General News

tourflexPL+S: Tourflex Cabling offers customisation
Monday, 1 April 2019

UK - Tourflex Cabling has invested in new state of the art machinery to provide customers with a service that offers even more customisation options for their cabling and connectors, including overmoulding, engraving and different colours.
Cabling and connectors can be overmoulded and sealed in a thermoset material, making them highly resistant to fluids – suitable for outdoor use. The overmould makes products more robust to withstand shock, vibration, and continual flexing without damage to the termination point. Customers can also opt to have their company logos moulded onto their connector to clearly identify it as their property.
Tourflex Cabling now has the capability to provide customer personalisation by laser engraving, allowing the customer’s logo or other information to be etched onto the side of a range of connectors. Engraving provides a permanent identification solution that will not fade or wear away over time.
The manufacturing service can also offer colour options for connector bodies and locking rings. When using a large number of cables, whether it is a live gig or a theatre show, it can be difficult to discern which cable is powering which equipment. Coloured connectors can be attributed to different equipment to make them easily recognisable and can be used to avoid cross connection.
Tourflex Cabling is exhibiting samples of its new offerings, as well as a range of other products (Hall 12.1, Stand D50).
(Jim Evans)

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Toronto Inquest - The stage collapse that killed a Radiohead drum technician caused lasting "immeasurable pain and grief" for the band, a Canadian coroner's inquest has heard. Radiohead drummer Philip Selway told the inquest that the 2012 incident still haunts the band. Scott Johnson died at Toronto's Downsview Park when the stage collapsed an hour before the gates opened. An Ontario coroner is conducting an inquest into the deadly incident.
In testimony in Toronto, Selway described the "anger and frustration" felt by the UK band, its crew members and Johnson's parents in the wake of the incident. He said they have been left with a sense of a "complete failure of the justice system" in the case. "The system has failed Scott, his family and other industry workers," he said.
Radiohead was set to perform a sold-out show in Toronto when the stage's metal scaffold roofing - tens of thousands of pounds of steel and equipment - collapsed onto crew members on stage at the time. Johnson, a native of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was killed and three other people were injured.
Censored - Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been released in China, but references to the Queen singer's sexuality and AIDS diagnosis were censored. Several minutes of footage were edited out of the film, including scenes of two men kissing and the word "gay".
There has been significant reaction to the film's release online. More than 50,000 users have posted reviews on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like micro-blogging platform. Though some users complained o

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Killer Cure - The Killers and The Cure will top the bill at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival this June, it has been confirmed. They're among more than 60 acts joining this year's line-up, including Janet Jackson and Lauryn Hill. Stormzy had already been revealed as the Friday night headliner; while Kylie Minogue will play the legend slot on Sunday afternoon.
The Cure's headline performance is their first since 1995 and their fourth overall, meaning they tie with Coldplay as the festival's most-frequent headliners. The Killers previously topped the bill in 2007; while Kylie was booked for the top slot in 2005, before breast cancer forced her to pull out. The Prodigy had been booked to play prior to frontman Keith Flint's untimely death.
Survival Fund - An independent London music venue that has hosted acts including Arctic Monkeys, The Chemical Brothers, Adele and Fatboy Slim is campaigning to raise £95,000 in a fight for survival. The Social, a 250-capacity venue in Little Portland Street, in London's West End, is facing closure and the founders say they need to come up with the cash within two weeks to stay open.
Rising rents and an offer to the building's leaseholder from a cocktail and wine bar chain "have put The Social under very serious threat", they said in a statement on their website. Supporters have already pledged more than £35,000 to a crowdfunding site within a day of it going live, with big-name acts urging people to get behind the campaign on social media.
- Contemporary artworks owned by George Michael sold for £11.3m at

 
theatreplanTheatreplan strengthens team
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

UK - Leading international theatre consultancy Theatreplan has strengthened its team with three appointments. Architect and theatre planner, Anniek Wasser, broadcast and AV consultant, Joel Hauxwell, and architect and BIM expert Carlos González Martín, all joined the team within the last few months.
Anniek Wasser is an experienced architect and theatre planner and arrives at Theatreplan after ten years at AEDAS Arts Team (formerly RHWL Arts Team). She has a broad range of experience working on performance spaces including, the Victoria Palace Theatre; Watford Colosseum; Queens Theatre, London and the Music Hall at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Joel Hauxwell has a comprehensive background in broadcasting studios and systems installations. Whilst working as installation design manager for audio visual contractor, Hawthorn, Hauxwell worked alongside Theatreplan on the delivery of the theatre at London’s Channing School, and the refurbishment of the Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre.
Carlos Gonzalez Martin is a qualified architect, with a wide range of experience in Spain. González Martín completed his MSc in BIM Management, at the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville at the end of 2018, joining Theatreplan, immediately afterwards.
Director Roger Fox says: “These recent appointments add significantly to Theatreplan’s knowledge base allowing us offer an even more comprehensive service to our worldwide clients.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
bikefestSaddle up for Bike-Fest 2019
Wednesday, 13 March 2019

UK - Backup’s first event of 2019, the inaugural Bike-Fest takes place 18 May, a day of two-wheeled action and fun for all levels of rider to raise funds for the industry charity.
For the more hardened cyclists, including the lycra-loving ‘Mamil’ (Middle aged man in lycra), there is a glorious 100km ride through the Sussex and Surrey countryside, which will take in much of the famed Olympic and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 route, including Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey, and the famous Box Hill Zig Zag.
Whether you’re riding as an individual, with friends or as a company Peloton, this will be a great day out to sport your finest padded shorts, have an excuse to shave those legs and pack as many bananas in your cycling top as possible.
For the less lycra inclined, there is also a 50km route, again taking in much of the lovely Surrey countryside, but also a number of isotonic watering holes en-route for you to recharge your batteries.
The day starts and finishes at Creative Technology’s Sussex HQ who are handing over the keys to their offices and generously supporting the first bikefest. Here you will be given your route and meet the other riders. Then, catering partners the Global Infusion Group will fill you with bacon sandwiches before you leave and upon your triumphant return, fill you up with more food & drinks, then onto the prizes and the winner of celebrated backup winner’s ‘yellow’ jersey!
Everyone is welcome for what is set to be a great day for the enthusiast and leisure cyclist alike and for ev

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Rising Prices - Members of the House of Lords have expressed concern over the rising cost of West End theatre tickets and called on the government to investigate. Peers debated the issue in the House of Lords after the latest ticketing survey found the cost of top-price seats increased by nearly a fifth between 2017 and 2018.
Liberal democrat peer Patrick Boyle, who tabled the debate, asked the government to address the cost of theatre tickets in London and the effect this has on theatregoers. “The main beneficiaries of these higher prices are not so much the producers of the plays and musicals, but rather those who control access to theatres: the theatre owners, the ticket sellers and the discredited secondary ticket market.
“London theatres are already becoming too expensive for many regular theatregoers and I hope the government will take this issue very seriously. As we all know, one of the many reasons that people come to London is its theatres, but they are gradually becoming too expensive for anyone to be able to attend major plays.”
In The Saleroom - A demo recording of David Bowie's hit Starman will be auctioned today, Tuesday. The recording was made in 1971 by Bowie and his guitarist Mick Ronson. It was given by Ronson to Kevin Hutchinson, one of Ronson's friends who hoped to get into the music business. Hutchinson, who was a teenager at the time, said he had thought the recording was "OK" but that, having listened to it almost 50 years later, he had realised it was "phenomenal". He said: "Now I'm 65 and I played it, I

 
 
nealprestonsNeal Preston’s picture sales benefit BTS
Monday, 11 March 2019

USA - The work of rock‘n’roll photographer and author Neal Preston is coming to the USITT show, taking place on 21-23 March at the Kentucky International Convention Centre in Louisville, KY courtesy of The Lightpower Collection.
Preston’s pictures will be displayed in the Behind the Scenes stand #1253 and his books Exhilarated & Exhausted and In the Eye of the Hurricane will be available for sale. Posters, including his famous images of Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant, will also be available for just $10 each. Sales of books, posters and prints will benefit the Behind the Scenes charity.
The photographer will be present in the Behind the Scenes booth to sign books and posters on Thursday and Friday from 12-1pm and 4-5pm.
Preseton’s client list is a virtual who’s-who of rock royalty and his archive is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant photo collections. Rock fans know him best as the photographer who has toured with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others. In 1985, Preston was chosen as one of the official photographers for the Live Aid concert at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Lightpower was founded in 1978 in Germany as a lighting rental company. Since then Lightpower has grown to be an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has grown over several years with a passion for collecting rock’n’roll art.
(Jim Evans)

 
BECTU launches working standards campaign
Friday, 8 March 2019

UK - BECTU, the media and entertainment union, has launched a comprehensive set of standards for the live events industry to fight for better working conditions for its members in the sector.
The campaign comes as more than three quarters (76%) of BECTU members in the live events sector felt pay in the sector needed to be improved by setting minimum rates. A further two thirds (69%) of respondents named long hours as their biggest concern in their roles, followed by almost half (46%) reporting lack of crew welfare facilities and one in three (30%) expressing concern over health and safety.
Workers - often freelancers - who undertake contracts at entertainment events, festivals and conferences as lighting technicians, sound engineers and live events crew have reported widespread mistreatment including long hours, no breaks, bullying and harassment, says the union.
BECTU plans to directly address this in its set of standards for the industry, which also covers health and safety, diversity, inclusion and provision of appropriate facilities based on the Equality Act’s protected characteristics.
The union is calling for a change in industry culture that can leave so many workers feeling isolated and unable to feel empowered to tackle issues for fear of losing work.
BECTU will be seeking employer support for the standards, which have been based on a charter already in circulation by its reps in negotiations, however this is the first industry-wide campaign launched to generate wider public awareness and galvanize supporters.
The BECTU

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Catastrophic - Equity, the UK trade union for creative practitioners, has written an open letter to MPs urging them to prevent a no-deal Brexit, warning that leaving the EU with no agreement would be “catastrophic” for the entertainment industry. It states that no deal is “simply unconscionable” and “must be prevented at all costs”.
The letter is signed by Christine Payne, general secretary of Equity, and is jointly written by other unions. It reads: “The political chaos of the last few years has led us to the brink of a no-deal Brexit that would have a catastrophic impact on our economy and society. The information we hear from our members in industries affected by Brexit makes it clear that no deal is simply unconscionable and must be prevented at all costs.”
Harnessing Technology - Music teaching could be left behind in an outdated acoustic age if it does not keep up with technology, a report says. Too much music education does not reflect the reality of how young people engage with music, according to the inquiry from the Music Commission. It says there is a risk this "disconnect" means current teaching methods may become outdated. It argues technology could help stop music from disappearing from schools.
The commission, led by key figures in contemporary music and set up by the Arts Council England and the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music, says technology is rapidly evolving. From apps that allow users to compose digital music on smart phones to 'teach yourself the guitar' YouTube videos, the opportunities

 
power-logisticsRealtime power monitoring from Power Logistics
Tuesday, 5 March 2019

UK - Power Logistics has vowed to provide power monitoring equipment and post-show energy breakdown reports to all of its 2019 projects as part of a sustainability initiative.
The monitoring will provide clients with realtime data on energy consumption and help drive power and fuel efficiencies, acting to minimise carbon footprint at live events.
Monitoring will be ‘live’ during events, with adjustments made where necessary. Once the event comes to an end, the data collected will be used to produce a report that will provide event organisers with a breakdown of the energy usage.
Mike Whitehouse, Power Logistics’ managing director explains: “Offering an effective power monitoring solution to clients has been a key objective for the last few years. Having realtime information on energy usage across all areas of an event site is a powerful tool for event organisers. Until now, this has been something that we’ve only carried out on a limited scale and we’ve been able to provide clients and projects with detailed information about energy consumption for main stages, catering concessions and attractions.”
To spearhead the project, Dafydd Hirst is joining Power Logistics’ research and development team as a support engineer. He will head up the team and travel to event sites during 2019, installing the power monitoring equipment.
Whitehouse adds: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Dafydd onboard to oversee the implementation of our power monitoring scheme. His experience in event-based technology is well documented and being

 
 
royal-visitPrincess Alexandra opens new Central studios
Monday, 4 March 2019

UK - On 27 February, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was visited by its Royal Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra. The visit marked the official opening of the School’s new North Block building and provided the Princess with an opportunity to meet staff and students and observe a variety of student work.
Princess Alexandra was greeted by Central’s president and alumnus Michael Grandage, together with the chair of its governing body, John Willis, and its principal, Professor Gavin Henderson. She was then escorted on a tour of the new facilities where she observed classes from the School’s drama, applied theatre and education and movement: directing and teaching courses.
The Princess and guests at the opening event were entertained by performances from the acting musical theatre course’s production of The Life, MA Music Theatre course’s production of The Tunnel, and a short, critically-acclaimed film from the MA Acting for Stage and Screen course.
Following the tour, Princess Alexandra met with staff and student representatives, members of the design and project teams for the new building and friends and supporters of the school at a private reception held in the new Courtyard Theatre. She was presented with flowers by Student Union president Holly Barraclough on behalf of the student body before unveiling a brass plaque commemorating her visit and the building’s official opening.
The North Block building, designed by an award-winning team at Tim Ronalds Architects, has provided Central with a major increase in

 
tsp-esta-logo-2015-blackESTA launches control protocols survey
Wednesday, 27 February 2019

USA - The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) Technical Standards Programme (TSP) has launched a control protocols satisfaction survey project to gather public input from end users about their usage of control protocols in the entertainment industry. The survey may be accessed at estalink.us/survey.
This survey was commissioned by the TSP’s Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG) and seeks to understand how well lighting control protocols are serving end-users. The CPWG is the working group that develops control technologies you use every day, like DMX512, RDM, and sACN, although the survey includes questions on other industry protocols as well.
Survey questions determining what features are currently being used and what challenges have been encountered comprise much of the survey. However, other sections of the survey are more focused on determining if control protocols are conveniencing the user and what how this can be further improved.
All responses are anonymous and the survey can be completed in 10 minutes or less, says ESTA.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Immersive Theatre - Further details have been revealed for a multi-million pound immersive theatre venue in London’s West End, which will be spread across seven buildings and 200 different rooms. Located in a former club and office block on Oxford Street, Space 18 will open on 13 April with immersive survival experience Variant 31.
The producers behind it - Dalton Dale, producing artistic director of Big Dreamer Productions, and Stephen McGill for McGill Productions - have revealed more plans for the venue. According to Dale, Space 18 will include five bars and a nightclub and has a maximum capacity of 1,500 audience members.
The project, which costs £2.5m, will become London’s first purpose-built immersive theatre complex. Last year, plans for another purpose-built immersive theatre, in Elephant and Castle, fell through, meaning when Space 18 opens in April it will be the first venue created in the capital specifically to stage immersive productions.
Manchester Date - Ariana Grande is to play in Manchester for the first time since 2017 when she headlines Manchester Pride in August. Twenty-two people died in a suicide attack outside her show at Manchester Arena in May 2017. The US pop star will return to the city to headline the LGBT+ event at a new 9,000-capacity outdoor venue at an old railway depot on Sunday 25 August.
The singer is currently at both number one and two in the UK singles chart and also has the number one album. She had previously said she would play a "a special show" in Manchester as part of her forthco

 
bikefestBackup's busy 2019 fundraising schedule
Thursday, 21 February 2019

UK - Industry charity Backup has revealed a busy fundraising schedule for 2019.
First in a line-up of events is the inaugural Bikefest, kicking off on 18 May with a day of two-wheeled action and fun for all levels of riders.
There will be a 100km ride through the Sussex and Surrey countryside, which will take in much of the famed Olympic and Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 route, including Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey, and the famous Box Hill Zig Zag.
“Whether you’re riding as an individual, with friends or as a company Peloton, this will be a great day out to sport your finest padded shorts, have an excuse to shave those legs and pack as many bananas in your cycling top as possible,” says Backup.
The event will also feature a 50km route across the Surrey countryside, past a number of isotonic watering holes en route to allow riders to ‘recharge’ their batteries.
“Either way, you’ll be bacon sandwiched up before you set off and then given your route. Upon your triumphant return, food, drinks, prizes and prestige await you all,” says Backup.

Kartfest
Kartfest is back for a fifth year on Thursday, 4 July, with an Independence Day theme. Organisers expect the event to sell out quickly and promise participants should expect “all the normal fun, thrills, spills and shenanigans, as well as downright blatant team ringers and financial incentives”. Headline sponsor Chauvet Professional has signed up for a second year running.

Comfest is also returni

 
 
dave-thorley-and-david-edelsteintriple-eTriple E expands factory facilities
Thursday, 21 February 2019

UK - In anticipation of a busy 2019 order book, Triple E has recently completed a move into larger premises, which has also included a complete restructure of the warehouse to improve efficiencies and production work flow.
Triple E had outgrown its previous warehouse, having been there for the past 16 years, and the company has now settled into a larger facility which has doubled the square footage of their office, factory and workshop. The expansion has also provided for improved training facilities for distributors, installers and specifiers who visit Triple E, as well as dedicated meeting room spaces and improved office facilities.
The increased footprint has enabled a more streamlined factory and warehouse layout with additional yard and storage facilities and a larger demonstration area for clients to see the products first hand in the factory setting.
The transition to a larger unit on the same industrial estate has also enabled the team to assimilate Thorley Engineering seamlessly into the work flow. The 2018 acquisition of Thorley Engineering - a supplier to Triple E for over 25 years - made clear business sense. “I’m delighted that we have been able to ensure continuity of supply by incorporating Thorley Engineering into the Triple E family” explains David Edelstein, managing director, Triple E. “Dave Thorley and his highly skilled engineering team bring a wealth of experience and a long-standing appreciation of the Triple E brand. It made perfect sense to bring them into the company to facilitate a seamless and speedier product

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Creative Support - Projects funded by Creative Europe will continue to receive support from the government if the UK leaves the EU without a deal next month, thanks to new legislation. It is intended to put contingency arrangements in place in case no deal is struck before 29 March and the EU decides to cease funding Creative Europe projects involving a UK organisation.
Creative Europe currently funds schemes across the creative industries through two programmes – culture and media – providing a total of €1.46bn to cultural projects. On exit day, it is estimated that Creative Europe will have between 160 and 200 projects involving a UK organisation. According to the government, about €18.9m has been awarded to British organisations through these projects, with approximately €8.9m left to be paid.
However, this figure is dependent on the EU allowing all current projects to continue and the amount paid out could be affected in a no-deal outcome. The government is using a statutory instrument to grant the culture secretary Jeremy Wright powers to provide financial assistance in the event that the EU ceases to provide funding following no deal.
Improving Access - The Theatres Trust has awarded its 100th grant to a consortium of theatres in Greater Manchester, including Home and the Royal Exchange, to make them more accessible. Seven projects have been awarded a total of more than £100,000 by the Theatres Trust’s Theatre Improvement Scheme, in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, which focuses on improving the accessibility of the

 
 
laura-byrne-v2-printVersion 2 extends management team
Monday, 18 February 2019

UK - Television lighting rental specialists Version 2 has appointed Laura Byrne to its account management team. She brings considerable experience from the film, TV drama, commercial and music video genres to the company.
Starting her career with rental giants Panalux, Laura was part of the rental desk team at the company’s’ busy Waxlow Road operation. A move to global lighting company Cinelease subsequently followed. Most recently, Byrne worked with equipment supplier LCA.
As account manager at Version 2, Byrne will be liaising with DoPs, LDs, gaffers and production managers to offer support and advise on all aspects of the production process.
Managing director Nick Edwards comments: "I’m excited to be welcoming Laura to our management team, I see many similarities between our career paths, her enthusiasm for the industry is clear. Laura has not only a proven in-depth equipment knowledge but she also understands the importance of strong customer support.”
(Jim Evans)

 
martin-bestwickinspHire appoints sales director
Thursday, 14 February 2019

UK - inspHire has announced the appointment of Martin Bestwick as sales director. Martin’s promotion from general manager coincides with the rental software providers recent acquisition by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) and is geared towards inspHire further strengthening its position in the UK and globally.
When asked about his appointment, Martin says, “I’m incredibly excited and very much looking forward to the challenge. I’ve worked in the rental industry and have helped deliver value for inspHire’s customers for some time now. Whether that be through implementing solutions which introduce operational efficiencies, or helping prospects and customers discover the true value in any potential investment.”
Graham Dobbs, inspHire managing director adds, “Understanding the wants and needs of rental businesses, being empathetic to the challenges they face and taking a collaborative approach to developing solutions to address these challenges is what we’re all about. The depth in Martins knowledge and experience across all of these areas enables us to continue to progress and enhance the services as well as products we offer.”
(Jim Evans)

 
 
john-mooreSparq appoints head of national operations
Thursday, 14 February 2019

UK - Sparq, part of Saville Group, the technical event production specialist which underwent a brand transformation six months ago, is strengthening its senior leadership team with the appointment of John Moore as head of national operations.
Moore has been brought on board to spearhead Sparq’s ambitious growth strategy and oversee the operational direction of the brand, as it continues to develop its 360 technical event production offering. Moore’s remit will focus on improving efficiency across the division, developing and implementing strategic change, together with growing the specialisms and expertise within the national operations team.
Colin Nixey, managing director of Sparq, comments, “Following our rebrand in September, the last six months have been really momentous for us as a company. Our brand transformation formed part of a wider strategy to ensure we remain competitive and innovative, while continuing to deliver an exceptional service to our clients. This also included reviewing our operations and ensuring we have the very best people in place to achieve our strategy for success.
“John’s appointment is central to this strategy, and with his wealth of experience across the industry, there is no doubt that he will play a key role in driving forward the brand. John is a fantastic asset to our expanding leadership team and after an impressive career ‘sabbatical’ we’re delighted to be welcoming him back to the Sparq team.”
(Jim Evans)

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Merging Venues - Venue operators AEG Facilities and SMG - which runs arenas in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle - have announced a merger, creating a new company: ASM Global. The company will be based in Los Angeles and will operate more than 310 venues across five continents.
SMG Europe, a subsidiary of SMG, currently operates venues such as the Manchester Arena, the First Direct Arena in Leeds, and Utilita Arena in Newcastle. AEG Facilities is the venue management arm of AEG and will own 50% of the company, with the other half owned by Onex, the parent company of SMG.
SMG chief executive Wes Westley described the move as a “major step for our industry”. He adds: “We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses to further elevate the standard of excellence in venue management. We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide.”
All Together Now - Michael Rice, who won BBC talent show All Together Now last year, has been chosen to fly the flag for the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The 21-year-old from Hartlepool, who was also on The X Factor in 2014, was picked in a TV viewers' vote. He will now travel to Israel in May in the hope of impressing Eurovision fans with his rousing anthem Bigger Than Us.
Special Delivery - The Specials have thanked fans after scoring their first-ever number one album - 40 years on from the release of their debut. Encore, the

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Record Takings - West End theatres enjoyed record box office takings of £766m in 2018, up 8.6% compared with the previous year. This was driven by ticket sales for musicals such as Hamilton, with revenue from the genre increasing by 15.4% in 2017 to £504m. The average ticket price paid for musicals was £53.27. A recent survey by The Stage revealed that the average top-price ticket for a musical in 2018 cost £153.54.
As well as having the highest box office revenue since records began, West End theatres also had record audience attendances of 15.5m, up 3%. However, while audiences for musicals were up, attendance for West End plays dropped by 6.5%.
Commenting on the figures, SOLT president Kenny Wax says: “London’s world-leading theatre industry is attracting larger audiences than ever after another record year. Increasingly, people seem to want to invest in high-quality cultural experiences, and the West End is benefiting from this trend.”
Fiddling On - Trevor Nunn’s production of Fiddler on the Roof has announced a West End transfer and will play at the Playhouse Theatre from March. At present, the musical revival is running at the Menier Chocolate Factory, starring Andy Nyman and Judy Khun, who will both reprise their roles in the transfer. The production will take place in a “reconfigured” auditorium, and the full cast is yet to be announced.
Farewell - Daryl Dragon, one half of 70s duo The Captain & Tennille has died aged 76. "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved h

 
mdg-martin-michaud-and-nicolas-duhamel-smlNicolas Duhamel returns to MDG
Monday, 28 January 2019

Europe - MDG reports that Nicolas Duhamel has returned to the company full-time to become its marketing and European business development director. Duhamel, who worked MDG’s marketing manager part-time, will now be responsible for the company’s marketing activities globally and be the central point of call for European distributors whilst seeking out new opportunities to develop the brand across Europe.
Duhamel had previously spent two years at MDG, overseeing the overhaul of its marketing resources including the creation of a new website. After returning to his native France in 2016 to take up a position in event management, he has now returned to MDG full-time.
"Nicolas never left us completely as he continued to look after our marketing part-time, so we are delighted to welcome him back to the MDG family full time,” says MDG president & CEO, Martin Michaud. “Nicolas has played an important part in the MDG story over the past five years, and with his experience and passion for the brand, I have no doubt that he will do so again in the years to come. There are exciting times ahead for MDG."
"Atmospheric effects have been a real passion for me and, since I first saw MDG products in February 1996, it was my dream to work for this amazing company that has so much history,” says Duhamel. “Working with these talented people over the years has been a great pleasure, and I'm thrilled and honoured to be able to come back and see that dream continue to the next stage." Duhamel will be based in the south of France.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
typhoon-box-co-rgb-hiER unleashes CO2-free confetti blower
Friday, 25 January 2019

Europe - Typhoon is ER’s newest product, a CO2-free confetti blower designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in the industry.
Typhoon is not only a ‘greener’ product but is compact, stackable, easy to control, adjustable and versatile, says the company.
Typhoon’s adaptable design allows it to not only be rigged on top of truss but also flown, allowing for huge confetti hits at large-scale events. Typhoon works via a set of powerful but silent fans, which push confetti out through a specially-designed tunnel, and a controllable-hopper evenly distributes it.
David Holmes, ER’s technical manager who designed Typhoon, comments: “I love the finished product. The brief from ER’s co-founder and director, Ryan Hagan, was to build a confetti blower that would be able to run on electricity, without using the harmful greenhouse gas, and we have done exactly that.
“Other models on the market are cumbersome and don’t have the ability to be flown. Typhoon gives designers more flexibility to create something really amazing at their shows.”
Typhoon is constructed with an aluminium frame with steel panels and weighs 90kg, and the voltage is 200 to 270 or 50/60hz. It holds 10kg of confetti and can be adjusted to how much and how far you want the confetti to be distributed, enabling vast coverage across an audience.
ER debuted the CO2-free confetti blower at the 2018 Ozzfest at the LA Forum, where units were positioned on a U-shaped truss over the audience, creating a snow blizzard effect during carefully-planned

 
11th-hour11th Hour moves into ice cold storage
Friday, 25 January 2019

UK - Cardiff-based events specialist 11th Hour recently took possession of additional warehouse premises to cope with the demands of its continued expansion. Its 6,000sq.ft of space will be assigned to 11th Hour’s growing festive ice-rink operations, allowing the entire inventory of rink apparatus to be stored independently, close to its principal Cardiff Bay operations base.
Growing demand for its ice rink services in 2018 saw 11th Hour install new rinks in Swansea, Caerphilly Castle and Aberystwyth, adding to its established Cardiff, Celtic Manor and Bargoed sites. More locations are expected to be brought onstream in 2019.
Business development manager Jason Venables comments: “We’re conscious of always trying to remain ahead of the curve at 11th Hour. It’s important to ensure that our processes and logistics remain up to speed in the face of ever-growing demand for our services. Our new facility enables us to maintain, operate and store our ice rink provision in its own dedicated space. Whilst the rest of our kit is in and out of the warehouse on a year-round basis, it made sense to separate out what is a specifically seasonal part of our business, with a view to streamlining our day to day operations.” Investing in the new premises has already allowed 11th Hour’s new warehouse manager Mike Coles and his assistant Matt Stone to re-align and optimise the use of the company’s main warehouse.
Jason Venables continues: “The dismantling and storage of our rinks at this time of year has previously had the capacity to cause some disrup

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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