as their second priority, making it the most popular choice after schools and nurseries.
In The Ring - Kneehigh Theatre, Zippos Circus and Hofesh Shechter Company are among more than 500 arts organisations to secure funding in the latest allocation of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund. The West End production of The Mousetrap, which recently backtracked on plans to begin performances this month, receives £228,973 to help restart performances to socially distanced audiences.
In total, 588 comedy clubs, circuses, festivals, regional theatres and local museums have been awarded a share of more than £76m. The money follows on from the £257m announced earlier, and supports organis
USA - Symetrix has launched its newly designed, mobile-friendly website complete with a new community forum.
Visitors to the website will find a visually enhanced, user-friendly format with improved navigation, functionality, and responsiveness on all screens and device types. The site features redesigned vertical focus pages, images and testimonials from real Symetrix projects, along with an online warranty claim form, and more robust support pages.
“It’s important to us that the Symetrix universe of users can easily find what they need from our website, whether it’s technical information, product documentation, or project inspiration, and be able to do it all from a phone or iPad if they’re not in front of a computer,” explains Symetrix owner and CEO, Mark Graham. “The new website provides that functionality, along with a cool new forum to give us a place to connect.”
The new Symetrix Symposium forum is a user-generated platform where visitors can ask questions, provide answers, and build community in the AV industry. Moderated by the Symetrix Technical Support Team, the forum is broken up into three main categories (audio processors & software, control solutions, and Intelligent Modules & Lua scripting) to provide vital information to AV users of all levels of expertise.
The forum interface is available in eight languages and provides 24/7 access to user-based technical information.
Mixed Reactions - Venues and organisations including The Cavern Club in Liverpool and the London Symphony Orchestra are to receive a share of £257m government arts funding. The Cavern, which hosted early gigs from The Beatles, has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians. More than 1,300 organisations are set to benefit, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described the move as "a vital boost".
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention music festival has been awarded £200,000 under the scheme. Gareth Williams, Cropredy’s festival organiser, said: “We have all seen how hard this Covid pandemic has hit the festival industry; 2020 has basically been a write-off. This most welcome grant from the CRF secures the future of our festival for 2021 and will help us cover any additional costs of providing extra safety measures we will need to put in place next summer. We can now plan ahead for 2021 with fresh confidence.”
Meanwhile, Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, noted how "very limited numbers of dance music clubs and events" had received funding at this crucial point. "We have been aware all along that the fund would not be able to support everyone, and will leave many businesses who have missed out on this opportunity awaiting on a perilous cliff edge, which will result in further redundancies in the coming weeks," said Kill. "We need the government to step up and support our sector," he added.
The St Austell Arts Centre
UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup has set up a new fund to help industry workers who have received no or limited government support during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The Hardship Fund will provide financial assistance to crew/production personnel, and people working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment sector, including those from live events, theatre and TV and film.
The fund has been allocated an initial £200,000, with further fundraising in progress. £100,000 was raised by Backup and its supporters, including #WeMakeEvents, whilst charity Light Relief matched this with a further £100,000.
Backup chairman John Simpson comments: “The technicians and their families in our industry, particularly freelancers, are experiencing incredible hardship at the moment and, with the lack of ongoing financial support from the government, there are many people who are in desperate need of help. As an industry, we are trying to help ourselves, and Backup is now in a position to be able to offer a small measure of assistance. We still need more donations to help many more of our colleagues in distress.”
The first application period is running from 8am on 19 October to 8pm on 30 October and Backup is targeting resources to people who have received no government grants (e.g. from the furlough scheme and self-employment income support scheme) and no grants from other charitable funds (e.g. Theatre Artists Fund, Arts Council, etc.). All successful applicants will receive funds two weeks after the closing date, says the cha
UK - Stagehand, the PSA live event production industry’s welfare and benevolent fund, has received £100,000 from PPL to boost the charity's new COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund.
Launched by Stagehand trustees in September, the fund was deemed a necessary move by the charity as a means to support crew, technicians and live events industry workers that have fallen through the cracks in state aid. Open from mid-October, the fund will help those struggling to meet the cost of basic living - a roof over their head or food on the table.
Mike Lowe, chair of trustees, comments: “We are extremely thankful to PPL for coming on board so generously at the beginning of our campaign. As a sector-specific charity, we’ve already seen devastating effects suffered by some of our workforce caused by the lack of work and financial support. The relief of having rent paid and mouths fed will no doubt ease the undoubted mental anguish caused by the pandemic.”
Peter Leathem, PPL chief executive officer, adds: “The live events sector has been one of the communities hardest hit by the pandemic and so we welcome the opportunity to be able to provide this support. This funding adds to the contributions we have made to hardship funds for musicians, freelancers and venues - all of which are part of the music ecosystem.
“We need to safeguard the jobs and livelihoods of crew so that they are there when our members get back out on the road post-COVID to do what they love most - performing. This is a much-needed initiative from Stagehand and we are pleased to be able t
Recovery Fund - Theatres expecting to receive news of whether they will receive Culture Recovery Fund grants have been told they must wait a week longer, due to the "volume and complexity of the applications". Arts organisations that have bid for grants of £1m million or less as part of the £500m fund were due to be notified about Arts Council England’s decision no later than 5pm on 5 October. However, 72 hours before the original deadline, organisations were contacted by ACE to say that the announcement would be delayed by a week and decisions would be confirmed on 12 October instead.
ACE is administering the part of the fund for arts organisations, with the British Film Institute and Historic England also responsible for distributing parts of the funding. The body said: "We understand this is an anxious time for many people and many organisations up and down the country. We apologise that there is a week’s delay in letting the first tranche of grants applicants know decisions, but we will still be able to get money to them this month.
"Given the volume and complexity of the applications that came through to this brand-new fund, we’ve had to do additional due diligence to make sure money from the public purse is spent responsibly. We are working hard to get this much-needed funding out as quickly as possible, to those who need it most.”
Palace Party - A concert celebrating West End musicals held in aid of theatrical charities has been announced to reopen the Palace Theatre. The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre wi