The Netherlands - Highlite International has announced a new brand for all their accessory products. Showgear will be the brand for all accessories for event and installation solutions including flight cases, stands and stage essentials, and provide ‘every piece of supplemental gear you need for your show’.
“Showgear will offer basically every piece of accessory that is needed on or off stage, from flight cases to back drops to speaker stands to rigging equipment,” says Highlite. “Products from Showgear will be supporting your stage performances and events in every situation you can think of.”
Showgear carries clamps, LED bulbs, tapes, heavy duty power strips, gear bags, butterfly locks, 19-inch racks and accessories, stands, cable straps, fog fluids, confetti and other expendables, and every other indispensable event accessory you may need. “Take the Showgear PSA-32A12S for example. This power distributor will provide safe power to your stage while showing the power usage per phase via its built-in digital volt and current displays. Or the MT-230 lifting tower, which ensures safe lifting of your truss or heavy loudspeakers.
“With this, Showgear is replacing several products from DAP, Showtec, Artecta and DMT, which are all brands of Highlite International B.V. Based on the established premium value of their predecessors, Showgear assures that their products will inherit the same quality with matching great price to performance ratio.”
Showgear emphasises that they are ready for the expected surge in demand when covid measure
UK - Penguin Media Hire, the Brighton based event production and rental company, has appointed Sonny Evans as its new managing director. This coincides with the announcement of their expansion with a London warehouse and further facilities to come in the near future.
Co-founder Dylan Thompson explains: “We have worked with Sonny on a number of projects over the years, and we’ve always had a great working relationship. With an exit in sight from the Covid nightmare we have all found ourselves in, now is the time to continue securing the best team for our current and future clients. Our sales and installation sector of the group, Penguin Media Solutions, is taking much more of my focus, and I can’t think of anyone better to push the rental and event production side onwards.”
Penguin Media Hire has also secured a new premises less than a mile from ExCeL London, placing them in a good position to service their London clients as well as those further afield, to supplement the facilities already available at their Brighton & Hove base.
Sonny comments, “It’s been a horrendous and unpredictable time for the whole industry over the last 14 plus months, but thankfully, due to the variety of industries I work with, I’ve managed to keep busy both working and developing plans for the future.
“Since we first started talking about my appointment as managing director of Penguin Media Hire, I’ve been really excited about the future and can’t wait to get started.”
One of the first projects Evans is undertaking is the development
UK - The live events and music industry will work with the Government on COVID-status certification to support full reopening and sector recovery.
Industry organisations including PLASA, Music Venues Trust, Live and Association of Festival Organisers, alongside major venues including the 02 and NEC Group, have issued a statement that outlines this support.
“The live events and music industry which includes exhibitions; conferences; music arenas; festivals; theatres and indoor sporting events, welcomes the establishment of the Events Research Programme and the safe return of live events as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown,” says the statement.
“The industry is committed to working with the Government to ensure a swift delivery of the Event Research Programme’s pilot events and stands ready to establish protocols based upon the information and guidance they provide.
Under the current roadmap, the live events and music industry can plan for the return of some indoor business and music events from 17 May. These will follow social distancing guidelines and have attendance capped to the lower of 1,000 people or 50% of capacity indoors, 4,000 or 50% capacity outdoors and 10,000 or 25% capacity if seated outdoors.
“However, given the economic threshold for most business and music events is around 80% of maximum capacity, activities under these limits will be far from sufficient to end the sector’s financial crisis. This will also continue to have grave economic impacts on sectors that every live event supports, inc
UK - Version 2, which specialises in lighting hire specifically for the television industry, has expanded its stock of MDG products with the addition of two ATMe haze generators. “Our clients trust us to specify the right products and we know that MDG produces the best haze for the television market,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2.
Edwards has 25 years of dedicated television lighting experience, having held technical, commercial and management positions at PRG, Panalux and Aurora, after his training at the flagship training facility in BBC Wood Norton, prior to founding Version 2 in 2016. This experience puts him in a strong position when it comes to choosing the best products for his clients, many of whom have worked with him for years and trust his technical know-how.
“All our equipment investments have been rigorously researched and tested, plus we have had years of experience with many manufacturers’ products, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “This allows us to make better decisions on our capital expenditure and only invest in the best products for our market. In effect we are testing and processing on behalf of the client so they can be confident in our recommendations.”
Good haze is one of the most critical ingredients to a show, particularly for television. “Primetime television programmes are broadcast to millions of viewers and demand a highly polished result. A fine balance is needed between deploying enough haze to achieve the desired beam read on camera, yet not so
Blossom Time - Music fans in Liverpool are to get the chance to enjoy a near-normal gig as part of a government pilot event. A crowd of 5,000 will see headline act Blossoms without having to social-distance or wear face coverings. But they will only get into the 2 May event by having a negative Covid test.
The outdoor concert at Sefton Park will operate below its capacity of 7,500. Ticket-holders will be required to take a lateral flow test, which can produce a result within 30 minutes, at a local testing centre before entry, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport said. Attendees will also be asked to take a test after the concert - and will have to provide contact details to NHS Test and Trace to ensure they can be reached if someone who attended tests positive.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We're one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is under way. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely. I hope it won't be too much longer until gigs are back for good."
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, told the BBC that scientists would assess how attendees move and respond during the gig, and voluntary tests taken afterwards will be used to identify any infections that might arise. The stuff you see on stage is just a tiny, tiny part of it," she said. "It's loads of people's jobs - it's 60,000 jobs across our city region."
Giant Step - Entertainment giant WarnerMedia has given £250,000 to the Theatre Artists Fund
UK - Colleagues, clients and friends have been paying tribute to Ken Watts, the popular tour director who died last week. Acts he worked with include George Michael, Duran Duran, Natalie Imbruglia, Bond, Blues Brothers, Jamiroquai and Duran Duran.
Dennis Gardner, production manager for singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, wrote in a Facebook post: “It is with much sadness, this weekend I received news of the passing of my mentor, my friend, my brother and fearless leader Ken Watts. He was (and will remain) an industry legend and a personal hero of mine. I have learnt and continue to learn from Ken and the way he approached everything he did with heart, a heavy dose of common sense and, as ever, a wonderful sense of humour. Simply put, Ken taught me nearly everything.”
Neg Earth Lights wrote on Facebook: “The shock with which we learnt of the loss of Ken Watts, who passed away suddenly over the weekend, has given way to deep sadness and heartache; an industry giant, and friend of Neg Earth Lights for decades, we will miss him greatly and hold his family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts.”
“Our wonderful, dependable friend & tour manager, Ken Watts died unexpectedly last weekend,” said Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon. “In his calm, determined, good natured way, Ken directed some of our most successful and memorable tours. He took the strain & made the job feel easy for us. Our thoughts & sympathy are with his family. I will miss him very much. I know that we all will.”
Watts’ family has requested that those who would
Back Home - An arts venue in Manchester is to open a new 400-seat socially distanced outdoor theatre space. Home said the temporary venue would provide shows, music, cabaret and comedy for people "looking for a safe and fun night out as lockdown eases". Named Homeground, it will open on 28 May on a future development site in the city's First Street.
The project will create 450 new jobs for freelance artists and creatives, the venue said. Over the summer the venue plans to stage musical versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Alice in Wonderland. It will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative.
Park Life - Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre will reopen in the summer with an extended season and has announced a new co-production with London’s Unicorn Theatre. The previously announced production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Kimberley Sykes, will run from 17 June to 24 July. This will be followed by Carousel, directed by Timothy Sheader, from 31 July to 25 September. Dragons and Mythical Beasts will open in August.
A series of MOREoutdoor events will include comedy performances from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, and Luisa Omielan, and Canned Laughter will present a comedy fundraiser in support of the Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Rosie Jones, Rose Matafeo and Suzi Ruffell. Covid safety procedures will remain in place in line with government restrictions, including an initial 50% reduction in seating capacity.
Fringe Matters - Brighton Fringe has unveiled
South Africa - It’s a new season for the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria who rode the Covid-19 wave and have turned their Performing Arts Diploma curriculum upside down with a different approach. The students are currently working alongside technical supply company MGG, to host a virtual stage, which will also be recorded for external examiners.
“We are very excited to announce that all previous departments that worked within the Performing Arts have now merged into one Department of Performing Arts (DPA),” comments Janine Lewis, professor and HOD at TUT. “The six programmes we had before are being phased out while first-year students will now follow the new multi-disciplinary Diploma in Performing Arts and then go into a discipline stream of speciality where they can focus on Dance, TAD (Theatre, Art & Design which includes performance and technical), or Music incorporating opera and jazz.”
While students may know what they want to specialise in, the first year sees them all participating in the same classes. While technicians learn what it’s like to be a performer, performers gain an understanding of lighting and know where to stand on a stage, and how to sew on a button if need be! More importantly, the various departments now collaborate and work together instead of running as separate entities.
Part of the shift was initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “2020 was the best year and also the worst year,” says Hardus Koekemoer, a technical lecturer. “It was the best year as we discovered all the technologies
USA - InCord has made its 2021 donation to the Behind the Scenes Pledge-of-Support Programme reflecting a percentage of profits from sales of their Theatrical Safety Netting Systems. The systems are hand-crafted in the USA, safety tested to exceed all applicable industry standards, and are custom designed by professional engineers.
Joe Menhart, InCord’s Theatre Division sales manager, comments: “We are forever grateful to BTS for all they do, especially when so many have been in need for so long due to the global pandemic. We are very proud of our support for BTS. Our hearts go out to all those who benefit from the grants and resources provided by BTS.”
Rick Rudolph, the chair of Behind the Scenes, adds: “InCord’s steadfast commitment to our Pledge-of-Support Programme is so heartening. It lets our industry know that no matter how tough times are it’s important to continue to care for those who are less fortunate.”
Cultural Recovery - Music festivals, West End theatres, comedy clubs and Canterbury Cathedral will get a share of £400m emergency government culture funding. A total of 2,700 English culture and heritage venues will share the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund.
Canterbury Cathedral has the biggest grant with £2m, while the Serpentine Galleries in London has been awarded £1.9m and Camden Roundhouse has £1.5m. West End chain Nimax Theatres and Glastonbury will receive £900,000 each.
Glastonbury Festival organisers Emily and Michael Eavis said the money would "make a huge difference in helping to secure our future". Emily told told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the event had "suffered huge losses" in the past year. This is the last major tranche of money to be awarded from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund that was announced last July. In his Budget in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £300m for the fund, which is yet to be allocated.
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention has received a grant of £100k. “We are extremely grateful for this award,” says festival organiser Gareth Williams. “The money from the CRF Round 1 has already filtered out in the form of deposits to our terrific support companies, without whom there would be no festival and the Round 2 grant will continue to ensure that we are all in place to open the gates once again this August.”
Back On Song - The Eurovision Song Contest has been given permission to let 3,500 fans watch in person as part of a trial by the Dutch government.
One Night Stand - Around 5,000 people spent Saturday night at a gig in Barcelona after receiving negative results in same-day Covid testing. Spanish authorities let the concert, featuring band Love of Lesbian, go ahead as part of a pilot. Fans took a test earlier in the day and did not have to keep physically apart but they still wore masks.
It is one of the largest gatherings in Europe in more than a year since the pandemic began. "This is for one night only, so enjoy it," one of the hosts said before the concert started at Saint Jordi Arena. The gig was held as part of a research project looking at the viability of holding Covid-secure mass events following rapid-testing of guests. It follows a similar experiment in the Netherlands last week, when fans attended a two-day music festival after showing proof of a negative Covid test.
In Barcelona, ticket-holders were only permitted to enter the stadium once a negative result code was sent to their phones. Temperatures and IDs were checked at the door. Staff from a local hospital and event promoters teamed up to carry out rapid testing in booths within tents at three local venues. "We expect it to be completely safe. Over the next 14 days we will look at how many of the audience test positive for Covid and will report back," doctor Josep Maria Llibre told AFP.
Peer Pressure - House of Lords peers have urged the government to negotiate a solution for UK creatives working in Europe, warning that current restrictions are putting the sector’s future at risk. In an inquiry report into the future o
Glastonbury - Proposals have been submitted for a concert at the Glastonbury festival site this autumn. The news comes after it was announced in January that the festival had been cancelled for a second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic. But festival organiser Emily Eavis said in a post on Instagram that an application has been made to stage a concert at Worthy Farm in September instead.
She wrote: "For those asking for an update on our plans later this year, we have put an application in for a licence for a concert at the farm in September (around the time we'd usually do Pilton Party). Of course, we've no idea yet whether we'll able to do that, but we wanted to get the application in to be in with a chance. Unlikely we'll have any news for a couple of months - but will let you know right here when we do."
On The Strip - Former West End strip club the Windmill is in line to reopen as a theatre with a 250-seat auditorium featuring the “biggest names in entertainment”. A licensing application is currently being considered by Westminster City Council. The venue lost its sexual entertainment licence in January 2018 and has since been purchased by Immerse London, which has spent £7m restoring the building.
If the conditions are approved, the venue will accommodate up to 250 in the main theatre auditorium and refurbished Royal Box and Palais De Luxe Mezzanine Floor, with performances throughout the afternoon and night. Additionally, there will be a theatre lounge called Hendersons located in the basement of the building, which
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced online Mental Health First Aid training will now be available to entertainment industry workers in the U.S at a variety of days and times on an ongoing basis. Mental Health First Aid is a training course that gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem, or experiencing a crisis, and help connect them to the appropriate care.
Mental Health First Aid is an international training programme that was created in Australia in 2000, brought to the U.S in 2008, and is now in 24 countries around the world. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.
Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognise the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non judgmentally and give reassurance to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a two-four hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a five-hour virtual live instructor led session. Go to btshelp.org/mhfa to learn more and to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live instructor led session. Dates
UK - This month, two industry collectives have mounted new initiatives to raise awareness of the live industry’s ongoing battle to stay afloat and to raise much needed funds to allow industry charity Backup to continue in its mission to help those in need.
For the whole of the month of March, #WeNeedCrew’s new initiative #moveforcrew is challenging people to walk or run 31 miles in their local area. This is the equivalent of 50 times around the perimeter of Wembley Stadium, which it has chosen as the focal point for the challenge to symbolise how much we are all missing live events and music.
#WeNeedCrew, which was started by Karen Ringland and Alice Martin, knows that treating mental health issues should be even more of a priority now. #moveforcrew’s aim is to raise vital funds to pay for therapy sessions for those in need and connect our community with certified practitioners who understand our industry.
“The #WeNeedCrew campaign has successfully galvanised the music touring industry to raise funds for the UK crews. The campaign has made a real difference to people’s lives giving hope and helping to alleviate real financial hardship,” says Backup vice chairman, Piers Shepperd. “Backup quickly identified that some people needed more than financial support and we therefore warmly welcome the new initiative #moveforcrew. This new campaign will raise funds to provide mental health support for our colleagues who work across music, theatre, TV and film.”
#WeMakeEvents, meanwhile, launched a powerful new video campaign last week to
UK - The British Standards Institute has published the five-year review of BS 7909, with comments from the public sought until 26 March.
The standard gives recommendations for the management, design, setting-up and operation of temporary electrical systems using low voltage AC electricity, for the entertainment and similar or related industries. It gives guidance on matters of common interest to producers, production companies, event organizers and managers, freelance people, facilities and services hire companies, equipment hire companies, equipment manufacturers, electrical consultants, electrical installation contractors, distributors, suppliers of electricity, venues, local authorities and those responsible for safety.
End-users are encouraged to submit their comments on the proposals during the review period. All comments will be examined by the standard development committee, enabling the public to directly influence the next revision of the standard.
Head over to BSI’s landing page to see the latest proposal and log your comments.
UK - Sustainable events agency and consultancy, Legacy Events, is set to launch its new marketplace on 13 April.
Legacy Marketplace’s mission is to connect and empower anyone who wants to "create successful, sustainable events and facilitate a positive change in the world. It will include everything needed for a successful sustainable event, in one place".
According to Legacy, the UK events industry emits 1.2bn kg of CO2e every year. However, events are hugely important for evoking positive behaviour change, with 43.1% of audiences stating that they had changed their behaviour as a result of green initiatives or ideas they had discovered at festivals.
Abena Poku-Awuah, founder and managing director of Legacy comments: “We’re so excited to be launching Legacy Marketplace for the events industry. The platform is a modern way to deliver sustainability without compromising quality or ease.
“This one-of-a-kind platform connects event organisers to products and services that reduce their environmental impact and contribute to positive social change. It offers a clear way through the jumble for those who want to make a difference but who do not have the time or expertise to source a sustainable solution themselves. Now more than ever, sustainability is a mainstream issue and increasingly under scrutiny in the events industry and attendees are looking to events to lead the way on this more and more.”
The marketplace will launch with an online event on 13 April which is free to attend for all event professionals. It will include network
To Safely Go - Pilots to assess how small and large-scale events can reopen safely are being launched by the government, which is describing the work as “crucial” for getting venues such as theatres reopened in June under the roadmap. The government said it was working with event organisers and local authorities to get “fans safely around a dozen events this spring”, as part of the previously announced Events Research Programme.
The ERP will provide “key scientific data into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen”, the government said, in line with getting venues - including theatres - reopened without social distancing no earlier than 21 June. Major events already lined up for the pilot scheme include the World Snooker Championships, at the Sheffield Crucible, and the FA Cup final at Wembley.
The World Snooker Championships at the Crucible will “test a theatre setting”, the government said, and evidence will then be shared across the sector so venues can “prepare to accommodate fuller audiences". It said the review would be “crucial to how venues - from major sport stadiums to comedy clubs, theatres to live music spaces, wedding venues to conference centres - could operate this summer”.
Centre Stage - Drama schools need to appoint more people of colour in academic and management positions “as a matter of urgency to create permanent institutional change”, according to a new report from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation that points to slow progress on diversity. The report, called Cent
UK - Lance Show & Publications Limited, organiser of The Showman’s Show has confirmed that the event will be held at Newbury Showground from 20-21 October 2021. The government setting out a roadmap to steadily ease the current lockdown and a tentative date of 21st June for all restrictions to be lifted has provided a much-needed boost to the outdoor event sector and prompted a string of exhibitor bookings, say the organisers.
Johnny Lance, event director of The Showman’s Show said: “The unveiling of the roadmap was the positive news that we’d all been waiting for. As publishers of the Showman’s Directory, we’ve seen a surge in event organisers getting in touch to confirm dates for their 2021 events and we’ve been busy updating the website. It’s also been wonderful to see so many high-profile events receiving national media coverage as they announce that they intend to run and to see ticket sales looking promising. It has certainly prompted conversations with many of our exhibitors and we’re delighted that bookings have got off to a steady start.”
Fellow event director, Jeremy Lance adds: “The roadmap is a step in the right direction, but we know that there are still many challenges ahead for event organisers and suppliers. Whilst we’re optimistic about events returning, our priority is to support our exhibitors and visitors so in the coming months we will be monitoring the situation to ensure that we plan the show in accordance with not only the regulations but the mood of the industry.”
UK - Last year the Light It In Red campaign saw hundreds of venues, workplaces and landmarks light up in ‘emergency red’ to raise awareness for the plight of the live events industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, in a bid to spread a message of hope and support to individuals in the industry, the campaign is asking everyone to get involved with a week-long show of solidarity from 15-19 March.
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to support the campaign not only by illuminating buildings and structures as in previous #LightItInRed actions, but also by sharing the campaign’s heart logo on social media.
A statement from the campaign reads: “We know the past year has been bad, we don’t need reminding! So we’re not going to focus on that. We’re going to focus on you. We want to bring the live events industry together in a show of solidarity for all those still working or training and those who have had to walk away due to personal and financial hardship. We want to show support for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, for those that have lost family members, for those that have lost homes and livelihoods and for those that have put their lives on hold.”
The statement continues: “As the message this time is one of hope and support, we are asking people to use the symbol of a heart to send their message. Your support could be shown by simply posting our heart logo on social media or could be as grand as building a heart out of lights, flightcases or tru
USA - BriteShot, a vendor of LED lighting solutions for television, film and events, has shifted its manufacturing strategy to help venues re-open safely amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Making the most of its resources during these challenging times, BriteShot is now specialising in coronavirus air filtering and decontamination products.
“At Briteshot, we aim to have our decontamination technology be a factor in helping entertainment venues, restaurants, and more, reopen their doors in a safe and effective way,” says Roy McDonald, co-founder at BriteShot. “It’s been a difficult year within the entertainment space as facilities have been forced to close their doors or reduce capacity, greatly impacting revenue and job security across the board.
“To help ease customers back into business, we dedicated countless hours in production and testing to provide a solution that will keep artists, staff and audience members safe while we continue to enjoy doing what we love.”
Founded in 2009, BriteShot embarked on a three-year research and development process to bring its first product, The Luminator, to market.
Mitigating COVID-19 exposure in indoor environments, BriteShot’s decontamination solutions include its AirAffair air filtration system and ShelteX decontamination tent. The AirAffair system uses new technology to purify and sterilise the air from existing HVAC systems and can act as a stand-alone unit in any given environment.
The ShelteX decontamination tent is a fully enclosed structure constructed from high-density polypropyl
Ireland - MTN Shop, an E-commerce platform offering workwear, safety products, and rigging & lifting equipment is following in the steps of some of the world’s largest companies by accepting cryptocurrency as an online payment method. Through Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, customers will now be able to purchase products from MTN Shop with the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Speaking on the company’s decision to accept payment via cryptocurrency, Ron Rose, MD, stated, “Creating a crypto friendly shopping experience is just another step forward in catering to the unique needs of our global customer base. At MTN, we pride ourselves on being a first mover and are keen to support the continual progress of the industries we serve as we help bring them into the digital age.
“MTN understands that cryptocurrency is still a relatively unknown method of payment for many. However, one of the main benefits to paying via cryptocurrency is that it limits the amount of personal information an individual must provide. When making a transaction, individuals will simply be required to enter the payment amount and the vendor’s public key (similar to an email address) via a Wallet app. Therefore, the only personal information required by MTN will be the individual’s name and shipping address.”
UK - Bill Harkin, designer of Glastonbury Festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage, passed away on Sunday 7th March. He was 83.
Harkin grew up in Liverpool, attending secondary school in Sefton Park before embarking on painting and 3D construction studies, “with the occasional lunch time Beatles gig for 1 shilling at the Cavern.” Soon, Harkin was showing his work at The Liverpool Academy’s shows at the Walker Art Gallery as well as in art and architecture exhibitions for Liverpool University and The John Moores Painting Prize. “Then, somewhat briefly, I started a course in architecture,” he revealed in memoirs on the Pyramid Stage Glastonbury Festival website. “The tedium of course work was more than I could take, I was much more excited by the theatre and the new fabric structures of Frei Otto in Stuffgart.”
Having purchased two of Harkin’s constructions, choreographer and director Bill Harpe invited him to design the stage set, lighting and projection for a production of Stravinsky’s The Soldiers Tale at Liverpool’s Bluecoat arts centre. He went on to work with Graham Frood on Merseyside Unity Theatre’s in-the-round production of Boulevard Durand at St George’s Hall.
Harkin then “left Liverpool for London and the world” before returning to England in 1970 where a moment of meditation whilst helping a friend relocate to Swanage lead him to Glastonbury Tor. There he met a group of kindred spirits, including Tony Andrews (now of Funktion
UK - Throughout February, LSi and PLASA hosted a blind auction for an industry-related number plate reading ‘A1 DMX’, donated by a prominent TV lighting director who has chosen to remain anonymous. The aim of the auction was to raise funds for the #WeMakeEvents campaign, with the winning bid coming in at a generous £2,500. #WeMakeEvents, LSi and PLASA would like to thank everyone who took part.
Every penny from the auction will go to the #WeMakeEvents campaign and their chosen charity, Backup which supports industry professionals and their families through times of ill health and financial crisis. Backup also allocates #WeMakeEvents funds to a number of specialist charities, including: Acting for Others, Music Support, Stagehand and #MakeItBlue.
The number plate’s original owner comments: “I’m very grateful to everyone who bid for my number plate, and especially to the very generous person who submitted the winning bid. I would also like to thank Claire Beeson and everyone at LSi and PLASA whose help and enthusiasm made it possible to raise this really decent amount of money for #WeMakeEvents.”
The highest bidder, and new owner of the number plate, adds: “The last year has been an incredibly challenging time for us all, and I'm very fortunate to be in a position to assist a cause that is doing so much for our industry in its darkest (pun intended) hours. I'd especially like to thank the previous owner of the plate for their amazing generosity.”
Find out more about #WeMakeEvents and their charity donations at test
Summer of Love - More than 200 events are to be staged in and around Chester as Storyhouse prepares a reopening programme, which it promises will be a ‘barn-raising’ open air season. The arts organisation said it would begin activity from May, with theatres and cinemas allowed to operate from 17 May under the government reopening roadmap. Storyhouse said its Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre would open earlier than normal – possibly as early as 22 May – while Moonlight Flicks open-air cinema will also run from the May half term.
Storyhouse artistic director Alex Clifton said: “We’re launching a summer of festivity, joy and healing, together in the sunshine – a real summer of love. We’re planning a barn-raising, together-again party with the roof off. Plays and movies and family activities: all of us together in the city’s parks and open spaces, loving our city, and reconnecting with each other, in the summer sunshine."
Chief executive Andrew Bentley said the organisation had raised more than £2.5 million over the past year to keep it afloat. “This support is still crucial to our survival and we are so thankful. We brought some joy at Christmas and now we are about to embark on our longest summer ever,” he added.
Convention News - Much of the summer festival season remains in limbo, despite PM Boris Johnson laying out a four-step plan for easing restrictions by midsummer. Organisers and promoters remain hopeful that their events can go ahead, but uncertainty remains.
Gareth Williams festival director for Fairport Co