General News

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

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

dwrA message of hope from DWR
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

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

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

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

roadieIndustry organisations launch roadie benefit initiative
Friday, 20 March 2020

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

 
 
btsmentalhealthgraphic300BTS offers mental health screening online
Wednesday, 18 March 2020

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

 
rishisunakLeisure industry to receive cash support
Wednesday, 18 March 2020

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

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

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

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

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

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

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

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 10 March 2020

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

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 3 March 2020

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

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 February 2020

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

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

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

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 18 February 2020


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

 
btsBTS seeks therapist recommendations
Thursday, 13 February 2020

USA - Last autumn, Behind the Scenes conducted an online survey of industry members which received an unprecedented response. This was followed by two focus groups in January to delve deeper into some of the issues and concerns raised in the survey responses. One of the most frequent complaints heard was how difficult it is to find a therapist who knows anything about the entertainment industry and who is available to see people on nights and weekends or through teletherapy.
Says BTS, “As one of the first programmes of our mental health and suicide prevention initiative, we are partnering with HelpPro to create an online therapist finder specifically for the entertainment industry. This means that we are seeking therapists who either have personal experience in our industry or who have previously seen clients who work in the industry and learned about the unique pressures and stresses.
“In order to make this programme a valuable resource for the industry, we need the assistance of everyone in the industry who has seen a therapist they thought was helpful. If you or a family member have experience with a therapist you think should be listed on the finder, please send their contact information to mh@btshelp.org. We’ll reach out to them to let them know when the finder is ready for them to sign up.
“They’ll be asked about their experience in the industry and will complete an extensive questionnaire that includes their areas of specialty, what insurance they accept and whether they have a sliding scale for those not covered, whether they have

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Stage Awards Winners - Sheffield Theatres, ATG Productions and an initiative to diversify theatre boards are among the winners of The Stage Awards 2020.
Winning two categories, Sheffield Theatres was presented with the regional theatre of the year award and the first ever achievement in technical theatre award for its production of Life of Pi.
ATG Productions won producer of the year, praised for its Pinter at the Pinter season and the Ian McKellen On Stage tour, while the innovation award went to Artistic Directors of the Future for its campaign to diversify the theatre industry’s boardrooms.
London theatre of the year was awarded to Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, which underwent a £1m refurbishment to make the venue more accessible while producing 14 shows across 2019, and London’s Bunker Theatre won fringe theatre of the year in recognition of its support for artists from under-represented backgrounds.
Other winners included Leeds Playhouse in the theatre building of the year category, following the venue’s £15.8m redevelopment, and producer Selladoor Worldwide for the international award in recognition of the company’s global expansion.
Madame X Back in Business - Madonna has resumed her Madame X tour in London after cancelling dates in the capital and Portugal due to injury. The 61-year-old pop superstar returned to the stage at the London Palladium wearing knee supports during the two-and-a-half hour gig and told fans "happy to have made it".
The show included throwbacks to Vogue

 
ESTA announces Above & Beyond Award winners
Friday, 31 January 2020

USA - The 2019 recipients of the annual Above & Beyond Awards were announced by the ESTA Technical Standards Programme (TSP) at the 2020 NAMM Show.
The awards celebrate volunteers, who have made a significant contribution or effort that advances the TSP, and are held in high esteem because the nominations are made by peers in the Programme.
The 2019 winners are . . .
Joseph Jeremy (Stage Machinery Working Group) as co-chair of the Stage Machinery Working Group, Joseph was cited for having been the principal author of the controls section of ANSI E1.42 - Entertainment Technology - Design, Installation, and Use of Orchestra Pit Lifts as well as significant contributions to a new standard currently in development - BSR E1.64 - Stage Machinery Motion Control
Chris Schmidt (Event Safety Working Group) was lauded for having kept the Event Safety Rigging Task Group on track through many challenging tasks. Event Safety Rigging is a complicated subject that needs to distill down numerous technical requirements to the widest variety of Event Safety standard readers. The subject is elusive to many event promoters and planners and it has been the daunting task of the group to find the precise wording in order to assure the reader's comprehension of this most important subject.
Peter Willis (Control Protocols Working Group) has been an active member of the CPWG for almost 20 years and has contributed significantly to many of its control standards. Peter has also provided exceptional leadership in gathering various manufactu

 
 
david-sloanBandit Lites appoints IT manager
Thursday, 30 January 2020

USA - Bandit Lites has hired David Sloan as IT manager, presiding over the entire information technology department, including overseeing the company’s computer equipment, hardware and software needs.
Sloan has worked with The Learning Company as a quality assurance tester of foreign language software. He was promoted to QA tech, where he was responsible for building and maintaining the computer laps with prefabricated and custom computer set ups. Sloan also worked as a network administrator for both Mattel Interactive’s Knoxville office and East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA).
“For the first eight years, I was the sole technical support for the whole agency,” explains Sloan. “ETHRA continued to grow over the nine additional years, and in the middle of a moving project, the opportunity to join Bandit Lites appeared. It was an opportunity that I did not want to pass up.”
“With all of the growth Bandit is experiencing on both the production and sales side of things, we really needed to update our infrastructure,” comments Bandit Lites director of operations, Roth Edwards. “David's background is in managing large networks with multiple remote locations and a large mobile workforce. Coupled with his passion for his trade and desire to learn new technologies, he is a perfect fit at Bandit.”
(Jim Evans)

 
apt>Teleprompter.video announces product giveaway
Wednesday, 29 January 2020

UK - Apt-GB, the creators of the >teleprompter.video comfort monitor, has announced a major product giveaway running until 5pm on 28 February.
Apt-GB’s comfort monitors have travelled around the world with UB40 during their 40th Anniversary Tour. The band found them to be “an invaluable addition to their touring kit”.
Artist managements, tour mangers and hire companies with European or global tours with major artists during 2020 are invited to apply.
Says the company: “If you’ve seen or heard about >teleprompter.video and you’re intrigued, Apt-GB are giving your band the opportunity to take up to four comfort monitors on the road with them - they will even engrave your logo on the back!
“If that sounds like you, or just would like to know more, then please e-mail: Graham Gosden (graham.gosden@apt-gb.com) with your name and company, the artist name, rough tour dates, and an indication of countries and venues to be visited.

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Council Strategy - Arts Council England has unveiled the strategy that will guide its work over the next decade, aiming to address what it says are “momentous” sector-wide challenges that include inequality of opportunity and a widespread lack of diversity. There is particular emphasis on communities and young people in the document, published this week, which lists the Arts Council’s priorities for its work and the organisations it will fund between now and 2030.
Entitled Let’s Create, its contents are broadly similar to the draft document published by the Arts Council last year. It is based around a vision that by 2030, England will be a country “transformed by its culture” and “in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish”.
No Show - Madonna pulled out of the first London show of her Madame X tour, sparking calls for the singer to cancel the entire run. The 61-year-old was due to perform the first of 15 shows on Monday at the London Palladium but said she "must always listen to my body and put my health first". In an Instagram post, she wrote: "I am deeply sorry that I have to cancel my concert scheduled for Monday in London. Under doctors guidance I have been told to rest for a few days.” Last week, the singer cancelled a show in Lisbon, Portugal. The next show is due to go ahead at the London Palladium on 29 January.
Kobe Tribute - The 2020 Grammys ceremony opened with a tribute to basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday. "Tonight is for you Kobe," declared Liz

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Family Tradition - Emily Eavis has been named a Godlike Genius by the NME, in recognition of her "outstanding contribution" to the Glastonbury festival. She will receive the title at next month's NME Awards, 24 years after her father Michael won the same prize. "I remember being at the NME Awards when I was 16 and being so proud to see my dad named Godlike Genius," said Eavis in a statement. "It's a huge honour to be given the same award all these years later."
The award comes as Glastonbury gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift have already been named as headliners, while Diana Ross will play the Sunday afternoon legend slot, but the rest of the line-up is still under wraps.
Foundation Grants - The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded 16 grants totalling more than £225,000 to organisations including Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre.
Bristol Old Vic was awarded £20,000 to support its ensemble of young performers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre also received funding towards their programmes for young people. Other projects to receive grants included an assistant director programme at the Gate Theatre in London, Graeae Theatre Company’s Ensemble training programme for young D/deaf and disabled people and the National Student Drama Festival.
The charity Arts Insight’s ‘Production Week’, which offers performing arts experiences in secondary schools, was awarded

 
 
megan-draperSound Marketing strengthens PR team
Thursday, 16 January 2020

UK - Marketing and PR agency Sound Marketing has appointed Megan Draper to the post of marketing, PR and events coordinator.
A business management graduate of the University of Birmingham, Draper gained experience spending a ‘Year in Industry’ at Disney Head Office. Upon leaving university, she specialised in the design and implementation of social media campaigns on behalf of a wide variety of brands and joins Sound Marketing after successfully coordinating a high-profile brand rollout in the London hospitality sector.
Steph Dell, Sound Marketing managing director, comments: “Megan has already gained a great deal of valuable experience in a comparatively short time. She has worked in demanding and fast-moving environments and shouldered a lot of responsibility. We’re confident that we have recruited an exceptional addition to the team.”
Draper adds: “Joining the highly respected Sound Marketing team is a great opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to a very wide-ranging brief. Having operated in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, the move into the AV arena feels like a natural step and one that I’m very excited to take.”

 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Brit Awards - Lewis Capaldi and Dave lead the Brit Awards shortlists for 2020, with four nominations each. Stormzy, Mabel, Michael Kiwanuka, Charli XCX, Harry Styles and Coldplay are also among the acts to receive a nod for this year's awards, which will be the 40th major Brits show.
Both Scottish singer-songwriter Capaldi and London rapper Dave are up for new artist of the year, and despite their relative infancy in the industry are also up for the big awards of best male solo artist, best album and song of the year, thanks to chart-topping debuts in the past 12 months.
The past 12 months have been very successful for both artists, with Dave's album Psychodrama winning the Mercury Prize, Capaldi topping the singles chart for seven weeks with Someone You Loved, and both playing bit sets at Glastonbury.
Male solo artists dominate this year's Awards, with the line-up for best album mirroring that for best male artist, with Capaldi and Dave up against Harry Styles, Michael Kiwanuka and Stormzy in both categories.
Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Freya Ridings, Mabel and Mahalia are all nominated for best female artist, while Bastille, Bring Me The Horizon, Coldplay D Block Europe and Foals are up for best group.
Festival Report - Glastonbury Festival bosses must ensure toilets are cleaned more often and plan for hot weather better, licensees say. There is also concern that camping areas might be overcrowded, says Mendip District Council, which oversees the licensing of the world-famous event.
The issues are raised in a repo

 
 
The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Fire Damage - North London music venue Koko has been damaged by fire. The London fire brigade said it was called to the scene in Camden, in north London, shortly before 9pm on Monday night (6 January). About a third of the roof of the venue, which in previous incarnations was known as The Music Machine and Camden Palace, was alight as firefighters tried to save the rest of the building. The former theatre is covered in scaffolding as part of a renovation. The venue was due to reopen in spring 2020 after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
Royalty Cheque - Bohemian Rhapsody's success at the box office in 2018 was replicated in the living room last year. The Freddie Mercury biopic was the biggest home video of 2019, selling 1.7m copies in the UK. Two-thirds of those copies were on DVD or Blu-Ray, with the rest coming from downloads.
Overall, UK consumer spending on video grew by 9.5%, making it the fastest-growing entertainment sector, fuelled by the popularity of streaming. Data compiled by the ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) shows that physical video sales - which include DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K UHD - decreased from £616.9m in 2018 to £477.2m last year, a drop of 22.6%. “There is no doubt retailers of physical product had a tough time in 2019,” said the Entertainment Retailers Association's CEO Kim Bayley.
United Queendom - Kensington Palace will host an immersive theatrical experience for the first time next month. The building will showcase Les Enfants Terri

 
nealprestonsNeal Preston’s photography returns to NAMM
Friday, 3 January 2020

USA - Entertainment technology charity Behind the Scenes has announced that the The Lightpower Collection’s work of famed Rock‘n’Roll photographer and author Neal Preston is returning to the NAMM Show (16-19 January, Anaheim). Neal’s pictures will be displayed in the BTS booth #10747 and will include pictures not previously seen at the show including Mötley Crüe, Kiss, and Bruce Springsteen.
Neal’s books Exhilarated & Exhausted and In the Eye of the Hurricane and posters, including his famous images of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, will be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit the charity.
Neal will be present in the Behind the Scenes booth to sign books and posters on Thursday, 16 January at 3pm and on Friday, 17 January at 11am and 3pm.
Neal’s 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.
Lightpower is an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art.
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses.
(Jim Evans)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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