General News

plasa-show-2023-review2PLASA Show 2023 makes triumphant return to Olympia Grand Hall
Monday, 11 September 2023

UK - In step with the welcome return of the British summer, PLASA Show made a triumphant return to the Grand Hall of Olympia London from 3-5 September, spanning a third more floor space with a striking 28% increase in visitors.
Lee House, operations director for Ambersphere Solutions, says: “I was struck by a sense of nostalgia and excitement - PLASA Show has made a triumphant return! The hall was bustling with a diverse array of exhibitors and, most importantly, visitors who were eager to engage in meaningful conversations about their technological needs for the present and future. It was a jam-packed, unforgettable three days that left us eagerly anticipating what next year will bring."
Tom Mowat, hire account manager for Encore, concurs: “PLASA Show 2023 was absolutely incredible. It was fantastic to see the whole of the hall used by exhibitors. The attendance along with the quality of conversation is testament to just how important this event is in our calendar.”
Well over a third of visitors were final decision makers, and one in five were business owners or directors. Additional key job roles included technicians and programmers (one in ten), followed closely by sound engineers, lighting designers, technical directors and consultants. Half of the attendees work across concert touring, theatre, and live events, with a further 20% hailing from AV, broadcast and corporate sectors. Notably, this year saw a 9% increase in international visitors, with 17 more countries in attendance compared to 2022.
Adam Ironside, marketing manager for

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Building Concerns - The Royal and Derngate theatre in Northampton has closed for the rest of the month following the “unfortunate discovery” of RAA concrete in its infrastructure. It makes the venue the first major theatre to be impacted by the crisis involving reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which was used to build schools and other buildings between the 1950s and mid-1990s.
The government has described the concrete as “a lightweight form of concrete”. The concrete has since been found to be at risk of collapse, with schools across the UK having to close because of the potential danger. In a statement, the Royal and Derngate said: “Due to the unfortunate discovery of RAA Concrete in our buildings, Royal and Derngate is temporarily closed. During this closure period, entry to the building is prohibited, and all performances and events during September at Royal and Derngate are being postponed.” It said that the Northampton Filmhouse had also been temporarily closed.
Events cancelled at the venue include Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as well as comedy events including Tim Vine and Seann Walsh. Meanwhile, the YMCA Theatre in Scarborough, used predominantly for community productions, has also closed. The venue said a crack in concrete was found in an inspection of the building. The YMCA Theatre said the crack was found in an inspection of the building prompted by reports reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) posed a safety risk in some schools. The community theatre is based in a former school built i

le-markLe Mark Group celebrates 40th anniversary
Monday, 4 September 2023

UK - Le Mark Group is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. It all began in September 1983 in the kitchen and garage of the family home in Alconbury, supplying a range of self-adhesive tapes to the Arts Entertainment TV and Movie industry. The company was run by Stuart and his ex-wife Linda Gibbons as joint MDs.
The company grew and evolved, moving several times until finally settling in their current location at Houghton Hill Industries.
By the 1990s the product range had grown to include custom, and award-winning products, such as their much sought after dance floors. The familiar 90s TV shows such as; BBC TV’s Top of the Pops, Morecambe & Wise, Play Your Cards Right - all used Le Mark flooring.
Blankety Blank termed the phrase “a shiny floor show’ using Le Mark’s Studiotak peel clean stage floor covering.
The company continued to evolve their product range and moved into new and bigger events. Le Mark supplied, printed, and installed their Harmony Stage Floor for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. They still hold the record for the largest printed outdoor show floor, and installation, being 7,500sq.m.
Looking back, Stuart Gibbons said: “Le Mark has weathered two global recessions, a Banking crisis and COVID-19 – which pivoted our core business to make PPE masks and demountable screens and COVID signs during lockdown. We have built an enviable reputation for product innovation (five awards) having four separate business units with interconnected product groups.”

backupplasa2023Backup hosts neurodiversity session at PLASA Show 2023
Thursday, 31 August 2023

UK - Backup is once again the lead charity on the #WeMakeEvents Support Hub at this year's PLASA Show. The #WeMakeEvents Support Hub brings together multiple charities and organisations that have been playing an integral part in supporting the industry.
The team will be on Stand A80 (part of the #WeMakeEvents Hub) to offer support, raise awareness of mental health and help remove the stigma that surrounds it. Trained mental health first aiders from Backup and Music Support will be on hand to provide advice and information for anyone who wants to talk, either for themselves or for someone they want to signpost to get industry help, throughout the show, with PLASA also bringing in EventWell to provide a specific Wellbeing and Safe Space for anyone who needs immediate help at the show.
On Monday 4 September at 11.30am in Seminar Theatre 3, Backup will also host a session entitled Neurodiversity and our Industry - the Advantages and Challenges. Host Jess Allan from Backup will be joined by counsellor/psychotherapist, Chris Madden, MBACP registered and part of MITC, Mig Burgess, senior lecturer, co-chair of the ABTT, Mental Health First Aid (England) instructor and a trustee at Backup, Daisy Simmons, a freelance lighting designer who, having graduated this year, is just starting out and was diagnosed as autistic in 2019, Dinesh Sattee, a freelance technician working in theatre, who has a couple of years’ experience in the industry and was diagnosed with autism as a child, and experienced mix engineer, Phil Wright, who was diagnosed with ADHD in child

birminghamJAP publishes event sustainability report
Wednesday, 30 August 2023

UK - When Birmingham Festival 2023 took place from 28 July - 6 August to mark the one-year anniversary of the Commonwealth Games, JA Productions (JAP) delivered all event, site and operations management on behalf of organiser Birmingham City Council.
Building on the Commonwealth Games’ legacy, a cultural programme of entertainment was curated by JAP’s programme partner Opus with tens of thousands coming to Birmingham’s Centenary Square to enjoy local and international art, culture and entertainment.
A key consideration during both the planning and delivery phase was minimising the event’s environmental impact. JAP set out a sustainability strategy for Birmingham 2023 that took its own plan and objectives, along with the findings post Commonwealth Games into account.
Sustainability goals set for the event included a clear commitment and ownership from its leadership team, reducing the carbon footprint of the event’s logistics, reducing the waste associated with event branding, reducing energy use and wastage across all operations, all suppliers required to evidence their commitment to sustainability and engagement with guests and visitors through education and sustainability focused content.
Working with Richard Bate, vice president of IOSH and sustainability director for E Bike Grand Prix and Cube International, the company has published a detailed Event Sustainability Report which highlights successes and outlines areas that require improvement.
John Adkins, JAP’s managing director shares: “We effectively managed

moulinrougethemusicalviewfromseatcopyrightpreevueltdATG and Preevue expand View from Seat service
Wednesday, 30 August 2023

UK - ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group) and Preevue have announced the expansion of their View from Seat service to all UK ATG venues.
Following the successful implementation of the feature at select shows, including Moulin Rouge! The Musical at London's Piccadilly Theatre, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, ATG will now roll out this feature across all its UK venues. This service provides ATG customers with the ability to preview the exact view from each seat in every venue during the booking process, enriching the theatre-going experience overall.
Preevue's digital twins (3D models of ATG’s venues) are used to power the View from Seat system. The company’s experts utilise LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) laser scan data of the venues, accurate down to millimetres, to construct detailed 3D models of each venue. This technology offers an accurate visual representation of each seat's view, bringing confidence to customers.
The 'View from Seat' service is expected to bring more transparency and satisfaction to customers, increasing overall engagement and loyalty, say the companies.
This partnership reflects a broader trend towards the integration of technology into the arts and entertainment sector, a movement that has been accelerated by the challenges of the pandemic era.
Preevue’s managing director, Ryan Metcalfe, says: “The partnership between Preevue and ATG to expand the View from Seat service across all UK venues is not only a testament to our commitment to d

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 29 August 2023

Noises Off - Police escorted four theatregoers out of Grease the Musical in the West End after causing a disturbance. The audience members were removed from the Dominion Theatre during the evening performance of the musical, which stars Peter Andre and Jason Donovan, on 26 August.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Shortly before 8.40pm on Saturday, August 26, police received reports of two men and two women causing a disturbance at a theatre in Tottenham Court Road. Officers attended and the group were escorted from the premises." The spokesperson added that there were no arrests and no injuries reported.
A theatregoer told Sky News that the four audience members had reportedly been "rude and abusive" on the balcony but allegedly refused to leave after being spoken to by staff.
Classic Tracks - Classical music is set to be played at some Tyne and Wear Metro stations to create a more "soothing" environment. The sounds of Mozart and Bach were heard about 20 years ago along parts of the system in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour. Operator Nexus said the plan was not directly linked to trouble but anything that made passengers "feel more comfortable" could only help. Technical trials are taking place before a decision on locations is made. In 1997 classical music was played at Shiremoor station in North Tyneside to try to stop gangs of youths from congregating and causing trouble.
Diamond Geezers - The Rolling Stones appear to have revealed the title of their new album with an advert for a fictional glass

global-motionGlobal Motion partners with MMF
Wednesday, 23 August 2023

UK - Global Motion, specialists in logistics solutions for live touring and entertainment, has furthered its commitment to educational practices by partnering with Music Managers Forum (MMF) to support existing and next generation music managers.
Founded in May 2003, Global Motion has supplied air, sea and road freight services, freight charters, hand carry, storage and ATA carnets to some of music’s biggest names - and up-and-coming talent - through the world’s most challenging territories.
Current and future music managers can now benefit from this experience through Global Motion’s newly announced partnership with the Music Managers Forum (MMF).
Founded in 1992, MMF works to educate, inform and represent UK managers, by supporting professional development, creating and highlighting opportunities to develop and grow business and advocating for a fairer music industry for artists and their fans.
The MMF also offers a knowledge-sharing network of over 2,700 managers globally, where managers can exchange experiences, opportunities, and information.
Global Motion’s Sara Gleadhall explains why partnering with the MMF furthers a very important company mission: “Education is something that we’re very passionate about as an organisation, and without the continued drive to learn and better our operations, we wouldn’t be in the position that we are. Our success is down to our incredible clients, most of whom work in concert touring.
“We have a great deal of respect for what the MMF does, and we’re proud to align with thei

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Brit School North - Plans to base a northern version of London's renowned Brit School in Bradford have been given the go-ahead by the government. The new Brit School North will be free to attend for 500 pupils aged 16 to 19. It will offer courses in dance, music and theatre.
The original Brit School in Croydon, south London, opened its doors in 1991 and has helped launch the careers of stars including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Tom Holland and Jessie J. The concept is backed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and graduates at the London school have collectively sold more than 250m albums and won 15 Brit awards over the past three decades.
Announcing that the BPI's plans had been approved, the government said the school will be supported by large music industry firms like Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK. No start date is being given at this stage, but when the BPI submitted the plans in February, it said it hoped the school could be opened in 2026. Bradford, which has a population of 546,000 according to the 2022 census, has one of the most diverse populations in the UK and the BPI said earlier this year that it had an equally vibrant cultural scene.
AI Threat - Musician Hozier has said he would consider striking over the threat artificial intelligence (AI) poses to his industry. Hollywood actors and writers are currently striking over a row about better contracts and protection from the use of AI. Hozier told the BBC he would be willing to join similar strike action in the music industry. The singer add

koy-backupBackup Tech adds Koy Neminathan as trustee
Tuesday, 22 August 2023

UK - Backup has announced well-known industry figure, Koy Neminathan, as a new trustee of the organisation and head of its Ambassador Programme.
Koy, who is business development director at Elation Professional and PLASA manufacturer’s representative, is no stranger to the demands and pressures of the live entertainment industry. Following the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw the very real challenges the industry faced, and vowed to put the needs of others before himself.
“I felt like helping others was what had to be done, it was such an important thing for me,” says Koy. “You’ve got to help those who can’t always help themselves and, particularly during the pandemic, I felt it was imperative to do what I could to support our industry at a time where people were struggling in so many ways and mental health became a massive issue - people were suffering in silence. That’s what led me to think about joining Backup.”
During the pandemic, Koy worked with the #WeMakeEvents campaign, an initiative that was set up to raise awareness of the lack of support for freelancers and companies within the entertainment industry, by helping coordinate the campaign across 40 countries and continues to work for the good of the industry today.
Discussions surrounding his potential involvement with Backup began back in March 2023, when fellow Backup trustee, Paul Robson, approached him looking for a fresh, young mind to join the organisation. “I’ve always respected the charity and the individuals behind it, so I thought, why not? Let’s

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Studio Sale - The BBC's historic Maida Vale studios, which have hosted sessions by stars ranging from The Beatles to Adele, have been sold to a group led by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer, who wrote the scores for films like The Lion King and Dune, has teamed up with Love Actually and Cats movie producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
The BBC said the complex would remain a "centre for pioneering music-making". It was valued at about £10m but the BBC did not disclose the purchase price. Built in 1909 as Britain's largest indoor roller-skating rink, the north-west London building was bought by the BBC in 1933. It is home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has hosted the world's biggest rock and pop stars - from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead and Jay-Z to Little Mix.
It also played host to John Peel's famous Radio 1 sessions and the BBC's innovative Radiophonic Workshop, famed for its realisation of the Doctor Who theme tune. The corporation is planning to move its music studios to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London in 2025, where the BBC Symphony Orchestra will then be based.
Ticket Prices - Society of London Theatre co-chief executive Claire Walker has responded to David Tennant’s criticism of “ludicrous” West End ticket prices, highlighting that average ticket prices have decreased when adjusted for inflation. Last week, Tennant said he was aware of the high ticket costs when he was in a show in the West End and warned that prices were “strangling the next generation of audiences”.

job3483w-2137-2022-winner-jb-tobyPLASA Show 2023: Record number of Gottelier Award nominees
Friday, 11 August 2023

UK - Voting is now in process for this year’s Gottelier Award, which has received a record number of nominees. Named in memory of renowned industry innovator and commentator Tony Gottelier, this special award recognises the invaluable contributions of the people behind the products.
LSi readers, pre-registered PLASA Show visitors and PLASA members are eligible to vote for the Gottelier Award. The recipient of the award will be announced during the PLASA Awards for Innovation ceremony at PLASA Show on Monday 4 September. The nominees for the 2023 Gottelier Award are:
Mark Ager - XM Automation
Mark’s influence over the past 40 years has been intrinsic in creating and defining the theatre automation industry as we know it today. Known by some as the father of automation, he co-founded and managed Stage Technologies (STL) which developed many of the innovations (from standard automation desks, racks and winches, 3D flying performer systems, to free-roaming stage trucks) that form the bedrock of the modern industry. He built STL to become a worldwide industry leader and innovator - winning multiple awards and working with leading-edge clients. Post-pandemic Mark created XM Automation, a disruptor enabling wider automation uptake within the industry and defining a future vision.
Andrew Bruce - Autograph Sound
Andrew Bruce co-founded Autograph Sound Recording in 1973 and his company has been the pre-eminent supplier of audio equipment and sound design services to the live entertainment industry, both at hom

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Backstage Upgrade - The National Theatre has submitted a planning application to bring some of its backstage departments - which have been largely unaltered since the 1970s - up-to-date and ensure they meet current health and safety requirements.
Submitted to Lambeth Council by architects and designers Tom Wilson Studio, the plans outline refurbishments to support the modernisation of the NT’s back-of-house facilities, including its textiles studio, costume and prop workshop, wig, hair and make-up department and laundry room, located on the building’s fifth floor.
According to the planning application, the fifth-floor production facilities have been "largely untouched since the 1970s and no longer support the working requirements and practices expected of a modern theatre, and in some cases are non-compliant with current health and safety executive guidelines for such specialist areas".
The plans state that much of the ventilation equipment across the site is not fit for purpose and needs replacement, and that the lighting in all of these spaces in the grade II*-listed building also needs replacing.
On The Fringe - A musical about the Covid-19 pandemic created by a Surrey actress is heading to the Edinburgh Festival. Natasha Mould, from Walton-on-Thames, wrote the show when she found herself unemployed and taking on a care job during the pandemic.
2020 The Musical includes songs about being on furlough and working with the elderly. Ms Mould went from acting in 9 to 5 The Musical in the West End to a full-time

bikefestBikeFest is back and calling for new recruits
Friday, 4 August 2023

UK - Following on from a record-breaking BikeFest in Spain earlier this year, the #WeMakeEvents fundraising bike ride returns to London this September to raise money for industry charities Backup Tech, Music Support and Stagehand – and the team is calling for new recruits.
Since being spearheaded by PLASA and Backup seven years ago, BikeFest has grown into a popular industry event, taking place in Spain and the UK each year in the lead up to ISE in Barcelona and PLASA Show in London respectively. Each BikeFest event raises thousands for industry charities, with BikeFest Spain 2023 raising an incredible £50,000, helping industry professionals suffering with ill health or financial hardship.
And soon the BikeFest London team will be back in the saddle, ready to cycle up to 80 miles on Saturday 2 September, in time for PLASA Show at Olympia London from 3-5 September. The friendly team of intrepid cyclists includes all ages and abilities – and they are calling for new recruits! Growing in numbers every year, BikeFest offers a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded industry professionals and create lasting friendships. There is simply no other networking event like it.
Piers Shepperd, chair of Backup Tech, comments, “BikeFest is a brilliant initiative for the events world - each year bringing together people to raise funds supporting industry charity Backup. BikeFest London caters for different fitness levels to ensure that nobody gets left behind, but more importantly it’s also a brilliant way to spend time with old friends and make new ones

somersetSLX partners with Wilderkind in environmental initiative
Wednesday, 2 August 2023

UK - SLX has announced its partnership with Wilderkind, an organisation that is dedicated to accelerating nature recovery in Great Britain through rewilding. The collaboration aligns with SLX’s commitment to sustainability and to having a positive impact on the environment and local community.
Founded in April 2023 Wilderkind collaborates with businesses in South West England to combat biodiversity loss, prevent ecosystem collapse, and foster climate resilience.
SLX has been on a journey to evolve its business to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. Following the release of its Impact Report earlier this year, and the announcement of attaining a B-Corporation status, this new partnership exemplifies SLX's commitment to making a visible environmental impact and aligning with the core values of its B-Corp certification.
Under the leadership of Nick Allport, founder of Wilderkind, SLX will fund an extensive 73-acre rewilding project led by the charity, the Somerset Wildlands, which is aimed at restoring parts of the Somerset Levels to its original state as a wetland. Specifically, SLX will be funding a project to construct scrapes – shallow pools - in selected areas of the rewilding site to create additional space for aquatic species to flourish. This should create a haven for aquatic life such as water voles as well as a host of insects, birds and amphibians and boost bio abundance and biodiversity at the site.
Both organisations share the same vision to make a positive and tangible environmental impact. From quarterly u

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Las Vegas Bound - Kylie Minogue is going to Las Vegas. The singer has announced her first exclusive residency in Sin City, following in the footsteps of Adele and Celine Dion. She has not toured in North America since 2011, so her shows at the Voltaire nightclub at The Venetian in Las Vegas will be a major US return.
Minogue has promised extravagant costumes and dances, saying that at this point in her career she has "earned the right to" play Las Vegas. "I've performed a couple of times at Vegas, but as part of a tour, and particularly when I did the Showgirl tour in 2004 - at that time we said, 'oh, this feels like a Vegas show', the Australian pop star said at a Los Angeles news conference.
The show will be based in a smaller venue that allows Minogue to give guests and fans a more personal show. "I want it to be the kind of essence of what a Kylie show has become, enough glamour and abandon. I've got some versions of songs that have not been heard, like reinterpretations of songs, which is exciting. Live bed dances, amazing costumes. That's the base and then we'll see what surprises we can come up with," she revealed.
Final Curtain - The King’s Head Theatre – widely considered the UK’s oldest pub theatre – will close its doors in August after more than 50 years. The pub theatre, in Islington, will shut on 13 August, ahead of a long-planned relocation to new, purpose-built premises, first announced in 2017 and approved in 2018. Once it has closed in its current premises, the theatre space in the Young’s pub venue will be c

pfbackstageaca-5740Production Futures schedules flagship event
Friday, 28 July 2023

UK - Production Futures exists to create opportunities for young people to learn, train, network and develop real careers in production across every area of the live event, music, touring, theatre, TV, broadcast and film industries. The organisation has announced that its flagship On Tour event will take place at Production Park, Wakefield on Thursday 28 September.
Featuring international special guest speakers, panel discussions and learning zones, the event will place emphasis on the theme of transferable skills across the production industries. Production Futures’ diversity partners will also play an important role on the day with Black Lives in Music, The Association for Black Event Professionals, Women in Live Music and The Network of Women in Events, all represented. New features for this year’s event include new ‘speed networking’ and ‘recruitment’ areas.
The invitation-only Production Futures Breakthrough Awards 2023 will take place at the conclusion of the event.
CEO Hannah Eakins is looking forward to Production Futures’ biggest and busiest event yet: “As always, we’ll be live streaming on our website from Production Park, enabling those who are unable to attend in person to tune in all day. We’re also very excited to be once again part of Leeds Digital Festival, who will play an important part in promoting the event.
“We’ve already confirmed a number of special guests who will be taking part in panels which include The World of Broadcast, Global Work Opportunities - The World is Your Oyster,

purpleguidegreenchapterfeedbackIndustry consultation opens for Purple Guide
Friday, 28 July 2023

UK - Vision: 2025, the UK outdoor event industry's steering group for environmental sustainability, has been commissioned by the Event Industry Forum’s (EIF) Purple Grants Fund, to write a new chapter of the Purple Guide on Environmental Sustainability for events.
It is intended to provide clear guidance on best practice and signpost to users to resources and guidance to minimise the carbon impact of events.
Feedback will be reviewed in September and the chapter will be launched 18 October 2023, at SES 23, hosted at the Showman’s Show.
The draft is available online for comment until Friday 1 September on the Vision: 2025 website.
The draft has been prepared by an industry working group including Hope Solutions, the Local Authority Event Organiser’s Association (LAEOG), Julie’s Bicycle, The Association of Festival Organiser’s (AFO) and event organisers including Festival Republic and Shambala.

kartfest-2023-spectatorsThe Parish of Backup’s Village Fete raises £50,000
Friday, 28 July 2023

UK - Eight years ago, 11 teams turned up, had a bit of fun and raised a small amount of money driving some karts for the live events industry. Fast forward to 2023 and The Parish of Backup delivered the Village Fete, its biggest and most successful event to date. The day was set against the backdrop of a traditional British Fete, 350 members of the live events industry came together to have the best of British days out.
With Chauvet Professional once again taking up the headline sponsor slot, and first-time main sponsor 5 Star Cases joining them and providing a colourful selection of flight cases for the Flight Case Challenge, over 40 companies, along with many individuals, descended on Daytona Sandown Park. Outside of the traditional award shows and trade shows calendar, this event has become one of the biggest fun days out for the live events industry.
“Raising the bar every year has always been the challenge,” says Lee Dennison -vice chair or Backup and mayor of the Parish Fete. “As an events industry we are the first to critique, so we always want to keep everyone guessing and engaged on a yearly basis.”
The kart teams sold out within a week of the event being announced, the Parish Council kicked into action with the Village Fete plan. The idea to host bake offs, best activity and best-looking fete stall was not lost on the live events community, who seized it with both hands.
“We all know the live events industry is full of very talented and skilful individuals, but the moment bake off was mentioned a whole new eco system emerg

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 July 2023

Theatre in Education - Supporting theatre in education and recognising the importance of the art form in education are among a set of Europe-wide recommendations for policymakers to support the sector. The recommendations resulted from the European Theatre Forum 2023, which saw 200 representatives from the European theatre sector gather at JK Opole Theatre in Poland.
The event was organised by the European Commission with the aim of looking at how the sector can address key issues including mental health, the climate crisis and the potential impact of artificial intelligence. While they are primarily addressed to the European Commission, the guidelines are also aimed at national funders and policymakers. The European Theatre Forum included representatives from UK-based theatres in receipt of government funding, including the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh and the Young Vic in London.
Solidarity - Actors Imelda Staunton, Brian Cox and Rob Delaney were among those to speak at an Equity protest in London, which the union believes to be its largest-ever rally, in solidarity with actors’ strikes in America. The protest in solidarity with Equity’s sister union SAG-AFTRA took place at Leicester Square on 21 July and was attended by around 450 people. SAG-AFTRA is currently in negotiations with AMPTP - the engagers association for film and TV producers in the United States - and recently began strike action.
The union is seeking pay increases and improvements to working conditions, as well as looking to secure protections for its members against the

ctonsiteBackup launches Are You OK? mental health campaign
Wednesday, 19 July 2023

UK - At this year’s KartFest, the Village Fete saw Backup launch Are You OK?, a campaign aimed at raising further awareness of mental health throughout the technical entertainment industry.
Founded in the early 2000’s to provide financial support to technical professionals across sectors such as concert, live events, theatre, TV and film, Backup expanded its remit during the pandemic and has adapted its services to support colleagues not just potential facing financial hardship from physical illness, but their mental health and wellbeing.
The annual KartFest has been the most prominent and successful of Backup’s fundraising activities, bringing together karting fans and spectators alike to enjoy a fun-filled day, with this year’s Village Fete theme adding much to the enjoyment whilst raising money and much-needed awareness of their cause. Around 70% of the technical industry’s crew is freelance, and since the pandemic, Backup has seen a marked increase in mental health support requests, evidencing the lack of support, resources and aid provided for this valued workforce.
This year, Backup announced its new campaign, Are You OK?, to signpost easy, confidential, and sensitive access to both urgent and non-urgent mental health support, with a focus on the freelancers who are not otherwise supported. Working with industry suppliers and venues, Backup will provide a single point of access for the technical industry’s crew members and freelancers by utilising industry equipment, noticeboards, and venues to place prominent campaign posters with

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 18 July 2023

Anti-War Revival - A revival of Oh What a Lovely War will mark the 60th anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s anti-war musical as it tours nationally from September. Produced by Blackeyed Theatre, the run will include three weeks at Southwark Playhouse Borough. It stars Christopher Arkeston, Rose Bruford graduate Tom Crabtree, Harry Curley, and Alice E Mayer.
The production is directed by Nicky Allpress with musical direction by Ellie Verkerk and movement direction by Adam Haigh. Allpress said: “I’m so thrilled to be directing this unique piece of theatrical history, having followed Blackeyed Theatre and their extraordinary work for many years.
“One of the most exciting things about Oh What a Lovely War is how universal, timeless, and ever relevant it is, and testament to the brilliance of the work is how it can bear endless reinterpretation. Our concept will explore the idea of war as a circus, with an incredibly talented company of actor-musicians bringing Joan Littlewood’s ground-breaking classic to life with music, comedy, and stories.” Oh What a Lovely War was originally workshopped by Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop in 1963.
Christmas Actually - Love Actually writer and director Richard Curtis has announced a new Christmas show, which will come to the stage in London this December. Christmas Actually is not an adaptation of his beloved festive film, which was released in 2003. Instead, it will be a variety show in aid of Comic Relief, featuring live music, performance, poetry and comedy.

glpbts-2GLP supports Behind the Scenes initiative
Wednesday, 12 July 2023

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced that GLP German Light Products has joined its Pledge-of-Support Programme. The company will contribute a portion of the profits from their new Creative Light products to Behind the Scenes.
GLP German Light products provides designers around the globe with environmentally friendly and energy-optimised lighting solutions that are both uncompromisingly creative and powerful. Creative Light products are the first battery-powered and completely wireless creative LED systems for maximum flexibility in an almost unlimited range of applications.
Director of sales and marketing for GLP German Light Products Tyler Wise states: “Partnering with the Behind the Scenes Pledge-of-Support Programme is important to GLP because we believe so much in the organisation and its value to the industry. BTS provides direct positive impact to colleagues and friends we work with every day all across the country so this opportunity to contribute in collaboration with our clients is really beneficial for everyone.”
Rick Rudolph, BTS Foundation chair, comments: “Behind the Scenes is thrilled to have GLP as a part of our Pledge-of-Support Programme. GLP German Light Products values the impact Behind the Scenes has had on the industry and we know that they are dedicated to sustaining our mission.”

breakthrough-image-2023-06-11-at-0249Production Futures re-formats Breakthrough Awards
Wednesday, 12 July 2023

UK - Production Futures is an initiative created to provide opportunities for young people to learn, train, network, and develop real careers in production across every area of the Live Event, Music, Touring, Festival, Theatre, TV, Broadcast and Film industries.
At its most recent On Tour roadshow event in Manchester, which was opened by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, chief executive Hannah Eakins announced the expansion of the Production Futures Breakthrough Talent Awards to better reflect the wide range of roles and skill sets required across the production industry. These rely heavily on transferable skills such as computer science, architecture, engineering and business management, as well those associated with the traditional event-management, music, TV, film, media and live technical fields. Hannah explains:
“The Production Futures initiative originated as The Breakthrough Talent Awards and they have been a fundamental part of our mission from day one. This expanded format takes us back to the roots of Production Futures and the reasons why we wanted to recognise young talent. We began as a very small awards ceremony in 2016 that sought not only to mark the achievements of young people in the production industries, but to inspire the next generation coming through.
“Since those early days, with the support of key industry partners, we’ve grown to become a community for real opportunity - the last six years have produced 22 winners of the Breakthrough Talent Awards who are now occupying significant roles at a wide range of compani


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