General News

aimblackrectangleinvert-jpgAIM launches £1m support fund for contractors
Tuesday, 7 April 2020

UK - The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has launched a support fund aimed at contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry whose source of income has been severed without warning due to lost work in April and May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund starts with assets of £500,000 committed by AIM and its members, with further contributions invited from all sectors of the music industry and beyond.
The target is to distribute £1,000 to each of 1,000 workers within two months.
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico comments: “Despite government initiatives and the groundswell of support from the music industry, there are still many thousands of workers being left behind without the help that they need to get through this difficult time. Many of these people have suddenly found themselves with no source of income and with families to support, while government support measures for microbusinesses are hard to access for creative businesses and those for the self-employed are not expected to kick in before June.
“The independent sector’s strength lies in its sense of solidarity and community. We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do. This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.”
The AIM fund is open to any contractors due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels who have lost committed income because of cancelled artist projects. This includes tour crews, studio producers,

plasa-tn2PLASA publishes results of Covid-19 member survey
Tuesday, 7 April 2020

UK - A survey carried out by PLASA has revealed the financial struggles faced by businesses in the entertainment technology industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conducted from 18 March and completed by 145 PLASA members, the study shows the early impact that various restrictions triggered by the pandemic have had on the industry, with PLASA currently conducting a follow-up survey to gain insight into the ongoing challenges that the sector is facing.
From those surveyed, half said that they’ve lost at least 50% of the business for the year, with a fifth saying they’ve lost between 80% to 100% of all their business.
PLASA is currently pushing for the government to include the events supply chain in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business category in order to qualify for much needed Business Rates cash grants which are already available to shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres and music venues. Alongside asking the government to insist that landlords of rented business premises support business tenants through the coronavirus crisis.
PLASA says it is also concerned about "the number of freelancers who operate as limited companies who are not receiving a fair amount of support in comparison to their sole-trader colleagues. Many were forced to operate as a limited company to comply with off-payroll tax rules, are now unable to claim for dividends meaning they lose out on fair government support."
PLASA has a dedicated web page to support businesses and individuals during the pandemic, as well as closed groups on Facebook and L

 
 
etcplogo1ETCP supports emergency field hospitals
Monday, 6 April 2020

USA - As Covid-19 impacts almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, ETCP Certified Technicians, with support of the IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), are stepping up to put their expertise and available equipment to good use.
Michael Barnes, IATSE international vice-president and business agent for Local 8 said, “This is spreading way too quickly, and we felt like we have to do something to help. If you are helping you can’t feel helpless, and that is not where we want to be. IATSE Locals across the country are contacting governors state-by-state to offer their expertise in the installation of temporary structures to assist in the development of emergency field hospitals for Covid-19.”
Barnes continued, “I sincerely believe the model that is traditionally deployed in situations like this can be drastically improved upon. Implementing the use of rigging and lighting techniques we use every day to create temporary structures will result in a safer and more productive environment. The pre-engineered truss that we install for any temporary arena or outdoor stage allows much more flexibility; with the touch of a button, we can give health care personnel exactly what they need to operate most efficiently.
“No one is better prepared to solve a dilemma creatively than an entertainment industry professional. ETCP Certified technicians are very well-versed in setting up large volumes of equipment for touring shows in under 12 hours. The fact that we can use our skills to help save lives in a time of crisis b

 
josephLW Theatres commits to paying all staff
Monday, 6 April 2020

UK - LW Theatres has committed to paying all staff – including those employed on a show-by-show basis – and has confirmed no redundancies are currently planned while the coronavirus outbreak continues.
In related news, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals are to be screened on a new YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On.
Lloyd Webber sent an email to staff in which he acknowledged “how very difficult it is to be denied the ability to be together, not only with our theatre community, but more importantly with many of our loved ones” at this time.
Rebecca Kane Burton, chief executive of LW Theatres, also wrote to all staff outlining the company’s plans for the foreseeable future. “Our priority is to steer our staff and the company through these unprecedented times, so that we can continue to serve customers and provide jobs in the West End for many years to come. I want to thank all our staff for their support, understanding and commitment.
”As things stand we are not making any redundancies. All our staff will either continue to work or become furloughed workers. We have honoured our commitment to pay staff including those who normally only work with us when shows are running. We will continue to support our staff and help them through these difficult times.”
In his own address to staff, Lloyd Webber said, “We have all been affected in a multitude of ways by the horrific and invisible virus which has a stranglehold on the world right now. I know that all of you will be feeling the effects of this pandemic and st

 
 
peoplepoweredEntertainment industry mobilizes to support NHS
Friday, 3 April 2020

UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and production team joining for

 
john-schnobrichEvents industry urged to submit evidence on COVID-19 crisis
Friday, 3 April 2020

UK - PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association, has urged businesses and individuals to get in touch with more evidence on how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is affecting their operations.
The information is sought by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will help the Treasury to better understand the devastating impact the situation is having on the events industry.
To gather the evidence, The Events Industry Forum - of which PLASA is a member - has created a survey, which can be completed here until 5pm on Tuesday, 7 April.
"We are working hard alongside other industry associations and organisations to ensure the voice of our industry is heard," says PLASA in a statement. "We hope that through this work we can secure measures already gifted to leisure and hospitality to be extended to events and the events supply chain."
(LSi Online)

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Major Losses - Workers in the UK theatre sound industry have collectively lost nearly £2m in income as a result of the coronavirus, according to a survey by the Association of Sound Designers. The results counted a total loss of £1,943,452 in income across the 249 respondents, largely due to cancelled or postponed events and loss of royalties. This averages at £7,805 per person.
Other key findings from the survey: 91% of respondents immediately lost income as a result of the social-distancing measures, worth around £1m in total; 76% had further work postponed within the next three months, worth around £750,000; 41% of those surveyed said the health of themselves and their family was their primary concern.
Dominic Bilkey, chair of the Association of Sound Designers, said: “The impact of the sudden and complete closure of theatres, arenas and other areas of entertainment has had an immediate and devastating effect upon our members and their families. The priority has to be the health and well-being of the country, and our membership understand and respect this.” Bilkey welcomed government support measures for employees and the self-employed, however warned there was still “a large number of members who will be ineligible for either support mechanism”.
Sofa Sounds - Elton John hosted a star-studded coronavirus benefit concert from his home in Los Angeles. The online festival featured performances from the likes of Billie Eilish, Dave Grohl and Mariah Carey from their sofas and home studios. It raised funds for two US charities. Broa

 
btslogoheader600Behind the Scenes seeks card designers
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

USA - Behind the Scenes holiday cards have become a tradition in the industry for those who want to spread holiday cheer while supporting their colleagues in need. Proceeds from card sales help provide grants to entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate dependent family members, who are seriously ill or injured.
Each year, designs have been created and donated to the charity by everyone from Tony Award winners to high school students. The design guidelines (btshelp.org/carddesign) are very simple and you can also view previous examples (btshelp.org/cardexamples).
If you are interested in designing a card, Behind the Scenes will need your commitment no later than 24 April and your artwork by 15 May. Please contact Lori Rubinstein at info@btshelp.org or 212-244-1421.
The Behind the Scenes grants may be used for basic living and medical expenses. The BTS Counseling Fund assists with the expense of seeing a therapist or entering rehab. The new Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative is developing tools and resources specifically for the entertainment industry. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit btshelp.org.

 
 
btsmhbannerRegistration opens for industry therapist finder
Friday, 27 March 2020

USA - US entertainment technology charity Behind the Scenes (BTS), in partnership with HelpPRO, has launched an online therapist finder designed for the entertainment industry.
As part of its research into mental health and suicide prevention, the charity had conducted an online survey of industry professionals, which revealed a shortage of therapists who understood the unique culture and stresses of the entertainment industry and who were available to see people on nights and weekends or through teletherapy.
The finder is now accepting therapist listings. Only therapists who have previously seen professionals in the entertainment industry as clients, or who have personal professional experience in the industry themselves, will be included in this finder. The finder will be available to anyone working in any facet of the entertainment industry and users will be able to search for a therapist by a range of criteria important to them.
Therapists will complete an extensive questionnaire that includes their areas of specialty, what insurance they accept and whether they have a sliding scale for those not covered, whether they have weekend and nighttime office hours or will conduct phone or video sessions, and much more. This will allow those seeking counselling to find the best possible matches for their needs.
If you know of a therapist with the required experience, please tell them about the finder and ask them to register at btshelp.org/therapist_

ace-blackArts Council England pledges £160m emergency fund
Wednesday, 25 March 2020

UK - Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £160m emergency response package to help cultural organisations, freelancers and individual artists survive the coronavirus crisis.
The money is intended to prevent artists and arts organisations from going into liquidation, but is also designed to help them come up with creative responses “to buoy the public” during the lockdown.
The package breaks down as £20m of funds for creative practitioners and freelancers, £50m for organisations not in the national portfolio, and £90m for the 828 organisations in the national portfolio, a category that ranges from small touring theatres to the National Theatre.
The money is coming from a combination of ACE’s emergency reserves and a suspension of national lottery project grants, normally a vital source of income for smaller organisations and individuals.
ACE chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, comments: “None of us can hope to weather this storm alone, but by working together in partnership, I believe we can emerge the stronger, with ideas shared, new ways of working, and new relationships forged at the local, national and even international level.”
ACE said that the financial crisis for the arts caused by the mass closure of venues and cancelled contracts was acute, with evidence showing it was “causing massive and unsustainable loss of revenues”. It said the emergency package was designed to complement the financial measures already announced by the government to help the wider economy.
Darren Henley, the chief executive of ACE, a

 
 
coronavirusLSi launches COVID-19 support page
Tuesday, 24 March 2020


World
- LSi Online has launched a dedicated page with training and information resources for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Available at www.lsionline.com/covid-19-support, readers can access the latest business reaction including online training initiatives, industry campaigns and information on the latest financial support packages available to the industry.
The page is regularly updated and is devised as a key resource for those looking for a reliable guide to all important announcements concerning the industry.
Readers who wish to share relevant initiatives or resources should get in touch with the LSi team on info@lsionline.com
Meanwhile, PLASA is sharing information with its members via daily emails and through a closed Facebook Group.

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Eurovision Alternative - Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are investigating an ‘alternative’ show after this year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the format has yet to be decided, they stressed the programme would not be a competition. However, the show will “honour the songs and artists” that were due to take part of the contest this May. “With that in mind,” organisers said, “this year's songs will not be eligible to compete when the contest returns. Participating broadcasters may decided which artist(s) to send in 2021, either this year's or a newly chosen one.”
The event's executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. We regret this situation very much. The event will return stronger than ever next year.”
Operatic Moves - Scottish Opera has re-purposed lorries ordinarily used to transport its set to venues in order to help restock supermarkets. The opera company’s drivers have been using their cabs to help deliver food to Tesco stores in Scotland, as supermarket stores in Scotland, as supermarkets face unprecedented demand from shoppers during the coronavirus crisis.
Rather than transport the set for Scottish Opera’s forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh - which has been postponed until further notice along with all of the company’s public work - two of its lorries have instead been used to help deliver supplies to

 
 
dwrA message of hope from DWR
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

South Africa - DWR Distribution has shared a message to the industry.
“When Duncan Riley established DWR Distribution from a tiny office in his home in 2006, he and his wife Sherryn decided to do something different. Abandoning the security of a salaried job, Duncan set out to build on an idea - that the people, not the gear, makes our industry special.
“It’s all about the people has been the guiding vision and mantra of DWR Distribution for the past 14 years. The DWR family has grown from a team of three to a team of more than 60 people, all of whom service the industry in South Africa with passion, dedication and, above all else, humanity. It is more important now than ever that we stand together and make every moment we have all about the people.
“You might be feeling scared right now, just as we are. We are scared for our families and loved ones. We are scared for our own health and for the health of those around us. We are scared of what the shutdowns are going to mean for our livelihoods and for the industry that we all love so much. We feel the pain of our friends in China and across the European Union, where so many have succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 disease, and our thoughts remain with the thousands who are still fighting for their lives.
“We are also heartbroken for the thousands of stagehands, riggers, operators, engineers, and designers all over the world who have no idea where their next meal is going to come from. We stand in solidarity with you all. Keep in mind that no matter how difficult it is to breathe when

 
think-others21CC Group launches #ThinkOthers campaign
Friday, 20 March 2020

UK - Edinburgh-based event company 21CC Group Ltd who deliver events throughout the UK has launched an online campaign #ThinkOthers with the aim of connecting those who need help and those who can offer help during the coming weeks and months as a result of the effects of COVID-19.
Director Geoff Crow says, “Our business, 21CC Group, is about bringing people together through events. Like many businesses we are working to come to terms with the impact that the coronavirus is having on the nation, our families, neighbours and our business.
“Events are our business; however, events have been halted across the country at this time in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus.
“Whilst we are not able to deliver events in this current state of nationwide shut down due to the Coronavirus, in the midst of panic and fear, our team want to deliver a message of hope and care. We want to use our resources and our connections to be part of something that is bigger than us, and is a positive way. #ThinkOthers gives us all the opportunity to connect people who need help, with people that can offer help; everyone can be part of this.”
21CC Group started in business in 2000. The company now employs 18 permanent staff and seasonal staff and manages a pool of over 50 event crew, regularly hosting events and shows around the country for corporate groups, festivals, local authorities and private clients.
#ThinkOthers is an online campaign working from Facebook and is easy to use and

roadieIndustry organisations launch roadie benefit initiative
Friday, 20 March 2020

USA - A group of leading live event industry organisations has joined together to create a GoFundMe campaign to raise $250,000 in donations to provide relief to eligible freelance professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic due to event cancellations.
The campaign is initially being sponsored by Alive Risk, Clair Global, the Event Safety Alliance, Griffin360, Merch Roadie, Show Makers Symposium and Take1 Insurance, with other companies expected to join the cause. The goal of the campaign is to reach out to entertainment industry businesses and live entertainment fans worldwide to raise $250,000 in direct contributions to the Roadie Relief GoFundMe campaign that will then be distributed to eligible freelance professionals through MusiCares. Information about the Roadie Rescue Campaign, who it benefits and how to apply can be found at www.roadierescue.com
“Everyone needs to join together to help the people in their industry most impacted economically by the novel coronavirus, and in the live event industry that group is the tens of thousands of tireless and dedicated independent contractors, the roadies, who bring every live event to life,” says Take1 Insurance executive vice president Scott Carroll said today. “The live event industry can provide this relief quickly and most efficiently by working with MusiCares, which has been providing assistance to music people in need since 1991.”
According to Event Safety Alliance president Jim Digby: “The Road

 
btsmentalhealthgraphic300BTS offers mental health screening online
Wednesday, 18 March 2020

USA - Behind the Scenes has announced an online behavioural health screening programme as part of its Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. These free screenings are completely anonymous, private, easily accessible, and quick to complete.
The entertainment industry has unique rewards, practices, stressors and challenges that are not commonly experienced in the same way in other professions. By its very nature our industry can impact your physical and emotional health with long hours, pressure to push your body, and high workplace stress.
These screenings are a tool to check in on a key part of your overall health - your behavioural health - which includes mental health, substance use, and more. The program consists of nine different sets of questions which can help you self-identify symptoms you may be experiencing. You choose which of the screenings you wish to take based on how you are feeling.
The screenings are a quick way to determine if you or someone you care about can benefit from the help and support of a Mental Health professional. They will help you understand if what you have been thinking and feeling may be associated with a common, treatable behavioral health issue. Immediately following each screening you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.
Take a confidential screening today at www.btshelp.org/screening, or tell a friend or colleague who also might benefit.
An extensive listing of resource links is now available on the Behind the Scenes website at btshelp.org/resources. Finding help wh

 
 
rishisunakLeisure industry to receive cash support
Wednesday, 18 March 2020

UK - The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has addressed the financial difficulties faced by the leisure industry in a comprehensive financial support package revealed during Tuesday's Downing Street briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.
Sunak is making available £330 billion of loan guarantees to all businesses. To support liquidity amongst larger firms, the Chancellor has agreed a facility with the the Bank of England. For smaller firms, he is extending the business interruption loan scheme, which will offer loans of up to £5m.

Further measures include:
- Removing business rates for businesses with rateable value of £12,000
- Additional cash grants of up to £25,000
- Business rates holiday to apply for 12 months to all businesses irrespectable of their rateable value
- Grants worth £10,000 will be available to the smallest companies

On Friday 20 March, the chancellor revealed further measures for workers and businesses, including paying up to 80% of the wages of employees, capped at £2,500 per month, and increasing the value of universal credit and tax credits by £1,000 a year. 
For the estimated 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, the chancellor opened up the Universal Credit scheme, meaning they can now receive the same amount as someone on statutory sick pay, or £94.25 a week. 
Pressed about why the self-employed aren't getting support comparative to that salaried employees have been promised, the communities secretary Robert Jenrick recognised that "this isn't perfe

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Conventions Cancelled - The convention/exhibition sector is being hit hard. Following the cancellation of Pro Light + Sound in Frankfurt, The 2020 NAB Show, which was slated to begin April 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, has been cancelled.
"In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community," Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the event, said in a statement on the National Association of Broadcasters website.
He added that they are "committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting" for the event. The annual confab, which in 2019 reported attendance of roughly 90,000, includes a massive technology exhibition as well as a conference.
Sounds of Silence - The growing list of cancelled tours and gigs makes depressing reading. The Who were the first musicians to cancel a major tour in the UK and Ireland, saying the decision was made with "much regret" but "fans' safety is paramount". Due to start in Manchester on 16 March and finish at Wembley on 8 April, all 10 shows are now set to be rescheduled for later in the year. They have also called off a planned show at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was set to take place on 28 March, but say they plan to reschedule this as well.<

 
 
denis-cardoso-on-unsplashCoronavirus: The industry reacts
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

World - All sides of the events and entertainment sectors are coming to terms with developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications.
In an open letter to employees, partners and end-users, L-Acoustics CEO Laurent Vaissié and L-Acoustics Group CEO Hervé Guillaume, state: “L-Acoustics has taken measures to ensure all our employees are safe and able to care for themselves and their families. We have implemented a work-from-home policy for all employees able to do so. In an abundance of caution, and in order to limit the spread of the virus in keeping with CDC’s level 3 guidelines, we have decided to suspend on-site operations at the following facilities until further notice: Marcoussis, Keskastel, and Amboise (France), Wenden (Germany), London (UK) and Singapore.
“L-Acoustics is in a solid financial position and, for the foreseeable future, will maintain our entire workforce’s full employment and salaries. Our North American offices in California will remain open this week and will continue to deliver finished goods and service orders while respecting local public health and safety guidelines.
“Following the suspension of our on-site activities, we are rescheduling all deliveries from Marcoussis to a later date. We will also reschedule all shipments from suppliers.
“We regret to have to cancel all on-site trainings and visits to our L-Acoustics facilities of Marcoussis, Westlake, New York, London, and Singapore until further notice.
However, in order to further support the live sound community throu

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Festival Update - Live music and media festival South by Southwest (SXSW) has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. Organisers of the annual event in Austin, Texas, said they had no choice but to call it off for the first time in its 34-year history. The move was ordered by Austin mayor Steve Adler, who declared "a local disaster".
In a statement on Friday, SXSW said it was "devastated" by the news, but respected the decision. Event organisers said: "'The show must go on' is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation." Some of the event's biggest exhibitors - including Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook - had already pulled out.
Last year SXSW drew nearly 74,000 people with over 19,000 coming from outside the US. In 2018, visitors spent $350m (£270m) during the festival, according to a study commissioned by event organisers.
Several other large tech conferences have been cancelled in recent weeks including Google's Cloud Next conference, Mobile World Congress and the Game Developers conference.
Theatre Update - Andrew Lloyd Webber has delayed the West End premiere of his new musical adaptation of Cinderella until October. A statement from the composer said: “The show will go on sale next week as planned, but in the current global circumstances the creative team and I feel that this later opening date is wise.”
The postponement came as the Society of London Theatre issued a statement on the

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Security Measures - A new law proposed by the UK government will require venues to put measures in place to protect the public from a terrorist attack. Security minister James Brokenshire has announced plans for the new Protect Duty, following a manifesto commitment to improve the security of public spaces. The new law, which is to be consulted on this spring, would require owners and operators of venues and public spaces to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take “reasonable measures” to protect the public from such an incident. Venues can include concert halls, stadiums and conference centres.
Measures could include increasing physical security, staff training and incident response plans in case of an attack. According to the Home Office, the Protect Duty “reflects lessons learned following the terrorist attacks in 2017, as well as more recent attacks”. Brokenshire said: “Our first priority is keeping the public safe and preventing more families from suffering the heartbreak of losing a loved one. The devastating attacks in 2017, and more recently at Fishmongers’ Hall and Streatham, are stark reminders of the current threat we face.
“We are in complete agreement with campaigners such as Figen Murray [whose son was killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack] on the importance of venues and public spaces having effective and proportionate protective security and preparedness measures to keep people safe. Of course, it is important that this new law is proportionate. This public consultation will ensure we put in place a law that wil

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Valley Aid - Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield will join Grammy award winner Amy Wadge in a fundraising event for flood victims hit by Storm Denis in the Welsh valleys. Bradfield will play at a two-day Valley Aid concert in March. Thousands were affected in Wales by widespread flooding and flood warnings and alerts are in place across Wales. Crowdfunding pages have already raised thousands for flood-hit communities. Now Welsh musicians are rallying to help raise funds for the valleys in a two-day festival at the Pop Factory in Porth on 13 and 14 March.
Mobile Menace - A conductor twice stopped an opera in Cardiff after mobile phones rang in the audience. Carlo Rizzi was conducting Welsh National Opera's new production of Verdi's Les Vêpres Sicilienes, at Donald Gordon Theatre at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday night. Audience members said Rizzi twice stopped and spoke to the audience about the distraction it caused.
Backstage Careers - A new research project is to take a workshop into schools that aims to introduce students to careers in backstage roles. The project will also investigate young people’s attitudes towards a career in theatre in a bid to improve backstage diversity. The Backstage Absences project is being led by associate lecturer at Bedford FE College and former costume supervisor, Isolde Walker, and former stage manager and freelance technician, Bex Foskett.
Walker and Foskett have developed a workshop which they will take into local secondary schools to introduce 14 to 16-year-olds

 
 
vision2025reportcoverpageThe Show Must Go On report published
Tuesday, 25 February 2020

UK -The Second Edition of festival and outdoor event sustainability report The Show Must Go On has revealed the latest industry figures, trends and practices.
Five years since the first edition was published, the new 126-page report, which has been crowdfunded by the industry, gives an insight into sector sustainability, and reflects the progress made in technologies, materials and operational practices to reduce environmental impacts. Its main chapters, authored by experts in their own fields, cover Governance, Resources and Waste, Water, Food, Energy, Travel and Transport. 
The report also marks the launch of an online Knowledge Hub, www.vision2025.org.uk, a free-to-access resource that will feature case studies, briefings and a supplier directory.
More than 100 festivals and events have made the Vision:2025 pledge and more than 60 suppliers have supported the report.
Chris Johnson, chair of Powerful Thinking and Vision2025, states: “After a decade of the Powerful Thinking industry steering group, this is a significant step in the journey. The industry has now come together around a vision and has crowdfunded world-leading resources to inspire meaningful action. This has been a huge collaborative effort and our thanks go out to all contributors, including Festival Republic, Continest and Nordic Wristbands, whose financial support underpinned the process.
“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date,

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 18 February 2020


Cultural Affairs - Oliver Dowden has been appointed culture secretary in the first major reshuffle since December’s general election. Dowden was an aide to David Cameron before becoming an MP in 2015 and joins the cabinet in place of Nicky Morgan, who stayed on as culture secretary after the election despite stepping down as an MP. Her continued position was temporary. Prior to the EU referendum in 2016, Dowden campaigned for the UK to remain within the EU.
Dowden will now lead the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, becoming the fifth person in little over two years to hold the secretary of state role in DCMS. Responding to the appointment, shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin congratulated Dowden and said she hoped he would be a “force for change” on issues such as bridging the arts funding gap in the north. A statement from the union BECTU said Dowden must be a champion for the creative industries, with its members needing a government that is on their side.
Live Aid Reprise - Adam Lambert joined Queen to reprise the band's legendary 1985 Live Aid set for 75,000 people at a huge benefit concert in Sydney. The 22-minute set was part of a 10-hour fundraising event organised to raise A$10m (£5.15m; $6.71m) for communities devastated by bushfires. Joining Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage, Lambert filled in for the late Freddie Mercury as the band performed hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
Olivier Awards - Producer T

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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