General News

jeffLe Mark Group strengthens northern team
Friday, 17 May 2019

UK - Le Mark Group has announced the appointment of Jeff Demain as northern sales manager, UK.
Demain has worked in the entertainment industry for over 35 years. His experience has encompassed sound, lighting, sales and installation, and he has managed key projects in Russia, the Middle East and the UK. His history has included leading companies including Concert Light Systems, Playlight Hire, White Light North and most recently, HSL Blackburn.
“I have known Jeff for many years and have always been in awe of his industry knowledge,” said Linda Gibbons, joint managing director. “With Jeff now on the ground locally, he is perfectly positioned and readily available to meet with many more companies interested in our products and to expand our sales in the north of the UK. It is an important move forward for the company.”
“We are all delighted to have Jeff join us,” said Stuart Gibbons, joint managing director. “Jeff is exactly the right person to help take Le Mark to the next level. His experience is invaluable and his enthusiasm to succeed is clear. The sales team are eager to work with him.”
“I am really looking forward to joining the team at Le Mark,” said Jeff. “I’ve known Linda and Stuart ever since they began the business and have been really impressed with the company’s growth and innovation.”
Demain will provide sales and support for Le Mark’s leading range of consumable items, including the self-adhesive tape MagTape, Pro Tapes, Slipway and award-winning BlackTak. He will be the lead advisor in the nor

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Special Funding - Grassroots music venues across England will now be able to apply for special funding from a ring-fenced budget intended to support the sector and help stem their decline. Arts Council England has announced it has set aside £1.5m of National Lottery money to fund projects hosting and promoting live music in grassroots venues. It comes amid an ongoing campaign to protect small venues following a period of decline across the UK.
Opening this week, the scheme will accept applications for between £1,000 and £40,000 from music venues and promoters. The funding will sit within the Arts Council’s project grants programme, but by having a separate budget for grassroots music venues, ACE said it wanted to encourage applications by reducing the high level of competition faced when applying for the main project grants scheme.
Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley said: “Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country, and there needs to be a collective effort from both the public sector and music industry to support them.”
Other organisations such as the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union are working alongside the Arts Council on a number of coordinated initiatives to make up a “sector-wide approach” to supporting venues. Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan created a £1 million fund for grassroots arts projects as part of a commitment to support culture in communities across the capital.
Drastic On Plastic - Fairport’s Cropredy Conv

 
 
neutrikNeutrik launches anti-piracy legal action
Monday, 13 May 2019

Europe - At this year’s Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt, Neutrik went on a determined offensive against product piracy. Following Neutrik’s request, police seized numerous products that clearly violate intellectual property rights. Moreover, extensive warnings to cease and desist have also been sent to the companies concerned. Further legal action has already been launched.
Countless Neutrik products are based on technical inventions that have set new standards and are protected by patents. In addition, design features and brand names have been registered to ensure that original Neutrik products are easily and clearly recognizable.
“We want to generate real customer added value with our products and to protect that value. That requires maintaining global patents and trademarks, which, while very costly, form an important part of our innovation culture. If our competitors now ruthlessly flout these intellectual property rights, we shall consistently take all the legal measures at our disposal to stop this,” said René Kleiner, CTO of the Neutrik Group.
Among the most frequently imitated or copied products are the XLR plugs of the XX series (e.g. the compression ring patent) as well as the speakON, powerCON and etherCON cable connectors. In addition to patent infringements, Neutrik must also respond to imitations of protected design elements (sinus wave) or the misuse of registered brand names, says the company.
Consistent action against product piracy and copiers is essential and forms part of Neutrik’s corporate strategy in order to

 
voltsGreen Voltage introduces portable power units
Friday, 10 May 2019

UK - Designed and developed specifically to address the demand for environmentally-conscious power within the film and TV industry, VOLTstack provides crews with easy access to clean power.
Completely emission free, with a proven track record powering sets of all sizes, the VOLTstack range includes a number of power units ranging from 2kW and 5kW to 13kW and 200kW variants.
The entire collection is suited to handling all manner of applications within the lighting, electrical and camera departments. With a rapid charge time of just 2.5 hours and available with a solar panel recharge option, the systems’ continuous power delivery is enough to handle almost any temporary application. For added convenience, units can be series linked to provide for extended operating times. The compact, rugged design which features an IP54 rating plus wireless monitoring, making VOLTstack a suitable solution whether on set or location.
David Sinfield, gaffer on Alladin and Wonder Woman comments: “These battery powered units deliver robust, convenient and emission free power, they are an excellent power source, wherever you are. Used in conjunction with the latest LED technology VOLTstack can easily handle all manner of lighting installations, with no compromise in performance, no fumes and no noise.”
Suitable for use in emissions sensitive areas and noise restrictive locations, VOLTstack delivers quality performance when paired with the growing number of highly effective, low energy and LED light sources which have become such a prominent featu

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Missing Out - Paul McCartney has accused a government funding body of having a “flawed process” that has seen the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts miss out on a potential £16m of funding. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is currently investigating the decision-making process of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which has now been replaced by the Office for Students.
According to LIPA, which McCartney co-founded, the institution has lost out on £16m in potential funding over a four-year period due to a “series of errors” by the government body. LIPA says it has also lost a further £160,000, which has been spent on the first steps of a judicial review.
When applying for institution-specific funding in 2016, LIPA claims it was “failed at the first stage of the process” and was only allowed to proceed to the second stage following an appeal. By this time it discovered “all the funding had already been allocated”.
According to LIPA, HEFCE wrongly advised the institution that the decision-making process could not be challenged, so the drama school began a judicial review.
McCartney, lead patron at LIPA, who co-founded the drama school 24 years ago with Mark Featherstone-Witty, said: “I helped to bring LIPA into life during very difficult times for Liverpool.
“It is now a highly respected institution all over the world. Our funding was recently affected by what to me, and the heads of every university in Liverpool, was a flawed process.”
He added: “LIPA is my passion and part of my legacy. It wo

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Foundation Funding - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s foundation is overhauling the way money is awarded, with three new strands aimed at supporting potential and reaching diverse communities. The foundation will award funding under the strands Unlock, Enhance and Empower. The Unlock strand will give grants if up to £5,000 to projects that increase diversity by “breaking down social, economic and geographical barriers”. This might include youth theatres or music therapy groups.
The Enhance strand will award grants of up to £10,000 to projects that provide specialist training and workplace experience for emerging artists and newly graduated professionals, while the Empower section will award funding of up to £25,000 to projects that allow practitioners to “apply resources widely” and give training to a significant number of people.
Lloyd Webber said: “Music and the arts can empower and liberate, which is why it’s so important to encourage participation and nurture talent. If you empower children and young people through the arts, the return on investment is huge. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the arts have been more important. I really, passionately believe that.”
Since launching in 2011, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded more than £20m.
Northern Light - Edinburgh’s proposed new 1,000 seat concert hall and 200 seat studio theatre space has won planning approval from the city’s council. Previously referred to as the Impact Centre, it will be called the Dunard Centre – after a donation f

 
 
jason-sorabjiBlitz appoints group production director
Monday, 29 April 2019

UK - AV and technical production company Blitz has announced the promotion of Jason Sorabji to the newly created role of group production director.
Jason’s new remit includes directing the company’s overall production and project management strategy, engaging directly with key clients and prospects to drive innovation. The position sees Jason join the Blitz senior management team and report directly into managing director, Mike Phillipson.
Jason has been with Blitz for over three years and was previously group account director at ExCeL London, where Blitz is the official in-house supplier delivering AV solutions and production for the venue.
New hire Paul Stuart will be joining Blitz to take over Jason’s position at ExCeL London. Paul brings extensive experience in the industry, joining from White Light where he oversaw the AV technical delivery for customers such as The Science Museum & Wembley Stadium.
Jason said: “It’s such an important time for Blitz; the business is growing and we are developing our production strategy to meet the increasingly exciting expectations of our clients.”
(Jim Evans)

 
birmingham-assessment-prac-3-PLASA to develop CSCS-related training scheme
Wednesday, 24 April 2019

UK - PLASA has revealed plans to develop a training scheme for entertainment industry professionals carrying out work on UK construction sites.
The initiative has been announced in response to changes to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), the leading UK skills certification scheme that ensures individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they undertake.
PLASA has warned a number of CSCS cards historically used within the entertainment technology industry are being withdrawn, including Stage Equipment Installer, Site Visitor and Related Discipline.
“Once these cards have expired, industry professionals with relevant construction training or qualifications may be able to apply for Skilled Worker CSCS cards, but many may only be able to apply for Labourer cards, which could affect their ability to work onsite without direct supervision,” says PLASA in a statement.
The Association's training scheme would be aimed at installers who need to meet CSCS requirements and do not work with electrics. It could cover disciplines such as suspension of grids, static bars, tab tracks, projection/LED screens, fixing of winches, stage equipment, control equipment and speakers, and commissioning or programming of systems.
PLASA is looking to form a working group and is urging interested individuals or companies to contact skills@plasa.org.

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Acoustic Shock - The Royal Opera House has lost an appeal against a viola player who was awarded damages in 2018 for hearing loss he suffered during rehearsals for Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Christopher Goldscheider is a former viola player in the orchestra at Covent Garden, who said he was no longer able to work as a musician due to “acoustic shock” he suffered during a weekend rehearsal in 2012.
Goldscheider said the noise he was exposed to was unacceptable, and a judge ruled in his favour in March. However, in October the ROH, which is being represented by law firm BLM, was granted permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld Goldscheider’s case, although on narrower grounds. Specifically, it overturned the High Court finding that Control of Noise at Work Regulations meant employers were required to enforce the wearing of hearing protection for all players at all times during the course of a rehearsal or performance over a certain volume.
The ROH as well as the Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre had argued that this would impose impossible restrictions on almost any live music situation.
Earth Song - An all-star animated environmental music video featuring the voices of Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande has gone viral on social media. The song In Earth, by comedian and rapper Lil Dicky, also has cameos from Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus. Speaking to Time, Dicky - aka David Burd - said: "What started as a si

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Respect - The Queen of Soul is now a Pulitzer Prize winner. Aretha Franklin has been awarded a special citation honouring "her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades". She becomes the 12th musician, and first female performer, to be given the citation - joining the likes of Bob Dylan, Scott Joplin and John Coltrane.
Franklin died last August, aged 76. During her career, the singer won 18 Grammys, had 17 top 10 US chart hits and became the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine rated her as the greatest singer of all time, thanks to songs like Respect, Chain Of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Record Breaker - Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody - already the highest-grossing music biopic of all-time - surpassed $900m (£686m) in worldwide ticket sales on Sunday. The Oscar-winning film has now made $830m (£633m) internationally and $71m (£55m) from domestic UK audiences. Its latest surge follows unexpected levels of popularity among Japanese audiences - grossing $144m (£110m).
The film cost distributor Fox a relatively meagre $50m (£30m) to make. It is now Fox's fourth-biggest title behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
Festival Investment - Pleasance Theatre Trust has announced 20 productions that will share an investment of over £140,000 as part of its Pleasance Futures development programme. The trust will be supporting a record amount of ar

 
 
henley-parkGrowth spurs Technical Department move
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

UK - Specialist electrical contractor and power supplier to global events, The Technical Department has now moved from its Pines Business Park office base where it has been situated since 2013 to new offices just a short distance away at Henley Business Park, Guildford.
The relocation comes as a result of the company outgrowing its existing premises and its gradual growth and increase in turnover over the past few years.
The company, which was established in 1987, has grown to become one of the most trusted specialist electrical contractors in the events industry.
Switching its expanding operation to new offices and larger warehousing facilities means the company can now progress with its positive business plans for further growth and development.
Founder and owner Jerry Singleton comments: "The relocation of our operation to Henley Business Park is the culmination of an exciting number of years for us. The Technical Department continues to go from strength to strength and the move is down to many factors but increasingly we've outgrown our existing premises and this move is an exciting new progressive development for us.
"The diversity of our services is a real strength for The Technical Department in the current business climate and our new office base will enable us to provide even higher levels of service excellence for our clients and also gives us room for even further expansion with increases in staff levels.
"This move is the latest in the ongoing re-shaping of our business. We have already invested in new computer tech

 
creative-technologyCreative Technology saddles up for Backup
Friday, 5 April 2019

UK - Creative Technology (CT) is taking on the 100-mile Vélo Birmingham & Midlands course on Sunday 12 May in aid of Backup - The Technical Entertainment charity.
“CT has supported Backup from the outset and we’ve often said we should do something more than simply supporting its KartFest and GolfFest events,” saysDave Crump, CEO CT Europe & Middle East. “When an opportunity to enter a four-person team into a challenging 100 mile cycle event, it seemed an ideal opportunity to raise some money and awareness for the charity whilst getting fit and Team VeloCT was born.”
The original plan was to take part in the Velo South event last September. The team was formed, training begun, lycra purchased and money raised - a spectacular £7,038 at the last count. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled at the last minute on safety grounds due to severe weather forecasts.
Disheartened but determined, the team has continued training and will now be taking part in Velo Birmingham on 12 May, tackling a similar and equally challenging 100-mile, closed-road ride through the Black Country, starting in Birmingham’s city centre and taking an estimated 17,000 riders through stunning countryside and picturesque villages to finish in the heart of Coventry - the 2021 Capital of Culture.
Dave, initiator of the idea, has unfortunately had to drop out due to back problems, but his place is being taken by former CT employee and now video director extraordinaire, Dick Curruthers. The remainder of the team is unchanged and includes Steve Purkess, Nic Maa

 
 
The Week in Light& Sound
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Frankfurt Fairs - The worlds of music and the event business are getting together in Frankfurt am Main this week, via Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound.
“Today, music is available everywhere and at all times. In this age of streaming, user behaviour is changing fundamentally – with drastic effects on musicians, labels, service providers and education. The expanding live-entertainment market is also undergoing a paradigm shift towards digital transmission,” says Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt.
“Moreover, there are fantastic new areas of application for audio-visual media technology. The two trade fairs take account of this increased level of complexity with a multitude of options for knowledge transfer and networking. And, parallel to this, we are celebrating a five-day festival of music in Frankfurt.”
Stones Postpone - The Rolling Stones have postponed their upcoming tour of the US and Canada because Sir Mick Jagger needs medical treatment. It is understood he is to undergo a heart procedure. They were due to kick off the US and Canada leg of their No Filter tour at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on 20 April, finishing at the Burl's Creek Even Grounds in Ontario, Canada, on 29 June.
However, Sir Mick, 75, has been told by medics that he cannot perform. He wrote on Twitter: "I'm so sorry to all our fans in America & Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I'm devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon a

 
hrh-le-markPrincess Royal opens Le Mark warehouse
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

UK - On Friday, 29 March 2019, HRH, The Princess Royal, was the honoured VIP visitor to Le Mark Group, there to open its new high-tech international warehouse facility.
HRH, accompanied by HM Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM, was greeted by senior Le Mark staff members and noted dignitaries from the Cambridgeshire County Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the High Sheriff’s Association.
After touring the sales office, HRH was provided with a manufacturing demonstration of the multi-award winning BlackTak light masking foil. HRH heard of the work undertaken by the company and which countries it sells to.
Linda Gibbons, joint managing director, said: “We have an amazing performance flooring department and one particular project I was proud to present to HRH was our printing and fitting of the world’s largest printed floor for the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.”
HRH officially opened the new international warehouse by unveiling a memorial plaque.
Stuart Gibbons, joint managing director, said: “It was an honour to welcome HRH to Le Mark and we were delighted that she supports this expansion. International warehouse 3 marks an important investment for Le Mark. No matter the political climate, Europe and the rest of the world remain vital markets for our products and we will continue to drive export growth.
“The new warehouse almost doubles our storage capacity with an additional 360 Euro pallet bays. With this, Le Mark is reinforcing its commitment to, and confide

 
 
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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