General News

howell-binkley-obituary-1000x667-1In Memoriam: Howell Binkley
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

USA - LSi is sad to report that Howell Binkley, one of the most distinguished theatre/dance lighting designers of his generation, died on Friday 14th August in Jacksonville, North Carolina, of lung cancer. He was 64. "He was just a special spirit," his widow, Joyce Storey, told the Winston-Salem Journal. "He was adored by so many and will be missed by all."
According to the Journal, Binkley, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attended Atkins High School, where he was first drawn to theatre. He worked at the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem and graduated from Reynolds High School in 1974. After attending East Carolina University, he moved to New York in 1978, and began working with the Acting Company and Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Early on, he established himself in the dance world, working with the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MoMix, Peter Pucci Plus. Hubbard Street Dance, and American Ballet Theatre. Most famously, he was the cofounder and resident lighting designer for Parsons Dance, creating 85 original pieces for that company.
Binkley worked extensively in regional theatres, including the Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theatre, Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, Signature Theatre, The Old Globe, and Shakespeare Theatre Company. He also designed six entries in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration.
He made a notable Broadway debut in 1993 with Kiss of the Spider Woman; other productions included: How to Succeed in Busi

showforces-crew-adopt-covid-19-safe-working-practisesShowforce and tess prepare crewing guidelines
Wednesday, 12 August 2020

UK - With government guidance now emerging for the events industry, Showforce has partnered with industry safety specialist The Event Safety Shop (tess) to develop COVID-19 protocols and risk assessments specifically for the global crewing business.
The new working practices have been written in-conjunction with Showforce’s NEBOSH qualified health, safety and training manager, Laurence Jones and the highly experienced team at tess. They are designed to minimise the risk of infection and ensure the safety of Showforce’s crew, clients and fellow contractors in the working environment, wherever practicably possible.
The protocols and risk assessments consider travel to and from site, additional sanitisation procedures, dedicated welfare areas for crew, social distancing, temperature checks for all crew before commencing work and the development of work bubbles or buddies. All Showforce crew will undergo rigorous in-house training in the practises before arriving onsite and in line with Showforce’s existing exemplary safety record. The policies ensure that its’ crew are well trained and ready to work, along with an additional layer of support and assurance for clients.
Operations director, Chris Martelly comments: “As we emerge from lockdown and take tentative steps back to work, the safety of our crews, clients and fellow industry suppliers is paramount. Whilst this has always been the case, the ‘new normal’ requires considerations and policies dedicated to COVID-19 safe working practises. Partnering with a company of tess’ calibre an

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Pantos Postponed - Four of London’s biggest pantomimes have become the latest major productions to postpone their 2020 performances amid ongoing uncertainty from government about reopening.
The Hackney Empire’s annual show will not take place this year, neither will pantomimes at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, which will not be staging a pantomime for the first time in nearly 70 years. Last year, the four pantomimes attracted audiences of more than 145,000 and typically employ over 280 freelancers.
A joint statement from the four venues said: "The production process for such a large-scale show as panto would have begun at the start of August. Without an announced date from the government on when theatre performances can resume without social distancing, making a panto economically viable, these theatres have now had to take the hard decision to postpone to 2021."
High Notes - A new production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is to be staged at the open-air Minack Theatre in Cornwall. It will be directed by Omar F Okai and runs from 15-19 September. Okai said: “We need to start looking to the future of theatre and I am so happy to be directing and working with a brilliant team on creating a fresh new look at The Last Five Years and bringing it to the Minack Theatre. Live theatre will be back and this is the start.”
Minack director Zoë Curnow said: “We were really keen to have a musical in our amended 2020 programme and really look for

 
robe-tse-the-next-rotblaues-designseparatorTSE trainee project highlights new talent
Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Germany - Berlin-based full service live event and technical production specialist TSE AG has been utilising the unexpected downtime of the pandemic in a number of constructive ways including professional development and launching a new exercise for all their trainee staff and apprentices called The Next.
This is designed to encourage their budding new talent in the fields of event management, production and organisation, lighting, visual, production and audio design to shine through.
The trainees themselves initiated the idea of setting up and creating a lighting, sound, and visual show environment for use as a series of dynamic live streams and recordings.
TSE’s available technologies had to be used inventively, and the set up was built in their warehouse in Berlin’s lively Neukölln area, for which the trainees used some of the large stock of Robe moving lights, including 14 Pointes, two MegaPointes and eight Spiiders.
The installation was in place for 10 days and utilised by a succession of local artists, bands and DJs who either livestreamed shows or recorded videos for later broadcast or use as promotional collateral.
All the current social distancing requirements and hygiene regulations were strictly implemented ensuring that it was a completely COVID-19 compliant space.
The whole project was imagined, planned, and realised by 13 TSE trainees and apprentices working alongside 20 technicians and coordinated by Marcel Kuch, supervising project manager for TSE AG and Henning Grunwald, trainee project manager for TS

 
 
lcaLights Camera Action re-locates
Thursday, 6 August 2020

UK - Lights Camera Action (LCA) has re-located to new premises in High Wycombe and will be trading as normal from this location with its newly-built offices and demo area.
Stock levels on all the products will be maintained at their current levels so the fast turnarounds you have been used to from LCA will absolutely continue, says the company.
“If getting out to our new location is a little harder for you don't worry we have access to a greater number of delivery vans or we can happily ‘meet you halfway’ as needed.”
The new address is: Centauri House, Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP12 4HQ UK (+44 (0)8833 7600).

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Rebuilding Trust - Industry leaders are developing a quality mark to be displayed in theatres and on other promotional materials, aimed at rebuilding trust among theatregoers. It is one of a number of measures being planned to regain the confidence of theatregoers when venues are able to reopen. Staggered start times for shows are also being considered, as well as plans to work with Transport for London on helping audiences get to theatres.
The plans are being drawn up by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, which have revealed they will be creating a quality assurance mark – which it is hoped will be an official icon – to “encourage consumers that theatregoing is safe” and to show that theatre is “ready for business”.
“This will be used in promotional materials and in venue signage alongside other health and safety messaging and campaign communications to reassure audience members and encourage consumers that theatregoing is safe,” the bodies said in a briefing to inform members of ongoing plans in light of the pandemic.
SOLT and UK Theatre added that they planned to create a safety video for theatres to use, once they are able to reopen, to demonstrate how they are following guidelines, alongside what the bodies described as “ticketing principles” to allow greater flexibility for audiences.
Job Losses - Theatre job losses have increased from 3,000 to 5,000 in a month, according to figures from entertainment union BECTU. Figures published by the union on 3 July revealed that employers had notified the union

 
 
buhler-genaTP appoints US head of business development
Tuesday, 4 August 2020

USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of Gena Buhler in the new position of head of new business development, North America. Joining from the Wheeler Opera House (Aspen, CO) where she served as the executive and artistic director, Buhler brings over 20 years’ experience in event production, venue management, operational logistics, festival and program development, and relationship-building of critical partnerships.
She will lead the business development team in North America and will act as a key member of the strategic planning team, offering timely and expert advice on project needs, feasibility, early project visioning, and other business planning
“Gena’s a great addition to our team,” says Daniel Ordower, general manager. “She understands the industry, our goals, and our markets - the arts, corporate, hospitality, retail, sports, and entertainment. She’ll be offering valuable and strategic insights to our clients on the management and operations of their venues, which will enable us to create more sustainable, impactful, and efficient spaces for their communities.”
“I’m delighted to be able to engage with the amazingly talented, smart, and creative group of people who come to work every day excited and full of energy,” says Buhler. “I’m looking forward to helping Theatre Projects realize our full potential, while being able to collaborate and offer support to my colleagues and friends across North America. Even amid the greater impacts of 2020 to our industry, I’m

 
harry-parslowTourLife founder shortlisted for award
Monday, 3 August 2020

UK - Harry Parslow, managing director of TourLife, which provides support services for the touring and live entertainment industry, has been shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category at the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards for the South West region.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards - which will be held on 23 September via a virtual ceremony for the first time - has shortlisted 550 entrepreneurs and 433 businesses across eight regions in 15 categories, including Creative Industries, Disruptor, Scale-Up and Young.
Launched in 2012, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards have celebrated and championed the entrepreneurs behind some of Britain’s upcoming and influential businesses.
Music industry disruptor TourLife, which is celebrating its fifth year in business this month, were founded in 2015 by the then teenage Harry Parslow. The company was created to bring about a new business model to support artists, producers and entertainers, by offering a single point of contact for them.
TourLife has built its business on providing on a range of key support services which include creative services such as videography, photography, merchandising and live streaming services, to on the ground support including tour management services, and luxury transport. Over the last five years, TourLife has worked with DJs, artists, bands and brands including The Game, Xzibit, Annie Mac, Charlie Sloth, Danny Howard, Defected Records and Ministry of Sound.
Parslow comments: “Being amongst some of Britain’s best industry leaders f

 
 
ek-online-storeOnline ordering announced for Electro Kabuki
Friday, 31 July 2020

UK - Electro Kabuki has started a process to enhance its website. The site at https://electrokabuki.com now offers an online ordering and payment facility covering the entire range of Electro Kabuki systems, components, accessories and spares for UK delivery.
With the new e-commerce and shopping cart functionality, web visitors can now select from over 20 different products lines including Starter Packs, Flight Cases, individual Electro Kabuki dropper modules and an array of accessories.
In this first phase of the website’s upgrade, online ordering and delivery is limited to destinations in the UK, with ex-VAT prices listed in pounds sterling. The second phase will see this functionality rolled out to other geographic territories and currencies.
“The shopping function is live and working,” comments Electro Kabuki product specialist Tim Lloyd. “For now, our online operations only scope the UK while we fully appraise our shopping cart technology. People trust Electro Kabuki with proven engineering expertise at its heart and this must apply equally to our online transactional procedures. Once we are satisfied, we plan to extend the scope of online ordering and payment.”
Overseas Electro Kabuki users can still use the website to select items and automatically assemble and submit a list of materials to obtain a quotation that will include shipping costs in local currency.

 
harlequinHarlequin Floors opens new European distribution centre
Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Belgium - Harlequin Floors has launched its new manufacturing plant and distribution centre in Liège.
The new 2,000 sq.m plant based in Liège will manufacture Harlequin Liberty sprung floor panels and will ensure an even faster service for our European clients, especially those in the events industry where a rapid turnaround on orders is a prerequisite and will be even more important to help rebuild the industry post-pandemic. The new site will improve efficiencies in manufacturing and supply, says the company.
It will also enable Harlequin to service the growing demand for its products in Europe.
Harlequin has also appointed Berlin-based Sander Resnik as commercial director of Harlequin Deutschland. The company will use Resnik’s background in sales expansion and e-commerce to widen its German-speaking customer base, which is dominated by the dancing elite but has further potential in the wider dancing community as well as the events industry.
Resnik comments: “I am glad to be with Harlequin Floors at this time and to be able to support the DACH region with my expertise. Working closely with Mr [Dirk] Rüter and the team in Berlin, I aim to show our German speaking customers how important it is to train and perform on a real dance floor as opposed to a generic sports floor. We are sure that our customers will also welcome further improvements to our excellent service as well as new products we are currently developing.”
Guy Dagger, CEO of the Harlequin Group, adds: “Harlequin has experienced incredible global growth over the l

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Emergency Support - Grassroots music venues in England will be the first cultural organisations to benefit from the government’s £1.57 billion package for the arts, with the most at-risk organisations receiving cash in the “next few weeks”. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed that the first tranche of money - totalling £2.25m - will fund emergency support grants for music venues at risk of imminent collapse.
It is the first news about how the billion-pound package will be spent, coming nearly three weeks after the initial announcement and following pressure from industry and unions to provide urgent clarification. A maximum of 150 venues that are at “severe risk of insolvency” are expected to benefit from the new funding, which will be distributed by Arts Council England and will provide grants of up to £80,000 to cover ongoing costs such as rent, bills and maintenance contracts.
Palladium Pilot - LW Theatres chief executive Rebecca Kane Burton has claimed a pilot event held at the London Palladium will enable theatres up and down the country to reopen their doors. At the test event, held to see how theatres can reopen safely, she said LW Theatres had employed the head of pharmacology at the University of Oxford, along with six other “erudite scientists”, to write a report looking at methods of getting theatres reopened, and which measures will enable that. She said LW Theatres had been through an 18-week process to see how venues can reopen.
“In this way, we can help theatres up and down this

 
Current RMS adds pandemic-related features 
Tuesday, 28 July 2020

UK - The entertainment industry as a whole has been widely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resource has been put into new, on-demand projects such as virtual events and live streams, temporary structures for health services, and educational systems for schools, colleges, and universities.
The team at Current RMS has recognised the shift in priorities and has launched new features that represent this new climate. Their new ‘postponed’ feature allows for users to temporarily pause jobs that will be reinstated in future, and retains all asset allocations, bookable resource allocations, and costs associated with each job.
They have also launched a ‘Testing and Inspection’ module, giving users the ability to record  testing data, whether that be for PAT, Test & Tag, OSHA, LOLER, or purely as a quality check. Current RMS’ Testing and Inspection module shows which kit needs testing and how often, a list of all upcoming tests, the ability to log test results including a pass or fail status, print test documents, and get warnings when assets that are due a test are allocated to a job, or prevent Current RMS from letting you allocate them altogether.
Also new is a feature allowing users to choose which tiles show on their dashboard when they first log in.

 
 
heightPASMA responds to HSE tower prosecution
Tuesday, 28 July 2020

UK - A recent prosecution at Glasgow Sheriff Court has highlighted both the human and financial consequences when work at height is not properly planned, designed and managed, PASMA has said.
The association highlighted a recent court case, which looked at an incident from 2 September 2016 when an employee of JR Scaffold Services Ltd, who was erecting a tower scaffold to carry out roof repairs, fell 8m after the cantilever section on which he was standing collapsed. According to reports, the fall left him hospitalised for two weeks, with severe injuries including a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen and multiple rib and shoulder fractures. It was five months before he could return to work and he will be on daily antibiotics for the rest of his life.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had correctly carried out a risk assessment and method statement before starting work. However, the tower was erected in the wrong place. Rather than dismantle and reassemble in the right place, it was decided that a cantilever section should be added, despite this not being included in the design.
The HSE identified two major errors in what followed. Firstly, there were insufficient anchor ties available on site, so the cantilever was supported by splicing the frame of the scaffold. Secondly, no ballast/counterweight was used, which meant the top section of the tower was unable to support the weight of the cantilever.
When the employee stood on the cantilever section to fit toe boards, the top section of the scaffold and cant

 
london-eyeLight It Blue founders launch mental health initiative
Monday, 27 July 2020

UK - The collective behind the #LightItBlue campaign has formed a community interest company (CIC) dedicated to raising funds for mental health charities, with particular focus on benefitting people from the events and entertainment sectors.
#LightItBlue was created at the onset of lockdown by a group of events and entertainment industry professionals to show a united display of gratitude to the NHS and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within four months the campaign had become a global movement spanning 23 countries across six continents and enjoying a social media reach of 700m.
The initiative began on Thursday 26 March when over 100 of the UK’s most famous event venues, sports stadiums and giant LED screens were illuminated in blue to coincide with the nationwide applause for the NHS and frontline care workers.
Since then, landmarks across the world - including Windsor Castle, Niagara Falls, Komazawa Park Olympics Memorial Tower and the Prince's Palace of Monaco have taken part by illuminating blue on Thursday nights. Celebrities and members of the public joined in the ensuing social media campaign to #MakeItBlue in their own way.
One of the new CIC’s directors, Tom Rees, said: “Mental health was on our agenda right from the start. We knew that thousands of event and entertainment industry jobs would be lost or put on hold indefinitely. With so many production companies, venues, agencies and freelancers facing an uncertain future, the impact on individuals’ mental health will be catastrophic.”
Gary W

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Beyond The Fringe - Performers due to appear at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and theatre shows whose runs were cut short due to COVID-19 feature on the line-up of a new festival conceived during the pandemic. The New Normal outdoor theatre festival has been put together in little over a week, following a call-out to producers for shows that could be ready to perform at short notice.
Its creation came after the government green-lit outdoor performances earlier this month, with shows on the programme of the New Normal beginning on 3 August and running until 31 August. It will take place in the walled courtyard of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Wandsworth, south London, with a line-up of theatre, comedy, magic and music for socially distanced audiences.
The festival has been put together by director Sean Turner, who said: "I am absolutely over the moon to be able to offer an opportunity to all these incredible artists after such a tough few months. I’ve always wanted to use this gorgeous space for something like this so when Oliver Dowden said: ‘Go for it’ to open air theatres, I leapt at the chance.”
Clarity Appeal - Andrew Lloyd Webber has called on the government to provide "clarity and consistency" on the issue of reopening the UK's theatres. He said things were "hopeless" without a date on which theatres are allowed to reopen without social distancing.
Last week the government announced that indoor performances with socially distanced audiences can take place in England from the start of August. Yet Lloyd

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Freelance Survey - A quarter of freelance theatre workers have been unable to access emergency income of any kind and a third are considering leaving the industry, a survey of more than 8,000 participants has found. The research also revealed that 36% of the freelance workforce in the performing arts received no support from the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme or coronavirus job retention scheme.
The statistics came from the Big Freelancers Survey, conducted by Stage Directors UK, Freelancers Make Theatre Work and Curtain Call in June 2020. They have been revealed amid widespread calls for the government to ensure its recently announced £1.57 billion support package will reach all areas of the industry, including freelancers. The statistics were published as part of the report Covid-19: Routes to Recovery, which looks at challenges faced by freelancers in three areas: emergency relief, sustaining the workforce, and the recovery of the industry.
Fringe Alternatives - A crowdfunding campaign, live-streamed shows and a digital pick’n’mix platform are among the programme of alternative digital plans announced by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for 2020. The activities will support live-streamed and online versions of work from Edinburgh Fringe creatives and venues that will run from August 7-31, when the now-cancelled festival would normally take place.
The society will be also be launching a listings site that will act as a central navigation system for the various digital fringe options. In the meantime, i

 
 
bethe1toenglishusBTS launches suicide prevention campaign
Monday, 13 July 2020

USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative has rolled out a number of suicide prevention tools as part of joining the #BeThe1To campaign run by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its partners. These tools are available at btshelp.org/bethe1to.
A BTS survey of the industry revealed that most people want to help if they see someone at risk for suicide but they don’t know what to say or do, or are afraid they will make things worse or damage their relationship with the person. Evidence shows this is not the case and it is critical to reach out.
The first part of the campaign is called Know the Warnings Signs because the more familiar someone is with the warning signs of suicide the more likely they are to recognize them. BTS has created posters listing some of the key warning signs in English, Spanish and French and they are available for download in three different sizes. The posters are a simple design so they can be easily printed out and posted on call boards, notice boards, breakrooms, and anywhere other company or safety information is shown.
The second part of the campaign is the #BeThe1To poster which lists the five steps that can be critical to saving a life. The more familiar everyone is with them, the more comfortable they will be taking those steps. These posters are available in the same sizes and languages with the addition of a JPG for sharing on social media. They also include a QR code which leads to additional information. Each of the five steps is very straightforward but acting on them can sometimes be

 
lightitinred-main2Over 670 buildings join #LightItInRed across the UK
Friday, 10 July 2020

UK - Trending in Twitter’s top 3 on the night, the #LightItInRed campaign saw over 670 buildings, monuments, landmarks and structures all over the UK illuminated in ‘Emergency Red’ on 6 July (Monday) to highlight the vast challenges facing the live events, music and performing arts sectors.
The action was organised by Steven Haynes from Clearsound Productions and Phillip Berryman from The Backstage Theatre Jobs Forum. It energised theatres, arts centres, live music venues, technical production and rental companies and associated individuals and freelancers everywhere, who were able to enjoy the camaraderie of working together once again on a massive national event with real purpose, after many months of the industry being closed and shuttered.
On the eve of the event (Sunday) the government announced a £1.57bn financial assistance package for arts and culture including live music venues, independent cinemas and heritage sites which has been widely welcomed by everyone.
Noted structures illuminated in red included The Eden Project in Cornwall - where GLX lit all eight of the inter-linked geodesic transparent domes; Blackpool Tower which turned its permanent LED lighting scheme red for the night and the elegant metal skeleton of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in Somerset, which shimmered red thanks to the work of locally based rental company, Fineline.
The furthest North red installation on the UK mainland was Aberdeen Art Centre Aberdeen in Scotland and the furthest South the Apollo Theatre in Newport, Isle of Wight. To the West, it was t

 
 
freelancersFreelancers resource hub launched
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

UK - A resource for freelancers working in the performing arts sector has been launched to help drive the community’s bid for further government support.
Freelancers Make Theatre Work is described as “an inclusive community for the 20,000+ self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera, dance and live performance”.
It has been designed as an information hub for the freelance theatre workforce and will also act as a platform that will communicate the community’s visions and concerns to theatre management, production companies, industry bodies and government.
The website is run by a voluntary group comprising Adele Thomas, Andrew Whyment, Beth Steel, Bill Bankes-Jones, Chinonyerem Odimba, Hazel Holder, Neil Austin, Ola Ince, Polly Bennett, Paule Constable, Peter McKintosh, Prema Mehta, Simon Manyonda, Tom Piper and Vicki Mortimer.
“We aim to encourage more transparent and inclusive conversations within the theatre industry by listening to and articulating theatre freelancers’ needs to theatre managements, production companies, industry bodies and government,” the organisation states.
Visitors to the website (www.freelancersmaketheatrework.com) can find resources such as legal, financial and mental health support; information about unions and advocating bodies; petition and surveys, campaigns and protests; studies and seminars, and more. The website also enables visitors to contact government by providing MP letter templates.
Freelancers Make The Theatre Work recently carried out a poll e

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Big Birthday - Ringo Starr celebrates his 80th birthday today (7 July), even though it will now be online due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I've got a huge birthday; I am going to be 80,” says Starr. “But I am going to celebrate it a little differently this year from the last 12 years, where we had the peace and love moment at noon.”
This annual tradition began in 2008 at a 100-guest gathering for his birthday at the Hard Rock in Chicago. Since then it has expanded to 27 countries, with its epicentre on a big stage in Hollywood. The Beatles drummer celebrates the event with music performances from himself and his friends, in front of 100s of fans. But he had to cancel the event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, he will put on a virtual charity concert on YouTube called Ringo's Big Birthday Show. He'll be joined by Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr and Sheila E to benefit Black Lives Matter, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid.
"I've asked several of my friends to either send me footage from a show they've done and I'm using some of mine from the All-Starrs [his band] last year and I'll be there introducing. We're putting the show on at 5 o'clock (PST). But it's still my birthday and still peace and love," says Starr.
Park Life - Virgin Money and SSD Concerts will hold a music festival in Gosforth Park in Newcastle with the crowd separated to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Acts will be announced at a later date. A spokeswoman said people c

 
 
msolavoipfrontpanelMSolutions releases IP Network Analyser
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Israel - MSolutions has announced the immediate availability of its IP Network Analyser software introduced at ISE 2020 in February. Available for use on its MS-TestPro portable test device, the specialised, secure software gives integrators an affordable toolset to test AV signal integrity and performance over IP networks.
The MS-TestPro is one of the first HDBaseT testers to integrate AV over IP test capabilities, eliminating the need for an expensive standalone network tester. The initial software release is compatible with Cisco network switches and is activated upon connecting the MS-TestPro to the network switch. Customers can download the IP Network Analyzer software to their existing MS-TestPro devices for an immediate 14-day trial, or purchase the software for use on new devices.
The software provides immediate, detailed feedback on network and switch information and settings, and a general overview of IP network conditions and connections. The information received allows integrators to quickly confirm if network settings fit AV over IP performance requirements, and that the switch configuration can support smooth video streaming.
“This industry-first innovation represents an affordable value-added option for technicians seeking to minimise the number of testers they carry from job to job,” said Eliran Toren, CEO, MSolutions. “As Cisco switches are among the most widely used network switches in AV over IP installations today, the software will provide a near-immediate ROI for our customers installing complex AV over IP systems today.

 
lighti-it-red-montage2UK landmarks join #LightItInRed campaign
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

UK - Last night (6 July), some of the UK’s most iconic venues and landmarks were lit up in ‘emergency red’ as part of the #LightItInRed campaign to draw attention to the critical condition of the live events and entertainment industry. A glimpse of hope was given to Britain’s arts industry on Sunday evening (5 July), as £1.57bn was pledged by the government – yet the supply chain behind the production of live events and festivals, including many freelancers, is still awaiting clarification as to what support they will be offered.
Unlike other industries, live theatre, outdoor events, concerts, festivals and performances have been unable to safely resume due to social distancing guidance and other restrictions. Many predict these events may not resume until 2021. The #LightItInRed campaign aims to draw attention to the often hidden workforce behind such events, many of whom are not eligible for any of the government COVID-19 financial schemes – putting further strain on the sector.
Inspired by Germany’s #NightOfLight protest which took place in June, the #LightItInRed campaign saw hundreds of buildings and landmarks across the UK illuminated, from Cornwall’s Minack Theatre, Glastonbury’s bare Pyramid stage, Brighton’s famous pier and the Biomes of the Eden Project, to London venues including The Royal Albert Hall and the National Theatre, and further north to the Blackpool Tower, Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, Theatre Royal Dumfries and countless other sites. Industry companies taking par

 
 
theatreCOVID-19: UK arts to receive £1.57bn
Monday, 6 July 2020

UK - After weeks of relentless campaigning, the British arts sector has been promised a coronavirus bailout worth £1.57bn.

The funding was announced late on Sunday evening, with the UK government stating it represents “the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”.

The package includes:
- £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, comprising £880m grants and £270m loans;
- £100m of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust;
- £120m capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England;
- extra £188m for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33m), Scotland (£97m) and Wales (£59m).

The news follows the government’s announcement of a roadmap to reopening, which was heavily criticised by the sector for lacking investment and timeframes.
Commenting on the funding scheme, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture. That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for."

The industry reacts


Julian Bird, chief executive o

 
eric-nolfo-joins-7thsense-as-project-manager7thSense Design expands US operations
Friday, 3 July 2020

UK/USA -Media serving and pixel management specialist, 7thSense Design, has appointed Eric Nolfo as project manager as the company expands its North America operations to the West Coast.
Eric’s twenty-year career in the entertainment industry has seen him work in a wide range of project management and technical direction positions, including most recently with The Producers Group as technical coordinator for Bollywood Parks Dabangg Stunt Show and Motiongate Theatre’s Step Up Dubai
Matt Barton, CEO, 7thSense Design comments: “We are excited to be expanding our global operations with a new presence on the West Coast of the United States, and we’re very pleased that Eric has joined us in our first step of that expansion. Eric brings with him a wealth of project management experience that will be invaluable to the many exciting projects we have in the pipeline.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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