Europe - German-based audio network specialist DirectOut and the Italian IT system provider Vivivaldy will use SRT for ViViD, a customized service that permits audio professionals to easily setup remote productions using standard internet connections.
The two companies have joined the SRT Alliance following the strategy of providing easy and reliable remote production solutions.
Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) is a free, open-source AV transport protocol and technology stack originally developed and pioneered by Haivision that enables the delivery of high-quality and secure, low-latency audio/video across the public internet.
Luca Di Chio, CEO of Vivivaldy, comments: “As Vivivaldy we’re proud to join the SRT Alliance to implement the open-source AV transport protocol into our VPN-routers. We think it’s a way to bring additional value to our clients. As the three pillars of ViViD are simplicity, low-latency, and reliability, SRT helps us to guarantee a steady, glitchless audio transmission to open new scenarios and possibilities to live and broadcast streaming events via public internet infrastructures.”
Jan Ehrlich, CEO of DirectOut, adds: “Reliability has always been an important principle for DirectOut. Our hardware is built to be solid and to grant high quality and the same concept stands for our AoIP implementations. The SRT Alliance follows the same approach of secure and reliable network transmission for maximum quality, so joining the alliance perfectly matches with our company goals.”
“With the SRT Alliance, Direct
Germany - Van Damme cables has announced that it has agreed a new MI-only distribution partnership with German audio industry specialist, Audiosteps.
The deal is designed to expand Van Damme’s reach in the German market through Audiosteps’ local expertise. The partnership will offer German customers support and availability of the latest products, including Van Damme Silver Series guitar cables, Starquad and Classic mic cables as well as the Blue and Black Series speaker cables.
Audiosteps.de was founded in 2018 as a website offering free tutorials to anyone wanting to learn more about the music industry. Professionals in the sector would live stream sessions on various topics including recording, mixing, mastering music production and distribution. It was initially very much a ‘hobby project’ but it quickly became a well-known platform used by German producers and engineers alike.
At the beginning of 2021, founders Andre Freitag and Christian Nelles decided to turn this successful initiative into a company. Later this year, Audiosteps.io will begin to offer musicians, producers and engineers both educational courses and an online shop where they will be able to purchase products from new and innovative pro-audio manufacturers such as Van Damme.
Andre Masterati Freitag commented: "I first became aware of Van Damme in 2019 through mastering engineer Andreas Balaskas. At the beginning of 2021 I was in need of a new cable solution for my mastering setup and contacted VDC London. I loved the signal quality and processing capabilities of
No Guidance - Organisers of the Kendal Calling festival have blamed the government's "complete absence of any guidance" for their decision to cancel again. It had been due to take place at Lowther Deer Park in Cumbria from 29 July to 1 August after cancelling in 2020 due to the pandemic. Promoter Andy Smith said a delay in publishing research from national pilot events had made planning impossible.
Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal were set to headline. About 25,000 people were expected to attend the four-day music and arts festival. The promoter said there had been a "complete absence of any guidance" from the government, adding: "The fear for us is we build a festival and we find out on, say, 21 July we have to double the size of our campsites or something. We don't know what that could be, it could be anything. It's a complete unknown."
He said the 25,000-capacity event sold out in "record time" in February showing "how much people were looking forward to enjoying a sense of joy and community".
Off The Road - The National Theatre is unlikely to mount another global tour until 2024 or 2025 because of the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the head of its commercial productions arm has warned.
Kash Bennett, managing director of National Theatre Productions, said consecutive touring weeks – when a production remains on the road as opposed to returning to the UK between some dates – will be the biggest issue facing international touring for years to come and could prevent work visiting far-away locatio
UK - The mental health of jobless events industry professionals will be supported by Indie rock band Memphis Stone and the Elevators, which has pledged to donate all proceeds of its new song, Summer to help the industry.
Written in the first UK lockdown, Summer is an ode to better times and the return of music festivals.
Tom Weaver, the band’s bass player and co-writer said: “It’s a celebration of being in a field with thousands of other people and sharing the amazing experience of live music. So many of us have so many great memories from festivals and that’s what we wanted to capture in this song.
“At the same time, we know that thousands of technicians, engineers and production crews have been without work for over a year. Summer is dedicated to them and its proceeds will go to support their mental health. This is an industry that’s close to our hearts and we’re determined to try and do something to help people whose struggles will continue - today, tomorrow and for months to come.”
The band has nominated non-profit organisation Make It Blue CIC to distribute funds raised by sales of the song. The organisation is the fund-raising arm of #MakeItBlue, the global mental health campaign sparked by the UK the events and entertainment industry at the start of the first lockdown.
Make It Blue director Tim Owen said: “While the industry is doing its best to open up again, the short to medium term future remains bleak for many as people suffer stress over debt and threatened homelessness. We’re trying
UK - Registration is now open for PLASA Show 2021. The London-based trade event for entertainment technology is returning to Olympia London on 5-7 September - and for one year only, the ABTT Theatre Show will be co-locating with PLASA Show, bringing two popular industry event under one roof.
This year, PLASA Show is moving to Olympia’s largest space, the Grand Hall, which will allow for a more awe-inspiring show experience, wider aisles and larger social areas to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors.
Visitors will be able to connect with leading brands from the pro audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging sectors, whilst the free seminar programme - details of which will be revealed in the coming weeks - will offer business advice, unpack technical topics, and present the latest creative achievements. There will also be various interactive offerings including live audio demonstrations, lighting console training, and more.
The ABTT Theatre Show Hub will have its own dedicated area on the expanded show floor, giving the popular show autonomy to retain its conversational atmosphere, reminiscent of its usual home at Alexandra Palace. During its time at Olympia, the ABTT will celebrate its 60th anniversary - an impressive milestone, which will be marked in style throughout all three days.
PLASA MD Peter Heath comments: “With live events and entertainment returning, slowly but surely throughout 2021, we are confident that it is the right time to bring back PLASA Show. And we are equally pleased to partner with the ABTT, whose Theatre S
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Sir Elton John has warned MPs that the UK music industry could lose "a generation of talent" because of post-Brexit restrictions on touring the EU. The musician accused ministers of being unwilling to fix a "gaping hole" in the current Brexit deal which means artists need costly visas to play in the bloc.
The government says the EU rejected its attempts to negotiate visa-free travel, while the EU claims the opposite. Sir Elton called the situation a "looming catastrophe" for the UK. "I want to be clear that the issues of visa-free and permit-free touring aren't about the impact on me, and artists who tour arenas and stadiums," he said. "This gravest of situations is about the damage to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists, whose careers will stall before they've even started due to this infuriating blame game.
"If I had faced the financial and logistical obstacles facing young musicians now when I started out, I'd never have had the opportunity to build the foundations of my career and I very much doubt I would be where I am today." His statement was read to MPs during a hearing by the Digital, Culture, Media (DCMS) and Sport Committee on EU visa arrangements for those in the creative industries. Sir Elton later posted the letter in full on Instagram.
Musical Notes - Boris Johnson has said he is in talks with Andrew Lloyd Webber over the planned West End opening of his new musical, Cinderella. The prime minister said he had "colossal admiration" for Lloyd Webber and the theatre sector and pr
UK - CEO and founder of ExecSpace, Edinburgh-based Emma Little, has announced the launch of her second business venture, ExecMove. The full-service search, selection and talent acquisition practice specialising in the venue, events, hospitality and tourism sector will support industry recovery through directly addressing the talent and skills gap across these sectors, in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The new operation will support the charity Springboard, with donations for every candidate successfully placed.
Commenting on the launch, Emma Little says, “Clearly our industry has suffered enormously as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and if we as a sector are to emerge stronger and recover quickly, now more than ever, our clients must have access to the very best talent and strongest performers.
“Whilst furlough was a great initiative, as the months went on, it became unsustainable to protect all jobs and leaders are now in a position of having to rebuild teams and scale-up at pace for the recovery and beyond."
Little continues, “We believe in output and tangible results, ensuring the commercial and cultural requirements of our clients match up with the experience, talent and personal aspirations of the individual. By thoroughly understanding both and tailoring our approach, we create successful and sustainable partnerships that drive significant returns.”
ExecMove will donate £350 to Springboard for every candidate they successfully place. This fund will help a young person starting their career in hospitality with
USA - A new book about the techniques and issues of lighting design for live events and productions being shot for broadcast, webcast or IMAG, has been published by Routledge and their media technology division, Focal Press.
Lighting for Televised Live Events: Making Your Live Production Look Great for the Eye and the Camera unlocks the science, art, philosophies, and language of creating lighting for live entertainment and presentations that work for the television camera as well as for the live audience. The authors, Jeff Ravitz and James L. Moody, each have extensive lighting design credits in both live and televised production and have brought their experience and insights to the book in an attempt to explain the common denominators between live and televised presentation lighting.
Ravitz explains, “The television camera has become an ever-present part of most productions, whether for live streams, TV specials, music videos, or, just as importantly, the IMAG screens that so many shows use. Over the years, I learned that a few, but significant, adjustments can make a live show look so much better for the viewer who watches on their TV, computer, tablet, or phone. They can only see what’s being shown by the camera, and for what it’s worth, there are millions of those viewers out there. The twist is that these shows can also retain all the beauty and dynamics of the live show and still look great for the audience in the venue.”
The book explains the science, art, and aesthetics of the subject and includes production case studies co
South Africa - Although the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the live events industry to a virtual standstill, the past 15 months have been busier than ever for SACIA’s Events Safety Council. The Council is an association of event safety specialists and event safety companies providing event safety solutions for the South African event sector. It is part of a global network of event safety professionals dealing with health and safety in the events industry.
The advent of the pandemic saw council members, unable to earn a living under lockdown restrictions, volunteering their time to drive the recovery of the event sector in South Africa instead. "It has been a rollercoaster ride, keeping one's wits about you, staying motivated and positive, and pressurising the government to recognise that our professional recovery plan will successfully keep people COVID-safe at the events we host," says Interim chair Mike Lord.
Previously, the Event Safety Council focused primarily on general safety risks such as erecting structures, crowd management, and fire plans. However, the arrival of COVID-19 emphasised health risk management firmly ahead of general safety. Now health risk and safety risk must be dealt with simultaneously when planning an event. The viral spread has become another risk in the event safety chain. Like any other risk within an event, one must identify the hazard, determine who will be harmed and provide prevention and control measures to eliminate, remove the risk or mitigate against its occurrence.
"COVID-19 is a complex problem, a
UK - Tour manager and The Back Lounge founder Suzi Green has commissioned a series of resilience workshops for the live music industry as the touring sector begins its transition back into the demands of event production.
The three free sessions will cover: Mindfulness for Touring with Craig Ali (Monday 21 June 6pm), Healthy Boundaries with Laura Ferguson (Wednesday 14July), and Sleep & Jet Lag with Matt Kansy (Wednesday 4 August).
The workshops will explore a range of topics from coping strategies for dealing with 'heated' moments in high pressure situations, how to naturally wind down at the end of an intense day, rate negotiation, managing workload and effective communication, maximising the quality of your sleep and techniques to combat jet lag and shift work.
The workshops were made possible through the Culture Recovery Fund and, although open to anyone in the music industry, will benefit the freelance touring community by equipping them with fundamental tools in resilience before returning to tough scheduling.
Brought to the community by The Back Lounge, an online support group for out of work touring professionals which Green created during the height of the pandemic, the wider live music industry is now invited to sign up to the workshops.
A seasoned tour manager herself, whose clients include Placebo, PJ Harvey, Katie Melua and Wolf Alice, Green is passionate about wellbeing on and off the road. Having experienced her own debilitating episode of burnout, she left touring for 10 years. “I thought my touring days were ove
Prohibitive Pricing - Theatre companies are warning that prohibitively high prices and uncertainty over COVID-19 are hindering their efforts to stage outdoor work this summer, with reports that some venues are hesitant to hire their spaces to theatre producers while others have withdrawn entirely. Mid-scale companies are being especially hard hit, producers are warning, with a lack of available digs also making producing shows particularly difficult to stage.
Companies including Oxford-based Creation Theatre and touring theatre group Handlebards, as well as the Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain, have said the knock-on effects of the pandemic are generating new challenges to booking outdoor venues. Creation Theatre is planning to stage a production of The Wind in the Willows this summer, but told The Stage it was struggling to find a suitable space at an affordable rate.
Chief executive and creative producer Lucy Askew said councils and other managers of green spaces that are usually open to shows were deciding against hosting large events, or were prioritising conference hires over theatre productions because they generate more income.
"We’ve found that the local council is being really supportive and helpful, but council money is decimated from the pandemic, so it’s looking to charge what for us is a prohibitively high hire fee for a space, when historically it was able to offer spaces more or less for free or to come up with some in-kind ways to make it achievable," Askew said.
In The Stream - UK art
UK - In partnership with the National Film and Theatre School (NFTS), this year’s coveted Christie prize for Most Promising NFTS Student was awarded to Charlie Jenkins, NFTS graduate in cinematography. Charlie received a monetary prize, a certificate, and a crystal trophy to celebrate the win at the socially distanced graduate ceremony. It is the 16th year of Christie’s partnership with NFTS, having supported the School with a variety of initiatives designed to nurture students and develop facilities, including its upgrade from film to digital projection equipment.
Oliver Stapleton and Stuart Harris, co-heads of the NFTS Cinematography MA, comments: “Charlie Jenkins is an exemplary student whose helpfulness to others knows no bounds. As soon as the School re-opened after lockdown, he immediately went to work and assisted the Animation, Model Making and Cinematography departments in the complicated wiring and computer dimming systems needed to produce the Animation films. His positive attitude and immense creativity make him a more than worthy winner of this special award.”
This year, the students were faced with additional logistical challenges to complete their films, and NFTS was among the first film schools to successfully return to production in June 2020 following strict Covid-19 filming guidelines.
Graduates’ films will be showcased for four consecutive days at London’s BFI Southbank in all four of its screens, including the recently re-opened NFT1, which has been fitted with a Christie RGB pure laser projector and Christie Vive Au
Another Lost Summer - UK music festivals face "another lost summer" due to the government's refusal to back insurance for events at risk, a committee of MPs has found. A report into the sector's future said the government should provide a safety net for live events set to take place after 21 June.
Several major festivals have been axed for the second year running, but the government claims it is "continuing to work flat-out to support festivals and live events". Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park will not take place this year, but others, like Latitude and Download, are currently scheduled to go ahead. The latter was called off in March but has since been resurrected as a government test event, albeit with a significantly reduced capacity.
On 21 June, the government hopes to move to the final stage of its roadmap for lifting lockdown. Restrictions on large events such as music festivals will be lifted if lockdown relaxations go ahead as planned. But according to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, the government "has ruled out offering any support before all restrictions on the roadmap are lifted".
This, it said in a 42-page report published on Saturday, "would be simply be too late for festivals this summer" given the long lead-up times involved. Julian Knight MP, chair of the DCMS committee, claimed music festivals had been treated "as the poor relation" by the government. "Events need to know now whether the government will back them, or they simply won't take place this year," he continues.
Download Returns - This sum
UK - Founders of the global #WeMakeEvents movement feature in the fourth episode of The Meister Series, Jägermeister’s project celebrating “the mavericks and innovators in the music and events industry.”
In April 2020, #WeMakeEvents was launched by PLASA in response to the impact of the pandemic on the live events ecosystem. What started as a single UK campaign soon grew into a global movement now spanning 40 countries. Since then, through fundraising, mental health support and campaigning, the organisation has worked tirelessly to keep the music industry alive and support those impacted by the crisis.
In this fourth episode, founders and board members of #WeMakeEvents - Nicky Greet and Peter Heath from PLASA, Koy Neminathan from Avolites and James Gordon from Audiotonix - join Jägermeister in a passionate conversation about the origins and work behind the movement.
#WeMakeEvents said: “The latest Meister Series episode by Jägermeister is a beautiful piece of work and it’s an honour for #WeMakeEvents to be involved in such a great project. This episode plots our development from April 2020 when six of us decided to start a campaign to help the businesses and people in the live events supply chain, up to today, now with 40 countries aligned in a global movement.
“At #WeMakeEvent, we live for live events; the performances that delight, inspire and improve our wellbeing. Whilst we are seeing some positive small steps in audiences being able to return to enjoying live
Long-term Recovery - Arts Council England has announced details of a £42m fund to support the long-term recovery of the arts, heritage and creative sectors. The Cultural Investment Fund, which is a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport programme administered by ACE, is made up of three strands. These are the Cultural Development Fund, Museum Estate and Development Fund and Libraries Improvement Fund.
The Cultural Investment Fund was originally announced in 2019, but was put on hold during the pandemic to prioritise the delivery of the Culture Recovery Fund. With a budget of £18.5m in this financial year, the Cultural Development Fund will support places outside of London to invest in "creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that are designed to make places more attractive to live and work in and to visit". This is the second round of the Cultural Development Fund, following a pilot round that was launched as part of the Creative Industries Sector deal in 2018.
Relocation - More than 40% of musicians polled about their work in the European Union said they would consider relocating to Europe to continue accessing jobs, with a fifth contemplating changing career entirely. Musicians warned that the red tape and additional costs of touring and working in Europe after Brexit would have substantial impacts on their careers, as membership bodies the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union – which conducted the survey – said the damage to the industry would be immeasurable if a solution to the crisis were not found.
USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that Cable Munkey has become a Pledge-a-Product partner by pledging a percentage of sales from its Cable Munkey cable management product.
Cable Munkey is a small business founded to bring innovative products and solutions to the theatre and live event market, like Cable Munkey. Founder Jonathan Allender-Zivic says he decided to support Behind the Scenes with his product because “I am a lifelong theatre artist and practitioner who wants to give back to those in need within our industry”.
BTS Foundation chair Rick Rudolph commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Jonathan and his unique product as Pledge-a-Product partners. He’s a wonderful example that you don’t have to be a large company to want to give back and support your industry. Every commitment makes a difference in what we are able to do to help our colleagues in need.”
Europe - Neutrik UK has announced the appointment of Karl Cowing as its new sales manager. Cowing comes to the position with an extensive 22-year career in engineering, and engineering sales, support and key account management roles within the electronics, automotive, transport, aerospace and defence sectors, including with Formula BMW, Varta, Aerco, Molex and Smiths Interconnect.
His experience includes responsibility for electronic interconnect solutions into strategic aerospace and defence customers, helping them adapt to rapidly changing technology requirements within the radar and electronic warfare sector, and positioning high reliability RF electronic connectivity solutions, including fibre optic technology, to help customers address future bandwidth issues.
Commenting on his appointment, Cowing says, “Over the years I have known of Neutrik connectors as best-in-class market leaders. I am excited to be joining the company and look forward to working closely with our customers to understand the true value of our products to them, in helping to drive innovation of future developments, in shaping growth in core markets and design into emerging growth markets.”
Neutrik UK managing director Mark Perrins states, “It is propitious to have Karl assume the role of UK sales manager at this strategically important time for the Neutrik Group. The acquisition of new brands and services, coupled with a fresh overall approach to our business, is presenting unprecedented opportunity for growth.”
Olympic Proportions - Plans have been announced for the construction of the biggest theatre in London for 45 years. The 1,575-seat Olympia will form part of a redevelopment of the same name in Kensington. It follows a £100m deal between theatre operator Trafalgar Entertainment and the site owners of Kensington Olympia in west London. The last theatre to open in the capital with over 1,000 seats was the National Theatre on South Bank in 1976.
If plans are approved, the Olympia theatre is scheduled to open in 2025 and Trafalgar Entertainment would have a lease for 35 years. Trafalgar co-founder Sir Howard Panter said it would be "something of international stature as the UK emerges into the new era". He added: "We hope that a bit like our neighbour just down the road, the Royal Albert Hall, it will become an iconic, marvellous cultural building in its own right. The announcement preceded Monday's scheduled reopening of many theatres with socially-distanced audiences for the first time this year, having been closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dance On - Blackpool Tower's famed ballroom is being prepared to reopen to the public after a £1.1m refurbishment. Dancers hope to be allowed to step on to the dancefloor on 21 June when the last Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile, the ballroom has undergone its most extensive work programme and deep-cleaning for more than 60 years. Craftsmen, who worked on projects including the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, have dedicated more than 21,000 hours over six months.
The work on
UK - Donated by international metal-music industry heavyweights such as Black Sabbath, Nuclear Blast, My Dying Bride, Laney, Epiphone, Earache, Kerrang, Century Media, Sony/BMG, Razamataz, Krusher Joule, Live Nation/Download, 5BAM, Bravado, Blaze Bailey, Very Metal Art, Good As Gold, and UK Metal Merger, #ILoveMetal is the world’s biggest ever metal-music charity prize draw.
In partnership with Julie Weir/Music For Nations – the #ILoveMetal collection was collated by the UK Metal Merger In Solitude single supergroup collaboration, with the motivation of raising funds for the Stagehand Charity which is dedicated to providing severe-hardship funding and mental health support for live events industry workers.
The #ILoveMetal campaign supports the UK’s live event workers who right now, are in financial crisis. Whilst providing the opportunity to win money-can’t-buy prizes, #ILoveMetal is a way for the metal community to come together to support live music, giving back to the concert touring professionals who make these life-affirming events happen.
With this prize draw, the whole of the international metal community can participate via £5 entries at the #ILoveMetal Crowdfunder page. Each person who enters will receive a free download of the |Metal-Merger album, featuring previously unreleased tracks and remixes.
The limited-edition items up for grabs include a Limited Edition Tony Iommi Epiphone Signature SG Custom, and rare/exclusive Black Sabbath book, both of which are signed by Tony Iommi, two VIP passes for Download
USA - On 5 May, ANSI's Board of Standards Review approved two ESTA documents as American National Standards. The following day, ANSI's BSR approved four more. All six are now published and available on the ESTA TSP website for download at no cost at http://tsp.esta.org/freestandards. You also may buy them from ANSI and IHS Markit for $40 each.
ANSI E1.2 – 2021, Entertainment Technology - Design, Manufacture and Use of Aluminum Trusses and Towers describes what the title says, and also the associated aluminium structural components, such as head blocks, sleeve blocks, bases, and corner blocks, used in the entertainment industry in portable structures. It's a revision of and supersedes the previous version.
ANSI E1.28 – 2011 (R2021), Guidance on planning followspot positions in places of public assembly, offers guidance on the planning of permanent followspot positions, including recommendations on the locations of the followspot positions within the venue, the power likely to be needed, the waste heat generated, the amount of space likely to be needed, and the fall protection and egress issues to be considered for the followspot operator's safety. This is a reaffirmation of the 2011 edition.
ANSI E1.39 – 2021, Entertainment Technology - Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry establishes minimum requirements for the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on portable structures in the entertainment industry. In addition, the standard establ
Green Light - Theatres across England have been given the green light to reopen from next week under the next stage of the government’s roadmap. Venues will be able to open with social distancing, with capacities capped at 50% or 1,000 people for indoor shows, and 50% or 4,000 people outdoors.
For many theatres it will mark the first time they have been able to open their doors in more than a year, with theatre bosses now looking forward to the possibility of social distancing being removed completely by June 21, the next date in the roadmap.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said theatres would be able to reopen on 17 May and added that the country was “on track" to move to Step 4 of the roadmap on 21 June, under which social distancing would be removed. "Today we are announcing the single biggest step in our roadmap and it will allow us to do many of the things we have yearned to do for a long time," he said.
On Broadway - Tickets for Broadway go on sale this week, although shows will not restart until 14 September. Theatres will then be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced. Thousands lost work when Broadway theatres closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. "Broadway is a major part of our state's identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again," Cuomo said on Twitter.
New York plans to lift the majority of coronavirus restrictions later this month, but Broadway needs more time for rehearsals and producers need time to advertise the shows. "Restarting Broadway is a
UK - Eyes in the UK and across the World focused on Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock successful test events, at Circus, hailing the return of live music from lockdown, with two nights of dance music (30 April/1 May), with over 6,000 people in the audience and Symphotech managing the health & safety.
Symphotech worked from the conception of the test events, supporting the organisers, Circus Music and The Events Company UK, to create a Covid safe event. With the emphasis on the research and test event aspect of the shows, protocols had to meet the criteria required by the scientists and multiple stakeholders.
Symphotech director Eddy Grant was their project leader, producing a detailed, constantly evolving risk analysis for the staff and the audience. He explains: “When the roadmap out of lockdown was announced by the government, in February, I spoke with Sam Newson (The Events Company UK), Richard McGinnis (Circus Music) and Culture Liverpool, aware that DCMS were favouring Liverpool as a location. All were enthusiastic to ‘Make Events Happen’ and the ensuing months have been spent considering the additional challenges to working a normal gig.
“The almost daily shifting sands of the science meant we weren’t certain which elements the scientists were going to look at, with the additional protocols each brought into the frame adding to our planning.”
Speaking on site, Sam Newson states: “Eddy has worked very closely with me in the weeks leading in to these shows. The science has been changing daily to trigger us figuring out wh
UK - Only Helix, known for its work with artists like Years & Years, Bat For Lashes, Amy Macdonald and Bombay Bicycle Club, has launched a new travel service that’s designed to meet the specific needs of touring professionals. OH Visas is rooted in an understanding of how the entertainment industry works, and has been developed to take the travel stress out of touring.
Only Helix’s Steven Down and Tom Nicol are the masterminds behind the service, which will be headed up by travel industry specialist, Ben Young.
“OH Visas was borne from our combined experiences, frustrations and successes with travel over the years,” explains Down. “Brexit and Covid-19 has obviously also shifted things quite dramatically and we wanted to find an easier process for ourselves and our clients.”
Nicol elaborates: “We realised this solution was something that others would probably benefit from too, so we’ve decided to make it a bigger part of our agency offering. We’ve got some great expertise in Ben, and we’re excited about getting it out there.”
As the shifting political landscape has made touring more complex than ever before, travel schedules that previously required no or minimal visas, may now need multiple visas and additional paperwork to ensure a smooth passage from one country to the next.
The new service handles the entire visa process from start to finish - covering applications, appointments and embassy visits. Learning from previous experiences (and challenges) of tour and production travel, OH Visas has streamlined the
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced its participation in the Mental Health Action Day, to be held on 20 May in partnership with more than 600 leading brands, non-profit organisations, government agencies, and cultural leaders.
Over the past two decades, suicide rates have risen and the COVID pandemic has accelerated the already crisis, giving way to what many mental health professionals have called the “second pandemic”.
Though more people than ever are comfortable discussing mental health, finding effective resources and knowing how to get help remains a challenge. Mental Health Action Day is an open-source movement to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action.
Partners will encourage people to take mental health action - whether for themselves, for their loved ones, or to advocate for systemic changes. Resources and tools will be available for people to seek help in a myriad of ways from starting a meditation practice, learning how to support a friend, or advocating for change.
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, says: “Our Mental Health steering committee views every day as Mental Health Action Day. We have spent the last year spreading the word to our industry about the free tools and resources available to everyone through our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative (btshelp.org/mentalhealth). We welcome this opportunity to amplify the