Rigging and Staging News

letthemusicplayMusic industry demands government support
Thursday, 2 July 2020

UK - Artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, The 1975 and Blur are among the names demanding immediate action to save live music in the UK by signing an open letter to the UK government's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. The move is a bid to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.

The full letter reads as follows:
“Dear Secretary of State,
“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
“As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5billion to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
“Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
“This sec

12stepMusic Support’s 12 Step recovery support continues
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

UK - Music Support continues to hold weekly online support group meetings to allow the music industry’s 12 Step recovery community to continue to connect during these challenging times, with numbers of attendees growing weekly. Meetings take place every Monday 18:00-19:00 GMT throughout the summer, providing a confidential and non-judgemental space for people to share and encourage one another on the journey of recovery.
“We’re pioneering a change of culture within the industry that suggests another lifestyle is possible within it and as beacons of that, we host a weekly online support group meeting for those in our business who are members of any 12 step fellowship,” says the team behind Music Support.
“We acknowledge that although each fellowship uses different words, they speak the same language of hope – and that’s why now more than ever, it is imperative for people who work a program of recovery to come together to share their experience, strength and hope with others. This is not a 12-step meeting. Meetings are for support and encouragement, medical/psychological advice will not be given. “
To receive personalised login instructions, please email: helpline@musicsupport.org with the subject ‘12 Step Support Group Meetings’. All data remains confidential.
Find out more HERE.

 
 
area-4Area Four videos get back to basics
Friday, 26 June 2020

Europe - In his latest selection of Back-To-Basics videos, Area Four Industries’ rigging advisor (and commando), Eric Porter, reviews the crucial subject of Shackles, Slings, and Cables. As Eric points out, no matter how long you have worked in the event industry there will always be ‘blind spots’ in any rigger’s expertise. These four short videos go a long way in ensuring that safety always remains uppermost in the mind of any rigger.
In the first video, Eric takes a look at the two main types of shackle: the D shackle and the bow shackle (also known as the omega or anchor shackle).
Eric demonstrates that the D shackle should only ever join two components - one on the ‘D’ and the other on the Pin, while the bow shackle is allowed to take two items on the bow and one on the pin. As Eric warns, far too often there is wrong usage leading to potential safety issues at work.
Another serious consideration to be aware of is that all shackles must have a loading limit clearly marked, a manufacturers ID, and its batch number. If any or all of these designations is missing - Do Not Use!.
In his second video, Eric reviews roundslings, acknowledging that polyester roundslings have long proved to be a versatile and useful piece of equipment in the rigger’s armoury.
However, there are a few forbidden options that no rigger should ever use. Taking us through ‘no-go’ areas such as never knotting on the load, choking two slings t

 
mtcases-ck-wb2724MT Cases feature in-built disinfection technology
Thursday, 25 June 2020

USA - MT Cases has announced the CK Case Series which incorporates UV-C light technology to disinfect air and surfaces.
General manager Tom Heslin shares: “We are solutions manufacturers. MT is known for our durable road cases, of which we have a patent on our corner construction. While our cases are useful in every industry imaginable, most of our clients are in the entertainment and touring world. With the coronavirus pandemic placing a hold on the industry, we started dabbling in ways to help ease the transition back into a semi-normal life.”
Each CK case will include STER-L-RAY germicidal lamps. These shortwave, low pressure mercury tubes emit ultraviolet wavelengths in the region proven to be most lethal to viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi. The first case in the series, the WB2724 utilises a 30W preheat fixture and features a highly reflective interior, an adjustable timer, and an exterior recessed electrical outlet for easy powering on the road. For protective measures, the workbox has a safety cut-off switch which is triggered when the door opens. The workbox can be ordered with fixed, adjustable, and/or removable steel wire shelving.
Heslin continues: “As part of the CK Case Series, we are building several case models in different sizes and configurations, including both road cases and Pelican cases. The smaller Pelican cases will be great for touring artists. After sanitisation, they can take their in-ear monitors, microphones, and any other accessories directly out of the case [without anyone else touching it] and head on stage.

 
 
plasawemakeeventsPLASA launches #WeMakeEvents to support the industry
Wednesday, 24 June 2020

UK - PLASA has launched #WeMakeEvents, a new campaign with the aim of amplifying the industry’s voice and gaining meaningful Government support. Central to the campaign is a video highlighting the vital role of supply chain companies along with the freelance community and the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic upon the live events sector.
PLASA is calling for people from across the industry to share the video across social media to give much needed exposure to the supply chain to events including production and rental companies, manufacturers and freelancers, to raise awareness of the need for longer term financial support.
In addition to sharing the video, PLASA has published two infographics illustrating the complexity of the live events supply chain and the typical arena show – which requires an average of 443 professionals spanning design, planning, preparation, warehousing, and venue staff. The graphics also show how valuable the sector is, collectively delivering £100 billion to the UK economy.
PLASA also encourages everyone to add their name to the campaign, and to send a letter to their local MP using the customisable letter samples which were created by a collective of PLASA, ABTT, PSA, SOLT and UK Theatre – details of which can be found here.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath comments: “We all know that the events industry has been devastated due to Covid-19, and we expect that the road to recovery will be a

 
we-make-eventsPLASA highlights supply chain importance
Tuesday, 23 June 2020

UK - PLASA is gearing up to launch a new video highlighting the vital role that the supply chain and backstage crew play in the production of concert touring, theatre, and live events. It is hoped that the video will shine a light on product manufacturers, production & rental companies, crew, designers, programmers and more – all in vital need of on-going Government support and often overlooked in mainstream media coverage of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the entertainment industry.
Earlier this month, PLASA released two infographics illustrating how the live events supply chain will be impacted without further government support. The graphics reflect the number of people it takes to deliver just one performance - on average 443 professionals, spanning planning, design, preparation, warehouse and venue staff. Additionally, the graphics show how valuable the sector is, delivering £100 billion to the UK economy - with the freelance community making up around 72% of the workforce.
Set to launch tomorrow (24 June) across PLASA’s website and social media platforms, the video features big industry names keen to help highlight the importance of the supply chain and the need for financial support. Watch this space!

 
 
glennbeckerESTA stalwart Glenn Becker passes away
Tuesday, 23 June 2020

USA - Glenn Becker, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)’s first president, passed away on 19 June aged 70.
“Glenn’s vision was about bringing the industry together to make it a better industry”, says ESTA. “He thought that competitors could come together and share ideas and solutions to make business easier and more successful for everyone. Because of that vision and Glenn’s hard work, the Theatrical Dealers Association (TDA) was born.”
Becker organised its founding meeting in 1987 and served as the first president from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, when the decision was made to form ESTA, the TDA board turned to Becker to chair the committee that rewrote the bylaws and set up the new organisational structure. The board would continue to turn to him over the years to take on special projects.
He became involved in theatre in high school. In 1968, Becker took a job delivering newspapers for the Chicago Sun Times and on his first day he read the paper and saw an ad for a job at Grand Stage Company which had been founded by Paul Tyler in 1947. Becker was hired and one of his first jobs was to assist in the company’s move to its new building on Lake Street - in the midst of the infamous Democratic National Convention. Becker started off coiling cable and helping in the rental department and within a year had worked his way up to become general manager. He also worked as a theatre electrician and stage manager across Chicago area theatres.
In 1977, Becker and his wife Janel took over the full running of the comp

 
Three ESTA standards approved by ANSI
Monday, 22 June 2020

USA - In June, ANSI's Board of Standards Review has approved three more ESTA standards. One is a new standard, and two are revisions to existing standards. All three are published, and are available for free download from the TSP website at tsp.esta.org/freestandards. They are also available for sale from ANSI and IHS.
These two standards were approved on 2 June:
ANSI ES1.19 - 2020, Event Safety - Safety Requirements for Special Event Structures
This standard - the first published Event Safety Working Group standard - is a revision to the 2018 version, correcting errata, and expanding on existing requirements. It covers structural safety requirements for any temporary structure used for special events ("temporary special event structures"), where such structures are used for presentation, performance, structural support of entertainment technology equipment, audience seating or viewing in conjunction with the event, and regardless if the event is indoor or outdoor.
The scope of this standard covers any such structure not otherwise addressed by existing standards, codes or legislation, and to the extent that such other standards, codes or legislation do not already address conditional use of those temporary structures within existing structures.
ANSI E1.4-3 - 2020, Entertainment Technology—Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems
This new standard is the third in a set of revisions and partitions to ANSI E1.4-2014. It applies to permanently installed, manually operated hoists used as part of rigging systems for raisin

 
 
wires-crossedBroadweigh supports Wires Crossed
Friday, 19 June 2020

Ireland - Load cell company Broadweigh will support the Wires Crossed tightrope event in Galway, Ireland by supplying Monkey Rigging with the necessary kit to monitor the loads. The event, which was originally scheduled for August 2020, but has now been postponed due to COVID-19, is a European wide community participation project revolving around 'funambulism' - the art of tight-wire walking using a balancing pole. During the event, 400 tightrope walkers from all over Europe will cross the Galway River for a duration of 2020 minutes.
Andrea Mamolenti, founder of Monkey Rigging, comments: “Monkey Rigging is working with Andrea Loreni - the only funambulist in Italy on the measurement of the tightrope walker setups. We are also collaborating with him for the technical design of the preparations for the Italian team for the event. The kind donation of the Broadweigh kit will give us peace of mind that the safety of the performers is taken care of from a load monitoring perspective.”
Andrea and his team at Monkey Rigging rely on Broadweigh load cells for all the work they carry out for contemporary circus and aerial performers. Sometimes they are used as part of the hanging system for the performers and in cases where continuous monitoring of the loads on the structures is needed.
Andrea explains: “We are very loyal Broadweigh customers. In situations where the structure has sufficient but limited carrying capacity, it is vital that we monitor the loads and have continuous feedback, with the data collected by cells ensuring that these limits are r

 
markus-spiske-ucbmz0s-w28-unsplashGovernment DCMS survey reveals COVID-19 damage
Thursday, 18 June 2020

UK - The damage across the UK culture, media, sports and digital sectors caused by the coronavirus outbreak has been laid bare in a government survey published this week.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has released the results of its Business Survey, showing the impact of coronavirus on organisations across the four sectors. The survey received 3,936 responses submitted between 23 April and 22 May.
Headline findings reveal the devastating impact of the pandemic on businesses, with more than a third (1,646) of respondents reporting their revenue has decreased by 100% year-on-year, whilst just 97 have seen an increase during the period.
In terms of how long businesses can continue to operate viably, the majority (1,156) of respondents selected ‘up to six months’, whilst 1,102 indicated that they could stay afloat beyond six months. However, 202 respondents said their businesses were already no longer trading; 155 stated they could only carry on trading for less than a month, and 902 reported they could only trade viably for up to three months. The remaining 408 selected ‘don’t know’. An overwhelming 2,668 respondents also indicated their business’ ability to trade was under threat due to the pandemic, with just 1,070 stating the opposite.
More than half (2,146) of respondents said they had accessed government support during the survey period, but nearly half (1,790) hadn’t. The headline findings can be found test

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laddersLadder Association issues new guidance
Monday, 15 June 2020

UK - "Keeping ladder users safe now means protecting them from coronavirus as well as falls," says The Ladder Association, as they release new guidance for health and safety managers.
New guidance from the Ladder Association is helping managers keep ladder users safe during the coronavirus outbreak, whether they're attending a ladder training course or using ladders in the workplace.
The industry body has offered its advice on the challenges being faced by those responsible for the health and safety of ladder users as they plan a return to work. In a new guidance document released free-of-charge to the industry, the Ladder Association delves into issues such as how long the virus lasts on ladders, how rescue plans will be affected and how workers can minimise the risk of the virus spreading through proper cleaning of equipment and materials, particularly if they have been handled by multiple people.
Importantly, it includes advice on how workers can maintain physical distancing while using ladders, with a focus on two activities that need to be considered carefully: stabilising a ladder and raising a ladder.
As Ladder Association training starts to resume in some areas, they have also addressed the need for people to be protected from coronavirus during their course. They remind us of the importance of Ladder Association training and reassure managers of the protective measures they can expect to be in place during a course, from e-learning options to minimise time spent at the training centre to increased hygiene and cleaning. They also expl

 
fabio-pradaDWR Distribution widens trussing offering
Monday, 15 June 2020

South Africa - DWR Distribution, the South African distributor of Prolyte, is now able to offer and maintain Litec, Tomcat and James Thomas Engineering trussing products, thanks to new partnerships between Area Four Industries and Prolyte.
“For South African Prolyte distributor, DWR Distribution, this means the opportunity to offer an additional service to our industry,” said Robert Izzett from DWR. “With access to the full Area Four Industries truss product range, which includes Litec, Tomcat and James Thomas Engineering brands (expect for Milos which has a different distributor), we can assist the African market with any new products or spare parts they may require which includes a variety of modernized motors within Exe Technology brand, also part of Area Four product portfolio.”
“DWR is not only a distributor for us at Area Four, but a serious and professional partner,” said Area Four sales and marketing director, Fabio Prada. “We are confident that the partnership will enable us to share projects that do not stop with the distribution of products to the South African market, but which can act as a platform for a more capillary presence on the entire African continent.”
“While Prolyte has the lion’s share of the South African market, DWR looks forward to extending our service and assistance to those who have Litec, Tomcat and James Thomas Engineering trussing in their inventory,” Robert concludes.

 
 
copper-candleCopper Candle to boost grassroots theatre
Friday, 12 June 2020

UK - A new company specialising in immersive technologies for theatre, performance and live events has won funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Copper Candle will use the funding to develop a platform to help the grassroots of the UK theatre and music industry, both in the short-term during the COVID-19 crisis and far beyond.
Copper Candle’s innovative Break A Leg platform will help community theatre, choirs and schools to continue collaborating while under pandemic restrictions. But that’s not all: it will also open possibilities for more widespread online collaborations among creative communities in the future.
“This funding enables us to build a platform which will allow anyone, but particularly community theatre groups, to easily navigate through technology to create collaborative performances and turn them into shareable content,” explains founder James Simpson, a pioneer of the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in live entertainment production.
“Keeping theatre alive means supporting amateur and community groups who will help to deliver the next generation of performers, artists and technicians,” adds Simpson, whose own career began in community theatre. “It’s an essential training ground for new talent in professional theatre and live events, both on-stage and behind the scenes. In future, Break A Leg will also enable technical crews and designers to add to the creative mix.”
Break A Leg will enable users to choose a song or piece of music, follow the backing track and lyrics and reco

 
plasa-docsPLASA illustrates scale of events sector jobs at risk
Tuesday, 9 June 2020

UK - Working to support government officials in understanding the unique issues facing the events industry due to COVID-19, PLASA has produced two infographics illustrating how the events supply chain will be impacted without further government support.
The graphics reflect the number of people it takes to deliver just one performance - on average 443 professionals, spanning planning, design, preparation, warehouse and venue staff. Additionally, the graphics show how valuable the sector is, delivering £100 billion to the UK economy and employing approx. 589,000 people.
It is hoped that information contained in the graphics will help highlight to government officials how many jobs are at risk in the events industry without support beyond October.
PLASA says in a statement: “Whilst many industries will be looking to return to some normality from July onwards, experts are predicting that with continued social distancing rules, many events won’t be able to fully return until spring next year, which will put a tremendous financial strain on companies and professionals working in the industry.
“The events sector has suffered enormously due to the worldwide shut-down of live events caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, when cash grants worth up to £51,000 were made available to ‘Leisure, Hospitality and Retail’ businesses, they weren’t extended to the events supply chain, and many of the 72% of freelancers working in the industry fell through the gaps of receiving any income support, due to them either working as limited c

 
 
Four draft TSP standards in public review
Tuesday, 9 June 2020

USA - Four draft standards have been posted for public review on ESTA's Technical Standards Programme website. Materially affected parties are invited to review them at http://estalink.us/pr.
BSR E1.6-1, Powered Rigging Systems. ANSI E1.6-1 – 2019 is being opened for limited revision, with the scope of revisions applying only to section 6.6 of the standard. The revisions are necessary to correct errata in that section only. No other revisions will be considered or made at this time. Comments are due no later than 28 June.
BSR E1.39, Entertainment Technology - Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry. This standard establishes minimum requirements for the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on portable structures in the entertainment industry. In addition, the standard establishes minimum requirements for products and portable structures used in the service of PFAS. The requirements for other methods used to protect workers from fall hazards such as safety nets, guard rails, and rope access techniques are not included in this standard. Comments are due no later than 28 June.
BSR E1.54, ESTA Standard for Colour Communication in Entertainment Lighting. The draft standard is a revision of the existing ANSI E1.54. It specifies a standardized way of specifying colour to facilitate the communications between lighting controllers and color-changing luminaires. The method is generic and is neither manufacturer-specific nor colour technology-specific

 
ladderLadder Association responds to £1.1m ladder fall fine
Wednesday, 3 June 2020

UK - A recent prosecution at Luton Crown Court has highlighted both the human and financial cost when work at height is not properly planned and managed, the Ladder Association reports.
The court heard that on 5 September 2016, an engineer testing a sprinkler system for leaks at a site in Hemel Hempstead, fell almost 3m after the extension ladder he was using slipped away from him. The engineer fell into the gap between the internal roof and the external wall resulting in a fractured vertebrae, soft tissue damage and severe blood loss - amounting to around half of his bloodstream - and led to him requiring a blood transfusion and 14 stitches to the head.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that reasonably practicable measures had not been taken to prevent a fall from the internal roof for both the engineer and other contractors working on the roof. The investigation further found that the principal contractor had failed to discharge its duty to ensure those not in their employment were not exposed to risks, in particular that of falling from height.
The company was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £1.1 million with costs of almost £69,000 - one of the highest fines seen in recent years.
In response to this prosecution, the Ladder Association - a not-for-profit industry body dedicated to promoting the safe use of ladders and stepladders - is urging all those responsible for managing the use of ladders to take the necessary measures so, as far as is rea

 
 
pasmaPASMA advises on scaffold tower safety
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

UK - New guidance from PASMA is helping managers keep scaffold tower users safe during the coronavirus outbreak, whether they're off on a training course or using towers in the workplace.
The industry body has offered its advice on the challenges being faced by those responsible for the health and safety of tower users as they plan a return to work. In a new guidance document released free to the industry, PASMA delves into issues such as how long the virus lasts on aluminium, how rescue plans will be affected and how workers can avoid passing instruction manuals around.
The body shares recommend ways to assemble a tower while keeping your distance from everyone else, suggesting that the most reliable method could be buying or hiring one-person towers, which are specially designed to be built and dismantled by one individual working alone.
As PASMA training starts to resume in some areas, they have also addressed the need for people to be protected from coronavirus during their course. They remind us of the importance of PASMA training and reassure managers of the protective measures they can expect to be in place during a course, from e-learning to increased hygiene and cleaning. They also explain how PASMA cardholders can get an extension if their qualification is due to expire before it's safe for them to visit a training centre.
Roger Verallo, PASMA chairman and managing director of Euro Towers

 
tom-harperUnusual spearheads sustainability seminar
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

UK - As Unusual Rigging's managing director Tom Harper prepares to moderate an ABTT seminar on Sustainability in Theatres on 11 June, the company is releasing a series of short videos on its social media channels and its website to stir the debate. 
Harper is passionate about making positive change in the live production industry's ecosystem - especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will argue the need for companies to move on from the sustainability argument and to think more circularly instead.
He says: “For years, under the sustainability model, companies have been looking at how they can do 'less bad', whereas what we really need to be doing is looking at how we can actually 'do better' and the circular economy model really captures the essence of this.
“As we face arguably the toughest crisis the industry has ever encountered, I strongly believe that becoming more circular will give us a fighting chance of surviving. As a company, Unusual is leading the way in becoming more circular in its practices and is keen to work with other businesses within the industry to make this standard practice.
“The ABTT seminar on Sustainability in Theatres next week will certainly provoke some interesting debate and conversation which I hope will drive us forward to make more progress. The videos we will release over the coming week will provide just a taster of some of the issues we will look to discuss. We would invite anyone who wa

 
 
scenaProlyte adds authorised dealer in Russia
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Russia - Scena has joined the Prolyte family as the latest authorised dealer in Russia.
Founded in 2016 by specialists with more than 10 years of experience in the culture, social, and entertainment industry, Scena is recognised for its involvement in the development of European projects, brands and theatre complexes.
“When searching for a partner, Prolyte asks a couple of important questions: can they be our friends? Can they be a part of our family? Do they share the same values of loyalty, honesty, competence, and quality? When the answer to all these questions is a yes, then we jump right into that relationship,” says Eddie Slotboom.
Nikita Safonov and Alexey Barkovski already have a high level of experience with Prolyte over many years. Slotboom adds: “We are convinced that there is an experienced team at Scena with a lot of knowledge. Henry did a great job with this deal. We at Prolyte look forward to this constructive partnership.”
“We at Scena tend to favour brands that provide the world high-quality, reliable, and safe products and work with them without intermediaries in between to offer the best conditions to our clients,” says Nikita Safonov.

 
photo-by-cdc-on-unsplashWhite Light MD issues call to save live events industry
Monday, 18 May 2020

UK - White Light managing director Bryan Raven has written an open letter asking for support for the supply chain to the live events industry. The London-based supplier, in conjunction with a number of industry colleagues, has outlined a 10 point plan for help needed from the UK Government.
“The live events industry - which includes music, theatre, corporate events, festivals and live broadcasts - was amongst the first to be closed down by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the last to return to normality,” writes Raven. “This is global issue and I would ask you to take the time to watch this video from the Live Events Coalition in the US which graphically represents the issue for the whole world.”
He continues: “Both the producers of live events but also the suppliers to live events need help. It is critical to consider the entire ecology of the live events supply chain when designing business support mechanisms.”
The key points listed by Raven in the letter are:
“1. Live events are pretty much impossible until the 2m Social Distancing rule is either unnecessary or relaxed - 2m distance needs to be advisory in conjunction with face covering and hygiene (in combination with testing) NOT compulsory. Until the 2m distancing requirement is reduced or, eventually, removed, many live events will not be financially viable.
2. Need to recognise the supply chain to industries/sectors that are still closed – and therefore offer support especially in those sectors that use theatres and live music venues which will be closed until th

 
 
zoombackupBackup to hold charity Zoom quiz this Friday night
Thursday, 14 May 2020

UK - Technical entertainment charity Backup will be holding a virtual pub quiz on Friday 15 May to raise money for the charity.
Backup provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film who have fallen ill, been injured or are suffering from mental health problems. The charity provides a range of services including financial support, advice and re-training, and the organisation is working harder than ever to support those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Tom Wilkes of Collaborative Creations will be hosting the quiz at 8pm on Friday 15 May, which will be taking place via Zoom, and all industry members, friends and family are welcome to take part and compete for some fantastic prizes.
Backup Trustee Lee Dennison said: “Unfortunately due to the coronavirus outbreak our annual fundraising extravaganza Kartfest can’t take place in July, so this quiz and other similar events in the coming months will make a huge difference to the charity.
“Those who know me will testify to the fact that I take all forms of fun extremely seriously, and I’m sure Tom will treat this quiz with the same level of respect and maturity that we have all come to expect.”
Tom added: “We understand this is a hard time for everyone, so entry fees and donations are encouraged but at your discretion, there’s no pressure to donate if you’re not in a position to. Having said that, if we raise enough money I will have to shave my head.”
White Light Systems Manager Jamie Wells will be runnin

 
tom-harper-webTom Harper appointed as Unusual Rigging MD
Monday, 11 May 2020

UK - Following the death of Alan Jacobi in April, Unusual Rigging has announced that Jacobi’s son Tom Harper will take on the role of managing director, with Jacobi’s wife Peta appointed as chairwoman. Beyond this change, the Board will continue to lead the Unusual team, directing the overall strategy of the business and assessing how best to respond to all future opportunities and challenges.
“The consequences of losing AJ are great,” says Harper, “and his absence will be felt, both by his family, colleagues, and the industry as a whole for many years to come. As a business, there are obvious implications that need to be addressed which in turn, honour AJ’s wishes regarding succession. AJ shared with Peta and myself that after he was gone, Peta would become the company Chairman, and I would become the MD”.
This strategy was recently reviewed and approved by the Board, which was formed in 2018 when Unusual was faced with exponential growth, and was enhanced by further directors – Simon Stone, Steve Porter, Simon Tiernan and Tom Harper, who each took on specific leadership roles within the organisation.
Jacobi said at the time: “We needed to regenerate the thread of continuity as we move forward and continue to grow, and the Board needs to reflect this intention in the management and governance of the company. We needed a solid and secure base to guide us into the future where responsibilities are growing ever more demanding”.
“And now”, says Harper, “our industry is facing challenges never before contemplated. Yet d

 
 
Two ANSI Standards in public review
Monday, 4 May 2020

USA - ESTA reports that two standards have been revised, and are being offered for public review.
BSR E1.6 - 1 - 202x, Powered Rigging Systems has been revised to correct errata in section 6.6, which addresses design factors for certain system elements. The public review only covers the revisions made in that section, and no comments regarding other sections are being solicited at this time.
BSR E1.39 - 202x, Entertainment Technology - Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry, is a revision of ANSI E1.39-2015, which is being updated for consistency with current industry practice and technologies. This standard establishes minimum requirements for the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on portable structures in the entertainment industry. In addition, the standard establishes minimum requirements for products and portable structures used in the service of PFAS.
The public review period for both draft standards runs through 28 June 2020. The draft revisions, review instructions, and pubic review forms for each document are now available for download at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php.

 
rada-flower-drop-02Electro Kabuki adds drama for RADA students
Thursday, 30 April 2020

UK - Acting & Theatre Production students at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) rigged a dynamic scene change using an Electro Kabuki drop in a recent performance of Oscar’s Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
The play calls for a scene change between Act 1, based in the Piccadilly rooms of character Algernon Moncrief and Act 2, set in the garden of the Manor House in Woolton belonging to character Jack Worthing (aka. Earnest). In this lively and engaging production, the creative team came up with a novel idea to mark the transition.
With Electro Kabuki dropper modules rigged to the grid high above the production in a cargo net configuration, several hundred flower heads were dropped to the stage, bang on cue with accompanying sound effects, as the actor playing Miss Prism took her seat at the garden table. Marked by appreciative gasps, the audience was left in no doubt that the setting of the play had shifted.
Cargo net applications are just one of many Electro Kabuki configurations that can be deployed for staged drops and theatrical reveals, and are often used for balloons, artificial snowflakes or poppy petals. Members of the Electro Kabuki team were invited to the RADA performance as VIP guests. They have huge experience of all sorts of kabuki drops and concluded that this was the first known instance of dropping full flower heads.
The entire production of The Importance of Being Earnest was a resounding success, with the only disappointment being that its run in RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrug

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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